My “no New Year’s resolutions” approach

(read in Italian)

New year, new me? No, thank you! This is how I would reply to someone who asks me about my resolutions for the new year. January is a month filled with brand new resolutions, big promises, and a lot of talking about “new year, new me”. I have never liked all this talking about setting big plans for the year ahead and judging yourself for what happened in the past. I don’t like new year’s resolutions but I like the idea of a FRESH START, especially if this is something that gives you some extra motivation and makes you excited (and happy!) to take action!

Planning a resolution to me means you have a specific issue in mind and you need to sort it out (problem -> possible solution -> action plan) – I’m obviously not judging you if you want to set your resolutions for the new year and feel confident about your choice, but here there’s my advice for you:

  1. check if there is a real issue that needs a solution
  2. be sure about what you want to do/reach (does it really matters to you? Is something achievable? Is something you tried to do before?)
  3. break your plan into small steps: turn a bigger plan into actions that are small, simple, and easy to visualise

Let’s get back to the “no resolutions” approach…

From both a general point of view and in terms of “healthy resolutions”, can you see the difference between << I want to lose weight so I will do a diet in January >> and << lately I have been eating too many sweets because I look for them every time I’m stressed, so I want to use the idea of January as a fresh start to both find a way to de-stress and try new snacks BUT I won’t judge myself and I understand that eating some sweets when I’m stressed is not the end of the world. I also want to ask myself more often this kind of questions “what am I really hungry for? what am I looking for?” >>

The idea behind the first sentence is looking for a quick fix without questioning the resolution or asking yourself why you should do that and how you feel now or which benefits you will get from accomplishing this goal. Now read again the second sentence. Can you see how this one is not only more complete but is already getting you on a different pathway and motivates you to ask yourself more questions about that idea of losing weight? Because maybe you don’t even care about losing weight…

  • There’s no need to COMPARE yourself to others
  • It’s important to stay focused on what really matters TO YOU
  • You don’t need to fit into a general resolution but what you should do instead is create INTENTIONS with a non-judgemental approach
  • You can create instead a POSITIVE CALL to change (as long as you need that change)
  • Include in the foreseeable future what makes you HAPPY and what is rooted in SELF-LOVE
  • An idea to use as a starting point: make a list “what you think you need to do vs what you really want”
  • Big, bright and shiny resolutions are definitely attractive but WORKING ON YOURSELF is so rewarding in the long term!

WHAT AM I DOING IN JANUARY? It’s the beginning of a new year, I don’t feel guilty for what I have done or not done, eaten or not eaten during the last year or month… instead, I am trying to focus on all the positive things and on my motivation to take care of myself on a DAILY BASIS. I reflect on my past year and check from a different perspective the path that brought me here. I have learned some important lessons from my mistakes and I am ready to celebrate every little progress that will come. I am ready to…

  • celebrate myself, my body, health, and well-being
  • stay focused on my strengths and working on letting go of what is holding me back
  • remind myself anytime I will feel lost that I AM ENOUGH
  • allow myself to fully feel all the feelings
  • stay focused on my path and ask myself anytime I get into the comparison trap “what exactly am I looking for?”
  • be more focused on what I can ALLOW to come into my life/business, rather than on what I need to cut out (abundance vs restriction)

Each year will be different but right now these are the things I want to include into this “fresh start” because they are areas in which I need to work on. I’m not getting worried asking myself “will I manage to do all of them? Or even just one? What if I fail?” because I strive for progress and not perfection. I don’t have a real plan on how to put them into practice but I will simply keep trying what I have been doing lately and improve/change things step by step. Every day:

  • I ask myself “what am I grateful for?” and try to write down as many things as I can remember – I will try to write down even more things even I had some bad days or a stressful time). I always try to ensure I’m not coming up with random things just because I need to make a list: it needs to be real GRATITUDE
  • I stay focused on a word or a sentence that makes me feel empowered, and I come up with this by asking myself how I really feel
  • I journal about my life and business goals, I ask myself questions, and I try to avoid being afraid of the possible answers I’ll find. A big part of this journaling work is related to my business because the mindset makes a huge part of having your own business, but you could totally do this simply staying focused just on your personal life (it depends from what you want to get from this work)

Join me on starting the new year with this SELF-LOVE revolution! And remember: it’s not about “new year, new me” – you just need to have a better look inside you and… BE READY TO SHINE!

Chiara x


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Può arrivare il punto in cui anche la positività diventa troppa?

(read in English)

Tutto il mondo che ruota intorno alle varie sfaccettature del benessere sembra essere immerso in un’ondata di energia positiva – devo dire che questo è decisamente qualcosa che apprezzo, ma riconosco anche che sia importante tracciare dei confini a livello personale, perchè tutta questa positività, ad un certo punto, può inziare ad essere troppa. Bisogna imparare ad affrontare anche gli aspetti negativi delle cose, essere in grado di viverli e, coscientemente, andare avanti – non puoi semplicemente nascondere le cose sotto al tappeto, perchè prima o poi verranno fuori comunque.

