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Copyright © 2014 Yumi Sakugawa
Copyright © 2014 Yumi Sakugawa
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.
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:
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?
April. Spring. Daffodils. Tulips. Magnolias. Things that were resting, sleeping or hiding are now starting to wake up and join life again.
We all need rest. We have complex bodies and minds that need time to disconnect and recharge. Winter is that for many of us; the weather forces us in instead of out. It forces us to watch instead of participate. It forces us to hide instead of run free.
And now that spring is here, we wake up. We watch nature wake with the first rounds of colors – from forsythia to crocus to tulips to daffodils. We watch dogwoods and magnolias bud and the first new tender leaves change the stark and gray-brown views along our highways to light, faint, mint green. Nature’s awake.
The energy of spring reactivates our energy. We shed our winter doldrums and step outside, taking in the smell of a new world – warmer, greener, more fragrant and more welcoming. This welcome can encourage us to see ourselves differently.
We had dinner with another couple last night. One of the couple has used this change of seasons to shed the old and to step into the new. He changed his exercise program to include more time outside – walking, investigating and connecting to his world. He changed his look with a neater, trimmer hairstyle and chic hip glasses. I asked what had inspired the change. He shared that there was a new and better self wanting to surface and that spring inspired this change. He is happier, healthier and more connected to his life. His relationships are stronger, his approach to work has improved and his time with his kids is better. A season change inspired his personal change. Brilliant.
- Let the “wake-up” rhythm of the season inspire us with new energy, ideas and plans. Make an intention to get up earlier and spend more time with your day, the people in it and the dreams that it inspires. Pull the family together and brainstorm ways for all of its members to embrace it and use the new energy to improve their outlook, effort and approach to life. Implement your ideas. Have a plan. Act.
- See the colors of spring as a reminder to add more color to our lives. Make an intention to connect more with the people who matter in your life. Do things that feed your spirit and soul. Plan an adventure. Paint your walls. Buy a new bright article of clothing. Bring flowers into the house. Play more music. Open the windows. Buy a new flowering plant. Shed the winter grays in favor of vibrant spring colors.
- See the arrival of spring as a gift. Trees with new leaves, gardens of flowers, sounds of birds, footprints of deer and the fragrances of the season are all gifts of spring. Make an intention to notice and appreciate these gifts. With the arrival of spring to many parts of the country, our views have almost instantaneously changed from somber to vivid. Notice it. Spend time with it. Appreciate it. Share it. Love it.
Spring inspires energy – wake up and show up big to life. What intentions can you make to use today’s energy to awaken a bigger, better, greater you?
Nature is showing and sharing its best. Seems like a great time for us to do the same.
Good things happen to good people – that’s karmic belief. This week Intent’s former blog editor Chelsea Roff was the subject of Break.com’s “Prank it Forward” series where they surprise deserving individuals with life changing gifts.
For those that don’t know, Chelsea left Intent last year to pursue creating her own non-profit organization that shows the vital importance of yoga in eating disorder recovery. Chelsea herself suffered from extreme anorexia – at one point dropping to 58 pounds and caused her to have a stroke two weeks before her 16th birthday. She spent 18 months recovering under the custody of a Dallas hospital. When she was released her therapists suggested that yoga might be good for her – and it turned out to be a life changing experience.
To give back to the community that gave so much to her Chelsea started an IndieGoGo campaign last July that raised over $51,000 in four days. For those four days Chelsea camped out above the “You Are Beautiful” mural in Santa Monica, refusing to leave until she reached her goal. Now that money is going to fund research based studies in yoga studios and treatment centers around the country. To help get the funds to hire a full-time staff for the organization Chelsea has also been moonlighting as a waitress. Did we mention she’s only 24? Chelsea Roff is the definition of using your own talents and abilities – and the power of intent – to save the world. To reward her for all of her selfless good work, her friends and co-workers teamed up with Break.com to provide Chelsea with the best shift ever.
We are so proud of Chelsea, who will always be a member of the Intent family, and all of the things she’s done. It’s such a wonderful thing to see her get the rewards she deserves for doing such amazing, wonderful work. Congratulations to Chelsea! You deserve it, girl. And we can only hope that Chelsea’s journey also inspires all of you to show the potential of setting an intent and following through with it. We really have the power to make meaningful change in people’s lives!
