Category Archives: Lifestyle

Yogic Sankalpas

heidi-sloss-logo-icon-high-resFor a New Year’s Day yoga class, I used the theme of creating a sankalpa. Kalpa means vow; san means a connection to a higher truth so Sankalpa is a vow or commitment we make to support our highest truth. It speaks to our dharma, our overriding purpose for our life. And our current sankalpa becomes a statement we can call upon to remind us of our true nature and will guide our choices.

Many refer to a sankalpa as deep resolve, like a resolution but different. A sankalpa involves focusing our mind, connecting to our most heartfelt desires and then channeling the divine energy within.

Sankalpas also differ from a typical New Year’s resolution in that they are expressed in positive, present tense statements that are significant, heartfelt and connected to the essence of our very being. It can instruct our subconscious mind, like a mantra, reminding us that we are timeless and perfect—a state of pure being.

To find a Sankalpa that is right for you for this year, start with the willingness to hear the messenger within. It takes courage to listen to our hearts, without ego or superficial desire. This is done by cultivating an open heart with a quiet and settled mind in meditation.

Questions to ask during meditation to find a meaningful and significant sankalpa are: What do I really want? What is the longing in my heart? What am I seeking? What do I yearn for?

A powerful sankalpa is a statement of a deeply held fact, a vow that is true in the present moment. It begins with I AM. It is not a prayer and it does not start with I WANT or I WILL. It is short and positive and meaningful, much deeper than a New Year’s resolution. It can be long term as opposed to just one year.

So when I wanted to lose weight 6 years ago, I didn’t do it by making the traditional New Year’s resolution of “I will lose weight” in order to look good for photos. Instead, my ability to lose weight came from a deep desire to be healthy and my motivation was not to be a burden to my children as I aged. I told myself that I AM healthy and strong and safe (one of my emotional triggers). It still took lots of discipline and commitment, but I connected to my inner being. I held onto the image of myself as strong, independent and was able to finally lose 55 lbs. over that year.

Some examples of sankalpas are:

I am awake and aware. I am happy, healthy and whole. I am calm, peaceful and relaxed.
I take great care of my body. In every interaction, I treat myself and other with kindness.
I am safe, I am healthy and I am loved. I am love.

I wish you great luck in listening for your sankalpa for 2017.



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

Tour of my New Website: HeidiSloss.com

For the past several months I have been working on consolidating my three websites—which is at least two too many for someone who isn’t selling anything! But since I finished Yoga Teacher Training earlier this year, I thought it would be a good idea to have one site that incorporates some of what I am doing these days: teaching yoga, leading yoga retreats/rituals and writing a blog. I am very excited to give you a tour and let me know what you think.

We (I worked with an excellent website designer who has designed my past websites—her name and link is at the bottom of every page) came up with a banner for the top in colors that I love. She designed the logo to combines both yoga and the spiritual aspects of my life (after all they are all related anyway. We placed it between my first and last name, playing on my full name: Heidi BK Sloss. I changed my name when I got married and use the middle initials of BK to honor my father as these are his initials when I changed my maiden name to my husband’s.

he HOME page has links to all sorts of information, but before you start jumping around, scroll down, take a look at the beautiful mandala buttons we created or scroll even further and take a look at the gorgeous photo. Do you think it is a sunset or a sunrise? And below that is a short blurb about my current focus.

Each beautiful mandala button takes you to a page that has information about what I am up to:

mandala-art

THE ART OF LIVING FULLY BLOG: Here are posts by me about various ideas and inspirations as well as posts about places we have traveled to.

mandala-yogaYOGA: This page describes why practice yoga and explains some of my teaching philosophy. It also has information about where I am teaching and how to work with me on the yoga mat.

RETREATSmandala-retreats: One of my goals is to offer both local and international yoga healing retreats. I am in the process of exploring sites in the San Francisco Bay area as well as some more tropical and/or exotic locations.

SPEAKER/AUTHORmandala-speakauth: As some of you know I used to work as a marketing consultant/business strategist and I wrote a best-selling book five years ago. Because the book is still generating calls for me to give presentations, I wasn’t quite ready to let it go. This mandala button links to information about my book, where to buy it and my background as a Business Consultant.

There are also some links at the top of each page, above the mandala buttons, below my banner.

Reading left to right:

The HOME link takes you to the HOME page

The ABOUT link has a very short bio and a photo that my husband took when we went to Maui year.

The HEIDI’S BLOG link takes you to THE ART OF LIVING FULLY BLOG page.

The RITUALS link takes you to information about the importance of rituals to mark important occasions in our lives, shows some photos from rituals and gives some examples that I offer.

The YOGA, YOGA RETREATS and SPEAKER/AUTHOR links each take you to those pages.

And the CONTACT link allows you to contact me for information and or feedback.

Thank you for taking this short tour of my new website. I hope you like it as much as I do. Would love to hear your feedback!



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

The Reset Button

I spent most of February and March worried about breast cancer. It felt as if I had fallen down a rabbit hole and couldn’t get my bearing for the last six weeks. It turns out that what I thought was good news after my repeat mammogram, was really only the beginning of a longer, drawn out saga.

