Category Archives: Year of Intent

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!

Allow your Intentions to Manifest By Letting Go

fall-wallpaper-20This may sound counter-intuitive, but in order for your intentions to manifest, you must be willing to let go of form. By form I mean any physical restrictions or parameters in which you are encasing your visions and your dreams. Chances are, you don’t even realize you’re doing it, though often it’s radical letting go that kicks the flow of manifestation into high gear.

At the beginning of the year I set an intent to build a thriving online business to allow for maximum mobility in my life. However, I live in Los Angeles in a beautiful bungalow apartment that I also use for my work. I see clients here for private yoga and Thai yoga massage. I love this space as do my clients, but it’s expensive, and all of my resources go into maintaining my existence here.

Last week I had to face the harsh reality that due to circumstances beyond my control, it is no longer feasible to remain in this apartment. The moment of awareness hit me suddenly, and I knew in my heart that the answer was to let it go and begin working on my mobile life sooner than I anticipated. I could see that my attachment to my apartment was restricting me from taking risks and plowing forward, and the only thing that made sense was to release it, rather than racking my brain and going further into debt to keep it.

This was not an easy decision as the impact is great on me and on many of the people I serve. However, it opens up the opportunity to work with my clients in their homes, meet new clients that would prefer in-home services, and branch out to teach more classes and workshops throughout the city, thus spreading the wealth of what I offer.

As soon as I gave my notice, I felt a flood of relief and a surge of creative inspiration. Though it’s scary, I know it’s the right thing to do. Only a few days later, I was able to confirm an amazing offer from one of my clients to go to Hong Kong for a week and assist him with yoga therapy while he travels. Hello mobile life!

Here are some suggestions for allowing intuitive realizations to speak more loudly in your life:

  • Open yourself to guidance through daily prayer and meditation.
  • Practice surrendering your questions, fears, goals, and visions every day to the Universe through journal writing.
  • For women, make time each week to do things that please you and activities that move your body, such as yoga and dance. Your feminine energy is awakened through pleasure and movement, keeping you connected to grace and inspiration.
  • When answers come, don’t second-guess yourself. If it’s a big decision, talk it out with a trusted friend, someone that really understands you and can listen. Pray about it, surrender it, sleep on it, and do what you feel guided to do the next morning.
  • Know that whatever form it is you’re attached to might be keeping you from something better that is just around the corner. Be willing to release your current reality in order to allow the Universe to fulfill your desires.

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If you need guidance on meditation, connecting with your intuition, or any of the practices I outlined above, please consider joining me for Soul-Care Sessions. I’m here to listen and help you live a more authentic life.

 

photo by: Hamed Saber

A Taste of England: Yorkshire Pudding (Recipe)

yorkshire puddingMy mom grew up in a small village 45 minutes south of London. Having a British mom has awarded me a lot of things in life that a lot of kids never get to have – true English Christmases, the ability to fake an accent better than anyone I know and getting the inside jokes on Downton Abbey. My favorite thing about being a half-brit though is yorkshire pudding.

It’s a running joke in our family that there are so many things to love about England, but food isn’t really one of them – outside of fish ‘n’ chips of course (and I don’t eat anything that comes out of the ocean – so bust.) I mean, would you be willing to be try a plate of spotted dick (that’s a real thing. Least appetizing dessert name ever)? Or maybe some steak and kidney pie? Didn’t think so. However, there is one delicious morsel usually reserved for Sunday roast dinners that make hearts appear in my eyes and the kickstart automatic drooling. Contrary to the name, yorkshire pudding are more like bread rolls and muffins had a baby than American pudding. As I said, they work as a side dish with a bit of gravy for roast dinners or can be eaten with jam for a light dessert.

Whenever I had a rough day at school or wasn’t feeling well my mom would whip up a batch of these delicious morsels to go with dinner and it was always the best surprise. As I’ve been trying to experiment more in the kitchen I decided to try them out for myself. Luckily, they are the simplest thing in the world to make! So get out your union jacks, put Monty Python in the DVD player and get in touch with your Brit side with this easy Yorkshire Pudding recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk (It also works with water instead if trying to cut down on fat, but milk makes them fluffier)
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Cupcake pan

Directions:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 450˚F
  • Mix together flour, salt, milk/water, butter and eggs in medium mixing bowl until mixture is cohesive with no bumps
  • Pour mix into cupcake pan, filling each well about halfway (they rise a lot so be careful).
  • Place in the oven for 10 minutes (or until golden brown)

The recipe makes about 12 medium yorkshires so prepare accordingly. I was so

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!

