Tag Archives: fun

Intent of the Day: Fun in the Moment

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Happy Halloween! Today is a day full of fun and whimsy and maybe a little too much chocolate. You’ll find out which coworkers are clever and which ones think “office worker” is a cool costume. You’ll hopefully get to see babies dressed as all varieties of zoo animals and Stranger Things characters. And maybe crowds stress you out or Halloween is not our favorite, but we hope that today, you take a moment to enjoy a little reprieve from your everyday routine for even the smallest silliness. Our intent is to find the fun in the moment.

You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

7 Ways to Get Out of A Slump: And One Reason Why Not To

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By Andrew Bryant

I’m in a slump. I’m sure you’ve been here, or maybe you are in one to?

How do I know I’m in a slump?

My batteries feel flat, focus is elusive and I am drawn to my couch like a moth to a flame. Your symptoms may be different, but you know you are not operating at your best.

What’s really embarrassing about this, and causing me some guilt, is that I am an author on personal development and self-leadership – surely, I shouldn’t be in a slump?

The surprising fact is, I don’t want to get out of my slump, well not yet anyway! I am like the man who is happy at the bottom of a hole, you see I both know the way out and I know the benefit of being in the hole.

Mostly I maintain pretty high-energy. Zest is, in fact one of my strengths, but when we are ‘go, go, go’ we can miss the subtle things. So I am accepting my slump. Why? Because it’s my slump. Nobody did this to me. It’s my body signaling me something, and in accepting that I can get the message.

Often we force ourselves to push through low performance, but if it really is a slump, the best strategy is to call it. By naming and owning your slump, ultimately you put yourself back in control.

Everything in life has cycles, the weather, the stock market, and your energy levels. The secret of success is to ride the cycle, and benefit from the down-time.

So I’m in a slump and you maybe you are too, so what’s the benefit?

It’s time to reflect, to regroup, and to decide on what’s important and what’s not. Use your slump to nurture yourself and become aware of what really matters to you. When you have answered this question, and given your body some rest, do the following: Continue reading

Words to Inspire Your New Year

Last year, many of our Intent team chose words to focus on in 2014.
Words like “courage” or “fun” became our banners for the days to come and, speaking personally, having a simple focus made life so much easier.
My word being “fun”, I would ask myself:
“What is the fun option?” 
“Would this be fun to me?”
“Which choice is more fun?”
It didn’t always mean that my choice was the most frugal or the most realistic.
It simply meant that whatever I was doing was the most fun.
The singular focus was so helpful in easing the anxiety and complication of decision-making which happened to be my issue at the time.

This year I’ll choose a new word. I encourage you to do the same.
Some options? Continue reading

Play Your Way to the Best Fitness of Your Life

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Do you remember the days of recess in elementary school? Finally liberated from lessons and projects, if just for 15 minutes, you’d run out of the classroom and skip freely into the yard. Whatever corner of the playground struck your fancy, it’s likely you were running around, letting off steam, and, most importantly, having fun.

Speaking of which, when is the last time you had fun? And we don’t mean the kind you have when you throw a dinner party and sit respectably around a table with your friends. Neither do we mean the kind of fun signified by snagging a half-off pair of shoes or booking tickets for Spain. Would your 5-year-old self be giddy over one of those activities? Probably not.

No, we’re talking about the kind of fun that launches you into a whole new mindset, moved more by impulse than by intellect, lurching forward faster than your mind can process. This is the kind of play-exercise-fun you undoubtedly engaged with as a child before so many inhibitions set in and told you there were right and wrong ways to move your body and express your inclination toward merriment. What society missed, however, is the fact that playing is one of the best and most natural ways human beings have to exercise and let off steam. But past a certain age, we almost never do it.

But that’s all changing now. Some gyms, like Sports Club/LA, have started offering play-based exercise on their class schedules because they recognize the value of fun in fitness. “Play” is embedded in our DNA, after all, and we aren’t the only animals who do it. Countless other animal species exhibit play, especially among the young, for reasons that are still debated but might range from learning coordination, to honing the stress response, to socializing, to developing brain function. Either way, play seems to be an integral part of these species’ livelihood, or else its evolutionary riskiness would have weeded us out long ago.

