Intention…

If you attend a regular yoga class, you may be asked to set an intention at the beginning of the class – something simple, just for you, something personal, or general, always up to you. If you have a daily mindfulness practice, you may also set an intention for your day, your work, your next hour …  As a parent and teacher I believe it’s important to set an intention, but not get too “stuck” to it. That is, setting an intention is good, it’s healthy, helps me focus, but it can also lead me to so many other wonderful thoughts and places throughout my day. Intention are great reminders of why we need to “be here now,” and ensure our heart and mind are always in the same place.

Teaching our children and students about setting intentions is a healthy habit…. This activity below is a great one for kids, and adults. After a nature hike, find some sticks and wrap them in fibers and beads. You can also paint and write on them with Sharpies. Students can keep these intention sticks at their desks, or, at home, as a reminder. You can also do this activity with a pencil, if a nature walk isn’t on the list. Younger children may need more help wrapping, while older kids may want more variety to select from to create their own intention stick, learning that they are all unique. This activity can be part of a class lesson, or something you simply do as a “learning experience” in the classroom. b69796b2aefb66ecbd2aa4b38832b3da-1

thanks to Artwell Art Therapy for this wonderful photo! 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude…

I’m certain to have used this image in an earlier post from a year or so ago… but it’s one that resonates with me so very much… While it’s the “Season” of gratitude, we need to remind ourselves to be grateful every day. yes, daily… every day. As the phrase goes:

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and with that said…. get your gratitude going now, and every day. Keeping a journal is the simplest way to remind yourself of that one moment of your day for which you’re grateful. You can also keep a jar in your home and have family members contribute notes of gratitude every day, or , keep a blog or list via Tumbler or Instagram, photograph your gratitude and make it visual, or add some words to favorite pics every day… There are numerous ways to record your daily gratitude, and today is a great day to begin!

 

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And We’re Back…

 

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To school that is… As a teacher and mom, the summers are GREATLY appreciated. Having lots of quality time with my family and friends is a wonderful opportunity. Of course, going back to work after 2 lovely months, can be tough (even if I have done this for 15 yrs!)  I know that other colleagues, moms and educators share the feeling… So I wrote about getting ourselves back to work mindfully this month. You can find the article here. And while some of us may not be educators or parents, simply getting into the “swing of things” – can sometimes be tough. We hit stumbling blocks – it’s ok, and just part of the journey. Using some of the mindfulness techniques mentioned here just may make those blocks a lot easier to get by.

You may also want to use some of the resources from this blog for other “tips and tricks” on using mindfulness in your every day living.

Lastly, a few visuals (for rainy days or times you’re “forced” to be at your computer) to help you breathe a bit easier…

 

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Words & Pics

I never tire of good visuals…. Just stumbled across this amazing talent – Incidental Comics. GREAT work! Love the words and hand drawn combinations! Take a peek here – these are some posters that will get you thinking, and smiling… For writers, these ideas WILL resonate 🙂

 

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It’s almost summer time…

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Summer is just around the corner… check out this GREAT post from wildsister.com“25 Summer Self-Love Ideas” – so many awesome thoughts and inspirational ideas…  #s 10, 12 and 20 are a must!

 

Artful Findings

I came across this wonderful piece today on how to make a personalized mandala… If you enjoy working off some stress or just finding some breathing space with coloring and art, this is  wonderful inspiration from an artist at Soul Flower (great clothing too !) to get you creating your own patterns and designs from simple things around your home.

 

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Visit the link here for the full article and ideas.

Set in Stone…

There’s something about rocks and stones that has always fascinated me… I’ve had little collections of river rocks , sea glass and stone gems since I was a kid. I have rocks in almost every part of my home these days – and while most of them are decorative, I know where everyone of them is from. Just by touching them I’m reminded of the day and place where I found my stone treasures. They bring me a sense of tranquility, always (maybe that’s why I had lots of worry stones in school too!). Of course there are also some fun ways to incorporate rocks into your home, room, office, etc. The next time you’re out for a nature hike, look  for some stones or rocks that catch your eye. Make a “peace rock” with your stone findings… or, create a little stone piece of art for yourself, a friend or family member. You can even make your own worry stones out of clay – for extra creativity! Keep your rock reminders near by, where they can easily be found and picked up.

Find more ideas on Pinterest here…or here. in my resources….

 

 

Mindful Walks

It just snowed a LOT … they said 28″, but with drifts and winds, it’s more like 4 feet! ok, well, close… But it’s also beautiful! The shoveling and the work were intense… yes, my back and shoulders are already feeling it a day later, but well worth it.

What I also love about snowy days are the walks… It doesn’t have to be a perfectly sunny and bright day out to enjoy a walk. In fact, the snow is a great time to enjoy a real mindful walk. It’s a wonderful way to learn how to walk mindfully or simply improve and benefit your mindful practice.

Get a good pair of snow boots on and add your warm and fuzzy scarf, hat and mittens and find a clear road or path that’s walk-able. Feel the air against your skin. Listen to the snow and the sounds it makes as you walk through it. Notice how your body feels, your feet, your legs, arms, etc. Take note of the trees around you, the branches, the birds, animals, the slight wind or temperature in the air. If you want, take your camera or a journal, and capture some of your most mindful moments.

By now we all know the benefits of a good walk. On snowy days, you don’t have to trek for miles , you may just want to spend 10-15 minutes with some good , clear snowy air and work on your mindful practice. Get outside, it’s good for you.

 

Check out this article too on how walking benefits your brain…  Happy snow trails!

 

Time Off…

The holidays have come to an end. The cold weather is setting in too… after a number of oddly warm days. And, I noticed, that I haven’t posted here in some time… my apologies. I was taking some time off – no computers, phones, emails, Ipads…

Over the winter break I wanted to truly enjoy my time with family and friends. I wanted to be mindful of all of our experiences together – and being “unplugged” – helped me do just that. While I love my gadgets, I do know that keeping them at a distance is something we all need to be more mindful of too.

If you’re not certain about how to unplug, just begin. Simple steps every day… No phone for an hour. No computers after dinner. No Ipads in bed. Use the time to BE with yourself, your family or your friends. Notice your conversations and how they may change when you’re not checking your phone every 2 minutes. Watch your interactions with family during your meals, when the Ipad isn’t at the table. Spend time with YOU, breathing, practicing yoga, a favorite sport or hobby, or a good book, instead of sitting in front of the computer after a long day.

And yes, there’s a book for that! :

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the #s and facts aren’t too pretty for tech-savy teens:

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and yes, it’s true….

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