METAMORPHOSIS - ep. 14 - I Choose. #30Letters from #yogacamp miniseries

Aaa! The power of choice! The wonderful gift God gave us when we were born. We go through life making decisions every single day. Who we are and who we become gets created with every choice we get to make. They become habits which through repetition become our character. Our personality is thus made of what we choose.

Of course we get to decide between whatever is available where we are in the world, at a given time. The trick is to make the smart choice. That informed, unique-to-you choice, that will further benefit your lifestyle and daily activities. Make the best with what you have. That’s where the “smart” part comes into play.

As we have the ability to choose, we have endless possibilities and combinations. The one area where these options are really infinite is the one where we choose who we are.

The way we behave, the way we feel about a situation, the way we speak, the way we make others feel, the way we treat ourselves tell the story of who we really are. One cannot always choose material things or similar items, but one can definitely choose who he or she wants to be remembered as. Always!

This reminds me of a Harry Potter quote, by professor Dumbledore, that got me thinking all those years back, when I first heard it: “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”. So thank you J.K. Rowling for writing that, because it clearly defines the long path we each take in order to become our finest, truest selves.

We can use our abilities to create or to destroy. There’s no middle ground, just lack of action. Of course, both of these extremes can be understood as to create good and destroy evil, or to create evil and destroy good. Choose the first one, as it helps build a lighter, happier you. Choosing the negative side takes a toll eventually, bringing your spirit down. Remember what I said about those neural connections here!

In January, I chose to let go of all multiple sclerosis related stress. To move slow and with the breath. And I did. It was the most relaxing yoga practice in a long time.

The second time, at the beginning of April, I chose to be my best self, to love myself and to have more confidence in what I do or say.

I found ease and understood that I’ve changed somewhat since the last time I did this. The body became more flexible and I became more confident, as I choose to start before I’m ready, to let go and embrace the opportunities of the moment, whilst staying true to myself.

This is the interesting thing about yoga, that although it aims to let go of the thinking mind and focus on the body, breath and sensations, it also makes you think, it makes you understand things about life, about yourself and about how it is all tied together and why.

The “why” is important. We need to know it, find it out. Without it, we go about life just executing mindless actions. What drives us in life, to do this and that? Stand still and ask yourself that. Have an inner conversation. Choose to know who you are inside and out. Explore!

Yoga and movement are a great tool for doing all that and more. Stand still and have patience. Listen. The Universe is talking. Choose with the heart. Choose what makes you happy.

Thank you for your visit. Please remember to comment down below, share your thoughts on this. Subscribe to stay in touch with what I write.

As always, transformation starts from within.
For the rest of the “METAMORPHOSIS” series, click here.

#30letters is a miniseries derived from the experience of being transformed by some of my choices, in this case yoga, a lesson about yourself and for yourself. #Yogacamp is a 30 day challenge created by the wonderful Adriene Mishler (@yogawithadriene) and shared for free on her YouTube Channel. Check it out here.


METAMORPHOSIS - ep. 13 - I Am Capable. #30Letters from #yogacamp miniseries

Sometimes we need to hear this from ourselves: “I am capable!”. When all around begins to crumble down, search for the inner strength that will help us get through hard times.

Human beings are so resilient it scares me. We are survivors. We all can survive hardships. It’s all in the mind: success or failure. We can get so scared about failing that in the end we get prone to fail for real. In 99% of the cases, failing means we learn. It is an experience that helps us adapt. Do you think a child who learns to walk, thinks to himself after his 50th fall: “Maybe this isn’t for me!”? He keeps on going, adapting to the environment.

We get what we most focus on. We might not be able to get rid of MS and its doings, but we can choose to push through.

Life is hard even without any chronic diagnosis. MS only adds to the equation. Reset our minds so that we can, little by little, see the possibilities in the hardships we face. Focus on what we are capable of doing in spite of our current condition. Choose to live with it, not run from it or even let ourselves get beaten by it. It’s only a disease after all. A nasty one, but still just a disease. We are capable of surviving this.

We all grow old, get sick and eventually die. MSers might do that at a faster pace. And even MS is different for each of us. What we can control is the way we look at our situation. The way we choose to act and go on. Even if our bodies start failing, we have our heart.

We need to start seeing life through our hearts and be grateful to be alive. It is the most precious gift we have ever been given. Every day people die from diseases that give them no chances whatsoever. We are capable of getting through this.

Clear our minds of attachments, of the fixed plans we had so far. Become flexible. Accept. Adapt. Overcome. We really have two options: either we quit and become a victim, or stand up and accept the situation, see what we are left with and make our way up from there. We grow.

MS is uncertain, it might be cruel, it might be devastating for some, I agree. I’ve heard and seen such stories and the possibility of those situations scares me every day. But I crawl my way out every time it brings my emotions down.

