Takin’ It Easy and Gettin’ Sweaty

It’s the last day of the month…again (how does this keep happening?) and although I’ve really been enjoying my practice of daily intention setting, I’m feeling ready to close this one out and get started on my next endeavor. What’s been cool about this challenge is that it’s felt like a month full of micro-lents; each day presenting a new challenge to put into practice and a means to narrow my focus. It’s been a nice reminder too that every day offers a new opportunity to begin again and to refocus—which is especially helpful on days when you might not be feeling your best. This challenge might officially be over, but I have a feeling that today won’t be the last time I use my little intention journal (I mean, it’s too cute to not use, right?).

So, what’s next on the lent menu? Sweat Once A Day. 

I don’t know how I’ve been keeping this blog for almost 5 years—and more importantly—how I’ve been working for lululemon for 2 years and this one hasn’t come up yet, but I’ve somehow never done any sort of fitness challenge. Say what?! 

Even though I’ll be the first one to tell you that I actually kind of hate sweating (I know, I know), no one’s going to argue that getting your heart rate up is great for you for a whole host of reasons. Since I’ve been slacking on doing any form of exercise that isn’t gentle yoga with an occasional Pure Barre class thrown into the mix, it’s time to get physical.

Here are my guidelines: 

  • I will do some sort of activity/workout that causes me to break a sweat every single day for the month of November.
  • This activity will preferably be at least 30 minutes long, but absolutely no shorter than 15.
  • 2 of my weekly sweats must be at a studio/gym.
  • I must try 1 “new to me” workout each week (because it’s kind of crazy that I’ve never been to a spin class, right?)
  • I sweat per week must be with a friend #sweatdate

The kicker is that last night towards the end of the Sox game—you know, the one where they won the World Series at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918, NBD—I started to get that “Oh crap, I think I’m getting sick” feeling. Perfect, just in time for my month of extreme physical exertion to start. I’m not officially down for the count yet, and I’m doing everything in my power to nip this one in the bud, but I’m a little weary to how this challenge is going to start out. Here’s hoping the orange juice, cayenne pepper and raw garlic concoction that I just chugged staves off this potential sickness.

Tonight’s intention: Take it easy.

takeiteasy

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An Intention for Monday

A reminder to myself (and to all of you), that everyday—especially Monday—offers a new beginning. Today I will start fresh:

startfresh

 

and p.s. Remember a few weeks ago when my intention was to “Do 1 things that’s been on my to-do list forever”? It was to write this guest-post for Yoga Travel Tree. Check!

Today’s Intention: Listen

My yoga teacher posted this quote the other day and it stopped me in my tracks:

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply” -Stephen R. Covey

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t guilty of this. How many times am I not fully present in the conversation because I’m internally formulating my response? How many times have I cut someone off so I could make sure I got in what I had to say? A lot. It’s time to work on becoming a better listener.

So today (and from now on), I will bring this quote to the forefront of my attention and actively listen. 

listen

Is It Truthful? Is It Necessary? Is It Timely? Is It Kind?

I don’t remember where I first saw this little saying, but it stuck with me and I’ve seen it pop up in many places since then. It showed up again yesterday morning so I decided to make it my intention of the day, and when I realized how difficult it actually is to implement, I decided to keep it as today’s intention as well:

beforeyouspeak

 

Another Week of Good Intentions

Monday’s the best day to set some intentions for the week, eh? In addition to today’s, here’s last week’s batch of daily intentions (in case you missed them on Instagram and Twitter):

9.24.13: Be generous (even with myself).

9.25.13: Learn something new. Side Note: You know that old saying, “You learn something new every day”? One year, I think it was in the 8th or 9th grade, I actually wrote down what I learned every day for the entire year. See? I’ve always been like this. 

9.26.13: Express gratitude.

9:27.13: Go for a run.

9.28.13: Do 1 thing that’s been on my “to-do” list forever—and ok, while I didn’t complete the afore mentioned “thing”, I got about 95% of the way through it so at least there’s that right? Next up after this blog post is taking care of that last 5%.

9.29.13: Give everyone the benefit of the doubt (I work with the general public, sometimes this can be a real challenge).

9.30.13: Fill the day with equal parts productivity and relaxation—it’s my day off after all.

So, I know what you guys are thinking, “Wait Danne, it’s September 30th, what’s on the agenda for next month?”. Not so fast. Since I jumped into this month a little late and ended up only doing a “half-lent”, I’ve decided to extend it into October (and also because October’s lent is going to be a 21-Day challenge—anyone want to guess what it is?). So, you can expect to read about my daily intentions until October 10th, when I’ll switch gears and jump into what’s next on the lent line-up.