Even apart from the many benefits to learning and development, play is fun. It gets us moving, it helps us build communities, and it adds whole new dimensions to the “real world” which can seem so stuck in its ways.

Paving the way for play-fitness is Sports Club/LA’s new class, Recess, which uses playground-inspired activities and team-based games to get participants moving, pushing themselves, and – you guessed it – having fun.

As trainer Ian Kilpatrick from Sports Club/LA says,

It is my belief that every single person can find enjoyment in some form of exercise; they just have to find it. I think an element of “play” in a workout dramatically increases the chances of someone having fun, and when you’re having fun and working hard simultaneously then you eliminate that “dreading working out” feeling many of us get. Everyone is different, so some people may need or enjoy that feeling of discipline or pushing yourself to pain, but the fact is that fun will never get old.

Some adults have gotten the idea and joined recreational sports leagues, taken up ice skating, dance lessons, or Frisbee and revived the activeness of their youth. As Kori Rodley writes for Yahoo, play is important at any age.

You may find that you are having so much fun “playing” that you don’t even realize how much movement and exercise you are getting! You will likely use and stretch muscles that you have not used in a long time and may find not only your physical, but your mental health improves with some active, fun, playful movement!

If you find yourself flagging in energy and enthusiasm when you work out, then don’t hesitate to get creative! Ian suggests the following exercises get a taste of what Recess class is all about:

One of my favorite partner exercises from Recess that any two people can try on their own is a “help up.” In this exercise you hold tight to the hands of your partner as they sit all the way down onto their butts. Once they have their full bodyweight on the ground they stand up as you sit down the same exact way. It may sound easy, but it requires team work, coordination and gets tiring fast!

Another partner or group exercise that two or more people can try on their own is a “mirror drill.” All you have to do is face your partner and choose a leader. Once you’ve decided who is leading the drill then that person will start shuffling from side to side changing direction whenever they want. It is the job of the partner or other group members to react and keep up. These should only last for about 10-15 seconds then switch who the leader is.

If this style of exercise appeals to you, then try it out! Find a community center with recreational sports leagues, join a hiking group, or take a tumble with your kids. Forget the inhibitions that say playing isn’t proper, mature, or “ladylike.” Having fun is your birthright, and there’s no shame in being fit and happy!

What games did you love as a kid? Let us know in the comments section!

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SPortsClubLA2012Sports Club/LA has been recognized as an urban lifestyle brand that serves as the ultimate health and wellness destination. Visit a Sports Club/LA location in Boston, Chestnut Hill, Miami, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and New York Upper East Side as well as their sister club, Reebok Sports Club/NY. For more information visit www.SportsClubLA.com.

 

25 Ways to Feed Your Soul

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Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein

Instead of obsessing about food, fat, your weight and your multiple failures to lose ‘it,’ imagine what your life could look like, the shape it might take, if you shifted your focus to bringing joy to your heart, giving fresh energy to your day, to feeding your soul.

Envision what will happen when your thoughts no longer pull you astray, but rather connect your mind, body,sp and spirit.

Each and every day find at least one way to feed your soul.  Here are 25 ways to get you started.  Feel free to add your ways to the list!

25 Ways to Feed Your Soul

1.   Dream with your feet, bust a move, get your groove on, and … dance to the music!

2.  Dissolve your inhibitions in a smokin’ hot bubble bath!

3.  Become a fan of the funny. Go “Sky High” with cartoonist Tommy Rudmose.

4.   Light a candle, and then light another, and notice … nothing is lost when one candle lights the next.

5.   Be the fountain of gladness and make everything and everyone near to you freshen with smiles.

6.   Look beneath the iceberg; investigate what lies below as only one-seventh of ‘you’ is above water.

7.   Breathe into the moment for this very moment is the only one you have for sure.

8.   Pray with the rocks, the pebbles, the sand, as they are still and silent.

9.   Read, read, read, lest you yield yourself to ignorance.

10.   Play feverishly! Experience the world and the universe as the playground that it sure is; one for exploration and discovery. Explore, discover, have fun!