We all die in the end. Becoming aware of this helps me cope with the many “what if’s” in my life with and without thinking of MS. I reinforce the good things in life, the things I am capable in doing and that bring me the most joy. On things that make me feel good. Writing this blog is one of them.

It’s what we do in between that truly matters. All we leave behind, all our legacy to future generations is important. Newly diagnosed MSers search for stories to learn more about how to cope. We are capable of making or breaking their future. What will we teach them?

Thank you for your visit. Please remember to comment down below, share your thoughts on this. Subscribe to stay in touch with what I write.

As always, transformation starts from within.
For the rest of the “METAMORPHOSIS” series, click here.

#30letters is a miniseries derived from the experience of being transformed by some of my choices, in this case yoga, a lesson about yourself and for yourself. #Yogacamp is a 30 day challenge created by the wonderful Adriene Mishler (@yogawithadriene) and shared for free on her YouTube Channel. Check it out here.


METAMORPHOSIS - ep. 12 - I Feel Supported. #30Letters from #yogacamp miniseries

When Adriene Mishler does ab day yoga, you are in for a good stretch. But she also gives the mat as support and helps you reconnect to your core (body, mind and spirit).

As humans, we sometimes can feel weak if we are alone. Alone in doing something or in any other aspect. Our need to belong and to be among peers is so powerful, that we often lose our sense of self. We tend to forget who we truly are.

As children, we have a very strong core of beliefs, wants and dreams. When we grow older, as social pressure closes in on us, we feel vulnerable being just by ourselves. We also tend to misjudge others who are fine, who are OK with being themselves. We categorize them as weird, loosers or plain outcasts.

But the irony is that we all want to be accepted for who we are, to have special value among our peers. And surprise, surprise! As we reach adulthood, the “promised land” of greatness and success, we find out that no one really cares about us or how we are. No one really cares unless it directly involves them. Most people do that unconsciously or even with a bad intention in mind. It’s just human nature, unfortunately!

Even the most caring or sociable person will expect gratitude or some sort of validation for his or hers actions. Thus the most important thing in life is how we make people feel, because that’s what they remember. That’s what resonates with every one of us at a very deep emotional level.

The real and best support we will ever have is the one within ourselves. Getting in touch with our inner strength with our roots, with our… CORE, is what charges our batteries and makes us ready to live in this world.

Thank you for your visit. Please remember to comment down below, share your thoughts on this. Subscribe to stay in touch with what I write.

As always, transformation starts from within.
For the rest of the “METAMORPHOSIS” series, click here.

#30letters is a miniseries derived from the experience of being transformed by some of my choices, in this case yoga, a lesson about yourself and for yourself. #Yogacamp is a 30 day challenge created by the wonderful Adriene Mishler (@yogawithadriene) and shared for free on her YouTube Channel. Check it out here.


One Year of Smart. A Few Lessons Learned

Happy day today, everyone! SMart Choice Lifestyle blog is now officially 1 year old! This is the 100th article I write, and for some reason is the easiest yet hardest one I’ve had to do so far. That’s because it’s always a bit hard to translate how you feel on paper (well, screens ;) ).

So, for that mather, I decided to record the article for today, transforming it into a beta-podcast, broadcasted on the SMart Choice YouTube account. Although it’s not video, it’s a thing I wanted to try for a long while. And now I have the perfect occasion.

I talk bits and pieces about my background, how the blog came to be and what this entire experience has taught me. It’s only a small part of the topics I want to add to this blog, so see it as it is: a first episode of something that will in time grow.

“Human Choices - Stories of Transformation From Within” aims to be a series that tells the stories of becoming a better, more stronger version of ourselves, with or without living with a chronic illness like multiple sclerosis. In the end, MSers are my core target, but change is universal, so everybody’s welcome!

So, without further adue, I let you discover more by clicking the video below.

I hope you enjoyed the 100th. Leave a comment down below and let's talk. 

Share on social with all the people you know. To receive even more insights and exclusive content, subscribe to the weekly Newsletter.
As always, transformation starts from within.

Thank you for a wonderful year!

March Favorites 2016 | Health, Lessons & Inspiration

As every month, I wrap up the one that just ended and draw the line to see what it has left me with. Let’s get into what this March had to offer.


SMart Choice is a lifestyle blog. Health is an essential part of it so is usually the thing I start these articles with. Living with an unpredictable illness like multiple sclerosis leaves space for all kinds of happenings and changes.

This March was good to me. The major issue was around feeling emotionally tense and suffering consequences like muscle tension, numbness and headaches. All this lead in turn to feeling fatigued and at times mentally exhausted, as I was also brainstorming new content ideas and plans for the blog. But I went on with all that and did my thing. I strained. And so I had to suffer.