Più o meno questo è quello che è accaduto a me di recente, così ho pensato di condividere qualche parola su questa storia perchè potrebbe essere utile per qualcun’altro.

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Io sono il tipo di persona che solitamente pretende tanto da sè stessa – sebbene riesca ad essere abbastanza realistica nei confronti delle altre persone, spesso finisco per avere invece alte aspettative verso di me. Anno dopo anno, ho imparato pian piano a gestire meglio questa cosa, a “lasciar correre” un po’ ogni tanto, a concedermi di fare (o non fare) le cose seguendo i miei tempi, ed a iniziare ad accettare di più le cose per quello che sono – non è facile, ma ne vale la pena.

Lo scorso anno ho subito un’operazione al seno (la seconda nel giro di pochi anni – preoccupante lì per lì, ma nulla di grave) e mi è servito un intero anno per “vivere” veramente quest’esperienza. Tutto è andato alla perfezione, non ho avuto nessuna complicazione dopo l’operazione come era accaduto la prima volta, ed io ero contenta per il fatto di sentirmi così in forma che non ho nemmeno perso giorni di lavoro (complice anche il vantaggio di lavorare da casa!). Sapevo che avrei ricevuto una chiamata per l’operazione, quindi ho avuto tutto il tempo per organizzarmi al meglio: cucinare e congelare cose da mangiare già pronte, assicurarmi che la dispensa fosse piena di tutti gli ingredienti che mi potrebbero essere stati utili, preparare in anticipo materiale per i social media per far andare comunque avanti la mia attività, programmare l’agenda in modo da non avere consulenze nei giorni subito dopo l’operazione, e, soprattutto, fare tantissime raccomandazioni al mio ragazzo sul continuare a mangiare bene, giusto nel caso che qualcosa andasse storto. Inoltre, devo riconoscere che il mio corpo ha davvero collaborato, recuperando in fretta ed al meglio.

“Guardiamo al lato positivo, sono stata così fortunata!” – questo è stato il mio mantra durante lo scorso anno. Non c’è nulla di sbagliato con tutta questa positività, giusto? Pur volendo essere d’accordo su questo punto, la verità è un po’ diversa… in pratica ho deciso di nascondere sotto al tappeto tutte le paure, ansie, preoccupazioni, lacrime, ed ogni altro pensiero negativo. Dovevano tornare a galla ad un certo punto…

Qualche settimana fa, leggendo una serie di cose nemmeno collegate (che parlavano di donne e mentalità/approccio verso sè stessi, ed altre cose invece legate al portare la pratica yoga al di fuori del tappettino – la maggior parte lette sulle pagine Instagram di Nicky Clinch e Kino MacGregor), ho finalmente capito che a volte devi smetterla di voler trovare a tutti costi il lato positivo delle cose e focalizzarti solo su di esso, ma devi semplicemente dare al tuo corpo ed alla tua mente un po’ di tempo per guarire. Questo era il punto mancante nella mia storia.

I miei clienti dicono spesso che apprezzano il mio approccio pieno di positività e quanto esso gli serva come ispirazione, ma è importante anche imparare a delineare qualche confine qui e là. Sì, senza dubbio sono stata fortunata, ho dovuto solo prendere un bello spavento e poi poter tirare un sospiro di sollievo perchè era andato tutto bene, avevo solo un’altra cicatrice – ma dovevo anche rispettare e riconoscere quello che è stato il mio percorso. Nell’ultimo anno, sia a causa di un dolore fastidioso e ricorrente che mi ha accompagnata per gran parte delparecchio tempo, sia per alcuni blocchi “emozionali”, non sono riuscita ad essere costante con la mia pratica yoga come avrei voluto – c’era sempre qualcosa ad un certo punto che mi bloccava, come la paura di ogni piccolo spiraglio che si potesse aprire durante la pratica (era una cosa anche legata a tutte le posizioni che vengono chiamate “heart openers” – se hai un pochino di familiarità con lo yoga, capisci quello che intendo quando parlo di “spiragli”, che non sono qualcosa di fisico ma più a livello di emozioni).. quindi ho iniziato ad evitare alcune posizioni per un po’, ed a volte finivo proprio per evitare tutta la pratica.

