Today in the US polling places are filled with people who are going to make history with their votes. We’ve been inundated for months with opinions of every person with a computer, phone or video camera. Who should win this election? What are the issues that matter most? Which issues are being underrepresented? Everyone has an opinion and sadly, it seems like it has brought out the worst in so many. It happens when people feel violated. It happens when people feel unseen and unheard. It happens when people are scared. Regardless of what happens, the sun will still come up in the morning. The hands on the clock will move forward. Your neighbor will still be your neighbor. So today our intent is to speak kindly.
You too? Here are some things to help:
Not every thought we have needs to be spoken out loud. We know that may be hard to believe. But words, like the feathers of the proverbial pillow, have a hard time being gathered back up and replaced once they’ve been set free. Before rushing to say everything that pops into your mind, make sure you’ve heard clearly and correctly. Consider whether your opinion helps or hurts the situation at hand in this very moment. Not sharing something doesn’t make you less right. Sharing something doesn’t mean you are right at all. Today, choose to think twice before speaking. Think of the bad day.
There are roughly 7.5 billion people on this planet right now. That is 7.5 billion people with 7.5 different upbringings, different day jobs, different routes they traveled to work today, different hours of sleep they got the night before. Before being harsh or seeing someone as a speed bump in your day, consider the possibility that this my be the worst day of their life. Imagine what you would want from a friend, family member or even a stranger on the worst day of your life. There is significant power in being able to empathize and maybe kind words are the unexpected solution to a bad situation. (We love this commencement speech by David Foster Wallace where he encourages us to see the people who frustrate us as complete humans with experiences we don’t fully understand, instead of roadblocks or hindrances.) Think of what you’re making.
The words we speak are making something. They are building things up or tearing things down. They are strengthening and affirming or they are weakening and destroying. Some things in our lives need to be torn down and some need to be built up so, you decide your intents and the future you are trying to create. If it’s a world that’s a little more peaceful, a little kinder, a little softer, then do you part in your tiny corner of this earth to create that. Create that by choosing kindness when you speak. Choose it by letting your words matter every time they come out of your mouth. Because those words have weight and they give life to things that you may never fully grasp. Words of encouragement have encouraged the underdogs of our world to achieve amazing things. Words of discouragement have torn down many a brave and hopeful human. What are you making?
Tomorrow is election day in the US and many are nervous about what the future will hold. Will it be the end of the world at the strike of midnight? Will it be the answers to all our hopes and dreams? The bigger question is what do you hope the future will be like and what are you doing to build that future? Our intent is to picture the future we want to live in. It is with intention that we plan to build something we’re proud of.
Feeling misunderstood? Sometimes that happens because others aren’t listening. But it can also happen when we aren’t fully saying what we mean. Our words, our commitments, our attention can be so vague and non-committal and, while that serves a certain purpose, it can often leave us feeling disconnected and not fully ourselves. So today, our intent is to say what we mean. Our honest feelings. Our realest opinions. Our worries and concerns, our joys and our hopes.
Just make it through the day. Just make it through the day. Just make it through the day.
It’s a sad mantra but a lot of times, it’s the only thing getting us through. We live in an age where everything is coming at us so fast. We are reachable 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We’re already behind when we wake up in the morning. So is something other than survival mode even possible? What is the secret of people who look like they’re always either coming or going from a beach vacation? Today our intent is to learn what it means to thrive instead of just surviving.
Our intent today is inspired by the many times we’ve ended the day feeling dissatisfied, unproductive and not enough. What do you do when you feel like you don’t measure up? Our intent is to instead accept what we CAN do. Maybe it was one huge task, a bunch of small tasks or that you just got out of bed today. Accept the progress you’ve made. Celebrate the ways you showed up today and the strength you gained since the day before. Today is the building block for tomorrow!
Are you struggling with where you are in this moment?
Here are some resources to help: Continue reading →
To keep up with the news these days is to be heartbroken. Families grieve the loss of fathers that should’ve come home that day. Politicians speak words of hate about ethnicities who live and thrive in this country and will vote in November. Women suffer assault and the perpetrators of those crimes will have their athletic accolades included in backstory of their act. It can make you wonder if anyone is fighting for peace, kindness, gentleness.
Today our intent is to be those people. You can be one of those people.
