All posts by MeLissa Gavarrette

Right Now: My Favorite Podcasts

Do you know what a podcast is?

I don’t ask that rudely. A lot of people don’t and today I want to share my favorites because you might be missing out on some good stuff! Just as everyone was sure old media forms were dying (translate: radio, newspapers, TV) thanks to the internet, the internet brought me one of my new favorite things: podcasts!

You, yes you, could make a podcast for pretty much nothing (if not nothing) and share it with the whole for for pretty much nothing and that is cool because we now have access to stories, information, people we might’ve never known before. So many are free. Unlike radio, they’re stored and ready whenever you are. You can come back to them again and again. It’s now my preferred listening material when I exercise or drive.

And if you’ve never listened to any, here are some of my current favorites: Continue reading

From Intent.com: Just appreciate

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I love my friends and family. I know what their favorite colors are, which ones don’t eat seafood and which ones have secret aspirations of being children’s book authors. I recognize their handwriting and their laugh. Those things have taken time to get to know. My recent intent has been about allowing new relationships the same opportunity. New friends, new coworkers, new relationships enter into my life and, considering the already tight time frame I live it, I seek to put together an entire picture about a person at lightning speed. Continue reading

From Intent.com: Sing it Out

I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.
-William James

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I’ve always been a singer.
In the shower. At school. In church. In my car.
When I’m sad. When I’m happy. When I’m bored.

Music and singing has a long tradition of communicating feelings in ways we can’t always share in direct sentence form.
I think that’s because feelings aren’t always linear or complete.
Sometimes they’re just a chorus or a low hum.
Sometimes they’re one word on repeat.
Sometimes they are trumpets and trombones and cymbals.

Today I decided to assemble some of my favorite songs to blare.
If you need to sing today, hopefully one of these might help!

 

Happy singing!

From Intent.com: Inspiration

Intent.com is some of my favorite inspirations: people who are moving and shaking, trying and risking.
They are experts at giving inspiration and receiving it.

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It’s Tuesday, you have most of the week ahead of you and maybe you’re needing a spark to make it through, so why not take a minute to share some of my favorites:

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What are your words of inspiration?
Photos? Movies? Songs?
What opportunities are you needing some extra spark to push through?
What spark do you have to provide?

From Intent.com: A Work of Art

My friends and I used to have an Art Club. We would get together and work on crafts and eat snacks. As I typed that last sentence, I couldn’t imagine a get-together that sounded more girly, but alas, it was. Art Club is home to some of my fondest memories, but it was also a surprisingly polarizing experience. Some people don’t consider themselves artists. If you’re not creative, what are you? If you have no imagination, what are you thinking about?

My argument (which has been added to greatly by some really great authors and speakers) is that all humans have the capacity of creativity. Whether you’re a painter or a small business owner, you know it requires imagination, even if your job involves numbers. We invent. We create. We process how we feel and where we’re going through those acts.

I wanted to take a minute to give a shout out to yet another Intent user, BeachGirl.
Along with her intents, comments and updates, she shares beautiful original artwork inspired by not only her intentions, but also her back yard and it’s inhabitants.

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If you want to cement your intention for yourself and for others, find a way to make it tangible.

Drawing is just another way to do that!
Maybe you journal.
Maybe you decide to keep some sort of visual reminder of your commitments.
Maybe you create and stick to a schedule.

Whatever you choose, I say find a way to give life to your intentions.
So what will be your medium?
Canvas or graph paper?
It all works. Make it come alive!

Meditate to Start the Day

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I would’ve never been someone who meditated.
It seemed to weird. To hippy.
What is a hippy? I wouldn’t say I was even 100% sure what a hippy was but I didn’t think I wanted to be one.

I like things to be orderly and intentional.
Sitting on a mat and lighting incense was not how I pictured myself.

Then I started a job where I worked from home and I was entirely responsible for my own motivation and organization. I thrive in those situations but it was a few weeks in when I realized I was having trouble turning of work. I was getting up in the morning and I wasn’t rested. There was no such thing as work time and home time. It all bled together and it was making me crazier and crazier.

I had a coworker suggest I take a few minutes in the morning to sit and think through the day. Maybe pour myself a cup of coffee and look over my calendar. Get a little perspective. I’d go through the process of getting up, making breakfast, taking a few minutes to sit and think and then get dressed. It was my cue that the day was officially starting. It was a few weeks into this successful practice that I realized I was meditating!

Or at least practicing some sort of meditation.
I was reminding myself of who I was.
I was reminding myself of what I was doing.
I was reminding myself of what it was all for and where I was headed.
It allowed me to approach work tasks with a broader scope and more patience.
It allowed me to feel less guilty when I got to the end of my work day and could shut my computer and move on even though I wasn’t necessarily headed out the door to something else. I could just be.

Maybe meditation sounds to weird and ethereal to you.
A couple of things to help you?

1. Inc listed morning meditation as one of the “7 Ways to Start a Great Day”. If it’s good enough for Inc, it’s good enough for me.
2. Mallika Chopra has a great eBook aptly titled “Meditation with Mallika Chopra” that is a great starting point for people new to the practice.
3. Deepak Chopra has been teaching and speaking on meditation for years now. We’ve assembled some great resources answering the questions of what and why for beginners here.

Worried to be the only one? Many of the folks at Intent.com are starting the day with meditation and love encouraging one another! (You can vote on whether or not you want the incense. It doesn’t hurt, I promise!) Let them help you get started:

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From Intent.com: The Here and Now

As we sit on the heels of a global tragedy, an airplane willed with passengers who have friends and family they’ll never see again lost in the Indian Ocean, it’s hard not to face the fact that, with all the advancements of modern technology, we only have so much control over our lives. We only have so much say over what happens to us. We can only know so much.