Imagine a roller coaster curve: going up, higher and higher, pausing a bit at the top and then letting go and calming the ride. This is what happened with my symptoms, as my hormones were doing their monthly fluctuation, I experienced pressure, fatigue and sensory issues.

Let me tell you what I’ve learned. There are two things that worked for me and did their job perfectly:

  • Take time to relax during the day and sleep at least 8 hours per night. For a person with MS this should be like prescription medicine. Sleep has proven to be anti inflammatory, it promotes cellular repair and recharges our energy supplies (plus is sooo comfortable and cozy! :)) ).
  • Exercise helps the body to be strong and well. It has anti inflammatory effects and encourages cell growth. This month I focused on my core strength, while getting the extremities (arms & legs) more flexible. I got my whole body to be balanced inside and out.


The word that defines this March is “balance”: balance hormones, effort & rest, sleep & wake, exercise & sitting. All leading to a more harmonious lifestyle based on smart, healthy and creative choices that improve your mental and physical health. That help keep them in balance.

Work on having less stress in your life. You need to heal. Make space for that. I’ll say it once more, tend to the body, tend to the mind.

Focus on relationships. Go on living life as it is. Have empathy for people. Be compassionate. Simplify. Take breaks. Stand up for what you believe in. Keep moving everyday. Train for life. Have faith in yourself; believe you can do it and you will suceed. Have self-compassion. Be aware of your thoughts. What you think is what you become.


As always, the list is full of motivational and creative things and people. I love learning from like-minded people who have more experience than me. This March also brought some very interesting Tweetchats: #MSworkability,  #MSminds and #ChatMS (on cognition). Read all about them here, here and here.

Marie Forleo brought encouragement and many more insights with her videos on YouTube (here). This month's biggest outtake from them, is about starting before you’re ready. We plan so much, we fear that we are not prepared well enough and so forth. But the fact is we are never 100% ready for doing anything. There will always be something that takes us off-guard and that makes us to adapt as we go along. Striving to be perfect gets you nowhere. Do an excellent job at the best of your abilities and modify as needed. Life isn’t waiting for you to be on your best day. Live now.

Amy Shmittauer (SavvySextSocial) has a penetrating and insightful YouTube channel, podcast and business, all built around social media and helping people do and be their best through digital storytelling. She also motivates and points out where one should make improvements in their online self-expression in order to succeed at business and human relationships that come from it. I've been watching Amy's channel for almost a year now, and I formed a habit of comming back for more. Take a peek at her videos and see what you can learn from them. Way helpful.

On the same topic, Gary Vaynerchuk has once again proved of real value in providing insights on how to best convey messages through social media. I resonate with his idea of storytelling natively to each platform, adapting the content so that it expresses your message in the best way possible at a given time. Go check out Gary here.

The EMSP (European Multiple Sclerosis Platform) provided ongoing motivation to continue having a voice in the multiple sclerosis community. I draw so much inspiration from people with or without MS who advocate and stand up for the wellbeing and a higher quality of life for the ones living with multiple sclerosis. Their stories are helping me raise back up when I think I can’t do it no more. If a person who went through so many things is able to stand up and go on living, I can do that too.

Shift.MS launched a new tool for managing mental health in dealing with multiple sclerosis. Thought Sort is the kind of online, interactive way to literally sort out your thoughts and see where they came from and what can be done to shift your mindset to a more positive one that suits your lifestyle. Go check it out here and while you’re at it, make sure you subscribe to the Shift.MS community. Lots of feedback, support and encouragement from the network's members.

The "Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis. An Evidence-Based Guide to Recovery” book by professor George Jelinek. I always say that education is key. Reading all you can about your disease and about ways to manage it is the best thing you can do with your spare time. Some of us have the need to be informed and some don’t. I accept that as well. So, do as you choose. Just remember this is a great resource to a better understanding of multiple sclerosis and how you can become an active part on your way to recovery. And mind you I’ve said recovery, not cure. The goal is to maintain the state you are in now for as long as possible. To improve and stabilize. To be healthy in spite of MS. Physically and mentally.

Lori Schneider made me cry with her TEDx talk about overcoming our limits and fears by having the courage to determination to become a better version of ourselves. Dare to confront our fears and we will be surprised at what we can really achieve if we put our bodies and minds up to it. 

An international speaker, author, Everest and "Seven Summits" mountaineer, advocate for those living with neurological disorders and disabilities, she is also one of this year's speakers at the EMSP 2016 Spring Conference taking place in Oslo, Norway. Find more about her here and here.

This was my month and all the things that got me a little forward than I was the one before. Little by little, we all evolve, we all change and grow. The more you resist it, the more you strain your mind and bring anxiety into your life. Straighten your back, close your eyes and breathe deeply.
I hope you enjoyed this month's favorites. Leave a comment down below and let's talk. 

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As always, transformation starts from within.