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Capisco che per qualcuno questo discorso possa sembrare come una serie di scuse e devo ammettere che per un po’ l’ho pensato anche io – ad un certo punto mi sono convinta di essere semplicemente pigra ed aver iniziato ad inventare scuse di conseguenza… ecco tornato quell’atteggiamento che non mi concede nessun tipo di errore o debolezza! Poi però, ho provato a:

* essere semplicemente più gentile e comprensiva con me stessa
* pensare a quello che avrei detto a qualcuno che si fosse trovato nella mia stessa situazione
* accettare le cose per quello che sono e concedermi un po’ di tempo
* capire che queste non erano scuse, ma una barriera protettiva

Sono stati mesi ricchi di pazienza e comprensione, finchè non ho finalmente capito che era arrivato il momento di cambiare qualcosa. Durante gli ultimi anni ho lavorato tanto su me stessa per cercare di essere più presente e consapevole non solo riguardo l’alimentazione, ma in ogni aspetto della mia vita – il punto è che quando cerchi di evitare o nascondere una parte di quello che provi, non puoi essere del tutto presente e consapevole di quello che succede. Questo non vuole dire escludere a priori un senso di gratitudine o un approccio positivo, ma significa soltanto che hai imparato a rispettare e riconoscere sia gli aspetti positivi che quelli negativi per quello che sono: parte di te.

Capire che dovevo rispettare il mio percorso per quello che è, il mio corpo per essere stato forte, e me stessa per essere stata coraggiosa, mi ha fatto finalmente affrontare tutti gli spiragli che vanno via via aprendosi durante la pratica yoga e mi ha fatto accettare che “sì, sono stata fortunata e le cose sarebbero potute andare peggio, ma questo è il mio percorso, e se ha degli aspetti negativi va bene parlarne (e viverli) ad alta voce”.

Chiara x

Is there a thing like “too much positivity”?

(read in Italian)

I really love the positive energy that there is all around the wellness world but it’s important to learn how to set your own boundaries because even positivity can sometimes start to be overwhelming. You need to learn to face all the negative sides of things as well, be able to live them and consciously move on – you can’t simply sweep things under the carpet, because at some stage they will come up anyway.

This is basically what happened to me recently and I thought that sharing this brief story may be helpful for some of you.

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I am the kind of person that usually pretends a lot from herself – while I tend to be more realistic towards other people, I often have high expectations regarding myself. Year after year, I have slowly learned to let go a little, to allow myself to do (or not do) things at my own pace, and to introduce a certain degree of “acceptance” – not easy, but worth it.

Last year, I had to go through a breast surgery (the second one in a few years time – scary, but nothing to be worried about now) and it took me one whole year to truly “live” the experience. Everything went really smooth, I didn’t have any post-op issue like I had after the first one, and I was delighted with the idea of feeling so good that I didn’t even miss days of work (perks of working from home!). I was expecting a call for the surgery so I had time to organise everything: cook and freeze meals, stock up the kitchen with all the foods that could come in useful, plan social media posts to keep my business running, a schedule with no clients’ appointments for the days right after the surgery, and plenty of recommendations for my boyfriend to keep eating well, just in case something goes wrong. In addition, my body did an amazing job and recovered well and quickly.

“Let’s look at the positive side, I have been so lucky!” – this has been my mantra for the past year. Nothing wrong with all this positivity, right? I would agree with you, but the truth is… I have basically decided to sweep under the carpet all the fear, anxiety, worries, tears, and any other negative thought. They had to come out at some stage…

A few weeks ago, reading things here and there (mainly about women and mindset, and stuff related to the yoga practice outside of the mat – most of them coming from Nicky Clinch and Kino MacGregor Instagram feeds) I have finally realised that sometimes you just need to stop looking for the positive side of things all the time, and simply give your body and mind time to heal. This was the missing point of my story.

Even my clients tell me all the time that they appreciate my positive approach and how I inspire them with it, but you also need to set some realistic boundaries. Yes, I have been lucky, I just had to feel scared and then relieved ’cause everything was fine, I only had another scar – but I needed to honor my journey. During the last year, both a recurrent annoying pain that has been with me for a lot of time and some sort of emotional blockages, didn’t allow me to do my yoga practice as I wanted – at some stage there was always something that stopped me, like a fear of each small “opening” that could occur during the practice (especially anything related to the heart openers – if you are familiar with yoga, you understand what I mean by “openings”, that are not something physical but emotional).. so I have been avoiding specific poses for a while, and sometimes even the entire practice.

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I know that this will sound like a bunch of excuses to some of you, because it has been the same for me as well – at some stage, I though that I was simply being lazy and coming up with any sort of excuses… here comes again the self-judgement that doesn’t allow mistakes or weaknesses! But then, I have tried to:

* simply be kind to myself
* think about what I would have said to somebody else in the same situation
* accept the situation and give myself some time
* understand that these were not excuses, but a defensive barrier

Months full of patience and kindness, until I have realised that it was finally time to change something. During the last years, I have done a lot of work to be more aware around food and regarding each area of my life, but when you try to avoid or hide part of your feelings you can’t be fully aware of what’s actually going on – this doesn’t mean that you can’t be grateful or have a positive mindset, but that you have learned to honor both positive and negative feelings for what they are: part of you.

Realising that I needed to honor my journey for what it is, my body for being strong, and myself for being brave, allowed me to finally face the fears of “openings” during my yoga practice and to accept that “yes, I have been lucky and things could have been worse, but this is my journey, and if has some negative sides, it’s perfectly fine to tell (and live) them out loud”.

Chiara x