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

My challenge to you today is to appreciate the here and the now.
Don’t wait for something to make it special.
It is special purely for the reason that you had no clue if the here and now was going to last this long, but it did.

So where do you start? Maybe just with a couple of questions.
What is important to you?
What is running you ragged?
What will you regret as your last moments arrive?
What will you be most proud of as your last moments arrive?
Now sounds like a good time to think about it.
In case you need some encouragement, here were some great intents from the site this week. People are getting focused on what’s important. You can too!

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From Intent.com: Permission

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

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You have to sign a waiver if you are going to have surgery.
You have to sign a waiver if you want to bungee jump or sky dive or get a tattoo.
You have to consent (in this country) to be married.
There are all sorts of potentially life-threatening/changing decisions we enter into that require our signature should we die/be permanently maimed/change our mind later and are mad. We sign off and say we understand the risks associated with our choice.

What if we went into emotional situations and relationships with the same mindset.
“Am I okay with the risks of this?”

I read a LOT of intents. Many of them are about reclaiming oneself from fear or doubt, blame or anger. The thing I want to drive home is that you can give or take permission from the things that drive you to those places as well.

Maybe it’s a friendship.
Or a work setting.
Maybe it’s a choice you keep making.
Don’t give permission for yourself to be torn down.
Don’t give permission to keep yourself in a negative space where you can’t trust your own decisions or worthiness.

Maybe that’s real dramatic or would require a lot of change. But what is more worth it? Is tearing down more okay than building up?

My hope is that somewhere, somehow you give yourself the permission to be amazing, to stop making excuses or to stop living under the cloud you’ve fought so long against. My hope is that you don’t waste another second feeling like you’ve handed over power to people and things that aren’t making you a better human.

Let me encourage you that you’re not alone in this.
Everyday people on Intent.com are sharing intentions of reclaiming their lives, in big and small ways. Don’t feel like you have to wait for permission to do the same.

“Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.”
-Joy Page

From Intent.com: Living in the Abundance

I was going through intents this morning and stopped when I saw this one.

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“I intend to give from what I am abundant in.”
I’d never asked myself what I was abundant in.
Like so many people, I think about what I DON’T have.

I don’t have a new car.
I don’t have enough time in the day.
I don’t know how to make vegan recipes.
I don’t live close enough to my family.
I don’t, I don’t, I don’t.

Reading over this intent, it was the first time I stopped to think about what I do have.

I have room on my couch for a conversation.
I have a car to get me around town to meet with friends.
I have enough room in my budget for coffee and snacks.
I have a lot.

So- where are you in abundance?
Have you even thought about it?
Maybe what you need is 2 minutes over lunch to make a quick list.
What do you have?
Take a real inventory- of time, of tangible and intangible items, of ideas, of passion, of energy.
My hope is that you’ll discover that you have more than what you realize.
And, in turn, that you will find ways that are uniquely you to turn around and bless another person’s life out of the overflow. We were made for relationship, so get in there!

Getting started, again

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We started off the year with high hopes.

We were going to find love!
Start new jobs!
Let go of old hurts!

Now that it’s March, it’s time to do an evaluation.
Are you any closer? Are you have the sort of realistic conversations with yourself that are going to stop you from repeating the same old, same old? Or are you still back in 2013?

I hope as you’re reading this that you are thinking back on the short time since the turning of the year and you’re already proud of how far you’ve come, but in case you aren’t, here are some ideas to help you get back on track.

1. Time to affirm your intent. Remember the feeling and place you were in to make you set a big intent in the first place? Maybe you were worn out. Maybe you were on fire with the passion of a new idea. Even if you’re not in the same place you were when you originally made you’re intent, affirming it means you’re still saying “yes!” to that idea. Regardless of where you are today, you are just as committed to your dream.

2. Set visual reminders. I’m not above taking a page out of a teen girl’s book and leaving decorating my walls with reminders. Whether that’s notes on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator to remind myself of a new mindset or empty boxes in my bedroom to remind me to finally purge my closet of all the things I don’t need, a visual reminder is a tangible shift from seeing things the way they’ve always been.

3. Make an appointment with yourself. A boss I had taught me how invaluable it can be to make appointments with yourself, especially living in our fast-paced culture. You have someone asking you to get coffee (not necessarily a bad thing) and so you look down at your calendar and find an open place. If you’re like me, this might happen half a dozen times in a week and so you keep filling up the open places in your calendar with meaningful conversations and meetings. But then you arrive at the end of the week and realize you’ve left no time for your own plans or progress. Before you make it to Monday, sit down and find a block of time that can be added to your calendar that is reserved for the tasks that are hanging over your head. Writing? Organizing? Going to the gym? Sometimes it feels selfish to save time for you, but you would never tell a friend that making their own positive progress was selfish, so why is it for you?

So where are you getting started?
It’s possible you don’t feel progress being made because you never set an intention to begin with.
Check out this Year of Intent intention made my Mallika Chopra:

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Since originally posting about her new book, Mallika has been updating, affirming and responding to the comments left by other users. It keeps her motivated and, most importantly, focused on accomplishing a satisfying task- her newest book.

If it’s March and you lasted a good week on your resolutions and intentions, that’s fine. We’re here to get you started again.
So, again, I’ll ask where are you getting started?
What’s it going to take to get going?

Interested in checking out other Year of Intent goals? Check them out here.
Then set your own at Intent.com!

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