Tag Archives: celebrating

From Intent.com: I intend to celebrate!

This Week: My intent is to celebrate!

Do not regret growing older.
It is a privilege denied to many.
-unknown

birthday
This summer has been a mess.

I left a new job and went back to a job with not enough hours to pay my bills. I upgraded from a studio apartment into a wonderful two bedroom apartment only to have to move a month later and found a new place with only 4 days to spare. I lost a grandfather and a grandmother. Between time, money and distance, I wasn’t at  either funeral. I cried a lot. I was very stressed. I probably made my friends wish they were deaf so they couldn’t hear my whining.

My birthday is on Friday. I turn 28. WHAT? Yes. It’s the oldest I’ve ever been.

Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family. That’s something for which I’m super grateful. After the past three months, I’m even more grateful for a time to stop and celebrate. I can start with the fact that I’m alive. Considering the number of people lost every year to disease, war, and random acts of God – making it another 365 days deserves some attention. It was 365 more days to call my mom so she could tell me what our family dogs had gotten into that day. It was 365 more days to go see comedy shows with my best friend and lay on a California beach just because. It was 365 more days to enjoy things like pumpkin pancakes and Easter candy and Thanksgiving dinner. Not everyone gets to say they’ve had 28 Christmases, 28 birthday parties, 28 anniversaries of waking up on this Earth another year.

I intend to celebrate because gratitude and happiness are good for your soul. There are legitimately terrible things that happen every day. In LA, sometimes it’s a struggle just to get groceries into your house without putting your back out. The unfortunate part is that terrible things have this way of being so loud and in your face. They seem bigger than the wonderful things, but trust me, they’re not. You can spend 24 hours focused on the dent on your bumper, the watered down coffee at work, the obnoxious person who just called to yell at you on the phone, or you can spend that same amount of time thinking about pictures of puppies on Instagram, drinking chai tea lattes with coffee ice cubes or telling someone how much you love them. You get the same amount of time everyday. Spend it thinking about things that won’t give you an ulcer or make your hair fall out.

I intend to celebrate because cake is good. And presents are good. And people you love paying for your dinner at fancy restaurants? Also good. Celebrate whether or not it’s your birthday. Because it’s good.

***

This is the inaugural post in MeLissa’s weekly column where she’ll explore the power of setting intents in her own life and for those around her. She will also news from Intent.com and guest intents that have inspired her. Want to be part of it? Sign up at Intent.com and start sharing your intents! 

Simplify Your Holiday: Tips for a Peaceful Celebration

While the holiday season has the potential to be a time of peace, celebration and joy, often we feel overwhelmed, frazzled and drained. The following five tips will help put you on the path to creating a happy and harmonious holiday where you can experience peace in your home and within yourself.

1. Simplify. Sit down and make a list of all your holiday traditions, such as decorating the house, cooking special meals, hosting or attending holiday parties, etc. Write down all the activities you have spent time doing in the past and all things you would like to do this year.

 Next, go through your list and circle your favorite traditions.  Circle the ones that truly excite you — not what is expected from you or things you feel you “should” do. What is the “ideal” holiday for you? What do you want to make sure you have time to do so that you feel you have thoroughly celebrated the holiday? You might be surprised to find that many of the things you spend a good deal of time and money doing are not even at the top of your list. Maybe your favorite parts of the holiday are relaxing at home, going to the movies, or taking time to stroll around town and enjoy the decorations. Or perhaps you like large parties with friends, shopping for presents and big family meals? Your body will help guide you toward your authentic desires — if you feel your stomach clench at the idea of hosting a dinner for twelve, perhaps this is something to reconsider. Circle only the activities that bring you true joy.

 Now ask all the people who are essential to your holiday (such as your partner or if they’re old enough, your children) to do the same exercise. You may also choose to ask close friends or relatives to write a list if they’re a big part of your holiday. Compare lists and see what clearly comes through as important to your holiday family. You may be surprised how much you have in common. If your children are older, you might find they are tired of gift giving and would prefer to spend money on a special family vacation. Or perhaps the gingerbread house you spent many flustered hours creating and thought had so much meaning to your family, no longer does. Create a new list with everyone’s circled items.

 Next, look for ways to simplify the things on the resulting list. Most likely there will be some differences in priorities. For example, your partner may have decided he loves hosting the big holiday dinner, but cooking this meal is last on your list. If the big holiday dinner is important, then see if you can re-create it. Find out what it is about the dinner that appeals to your partner. If he enjoys the company, but you don’t like to cook, then perhaps you could go to a restaurant this year. Or if entertaining at home and decorating the table is important, then maybe you can cater the dinner, or ask everyone to bring a dish, or put your partner and children in charge of cooking. Keep working this process until you have come up with a holiday plan that excites everyone involved and yet still feels manageable.

2. Set Intentions. In addition to your list of activities, create a list of the most important feelings or “inner qualities” you would like to experience during your holiday such as gratitude, peace, joy or love. Combine these qualities with your holiday plan in the form of affirmations. For example, “I am filled with gratitude as I enjoy our holiday meal.” By writing down your series of written affirmations you are sending a powerful message to the universe that will manifest with grace.

3. Enjoy the process. Focus on your state-of-being during the time you are preparing for the traditions you selected, as much as during the actual tradition.  It is more important to be relaxed and happy as you prepare an almost-perfect meal, than it is to be stressed or bad-tempered before you serve a picture-perfect meal. Keep in mind the inner qualities on your list. If peace is an important quality to you, find peace even amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers by taking a moment to appreciate the store decorations or taking a break from your errands for a cup of coffee. Let the weeks leading up to your celebrations be filled with as much joy and happiness as the actual celebration.

4. Give to yourself. Perhaps the greatest gift you can give to yourself is to treat yourself with love and compassion. Often we expect others to change or treat us differently without first changing ourselves or treating ourselves differently. Let how you care for yourself during the holiday season be a precursor to how you will live in the New Year and how you will expect others to behave toward you. Let go of perfectionism and adopt a gentle, loving and forgiving relationship with yourself. If you treat yourself with love and kindness, these same qualities will be reflected back to you from others.

5. Believe. Celebrate the magic of the holidays. If you have children, this is a wonderful opportunity to re-live the fantasies of the holidays through their experiences.  This is the time to believe in miracles and all possibilities. Have faith in yourself, your family and the world.

What did you learn about yourself in 2009?

What did you learn about yourself in 2009?

We often underestimate our skills and abilities or accomplish something and then move on to the next task quickly. Instead let’s pause & celebrate!

What greatness did you exhibit this year?

Did you try something new? Repair a relationship? Did you do something special for yourself or for your family and friends or community?

How are you different than 2008?

Quick Exercise ~

– Take one minute and write out all of your thoughts.

– Think of one way to recognize all of your accomplishments today.

– Call a friend, dance, take the afternoon off or plan something more grand like a getaway!

Whatever you decide to do, celebrate your accomplishments for the year

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