Learn how you can help Eat. Breathe. Thrive. or find one of Chelsea’s programs in a city near you here.
Do you have a case of the winter blues? It’s spring but the weather around most of the country isn’t acting like that. That makes it a little bit difficult to get into the warmer spirit of Spring – we get it. But the grey coldness is ending and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. To help you reach it, we want you to get warm. Not just temperature wise, but indulge in your favorite activities. Reach out to your favorite people. It’s time to get close to the things that make you feel the warm fire in your heart.
That also means getting in touch with your passions. What makes you vibrate with energy? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What makes you feel like your best self? If you aren’t sure here are a few quotes to inspire you to find what you’re passionate about and ignite it in time to stave off the last of winter and propel you into Spring.
Life comes at us fast. We choose whether it fires us up or fizzles us out. Here are two stories to make the point and then to share some comments in how to stay fired up – passionate – energized in life.
Story one. Fizzled out.
A friend of mine tries to do it all. Someplace in her thinking she feels she is supposed to be supermom, super-employee, super-friend, super-problemsolver, super-cook and super-spouse. She has a personal requirement to be all these – her choice. She comes from a family of high performers where they constantly assess and judge each other based on the things they do. Huge pressure. Lately I have seen the normally fire-filled eyes with gray shadows – she is fizzling out – losing her inner passion, fire and energy. Instead of showing up big to any of these roles, she is now just barely keeping up, disappointed with herself, with others and with the world. Fizzled out.
Story two. Fired Up.
Another friend of mine is a talented speaker who has a high-activity life. It is not unusual for him to be in two or three cities in a week. Between his writing and speaking, he is on the go all the time. He is fired up, passionate, excited and energized by what he does for work. But to keep this pace and to keep the internal fire burning, he has built some effective and practical “stay fired up” habits.
- Gratitude. Always start each day or event with a thought of gratitude. Each moment of each day has blessings in them if we choose to see them. By taking the time to appreciate the greatness and “amazingness” of each moment, we fuel our internal fire. Gratitude is a fire builder.
- Breathe. Take a breath anytime we feel too busy, confusing or chaotic. In this moment, we improve our clarity about our situation. This creates the ability for our next moment to be wiser, saner and more effective. Stop things even for a fraction of a second to see more clearly. This can help us pace ourselves to feel more in control, less defeated and therefore more fired up.
- Self-talk. Have positive self-talk. Most of the chatter in our minds is critical, non-supportive and judgmental. Noticing that chatter and realigning it to be kind, gentle and supportive is the way to rekindle our passion for what we are doing. That critical “committee” in our head is a fizzle maker. Tell the noisy voices in your head to sit down and shut up (I know that sound severe but sometimes our committees only respond. Then, without the noise, you can take a breath, be grateful and reconnect to your inner fire.
A single dad friend of mine used to say to his kids as he got them into bed (and help them to stay there instead of wanting this and that and making the bedtime process take hours), “When you stay in bed it gives me time to be ready to be a great dad to you tomorrow.” We all need to develop our personal habits to allow the time to plug back into our power source – to have greatness habits that fire up the passion for life, the passion for people and the passion for our work.
Our world can wear us out. Actually, we allow our world to wear us out. Since we choose how we respond to the things that life sends us, we could also choose to stay fired up. We could choose to feed our internal fire by connecting to our passions, being more present in what we choose to do and to appreciate what is instead of noticing what is missing. It takes awareness. It takes practice. It requires building some fired up habits.
What feeds your soul and energizes you to love life and feel connected to it? What can you do each day to do more of this? What makes you feel empty, tired and disconnected? What can you change to do less of this? Fired up or fizzled out. It’s always a choice – our choice.
If you like Jay’s post check out these similar intents on Intent.com
Luck is one of those words that means something different to everyone. What is responsible for good luck or bad? For some it is a karmic force and for others it’s a manifestation of personal desire. Are you someone that carries a good luck charm – an object you put all your faith in to bring your good fortune or a small trinket that brings you comfort? There have been several philosophers, spiritual leaders and proverbs that try to define the meaning of luck and locate it’s origins. So what does it mean to you? Whether you are one of the people that believes in luck at the end of rainbows or that it comes purely from our own creation we hope that one of these quotes inspires a lucky feeling for you today and whoever you share them with.
