Living with intent in 2016

Despite using positive affirmations daily for the last 12 years, repeating mantras since 1997 (I’m calm, alert and strong, thanks very much), teaching meditation for the past 5 years, and daily encouraging students to set their intention, create their resolution, and plant the seeds of their Sankalpa deep in their subconscious mind; only recently did I really learn for the very first time the true meaning of this exercise, having a pure and complete ‘lightbulb moment’, when asked by a friend “what is your intent”?

There I was in full flow verbal diatribe, mid-rant about the stress of the morning rush hour, school drop off hell, and she asks me “When you drive your kid to school, what is your intent?” Intent, what does she mean, intent? A word so much stronger than the pleasant “setting intention”, this no harm done, mild, happy, positive affirmation. All these years I’ve been sitting quietly in meditation, calmly setting my intention for the day ahead, and never once stating my intent. No wonder then, that upon arising from my steady, comfortable yoga seat (pedestal / soapbox) I spend the rest of the morning unravelling at the seams, shouting at people far smaller and more vulnerable than me, who I deliberately intended on bringing into this world, no accidents here!, and making sure they start their day as miserable as I was positive and calm 10 minutes prior to their waking in my little meditation bubble, setting my positive intention.

Intention can say “But it’s not my fault, it’s their fault for getting in the way of everything I wanted to do and be, and all my dreams I gave up on for x, y, z.”

Intention can say: “But I didn’t mean to go bananas on that petrol attendant / cyclist / lollipop lady / slow driving parent looking at their phone while the traffic light finally turned GREEN…It’s their fault, I had such good intentions before starting this day.”

Yawn. Intention, though you mean well, where are you when I need you in the real world?!

Enter, with a drum roll please… INTENT. Aha! To DO something, with intent… To BE with intent…That is brave and strong, and fierce! Survey your battlefield, then go forth and conquer, with intent! Intent to kill, to create, to live the best life you can live! I love it.

So when it comes to goal setting for 2016, what is your intent?

Like me, do you write down your goals in the back of your diary, then shove it into a drawer, lost under piles of paperwork for the next 12 months? Or diligently take part in a goal setting yoga workshop, or sign up for yearly membership to Louise Hay, Gabby, Oprah and play Beyonce on repeat?! (Remember, you both have 24 hours in your day). It is said that we overestimate what we can achieve in a day, and underestimate what we can achieve in a week. Oh to be Beyonce. She goes hard, with intent!

What happens once the goals are written and gym memberships paid for? How do you live, love, change, be?

How to be in this world, surrounded by your fellow human beings, realising the power of your actions and how they affect every single person you will meet today. In this one day. Writing your own legacy every time you interact with another person. (As Maya Angelou said to Oprah when she thought her legacy was building a girl’s boarding school in South Africa).

Waking up today, as you live and breath throughout the day, what is your INTENT?

5 tips to achieving goals while practicing self-love

Here’s some good advice from Purely Twins on setting goals:

1 –  Enjoy the time. Don’t obsess over the goal. Remember it’s a journey.

2 – Pick your goals out of love. This way you’ll make ones you believe in and will be okay with setbacks (as there will be obstacles).

3 – Do the best you can – no need to be perfect. Wake up and believe every day is a new opportunity to do good and serve.

4 – Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Negative talk will only stall the process.

5 – Give yourself a compliment – silly but it is important.

Now your turn. What goals are you going to make for yourself, with intent, this year?


You gotta move…

Panoramic GlendaloughMoving outdoors (preferably in nature) clears your mind and reawakens your body to new muscular patterns of movement. To stay young in body and mind, you need to consistently get out of your comfort zone, get outside, and keep moving!

Recently, and in the absence of a ticket to Electric Picnic, my husband and I marked our 10th anniversary ‘Kennenlearnen Tag’ with a 3 hour hike in beautiful Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.

Glendalough is well worth the visit. Founded by St. Kevin in 6AD, it features a monastic city, a round tower standing some 30m tall, and Kevin’s Bed, a cavity int he cliff beyond the settlement. The trees and lake surrounding the monastic site emit a pure, spiritual energy, evoking centuries of human meditation and prayer.