What's Your Worst Multiple Sclerosis Fear?

Fear is an innate emotional response to danger. We have a choice: either we stand and fight or we run for shelter. Challenge or safety, the danger is still there. All that counts is how you react to it. The worst thing you could do is pick neither of these two and simply do nothing. Lack of action is worse than running away. It’s accepting the destruction. It’s being defeated from the very beginning.
Many of us think that after such a diagnosis, our lives need to be those of sick people. Many of us behave like sick people. Many of us think we are victims. You are a victim if you choose to be one. How you react to what is happening to you defines who you are.

Let’s Put A Face To That Danger

Define your nightmare. The absolute worse that can happen MS-wise. Write it down: “If I do x thing, my MS will …….”. Envision it in full detail. And then think what steps could you take to repair things, to bring the situation once more under your control?
If you were to measure the impact the nightmare has on your life, where would you place it on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being the least impact and 10 being the biggest impact). Decide how bad you would be affected by what you think it will happen if you act in a certain way.
And then ask yourself what are you putting off out of fear? We are all afraid of the unknown, but we also have lives, dreams and plans. What are you letting go because of your MS? Is it worth it?
You may be hurt of not being able to do something you love anymore. Seeing other people doing that makes you sad. You then reject that thing entirely. And to think that it once brought you so much joy and satisfaction.

Overcoming Dissability. The Emotional One

But there is a way out. Human beings are adaptable creatures. You can and will overcome all hardship in your life. You have it in you to do so. Instead of drowning in sadness and avoiding all the things that make you sad, confront them and adapt them to your current situation.
Want to dance and you are in a wheelchair? Dance in a wheelchair! Live your life according to the wishes of your heart, not by the shame you feel when other people are looking and judging what you do. You are your worst judge! It hurts not being able to do it the old way. Do it another way. Get creative.

Always Do The Things That Make You Happy

The thing we fear most in doing is what we most need to do. Step by step, by confronting one fear a day, we will soon be on top of all the negativity and anger that has been growing in our hearts since MS entered our lives. It tries to put you down, don’t let it. Fight it! Regain control over your emotions.
It can be done. For the past year, I was soaked in fear, anxiety and anger. To a certain extent, I still am for some days, because these emotions come back. But what really counts is how I manage them. I once surrendered to them and felt helpless, stressed and full of rage because of the cruelty of life.
Guess who had to suffer most?! Life? No, me.
You suffer the most when you accept all the negativity and despair. Life is uncertain for all human beings, sick and healthy, old and young, bad or good. We all grow old, get sick and die. It’s how you live until that moment comes that counts the most.

Do The Smart Choice: Change Your Lifestyle

I can’t even state how much does a lifestyle shift count in dealing with MS! Letting go of old habits that did harm you is crucial. You had all this time to indulge in all the consumerist society had to offer: coke, fast-food, staying up late and having a blast in the club, doing those extra hours at your well-payed job, skipping meals and all in all having a decadent lifestyle. Or you were healthy from the get-go, only to find yourself helpless in the face of a chronic disease.
And now you are scared because it has been all taken from you. You feel like you no longer have control over the choices you make in living your life. As a matter of fact you only now have the power to choose for real. Society chose for you all your life. You have been taught all you know. But you are scared enough now to make the right choices and fear making the wrong ones.
It's scary going on against the current, but you have to do it. I've done it and am still here, alive and well. With MS, but well mentally. Doing my best to keep my emotions afloat when times get rough. That's the truth, they will get tough. But they will also get better. Imagine a rollercoaster. Not so pleasant but in time you'll adapt to it.

What You Need To Do

Stop this anxiety and come back to common sense. It’s that simple. A healthy lifestyle change for MS is nothing but letting go bit by bit of all the things that harm you. It is all about choosing healthy food, as close to its natural state as possible. It is about taking time for yourself and just relax, lay down and breathe deeply; read a book, sleep, watch a movie.
Be in the moment and do not stress about what happened or is bound to happen. Then get off the couch and move. Or if you are in a condition you can’t get up, move nonetheless! Stretch, close your eyes and feel your body, touch it so that you can know it’s still there.
Hustle! Do it for you, do it to beat the fear. Crush the anxiety. Get back to you!

What If You Don’t Do It?

Think of what will cost you to postpone action. What you will need to spend physically, emotionally and financially if you don’t make a choice now. Think of the impact that MS would have on you if you keep the destructive habits that led you here in the first place. Be them physical or emotional. They helped your MS be. Change for the better and feel better gradually. 
What is your cost of inaction? How would you feel about it?
We all die in the end. It’s what we do until then that matters the most. What matters the most is how we live. What matters the most is what we left behind for future generations.
Do you want your legacy to be FEAR?
Until the next article, let’s talk about this. What is your worst MS fear?

Yours truly,