After two mammograms and two MRIs, one with a biopsy, I finally received the all clear. But during that time I was lost in limbo land. Did I or didn’t I have breast cancer? What was showing up on the tests? And why do they need to do a biopsy in the MRI machine? It is bad enough to have 12 core samples removed from my (now black and blue) breast, but in and out of a closed MRI to a claustrophobic person adds insult to injury.

Instead of focusing on the roller coaster of fear, I am embracing the sweet relief a benign diagnosis brought to me, my family and my friends. The ‘all clear’ diagnosis is a reset button for how I want to live my life. Frankly anyone one of us is each just one diagnosis away from all sorts of medical disasters. We can’t control the length of our lives, but we have some control over how we spend it.

This is a lesson I keep learning over and over again. It was mine for a while after I survived cancer in my mid 20’s. I learned it again when my husband had cancer 19 years ago (this month!). And I learned again a 1 ½ years ago from my accident, from which I am still recovering. None of this makes me unique. Many friends and loved ones have had their own medical/life-death adventures. We are all learning similar life lessons, gained from the heartbreak and pain of loss and recovery.

For whatever time left to me — hopefully many more decades — I want my life to be of my making, on my own terms. I want to spend my time doing things that light up my life, bring a smile to my face and makes my heart soar.

I dodged a bullet this time, but I know that next time I might not be so lucky. This time I came to a place of acceptance. If life is short or long, I want to laugh too loud, take up lots of space, make more mistakes, apologize with an open heart and love fiercely. Bottom line is that I have had a great life, with many, many things and people to which and to whom I am most grateful!

So in honor of my recent healthy diagnosis and the 32nd anniversary of being free of cancer, I publicly renew my commitment to spending time doing the activities that I find fulfilling with friends and family who share laughter and joy and love while living.

Who’s with me?

 



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!

Where Have all My Blog Posts Gone?

 

I woke up this morning with the song, Where Have all the Flowers Gone in my head, but the words were slightly different: Where Have all the Blog Posts Gone had taken over the lovely melody. And as of my readers have noticed, it looks like I have been silent. But anyone who has met me knows I don’t do silent very well. So where has my online voice gone?

It actually hasn’t gone anywhere. I don’t have writers block. In fact I feel downright fertile these days. I have so many ideas that I had to stop writing them down in my writing notebook. I compose blog pieces constantly and then have lengthy inner dialogues about the pieces all day long.

The real reason I am not posting blog pieces right now is that I am on an adventure. I am currently in the middle of an 8 month training program and I am going along with the process, waiting to see what unfolds. The course meets every other weekend; it is exhilarating and draining at the same time. I find myself excited about upcoming training weekends and then when they get here almost shrinking from them. As an extrovert I enjoy the time spent with the other students and teachers, but even I get tired of both the mental and physical work involved. I find myself stretching and growing inside and out, which is both exciting and wearying.

For the first time in decades I’m not spending my time planning during the training figuring out how I will use all that I am learning. This is a big departure for me from past training programs I have done. When I took the Meyer’s Briggs training program (2000) I had it all planned out how I would lead awesome leadership development workshops. When I took my real estate licensing training course (2000) I pictured the industry success I wanted to become. In my coaching accreditation program (2009) I saw myself helping women business owners grow personally and professionally. During the Anti-Defamation League’s A World of Difference anti-bias program (2005) I pictured leading community based training programs that would open people’s minds and hearts. Even years back when I did the La Leche League International Leader Training program (1991) I could see myself helping breastfeeding mothers and babies all over the country. Fact is almost all of what I pictured came true.

But this time I am staying present; I’m not mind-jumping to the end. I have not figured out how I will apply all that I am learning. This is not easy for me to do and is one of the reasons I have not publically announced the training program I am in. It is a fine line for me to live out-loud and authentically, but also find a way to allow life to unfold.

Two weekends ago I went on a women’s initiation retreat with Megan Wagner, a Therapist, Spiritual Teacher, Author, Storyteller, Ritual Leader and Interfaith Minister whose retreats have been life-changing and life saving for me. I have attended 7 of her local Feminine Path to Power retreats. Each one has a different theme and involves different stories, rituals, meditations, songs, chants and dancing. She calls her local Women’s Initiation Retreats Wise Women Training and they are!

In this most recent retreat we spent time focusing on dreams and ideas that are aligned with our higher life purpose and how we will manifest them. In the context of my current training program it was empowering and inspiring. When I attended the same retreat 3 years ago I left excited but confused. This time around I find myself much more centered, balanced and in-tune with what is next for me. And I attribute part of this to my new-found ability to stop over-planning my future. Here I am at the end of the retreat, wearing Megan’s beautiful silk robe with Salima, the Goddess of Manifesting.

Manifest1 Manifest2 Manifest3

Change is scary. The unknown is unknown, and that can be unsettling. But as I learn to live with the unknown I feel empowered. It feels as if I am living on the edge of a flame – we all know that flames can burn out of control, be snuffed out by a wind or drowned by water. So along with feeling emblazoned, I also feel fragile; I am learning to embrace my power and fragility with care and tenderness.

I am not ready to announce my next act yet, but make no mistake, there is at least one act left in me (maybe more!). Stay tuned for new adventures, new announcements and new blog posts!

 



As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!