Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Intent of the Day: Be Thankful


We are thankful for you!
We are thankful for space and freedom to build the lives we imagine.
We are thankful for friends, family and community who support and empower us.
We are thankful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the unheard.
We are thankful for small gifts and the huge blessings.

We hope you are spending the day with people you love, doing things you love, and most of all, we hope that you are thankful!

Love, your Intent family

Intent of the Day: Let Nothing Linger


The holidays are such a special time. They come once a year, everything feels like it could end up a little dreamier. Movies tell us this is the time when people declare their true feelings, fall in love, reunite with lost loved ones and, if that’s your hope, we sincerely hope that happens for you. In fact, we hope to have every skill we need to give our third act monologue. Or maybe just the words we need to handle whatever feelings and thoughts pop up over this season. Our #intent of the day is to let nothing linger.

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

Intent of the Day: Thanksgiving Feast Favorites


This Thursday we feast, which means this Tuesday we go grocery shopping.
As we prepare for the biggest dinner of the year, we intend to pull out the Thanksgiving favorites! We’re talking potatoes, desserts and the quintessential turkey. Whether you’re a chef or lost in the kitchen, we wanted to share some of our favorite sources for recipes and menus for this week.

Hungry? Try any and all of these recipes for holiday favorites! Continue reading

Gratitude: The Secret to an Abundant Life


Around this time of year, when our country takes a day to offer thanks, the word gratitude gets tossed around quite a bit. But did you know that gratitude is one of your most precious super powers, that if practiced daily, will assist you in creating an incredibly abundant and deeply fulfilling life?

The thing that we must first understand is that like everything else in the universe, we each have a vibrational resonance that serves as a magnet drawing people, experiences, and inspirations of matching frequency directly to us. With gratitude being the root of all abundance, by practicing gratitude, we raise our vibrational frequency, resulting in increased energy, creativity, optimism, patience, connectivity, and even increased immune function. Continue reading

The Feast Before The Famine

I’m sitting here in bed at 7am and feeling grateful for the incredible blessings that continue to show up in my life. I’m also sitting here feeling a bit apprehensive about what’s to come over the next few weeks.

I am attending a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat that starts on Wednesday. Ten days of silence. No yoga or exercise. No reading or writing. Very little food and 10 hours and 45 minutes of meditation everyday. That’s about 110 hours of meditation in under two weeks.

The schedule is intense, as is the food regimen , so I’m taking this opportunity to feel VERY grateful that my retreat begins after Thanksgiving. I plan on eating way more than I should in an effort to fatten up before I drive out to the desert to waste away. The feast before the famine, so to speak.

Besides my immense gratitude for this opportunity, what I imagine to be a life-changing experience, I am also especially thankful for these 3 realizations that I’ve come to understand over this last year.

My Mother’s incredible dedication to my development

My mother made the long trip to come and visit me for a week and we spent our time going through her old journal entries and listening to audio of me as a child. She had recorded a few of our conversations and one stood out as being very interesting.

I was 8 years old and my mother was asking me all kinds of questions and out of the blue I said something about my baby sister being “so fat and cute and she must have been born again” and basically I began telling my mother that good people who die go to heaven so they can come back and live again.

I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools so reincarnation was definitely not on the menu for any curriculum I would have been exposed to. My mother listened to me and began to explain that I was describing reincarnation and proceeded to give me a very intelligent and in-depth lesson in who believed in reincarnation and why.

This was cool for me on two fronts: 1) Seeing that I’ve had ideas about energy and life that were uniquely my own since I was very young. Ideas that had to have originated from somewhere outside of what my parents or school were teaching me; and 2) Seeing that my mother was open to my curiosity and did everything she could to educate and encourage me.

These audio conversations between 8 year old me and my then 31 year old mom have been such an incredible gift this Thanksgiving.

Learning the full art of forgiveness

Last night I enjoyed a little feast with an old friend. Someone I used to have an on/off relationship with over the course of many years. It wasn’t the healthiest or kindest relationship most of the time, but I always felt a connection to him that seemed like it was important for me in some way. Anyway, it had been maybe 3 years or more since we’d had any real contact and earlier this month he reached out to me to say hi and apologize for his behavior in the past.

I had been reading “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM) and was at the part where the act of forgiveness was being discussed and it felt like appropriate timing for me. When he apologized, I accepted it and told him not to let it worry him any further. It’s taught in ACIM that forgiveness is more than just saying “I forgive you” or “just letting it go” – forgiveness is actually taking the step beyond those things and doing whatever is in your power to balance the energy again.

In this case, that meant going to meet him and his new baby son for dinner without carrying anything from the past with me into the situation. We ended up having a really nice evening and it felt awesome.

Because I chose to release pride, ego, past hurt and all the other junk, I was able to reconnect with my old friend on the things that were always good between us. I felt incredibly happy holding his son and seeing parts of his dad in his little baby blue eyes. By truly forgiving and taking the final step in forgiveness to reset the balance in the energy between us, I gave myself the gift of having this relationship transform back into a positive force in my life, rather than a sad or injurious one.

The ability to feel from the inside and radiate out in a way that connects with others

Through all of the yoga and meditation and self-guided study I’ve undertaken this past year or so, I’ve come to a place where I’m able to feel my way through life more. Where in the past I was living from a place mostly inside my mind and thoughts, this year has brought the blessing of being able to trust in the sensations presenting in my physical body. These sensations are the manifestation of an intelligence that is always available to me if I take the time to slow down, let go and get quiet.