Year of Intent: Spreading Strala Yoga to the World

Strala YogaSetting intentions happens whether we are conscious we are doing it or not. Our mindset, well being, thought process and actions stem from our intentions. I’ve become much more aware of my intentions thanks to Mallika Chopra, and the whole Intent team. Daily reminders to set an intention to follow through the day has been an expansive and fun journey that I aim to keep on the good foot for. Part of holding myself accountable for my intentions is sharing them with you all here and hearing what your intentions are. With support we can accomplish so much.

My intention for 2014 is to spread Strala to Guides (our word for Teacher) around the world. If you asked me 6 years ago if I would create my own “style” of yoga, I would have said absolutely not. I thought that was just about the most ego centered thing possible, and my aim with sharing yoga and mediation and healthy mindful practices was to help people connect with themselves, not to draw attention to myself as a Guru.

The more I taught and shared what I was sharing the more people continued to tell me, this was very different than other yoga. The style of Strala was almost crowd sourced. The people who came to the classes and the studio wanted to know the name, the system behind the movements, and how they could share this as well. For years I said, “Oh no, it’s just yoga. It’s just easy going yoga.” People kept pulling it out of me, wanting more, and wanting to share. People were already teaching Strala influenced classes years ago before there was a program outlined. People came, they loved what they experienced, and went on and shared and had success. It was really overwhelming to see it all emerge and I didn’t quite know how to handle or formulate at the time.

After constant feedback after every class about how great people felt and “What is this!” I knew there was something beyond my personality of the class, beyond my playlist, beyond my sequence, that people could teach. This was about Strala, not about me, and that was an incredible realization for me personally. I had finally uncovered, “How can I help.”

Because people were having so much success in their lives with practicing Strala and people were having so much success in leading Strala, I decided it was what I should focus all my energy on. I wanted to help and this was working, without any effort in the beginning really. I thought about the style, the movement vocabulary (from my dance background) the healing aspects, the philosophy of “how can I help” over “what can I prove” and how that all filtered into teaching the classes. Where to be in the room, how to touch and support people, rather than fix, permission and freedom to move how it feels good to move. Inhales lifting and expanding. Exhales softening and moving. Energy lifting up like a beach ball being bounced by a group of friends on the beach. The energetic, fun, authentic vibe. I began to formulate in the way my lifetime of dance and pedagogy informed me. I realized formulating a movement system is exactly who I am and what I can offer best. Strala means to radiate light. It’s what happens when people practice and it’s what happens to me when I teach people how to lead it.

My intention for 2014 is to spread Strala. I’ve been teaching the trainings for about 3 years, and the last year has become super energized, and expansive. I feel incredibly confident in the system. It’s about the Guides, not me, and it empowers so many. That makes me feel really great.

I’m traveling around the world leading Intensive trainings at SCLA and other facilities. My schedule is bananas. I can’t keep up with the demand which is super exciting. I’ll be training several other teachers that have been leading Strala for a while to teach the trainings and we will spread the ease and freedom of movement far and wide.

My intention is to spread Strala to Guides around the world.

What’s your intention?

Tara Stiles is participating in our 2014 Year of Intent campaign where we encourage people to use Intent.com to reach their goals and show how intents manifest in daily life. Create an account today to get started or click here to follow and support Tara as she spends the year spreading Strala Yoga to the world. 

From Intent.com: Time to follow through

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You buy a brand new television and keep it in the box in your garage.
You buy plane tickets for a vacation to Bali and then never pack or go to the airport.
You get engaged and then married to a person you don’t even really like.

If you did any of those things, my hope is that the people in your life would say “hey, what’s up?” They’re trite examples, I get it, but we do it all the time with our own lives.

Everyday people are posting their intentions on Intent.com.
People are wanting support as they embark on new business ventures, lifestyle choices, or general adventures.
You can intend to change your eating habits.
You can intend to ignore fear.
You can intend to make a fresh start.
But what happens the moment after you make an intention?

Don’t ignore the other half of setting an intention which is seeing it come to fruition. What is the point of spending money on plane tickets to Bali if you never plan on getting on a plane to begin with? What is the point of wanting to conquer fear if the moment you voice that desire, you immediately forget it? Our hope is to see people empowered to live the lives they dream of. If you want to conquer fear, then our hope is that you absolutely will.