Until then, it’s time to move away from productivity and onto relaxation—happy last day of September! Anyone else in denial that summer’s over? This misplaced beach bum certainly is.

goforarun

todolist

 

Intention Setting, Week 2

As predicted, last week was a bit of a doozy (in a beautiful, yogic sort of way) and my time to do anything besides drive back and forth to Kalamazoo, practice yoga, and eat, was severely limited. A new week is upon us though, and tier one of my training has concluded so I’m back to a somewhat normal schedule for the time being. In fact, I’m in the midst of enjoying a real day off right now, complete with a mani/pedi and some sunbathing on the back porch. Ahhh, that’s more like it…

Here’s what you missed intention-wise while I was busy getting bendy and blissed-out last week:

9.17.13: Oh boy, this day was a real test in vairagya. My normal 1.5 hour commute to teacher training ended up taking a solid 3 hours due to an accident on the highway, making me over an hour late to Sangha. As much as I tried to let it go and keep it from getting the best of me, it really put a damper on my day (I was extra bummed because the traffic made me miss a good chunk of the lecture on twists, my absolute favorite, which was the asana category being covered that day). Daily intention to the rescue though, right? I tried, I did. In fact, I wrote down 7 intentions during my lunch break that I tried desperately to adhere to for the remainder of the day, but I just couldn’t snap out of the funk I was in. So…I made the intention to accept that I was mentally and physically exhausted and that it was ok. Every day isn’t going to be perfect and bad days happen to the best of us. Tomorrow is a new day, always.

9.18.13: Release all expectations. A quote from my yoga teacher Karina: “An expectation is a disappointment that hasn’t happened yet”.

9.19.13: Self doubt. Remember this quote from Gabrielle Bernstein’s  May Cause Miracles talk at Wanderlust Vermont: “What we admire in others is the parts of ourselves that we may not have developed or expressed yet”. YES.

9.20.13: Don’t pass judgement on others, or at least become aware of how often I do.

9.21.13 (my last day of training): Commit to following through with my YTT homework for the next few months: asana, meditation, bandha, and relaxation practice, reading, and a book report (ha!).

9.22.13: That time I forgot to take off the Sunday after my 8-day yoga training and had to work all day. Yep. I was so tired that I couldn’t even conjure up one lousy intention besides just making it through the day. Does that count?

9.23.13: RELAX (yes, I have to tell myself to do this)

expectations

p.s. Happy Fall!

 

My First 5 Intentions

I may have written the introductory “Intention Journal” blog post last night, but I’ve been logging my intentions for the past few days—I just couldn’t seem to find a spare half hour to get that first post together, it’s a busy time over here in Wagis-World. Now that we’re up and running though, let me share what I’ve recorded so far:

9.12.13: Take Action.

9.13.13: Allow myself time to prepare. Get a good night’s sleep.

9.14.13: Be confident. Be vulnerable (can you tell this was inspired by my first day of yoga teacher training?).

9.15.13: Replace a negative thought with a positive one.

9.16.13: Practice (this is the key word here) vairagya: detachment, stepping back and letting go of that which does not serve me.

Are any of these resonating with you too? What was your intention for the day?

September’s Half-Lent: The Intention Journal

Greetings from Ann Arbor, Michigan! My new home away from home, where the people are friendlier and the lakes are bigger—like, way bigger (and also where they call liquor stores “Party Stores”, which is kind of awesome, right?). Before I get down to lent business though, I just wanted to extend a quick “thank you” to everyone for bearing with me during this move. Having time off from blogging was 100% necessary for me to wind down my time in Boston and to settle into my new life in the midwest, and I’m grateful for your patience with my infrequent posting. That being said, I think I’m ready to get back at it. Ready…set…lent!

My goal was to do a full challenge for September, but um, yeah…moving was moving (ie. it sucked all the life out of me), I dove full-force into work (I’ve only had one real day off since we rolled into town), and oh yeah, I started a 200-hour yoga teacher training yesterday at Sangha Yoga in Kalamazoo, MI. Woah, slow down Dzenawagis…aren’t you taking on a little too much?

Probably, but hey, at least I’m busy with practicing yoga and meditation all day, right? Could be worse. Besides being a little tired, I’m feeling good, so I’m going with it for the time being. Things will slow down again soon enough, it’s all part of the ebb and flow.

But I digress…

So, I was at the Paper Source the other day and stumbled on this little gem which totally sparked my lent-brain: an intention journal.

intentionjournal

Basically, it’s a cute little 388 page book full of blank pages prompting you to fill in the date and continue the sentence: “Starting today, I will…” Here’s what the description on the back of the book says:

“Whether you’d like to focus on the present, be a better listener, or give people the benefit of the doubt, writing down your daily intentions allows you to live each day a little bit better. Filled with a year’s worth of insightful prompts and inspiring quotes, this keepsake journal provides a space for you to discover your true intentions and become the person you want to be—starting today”.

SOLD.

So, for what’s left of this month I’m doing a sort-of “half-lent” and recording a personal daily intention each morning. I’ll be sharing them here on the blog, but be warned—yoga school might take over this week, so check Instagram and Twitter if I go missing again.

Does anyone want to share a daily intention of their own? I’d love to see some of yours too.