Because of these new practices, I’ve witnessed my love of self flourish and my capacity for love increase. I feel more love being attracted and drawn into my everyday life and I feel so grateful for all that it’s brought to me. My close friendships are growing even closer and feeling more and more like family everyday, and the relationships with my family members feel easier and more transparent.

I’m especially grateful for the connection I’ve made with a new person in my life. Someone I met last month who I never ever ever in a thousand years would have come to know if I hadn’t been available to accept and respond to the tiny sensations in my body telling me to remain grounded, listen and finally take action to speak up and connect in a vulnerable way.

So these are my things… What about you? What are you grateful? What lessons can you reflect on from the past year?


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Dreaming of a Green Christmas : 3 Ways to Make Your Holiday Environmentally Friendly

Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 9.10.28 AMBy: Elizabeth Eckhart

The holidays are a time of family celebrations, reconnecting with old friends, and celebrating all that we’re thankful for. Unfortunately, the holidays can also be a time of stress, busy schedules, and worse of all, excess. No matter how frugal you may be, chances are you’re finding that extra cold weather and party hosting costs are eating into your budget. And perhaps, if you’re like many other Intent Blog readers, the idea of so much waste, with food and energy, may bother you quite a bit. In order to both keep our habits clean and green, and save some costs, we’ve put together a list of energy saving holiday tricks to get you through the season.

Decorating Tips

If you haven’t already, consider replacing all your holiday lights with energy efficient LEDs, which actually perform better in cold weather. For larger lights, switch to 5-watt bulbs, and place all your lights on a timer or just unplug, ensuring that they won’t be left on during the day when no one can enjoy them. When shopping for outdoor decorations for yourself or others, keep in mind the wide availability of solar powered options.

If you’re really feeling green, you can also decorate with candles. Many families already use luminaries along outdoor walkways on special nights. Consider holiday scented candles, which are a beautiful addition to any home. You can also turn off the lights inside when your brightly decorated tree is on and lit. This will not only save energy; it will immediately make your home feel full of holiday spirit.

Hosting Tips

It may go against holiday tradition, but you can cook some party dishes in the microwave. The typical microwave uses 75 percent less energy than a conventional oven, so even one dish can make a large difference. Using the same reasoning, look up recipes you can create using a slow cooker. Since you’ll still be using the oven for trickier dishes, check progress through the window instead of cracking open the door (which can make the temperature drop 25 degrees in less than a minute!), and feel free to turn the oven off before the food is fully cooked. As long as the door stays shut, your food will finish perfectly and on time. Using glass or ceramic pans also means your dish will cook more quickly, so turn the oven down 20 degrees to save costs.

To keep your fridge running efficiently no matter the number of guests, keep it as stocked as possible — an easy task if feeding a large group of people! You can also defrost items in the fridge instead of a watery sink. Both tips will result in the fridge keeping cooler with less energy.

If you do happen to find your fridge is full, hold off from hauling out the spare fridge, and instead keep extra beverages and holiday leftovers cold by storing them in the garage or in the backyard. And as much as you’d like to clean up quickly following a large holiday meal, your fridge will thank you if you wait until all the food has cooled to room temperature before storing it away.

On the day of your party, turn down the thermostat to 66 degrees. Most people will find this is a comfortable range in a holiday sweater, and the increased body heat should take care of the rest. Keep a few blankets handy for older guests and chronically cold friends. If you plan on setting the mood by using the fireplace, install a tight-fitting set of glass doors and crack open a window nearby. Open-hearth fireplaces actually draw in the heated air from your home and send it straight up the chimney — a problem glass doors can stop. With increased holiday lights on top of heat usage, your bills may still come out higher than expected. If you haven’t already, start monitoring your light usage and reevaluate your energy plan using sites like Energize Connecticut and TexasElectricityProviders.com. Not only can you switch to less expensive plans, you can also choose to have most or all of your energy generated from green sources such as wind or solar.

Gift Giving and Shopping

Although many of us enjoy wandering around decorated stores during the holidays, perhaps even stopping to see Santa, before the perfect gift emerges on its own, you can save time and costs by planning out the gifts necessary for each person. Make use of outlets and strip malls, which mean you have less driving to do from store to store. You can also shop for products made locally or buy materials to craft gifts on your own, which not only supports local businesses but detracts overall from the amount of overseas transit costs and pollution that trucks, boats, and planes cause. The same goes for shopping online  — if you buy your gifts from one store instead of three, you’ll have lower costs associated with packaging and transit.

Regarding the actual gift, aim to buy fewer gifts that use electricity and batteries. An amazing 40 percent of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season, which means a lot of energy is used. If you must buy electronic gifts, definitely opt for the energy efficient versions, and maybe even throw in rechargeable batteries instead of singular usage batteries.

The holidays are the perfect time to show appreciation for those around you. Whether it be through gifts, parties, or decorations, the holidays can be exciting, albeit expensive. But, if you plan accordingly and shop wisely, you’ll find the damage to your wallet and the earth can be greatly reduced.

Elizabeth Eckhart is a Chicago born and bred blogger who is passionate about keeping the environment clean. Some of her favorite writing topics include new renewable energy technology and various ways to live a healthy lifestyle. 

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