My Secret Way to Help Set Your Intentions for 2012

2011 has been a time of turmoil for many. A rollercoaster of events creating great change. Some desired. Some unexpected, but needed. Some dreaded, but well, here it is. The whole world is transforming. People around the world are asking for change, gathering, protesting, demonstrating. The time is ripe for transformation. Why?

Because we cannot evolve without change. We have been like caterpillars consuming everything in our need to grow. And then it seems everything stood still…there was little growth…as if we were in a cocoon of our own making…some have called it a recession and financially perhaps it is, but I call it a transformation. For under the stillness, great change is occurring. The caterpillar is transforming into a butterfly.

2012 is the year the first of the butterflies will emerge.

You will see it as hope. Sweet happenings across the globe, in your neighborhood, perhaps in your own backyard…giving you hope…Like the feeling of wonder we get when we watch a butterfly emerge from a cocoon…then try its fragile wings in first flight. Hope.

So many of us have been cleaning house…our physical abodes and our subconscious as well. Getting rid of all that doesn’t serve us…it’s hard, but we must make room for the new. And you can’t receive if your arms and heart are full of old stuff.

I have been encouraging my patients this past year to literally clean out their closets. When they have felt stuck, reliving old issues over and over again, seemingly making no progress, I encourage them to see this stuckness as a sign. It’s time to clean their dwelling place. Start with the physical. Yes, their homes.

We all have stuff in our closets. Old stuff that once served us but no longer fits, no longer is useful. Stuff we don’t need anymore. Stuff that is taking up space. So if you haven’t used it for at least two years, you probably won’t. Give it away. Sell it if you must. But get it out of your closets, out of your cupboards out of your home. Lighten up and make room for the new.

Cleaning out our homes at the physical level will help us clean out ourselves. And this time I’m not talking about a liver cleanse. I’m talking about cleaning out our psycho-spiritual closets.

Those old beliefs in our consciousness. You know the ones.

I’m not good enough.
I don’t deserve more, better, anything.
I’m alone.
Good things do not come my way, do not happen for me.
I’m worthless.
No one loves me.
How can they? I don’t even love myself.

We all have these imprinted beliefs. Perhaps we have lived a life highlighting these beliefs. Perhaps we were imprinted with these negative beliefs in childhood. Perhaps we came into this life with these feelings.

Either way. These NOT GOOD ENOUGH beliefs lie deep in our consciousness and are often at the root of our real problems…Our health problems. Our financial problems. Our relationship problems. Our problems being happy and feeling love.

So let’s clear our closets. Let’s let go of that which no longer serves us.

I challenge each and every one of you to write down on a piece of paper everything in your closet that does not serve you. Everything… What are you ready to release?

Your fear? Write it down.
Your not good enough? Write it down.
Your feelings of worthlessness? Write it down.
Your poverty? Write it down.
Your loveless life? Write it down.
Your unhealthiness? Write it down.

Now. Hold that piece of paper in your hand. Close your eyes. And express your gratitude for these negative beliefs. Yes, thank them! You cannot release them in anger…they will come back to stick to you like a burr. Release them with gratitude and they will release you.

Now. Once you are finished expressing your thankfulness for all the old beliefs you have written down that no longer serve you, it is time to burn that paper. You can bury it as well. But I prefer to release the smoke of what I no longer need into the universe. It will be transformed into something else…something better.

Then get another piece of paper and write down everything you wish for the coming year. Not resolutions. But intentions.

I desire love.
I desire joy.
I desire to be debt free—financially and karmically.
I desire to be my best self.

Whatever you desire. Write it down. And then fold up the paper and write one word that comes to you on the outside of the folded paper. One word that represents all that you desire.


And let that one word be your mantra for the next year. Place the paper on your altar, under or near a candle, by a sacred object, wherever you feel is most appropriate for this little piece of paper that holds your hope.

Refer to it during the year. I like to do this ceremony at the winter solstice and refer to my hope at the equinoxes and summer solstice. A reaffirming for me. And the mantra becomes a barometer for all I do that year.