There are hiking trails to suit all levels. We followed the White Trail, a 3 hour hike covering 12k in total when you include the walk from the car-park to the start of the trail. When you’re training for a marathon it all counts right?!    Ruthe-@Glendalough

Surrounded by nature, I noticed 20 minutes into the hike that my right shoulder, which had been nagging at me for months now and was ‘frozen’, felt completely free. My husband noted that his knee (operated on last year) felt strong. We passed by sheep and deer as we made our way through the miners village to the foot of the hill. It felt great to be out and able to climb all the way up the side of the waterfall running down from the top of the hill. Higher up, the mountains glowed bright purple with heather in bloom.

Valley view

Crossing over the stream at the top, we continued along the board walk that runs all the way along the summit, back down towards the woods above the visitor centre. We enjoyed the views down into the valley below, overlooking first the Miner’s Village and lakes beyond. It was a bright sunny day, with trees and tourists alike enjoying the best our Indian Summer had to offer.

Lake view

After finishing the hike, we sat by the river that flows down from the waterfall above and dipped our toes in the cool, invigorating water.

Though my legs were feeling the effort from the descent, my mind was calm and clear. Feeling energised yet completely at peace, I reflected with my husband that “it’d be hard to have a fight here”. He agreed! After 3 hours hiking together, in this place so tranquil yet vibrant, we felt alive, and buzzing with energy.

The trees glowed with pure health and vitality. Their leaves neon green, soaking up the sunlight and radiating life energy for us humans to freely tap into. Glendalough is a beautiful, special place. I felt very lucky to be there among the foreign tourists who’d made a greater effort to visit it. We left feeling completely at peace, with ourselves and our surroundings.

Spending 3 hours in this vast green haven, made it clear in my mind that all I need is space and freedom to move in order to feel calm, happy, and at peace. Peace, Balance, and Harmony. Take every chance to be outdoors in nature, ground yourself barefoot on cool soft grass or in an invigorating stream. Stand in a place surrounded by trees and breathe in the air they give us.

The peace and awe that one feels at Glendalough reminded me of  Xavier Rudd – Follow the Sun “take a stroll to your nearest waters edge and remember your place, many moons have risen and fallen long before your came.” We are so fortunate to have Glendalough only an hours drive away.

For more thoughts on how outdoor movement helps you to stay young, see Martha Peterson’s blog post: To Clear the Mind and Reawaken The Body You’ve Got To Move. We completely agree with you Martha!

Sister Sadie, Harrington Street

Love Sister Sadie’s cafe! Had the Sabiche Salad with a refreshing pot of Moroccan Mint Green Tea on Friday after teaching Corporate Yoga nearby, it was fab. We sat outside at first, it was lovely to be outside without ashtrays, but the weather got the better of us so moved indoors, it’s so calm and I love that they use recycled paper and are proudly advertise the fact that they do so. With it’s laid-back yet clean, professional vibe, and large windows looking onto a leafy green city street, it feels like a cafe in the heart of Vancouver. Noticed that the tea, though ok, tastes much better in Morocco!! For more Yogi friendly eats check out Kate’s blog @kateskabin.



I’ve always wanted to work in town… the after work shopping trips and drinks and the huge choice for lunch and dinner – all the stuff you don’t get when you work in an industrial estate in D12! The main part I’m envious of is the food options though… I constantly see people on social media who get to sample all the new spots on their lunch while I sit at my desk or in our canteen with my home made soup or salad, struggling to make it around all the latest hotspots over the weekend.

One such place that I’d heard lots about is Sister Sadie on Harrington Street… my only experience was reading others reviews and flying past it on the bus into town. Being close to Hatch Street, it’s got the benefit of proximity to Aviva and Deloitte and I’ve often jealously viewed the tweets from workers…

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Somatic Exercises Make Freedom of Movement Possible

Beach Balloons

Excellent blog from Martha Petersen on how to relieve back pain, sciatica and other functional body issues using these easy-to-follow videos of Somatic movements. Great for both complete beginner or avid practitioner:

Somatic Exercises Make Freedom of Movement Possible.

With Somatics pain-free movement IS possible. You CAN enjoy moving your body, have fun and feel free!

Happy moving 😉

Somatics Course

Somatic Exercise Coach Training, led by Tanya Fitzpatrick, October 2014