11.   Whip up a bowl of bliss. Combine one cup of the poetic with one cup of the mysterious. The perfect complement to any meal; filling, delicious goodness.

12.   Connect the dots from the past straight into your future, one to the next, and behold … the big picture revealed.

13.   Send the dark cloud on its way as it is but an illusion; a billow upon billow upon a billow.

14.   Open your eyes to the sweetness of the day.

15.   Make a mistake. It is, after all, one way of doing something and better than doing nothing.

16.   Remove the stops – one at a time until there is no … stopping … you.

17.   Love in general … round people, skinny people, tall people, short people, all people.

18.   Look for the bright spot. It is right there, to your right. (No, your other right).

19.   Sigh a deep sigh and start anew.

20.  Arrange flowers in good cheer, with a smile on your face and listen for the earth to joyously laugh with you.

21.   Sing with the birds after the storm.

22.  Begin your day in delight; end it in wisdom.

23.  Do not “think fun.” Feel your way straight into having fun.

24.  Do not worry about your worries. Worry is neither preparation nor a magic pill that wards off bad happenings.

25.  Smile at the messiness of life and then straighten your desk, toss the old magazines.

I hope that whets your appetite for ‘soul food!’

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For the best life, wellness and weight loss wisdom, visit Janice:
Our Lady of Weight Loss

Join the Kick in the Tush Club

Originally published May 2012

Hot Summer Rituals to Celebrate the Solstice

242/365  SummerCan you feel the excitement in the air? The days are hot and sunny, and summer officially begins this week on June 21st. It’s the longest day and the shortest night in the Northern hemisphere. I love this day. In the South of France it’s celebrated by jumping over bonfires as a way to gain courage and embrace the power of light and fire. That tradition dates back to pagan times, long before the Catholic church arrived to taint it with negative views about the appreciation of nature and the power of the five elements.

There’s a whole history of rituals related to this day and ways to honor and capture some of the magic of this mystical portal into summer. For centuries people have gathered at Stonehenge to welcome the season. Author Deborah Blake who writes on magic and rituals says, “The earth is at its most fertile and life is bursting out all over.” She advises that this is the best time for magical work “for abundance, fertility, and any kind of growth.”

I love it both as a time that presents an opportunity to burn away the old habits and baggage that no longer serve. And at the same time it’s a moment where the whole world feels alive with the vibrant, radiant energy of sunlight. It feels like a time of great possibility and a moment to enjoy life to its fullest. In France the day often coincides with the “Fete de la Musique”, a country-wide music day where  you’ll find people playing harps on street corners, rock bands pound out a rhythm from pubs, and orchestras spontaneously set up in open squares to play under the rising moon.

How will you spend the solstice? Make a plan to turn it into a special day. Go to the beach for a picnic with your beau. Maybe create your own mini-bonfire in a jar and burn away obstacles or jump over it. Dance with girlfriends under the moon in a grove of trees. Paint or write on a project that your heart yearns for you to create. Kiss a loved one. Plant a tree. Join me at Esalen Institute June 21st-23rd for a magical writing retreat. Play! Happy summer.

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Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life and “Garden of Bliss: Cultivating the Inner Landscape for Self-Discovery” (Llewellyn Worldwide, May 2013). A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices, writing and creativity in the U.S. and Europe. More at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

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photo by: martinak15

Dîner en Blanc: The Biggest, Classiest Dinner Party in the World – Tonight!