So, check this out.

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Mallika posted an intention about committing to her health.
Awesome.
But now what?

Does she go back to ordering fast food? Does she stay up late and wake up early?
Instead, she came back and affirmed her choice. She reminded herself of her goal.
She found support and advice from other users left as comments.
She updated us on her progress. Now, I say it was for us, but honestly, it’s just as much for her. It’s written on the stones of time (or just the internet) and she can keep moving forward while being able to see how far she’s come.

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So if you haven’t been yet, it’s time to be serious about taking the TV out of the box.
You’re breathing, so you have everything you need to get the process started.

There’s no promise it won’t be hard work.
There’s no promise it won’t mean going against your instincts for self preservation or that you won’t have to cut things out of your life, a pruning of sorts. But what is more worthwhile?

My mom always says “the time is going to pass no matter what.”
Sometimes we don’t take on challenges because it’ll take forever.
We don’t want to go back to school. We don’t want to get back in the gym.
Purely because the results will be a long way off, we don’t start.
But the time is going to pass no matter what.
Whether it’s 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, wouldn’t you rather be on the other side of it a little (if not a lot) closer to where you dreamed?

It’s Monday, to day is a good day to follow through.

From the Year of Intent: Affirm Your Intent by Saying No

yoga-1_300Do you ever notice when you make a decision to do something, suddenly a million opportunities present themselves to throw you off your game or steer you in a different direction? The first thing that has to happen after you are clear on an intention is to practice saying no to anything that does not serve it. This can come in the form of relationships, business opportunities, how you spend your free time, and more. And it can be extremely difficult!

When you’re making a shift in your life toward a new vision, one of the hardest things to do is discern which opportunities to accept, and which ones to decline. However, if you are clear on your intention and know what you are moving toward, saying “no” is a powerful way to affirm what it is you want and are creating. I see it as a way of sending a clear message to the Universe, propelling you forward in the best direction 

For the past five years I have worked to build a thriving private yoga and Thai yoga massage practice. In the process of building that business I worked part-time in an unrelated field, plus taught many group classes to hone my yoga teaching skills and build my client base. Now, I’m happy to say, I have a full time private practice and can say no to opportunities that get in the way of my time with my clients.

This year though, my intent is to build a thriving online business to allow for maximum mobility in my life. Basically, I’m shifting gears so that in addition to my private clientele, I can reach people throughout the world with a variety of online offerings, including essential oils, meditation, and Soul-Care Sessions (my newest program). I am doing this to allow more opportunity for writing, travel, and spending time with my family who are scattered all over the globe.

Even though I am clear on what I am moving toward, it can still be amazingly difficult to turn down opportunities that show up. Since the start of the New Year, I have turned down 3 business opportunities that I determined would eat up time and attention from where I really want to direct it. Saying no was not easy though! I still have that fearful voice that thinks saying no means I’m ungrateful or entitled. Thankfully, largely through my meditation practice, I’ve learned how to turn the volume down on that voice, and turn the volume up on my intuition that gives me that gut reaction of what’s a good idea and what isn’t.

I don’t think there’s any real formula for this, but this is what I’ve observed about my own response.

Scenario 1: If someone makes an offer or proposal that right away feels good, exciting, and inspiring, I usually accept it. Sometimes fear will kick in after trying to discourage me, at which point I tell myself it’s worth a shot and if in the end I decide it’s not in my best interest, at least I tried.

Scenario 2: If someone proposes something that makes me hesitate, question, and feel uneasy, I usually say no thank you. But, if I don’t know right away it’s a no, I take time to think about it. Often then, that fearful voice will try to convince me that it’s a mistake to turn it down, but if I’m trying too hard to rationalize it into my life, I know it’s not right. Then I say no.

Like with anything worth developing, it’s a practice. Taking a moment to check in with how you feel, on a physical and spiritual plane, is always a good idea. There’s almost no decision that requires an immediate answer, so take the time to feel good about your response. Listen to your intuitive voice, and know that saying no doesn’t mean a stop to opportunities, but more likely an invitation for the right ones to appear.

I would love to have your support in my Year of Intent! You can follow me HERE.