“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I was on a coaching call with a particularly rigid and challenging client. He was lamenting how things don’t go his way – he’s not lucky like others – and he named a few celebrities, sports personalities and city success stories. “They seem to get all the luck,” he said. My question to him was, “Is it luck or preparation?” This changed the tone of our conversation and we started to make some great progress.
Personally, I don’t think I believe in luck. Instead, I believe in preparation and being present to things as they happen. Prepared, we now are tuned in to things that we first would not have seen, and second would not have acted upon. Like the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, I like to think that my intentionality in things leads to their results – cause and effect. To me, luck is what we rely on when we don’t prepare; luck has never struck me as a success formula.
In addition to my coaching, writing and speaking, I am an adjunct professor at a college in South Florida, teaching in the business school. In my last class, I asked them how they are using their time in college to get ready for life after college. Only two of the 33 students in class had a plan. Only two had a strategy to intentionally selected their majors, enroll in courses that were necessary for what they wanted to do after college (even taking courses that were not in their majors) and what internships would give them the most practice, experience and exposure. Clarity. Intentionality. Focus. The rest of the class just shrugged and shared that “with a little luck” they would find something meaningful after college. With a little luck? This was like trying to drive without your hands on the wheel.
We get results in life when we take responsibility for ourselves as life unfolds. I know we can’t control the events of life, but we can show up present to them, gather information from them, then make meaningful decisions in the moment that lead us in the direction that fits what we want for our lives. Not showing up present means we’ll get moved along according to the whims or plans of others. We then celebrate good luck or blame bad luck for things.
Why is it that we rely on luck instead of great preparation? Here are a couple of thoughts:
- We have been told this is just how life is done. It is a big, cold mean world that favors some and not others. Some people are lucky and others aren’t.
- We don’t know how to create success for ourselves because we haven’t learned how to know ourselves and how to connect to opportunities in work and life that need what we do best – we don’t know how to look for opportunities.
- We don’t own our results. It is always easy to make things someone else’s fault. Attributing things to luck let’s us off the hook from being accountable; we have something or someone to blame.
To move away from relying on or blaming luck requires listening to the wisdom of some of today’s greatest consciousness thinkers. They remind us that when we show up present to the moments of life, we connect to information. Information then creates options. Expanded options increase our ability to find and select the ones that move us forward. In other words, clarity in our direction plus awareness of options creates preparedness; this seems a better life success formula than relying on luck. Talk to the successful people in life and they will share that their success was not based on luck but rather on preparation and awareness of opportunities. This seems a far better formula for success than luck.
We know that motivating yourself to get out there and work out can be tough. So don’t do it alone! One of the greatest assets you can have is a great work out partner who pushes you to reach your own goals and doesn’t let you give up when you’re having a rough time. It can be a tough road to making a healthier lifestyle change, but when you have the right person beside you it can make all the difference. Follow these tips to create a successful work out partnership.
1. Choosing the Right Partner – The most important quality in a work out partner is that they are reliable. If you agree to go out or meet at the gym at a certain time you want to make sure they will be there. This also means that you have to be equally accountable to them. There are going to be days when neither of you want to get out there, but you have to push yourselves to do it! Having a reliable partner will remind you of your important goals when you want to give up. You have to be willing to be there for them in the same way.
2. Partners Help Create Variety – Having a partner in crime when you’re working out also helps to keep you from falling into a boring routine. When you’re working out with someone else you can trade ideas and create new routines that are interesting and challenging for both of you.
3. Compete but Don’t Compare - The other type of motivation a partner brings to your work out naturally is competition. Who can run a little father? Maybe do a few more push ups? Perhaps you can make your warrior-2 pose more aligned. Having someone there to push you a bit further is a great way to get yourself to do more than you thought you could.
However, it’s important to remember that everyone has a different body type that burns fat and changes in different ways. So while you and your partner may compete in healthy ways, don’t compare weight goals or size. Comparing yourself to someone else in that way will only lead to disaster. Everyone’s lifestyle goals should be independent and created on their own body type and hopes.
4. The Strength in Numbers – Are you one of those really social types? No one said you had to stick to just one partner! Mallika herself has written about the great support of having a group of people that hold you accountable. Start a walking group with people at your office or take a fitness class. The people there already share an interest and you can band together to make your work outs even more effective!