On the winter solstice of 2001, my husband and I came up with a mantra of EASE for the coming year. Everything we did was using the barometer of our 2002 mantra. If we were struggling with a decision, then we were not in ease…so we chose ease and things just started to flow. That’s how we found our current home. With ease it flowed into our lives. In a way that we could not previously imagine.

EASE. What a great mantra. I suggest it to many of my patients who struggle so in their lives. Let go, and be at Ease.

Last year, I chose FREEDOM as my mantra. And it started off with a need to be debt free, and ended with a clearing of my deepest soul issues that have freed me up to live in joyous relationships with all those that I felt bound by before. FREEDOM.

The mantra is a seed of energy we plant in our consciousness. Writing down our intentions and referring to them throughout the year is watering and fertilizing that seed so it might grow. Some seeds take a long time to sprout. Some grow into trees that take a long time to fruit. The seed of EASE sprouted into a lovely flower garden at first, but truly it is a deep rooted plant…for EASE continues some nine years later bearing us precious fruit.

May your mantra seed your life with great joy, with love, with beauty and with blossoms that attract butterflies of hope.

Love and Light,

Deborah Maragopoulos MN FNP
Intuitive Integrative Health

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We got Charlie from a border collie rescue—the funniest looking border collie pup you’ve ever seen. The black and white markings unmistakeningly border collie, but the long, long legs and pointy nose, the dancing energy tempered with an un-border collie mellowness…well, he’s not purebred.

We believe he’s a lurcher—part border collie, part sight hound. He looks a lot like the border-greyhound crosses I googled and while he creeps and herds like a border collie, he runs and lounges like a greyhound.

A strange cross, but we love him. 

I was walking him this morning through the arbolada and thinking about all the lessons I’ve learned from my animals. My first dog, an Irish Setter, was a reflection of my teenaged emotions. The Danes I’ve had in the past were protective… I entrusted my children, my home, myself to their Nana-energy…reflecting my fear of coming out in the world. The shepherds and border collies were so focused on the task at hand—the ball, the chickens, the agility course—that play was secondary…reflecting my intense drive to accomplish. Most were so attached to me that they let very few others in. 

Charlie is different. He engages with everyone. 

I have never had a dog that got along with everyone and everything. Not a territorial bone in his body, Charlie is friends with all creatures. Never submits to aggressive dogs nor does he fight. If they’re cranky, he just goes on his way. He plays with everyone willing to romp, getting low for the little dogs, holding his own with the big ones. He respects the cats and the wildlife and most of all us. He heels so well, I can ride through town on my spirited mare and he only attends to us. 

He loves hikes, runs, and most of all water. The best beach dog ever. Not a great fetcher, no, he just adores the ocean, the waves, the sand, the seabirds, the fishermen, the other dogs, the surfers, the children digging immense sand caves…never a nuisance, always respectful, yet no one can resist his sweet face and wagging tail.

Watching Charlie check his messages along our walk this morning, I realized just how much he has taught me… 

* Keep in contact with your friends. Check your messages and answer every one, if only by tweeting.

* Smile at everyone. Hug those who need it. Gently press against those not quite ready for a full body hug.

* If others are grumpy, let them be. There’s always more friends to be found.


 * If you’re hot, get wet.


*If you’re cold, cuddle up.

* Don’t enter unless invited. But once invited, thank your host profusely.

* Respect cats and other creatures different from you.

 *Just hang out and relax, even if you have to wait a long time for your loved ones to return.


* Enjoy the ride, the run, the day, the sun.

* Laugh in the rain. Romp in the mud. Take your bath lightly.

* Be patient with caregivers, they’re only trying to help.

* If you can, figure out things on your own.  If not, ask for help.

 *Be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

 *Love your family

 *Love your friends

 *Love everyone you meet

* Listen carefully to your higher self. She has your best interest at heart.

* Remember Life is Joy.

Charlie seems to be a reflection of where I am now. I love my family, my friends, most everyone I meet. I try to attend carefully to my higher self. And I know without a doubt that life is joy.