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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Grateful Symbols

The word alone, Grateful, is beautiful. I make myself aware, every day, of at least 3 or 4 things of which I’m grateful. I have a gratitude journal , and on my phone, I even had a Gratitude app 🙂   It’s not a new idea, and there are lots of authors and creative types who have directed us to be aware of being more grateful, every day.

Today, after purchasing some groceries, the 16-year old cashier thanked me then carried on a conversation with her buddy at the next register. I could tell there was a certain “odd air” about the store, and it had nothing to do with the rainy day syndrome. The store was closing and soon a lot of “new hires,” would, once again, have to go job hunting for yet another “first job.” However, the girl who rung up my groceries started to talk to her friend, also a teenager, and said, “you know, I’m nice to sales people now, I see what they have to put up with. I’m pretty lucky to have had this job. No, I’m VERY lucky I had this job.”

I didn’t say anything, but I left her with a smile. I was grateful for her words and her wisdom. At 16, this young woman realizes and appreciates the art of work. All too often we take work for granted. “I HAVE TO work,” but so few say, “I LOVE my job.” or “I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here.”

Maybe the words “work” and “job” give off a sour note, for those who don’t enjoy what they do. I know, for me, “work,” is an enjoyable word. I don’t even hear the word, I see it as a symbol. A school. Kids. Adults. Teaching… All ideas, symbols, things I enjoy.

Try thinking in symbols, instead of words. What ideas come to mind? Maybe symbols and pictures leave a better taste about the work you do?

You don’t like your boss? You can’t stand your co-workers? Hours are too long? Your desk is full of paperwork? (I am guilty of the later!)… Be grateful. Haven’t you learned what you like and you don’t like?  Can you define what you DO want more so now? What symbols come to mind with those concepts? Be grateful for learning more about yourself, from work, from others.

Like I said, every day I write down what I’m grateful for. I never repeat things, ever. At times, I draw things I’m grateful for, just because they give me such a better definition.

Try it out – just for a week… Keep a list of 3 to 5 things for which you are grateful. Words , symbols , pictures – whatever works best for you. Don’t repeat items at any time. After a week, look at your lists , breathe , and smile.

ps- don’t forget to listen and be aware… And maybe you too will soon be inspired by someone else, a stranger or a friend, a little “reminder angel” of just what gratitude is all about.