You can make your intent to be a person who furthers love and patience instead anger and hatred. You can choose to grow and change into a human who accepts and pursues good instead of a person who is self-seeking and narrow-minded.
How? There are lots of ways to dig in. Here are a few things that might help with today’s climate:
This video from ACLU deputy legal director Jeff Robinson calling for policing reform.
In the wake of two more police shootings, we revisit this video shared after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Robinson calls us to find a better way.
In choosing to be a peace-maker, it also means dealing with the resentment and anger in your heart. There is much to be upset about. There is much change that awaits us. This does not mean a root of bitterness should be fostered in the process. Choose to pursue change because you desire a better future, not because you wish to remain trapped in the past. Forgiveness does not mean you have to forget where you’ve come from. It can mean accepting the freedom to take a different path.
We are familiar with the feelings of stress and anxiety.
We recognize the pounding heart, the tension in your forehead, the narrowed scope when it comes to listening and even seeing what’s going on around you.
As negative as those things can be, it can be easy to fall into what is familiar and culture can tell us that being stressed is standard. If stress is familiar, we can end up there over and over again. We can forget that it isn’t a healthy place to stay.
Do you know what peace feels like? It can feel more foreign than we realize because peace will require you to intentionally slow down to experience it, and the world is not always supportive of slowing down.
What does peace feel like? Does it feel like a lowered heartbeat? Does it feel like an unclouded mind? Does it feel like the weight has been removed from your shoulders?
What does peace sound like? Look like? Smell like?
If we don’t make space to experience peace, are we ever going to be in a mindset where we can make clear decisions, feel the fullness of now or really see people?
Not sure if you know what peace feels like? Here are some resources that might help: Continue reading →
Today our intent is to end the day the same way we began, in peace. We’ve found that when we start in a tornado, it’s more likely that we’ll end that way. At the same time, we can be intentional about our morning and then let that intentionality dwindle as the day drags on. Mindfully, we want to start and end the day in peace and working from that posture in between.
Do you share this intent? We want to share these resources to help!
A morning meditation to start the day off right
Begin your day by setting your intent and clearing your mind of the noise that comes from schedules, anxiety, traffic and that alarm on your phone. Decide what matters to you and how you want to enter this day. Peace? Joy? Confidence?
Bedtime yoga to help you sleep
If your daily routine involves just collapsing into your bed every night, this is a great place to start a new routine- one where you mindfully prepare for rest. Let peace be included in your unwinding from the day, mindfully releasing anger, stress, fear and anything else that may keep you tossing and turning.
40 Ways to Create Peace of Mind
Does it feel like peace is easy to lose once you get into the swing of things? We loved this article of 40 ways to create peace of mind. If we are willing to put in the effort, we can bring ourselves back to a starting point of peace in the most hectic of situations.
Many of us have heard the phrase, “When you point your finger at someone else, remember you have three fingers pointed back at you.” It took me a long time to truly get an understanding for this phrase. It wasn’t until going into recovery for codependence that I finally realized what it meant. Now, it is a sort of tool that I use to help guide myself in my own recovery.
One of my biggest problems was judging and criticizing others. I would blame them for things that I had a hand in, and I would comment on how something they were doing was irritating me. When I began recovery, I started looking at myself rather than others. In doing my fourth step, my eyes were truly opened to my behaviors and actions. Suddenly, I realized I was all of the things I saw in others that bothered me about them. That’s why they bothered me so much! Continue reading →
Society has allowed our notion of beauty to go awry. Countless women–and not just women–look in the mirror and see a reflection of inadequacy. They have fallen short of an ideal that was defective to begin with. But conditioned since childhood to equate a “perfect” body with being beautiful, they blame themselves for being the defective one.
The situation is filled with cruel ironies. Children are naturally beautiful until they are taught to stop thinking that way and to start measuring themselves by an unnatural standard. Even the small percentage of women who are super-model thin suffer anxiety over gaining a pound. The first gray hair and wrinkles create panic. The worship of perfection belies the epidemic of obesity that constitutes reality for millions.
The problem has been diagnosed many times without a workable solution. One study after another has proven without a doubt that fad diets don’t work; in fact, the chances of becoming obese are higher for chronic dieters. Billions of dollars spent on cosmetics and plastic surgery have done nothing to solve a prevailing sense of not being beautiful enough. All of this points to a single underlying issue: a woman’s sense of lack. Continue reading →