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If you happen to be in Paris, France tonight and are privy to the underground communications of the Dîner en Blanc, then you are in for a treat! Founded nearly 25 years ago by François Pasquier, this ongoing dinner party – the largest in the world – convenes yearly in public places undisclosed until just an hour before the event. Diners must be personally invited by organizers, friends of organizers, friends of friends of…you get the picture. But apart from that layer of exclusivity, the event is grassroots, diverse, and non-commercial. Though technically not legal as it often descends upon landmarks, including in past years the Eiffel Tower site, the Louvre Pyramid, the Trocadéro Esplanade, the Château de Versailles, and the Esplanade de Notre-Dame, officials tolerate the innocent revelry of this “dinner in white.”

The “en blanc” part refers to the all-white outfits, linens, and decorations diners come equipped with, creating the aura of a chic, classy restaurant as opposed to the makeshift, outdoor picnic it truly is. Picnic or no, the event is all class. As outlined on their website, guests are responsible for bringing:

A table, two (white) chairs, a picnic basket comprised of quality menu items and china dinner service. They must wear white and be dressed elegantly. Originality is encouraged as long as it stays stylish and denotes taste.

It might sound a bit stuffy, but as the organizers urge, the guidelines are in place mainly to create a container for a magical, festive (and photogenic!) event. And the rules haven’t kept other communities from initiating their own local versions of the Dîner en Blanc, now in eighteen countries around the world!

Dîner en Blanc, a new documentary, captures the whimsical nature of this non-traditional dinner party, and the trailer alone is bound to whet your interest:

Looks like fun, eh? Good luck finding a way in to this exclusive party – but if you have a contact for any of the cities, can we be your plus one? 🙂

Photo credit: Dîner en Blanc

Thursday Morning Melody: Get Lucky

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 5.42.21 PMReady to get up and dance?!

You may be familiar with the French electronic music duo, Daft Punk, from their hits “Around the World,” “One More Time,” and “Harder Better Faster Stronger.” Vibrant, uplifting house music at its finest. Somewhat of a departure from these earlier tunes, their latest hit “Get Lucky” sounds more like a 70’s disco beat than the creation of two Euro guys in robot suits. As a true collaborative effort, however, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers worked with Daft Punk to create this rockin’ tune, which has already received critical acclaim in the weeks since its release. Set as the background for this “Soul Train” video, it’s feels just like we’ve stepped back in time to boogie in our platforms and bell bottoms. So pump the volume, get out of your chair, and join us for a dance break!

Like the legend of the phoenix
All ends with beginnings
What keeps the planet spinning
The force from the beginning

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

The present has no living
Your gift keeps on giving
What is this I’m feeling?
If you wanna leave I’m ready

We’ve come too far to give up who we are
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars

She’s up all night ’til the sun
I’m up all? night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky

We’re up all night ’til the sun
We’re up all night to get some
We’re up all night for good fun
We’re up all night to get lucky
We’re up all night to get lucky

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This post is part of  our Thursday Morning Melody series. Every Thursday we feature the music video and lyrics to a song that touches us deeply. If there’s a melody you wish to share with the Intent community, please share it with us in the comments below! Click here to listen to past Thursday Morning Melodies.

Is It Okay to Put Down a Book You Don’t Enjoy?

booksingiantpileOne of the most important elements of my identity is my identity as a reader. I love to read–really, if I’m honest with myself, it’s practically the only activity that I truly love to do.

As part of that identity, I’d developed the habit of finishing every book I read. Once I started, I felt committed. A “real” reader like me finishes books and also gives authors the benefit of the doubt (“maybe this book will get better after the first 50 pages”). Right?

But I realized that I was spending a fair amount of my precious reading time reading books that didn’t really interest me. I’d finish these just because I felt as though I “should” and for the bragging rights of being able to say that I’d read them.

I decided to set myself a new habit: Stop reading a book if I don’t enjoy it. (I consider getting valuable information from a book as a form of “enjoyment,” even if I don’t particularly enjoy the experience of reading it.)

I’ve put down several books over the last few weeks–and it is such a relief. More time for reading good books! Less time reading books out of a sense of obligation.

Do you feel as though once you start a book, you must finish? Or do you put down books half-read? I’ve heard speculation that using an e-reader makes people more likely to stop reading a book. Do you find that to be true?

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