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Sasha Stone is participating in our Year of Intent campaign. You can support, adopt or comment on her 2014 Intent and all of her updates here, or go to Intent.com to start your own! 

From Intent.com: Big Stuff On It’s Way

“If everyone is moving forward together,
then success takes care of itself.”
-Henry Ford

There’s something unstoppable about a group of people dreaming big in conjunction.
It’s like one truly passionate person creates this open door for more and more people to dream big and join the party. It just takes that one to be bold, to have the audacity to believe that they could be the one who sees the vision in their head become a reality. It’s that one who gives you permission to be audacious along with them.

So, it’s Monday. If you were waiting for the one, here are three.
Three images to click on leading to projects that are in the dream phase.
Three people who are saying “this is where I’m headed because I believe in this.”
Read their stories. Share you’re own.
You could be one!

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Join intent.com.
Share your dream.
Be one.

From Intent.com: Be On Your Own Team

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I see a lot of intents everyday from people starting new adventures, new careers, new hobbies. It’s encouraging to be surrounded by such bravery.

I also see so many people who are tackling the biggest battle of their lives thus far- the battle with themselves. Isn’t it funny how it offends us to see the innocent attacked but we won’t stand up for us when we are beating ourselves up?

You’re not thin enough.
You should be a VP by now.
No one likes the things you like. You’re weird.

Most kind-hearted, rational humans would never say things like that to another person, yet we let the most destructive things play on repeat in our minds. So how could you set an intent to blaze new trails and go on daring adventures when your voice will be the first one tearing down your bravery?

My hope is that this year you would be on your own team.
That for maybe the first time, your voice is one of a cheerleader instead of a naysayer.
My hope is that you would say “I can” this one time. And then one more time. And then another time.

Find another track for that song in your head. One that reminds you that you are no less capable than the next guy.
Why should you not fight for you?

For every guy, there is an opportunity to be a lot better than he thought he could be.
We can’t all be the star of the team, but we can be a star in our life.
That’s where you set your goal.
-Sylvester Stallone

Be a star in your life.
Be on your own team.
Make intents bigger and bolder than you thought possible.
We believe in you.

Set Your Intents By Finding Your Passion

As you can see, we are already hard at work at making 2014 the Year of Intent. Mallika wrote a blog post about what makes a good intent and how to write it, but how do you find out what your soul desires?

In our experience setting intents from a place of passion greatly increases your odds to stay motivated to manifest your intent. Do you know what your passion is? For some people it’s simple but for a lot of us that question can be kind of complicated. Maybe we know what area interests us – like writing or fitness or helping people, but we aren’t sure how to refine that into one coherent intent. Or maybe you’re still searching for that thing that makes you happy to get up in the morning.

If the latter is the case try asking yourself a few simple questions: In your free time what are you most often doing? Try describing your perfect day to yourself. What are your hobbies? What sort of things make you feel relaxed and at peace? It could be that your great passion is something you’ve never tried before, but exploring the things in your life that make you happy right now are the key to finding your path. If your perfect day includes a lot of being outside then maybe you’re passionate about nature and the environment. Were you doing something like a hike? Then maybe you should consider an intent to hike a challenging trail or to increase your stamina to hike further than you have before. Did your perfect day involve curling up somewhere and catching up on all the reading you’ve been meaning to do? Set an intent to finish the stack of novels by your bed. Or be adventurous enough to try writing one of your own. Maybe your perfect day would be spent with some mystery person that makes you feel special. Set an intent to date more or be more social! Intents can be about anything and can help you reach any goal for yourself. Follow the good feels and you’ll know when you’ve hit the right spot.

Found your area? Great. How do you refine that to a specific intent? It can be overwhelming when you think of all the things you want to accomplish and narrowing it down may seem like an insurmountable task. Take a moment to think. When setting your intent, be brave. Your inner self already knows what it wants, you just have to listen. Don’t be quick to talk yourself out of an intent or a certain goal by saying you can’t get there before you even begin. (On the flipside, don’t create a situation for yourself that really is impossible because you will only be met with the frustration of failing your own expectations. And that sucks.) Be ambitious, but realistic. And remember, we’re here to support you.

If you need a little motivation to remember how awesome you are and your true potential, check out this video. It was created as a response to Nash Grier’s “What Guys Look For in Girls” video, but without the context it’s an inspiring set of words for anyone.

What’s your passion? Tell us in the comments below! 

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photo by: AlicePopkorn