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.

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Lent Vacation: Weeks 2 & 3

Hello!

I thought I’d take a little break from my lent vacation to say hello and catch up before I disappear into the great moving abyss of 2013 (T-Minus 10 days, holy…). Here’s what’s been happening over in my world since I last wrote:

  • I had an awesome time at lululemon’s leadership conference in Vancouver last week. I met tons of amazing ladies and lads of luon from all over, listened to some pretty incredible guest speakers, like davidji and Scott Harrison of Charity Water to name a few, hashed out what my top 5 core values are with the help of my sweet new deck of value cards (for the record they’re: adventure, freedom, creativity, simplicity, and connection), figured out what my “Winning Formula” is (which probably means something totally different than you think it does), and ate lots of delicious local Vancouver-fare while taking in the beautiful views of the water and the mountains—which just so happen to be situated right next to each other. Amazing, eh? You’re a pretty city Vancouver, I’ll be back.
  • After my Canadian adventure, I took the Greyhound down to Seattle where I reunited with my long-lost west coast cousins for some seafood on the pier and some majorly-overdue catch-up and family time. It was so great to see them—and Seattle too, which I had never been to before. I’ll be back for you too, Seattle, you pretty little city, you…
  • Then my amazing cousins were gracious enough to drive me all the way down to Portland, Oregon so I could spend the last leg of my trip visiting one my favorite ladies, Miss Jess Powers (you may remember her from this memory). I had the best time on the beautiful farm she runs with her main-farm-man Brian, and I spent the weekend in good company, slowing down, soaking it all in, and taking a much needed pause—not to mention eating some of the best meals I’ve had all summer. Talk about farm to table…

And now I’m back on the east coast, keeping plenty busy wrapping things up at work, getting psyched about my new store (how awesome is this video they made btw?), planning and packing for the move, making the rounds to visit friends and loved ones, and filling all the moments in between watching this kitten live stream. Thank God for kittens, right?

So that’s what’s going on over here friends. I’ll update as much as I can over the next few weeks, but stay tuned to Twitter and Instagram for more frequent updates between posting.

I’ll leave you with a few shots from my trip:

Vancouver looks a little bit like this...

Vancouver looks a little bit like this…

The leadership conference in a  nutshell

The leadership conference in a nutshell

Pretty, pretty Seattle

You’re a fine looking city, Seattle

This is what greeted me at Working Hands Farm

This is what greeted me at Working Hands Farm

Floatin' down the Yamhill River...

Floatin’ down the Yamhill River…

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week, In Regular Life…

This is the first month in 2 or 3 years that I haven’t had some crazy personal challenge to complete and honestly…it’s kind of weird…but also kind of awesome. Because practicing 12 months of “lent” has become a way of life for me, I’ve adapted to it, and have honestly kind of forgotten what it’s like to live without my self-imposed restraints. Not having a lent has become a challenge in it’s own right—especially to someone who thrives on structure (you should have seen me when I was unemployed, oh baby).

It’s been nice to have a bit of a “break” though (don’t let the word break fool you, I’m still doing plenty of work), and to have one less thing to check off my to-do list. So yeah, I’m kind of diggin’ regular life so far. Lent vacation might just become an annual tradition…

So what on Earth have I been doing with myself? Well, I’ve started the purging and packing process. Last time I was at my parent’s house my Mom lovingly forced me to take all my childhood possessions home with me so I’ve been going through that with some success (and some pretty great Instagram pics). Tonight I’m heading over to a friend’s house for girl’s night with all my childhood besties, and tomorrow I’m going down to the Cape for a wedding this weekend. Then it’s packing for my west coast trip, which I leave for on Monday, eee!

And omg, my Sanuk Yoga Slings came in the mail today and I’m OBSESSED. Most comfortable shoes ever and they’re made of recycled yoga mats. Woah. Woah…

Off for girl-talk, vino, and pedicures though. Sounds like a perfect night, ja?

How cute is this old card I found from my brother?

How cute is this old card I found from my brother?

highschoolnotes

Every single high school note I ever received. Woah…

myjewerlybox

My childhood jewelrybox

 

August’s Lent: The “No Lent” Lent

When I started brainstorming ideas for August’s challenge, there were a lot of variables to consider. Besides it being Summer and just generally busier than most times of year, I have 2 pretty big things going on this month that I wasn’t sure how to work around lent-wise:

  1. I’m traveling for a week to Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland—partially for work, partially for fun. I was chosen to attend lululemon’s annual Leadership Conference in Vancouver and was able to extend my trip for a few days to visit some friends and family in the Pacific Northwest. I literally cannot wait, which luckily I don’t really have to because I leave a week from today, woohoo!
  2. We’re moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan at the end of the month (this is where my boyfriend’s family lives for anyone wondering why Michigan), and as we all know, moving (especially to a different state) can be all-consuming—not to mention a pretty big deal for a girl who’s never lived outside of the Northeast. Anyone have any words of encouragement on navigating this transition for me? I’m happily accepting submissions.

So yeah, since this month has a considerable amount of traveling, packing, goodbye-rounds-making, loose-end-tying, and long-distance driving, I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to commit to for a challenge—especially with this case of lazy summer brain haze I’ve got going on…

I went back and forth with a number of ideas before reminding myself that the whole point of this blog in the first place is to take on challenges that will improve my life in some way—not just to do them for the sake of doing them. Before the start of each month it’s always important to ask myself: What do I need right now? What would be the best thing for me? 

And honestly right now…it’s a break.

A month to enjoy myself and my homestate before things get a little hectic and unstable for a while. A month to make beach dates with friends, visit my family, be fully present for my trip out to the Pacific Northwest, thoroughly prepare for my move, and to center before my balance is tested. I’ve got a lot going on right now, and I honestly don’t think I have the room to add something to the mix. I mentally can’t afford something else to be accountable for. I need to just be and to get through this month stress free (or as close to it as possible).

So I hope you don’t think it’s a cop out, but this month my challenge is to have no challenge: the “no lent” lent. To take care of myself in preparation for a big life change, and to focus my efforts on soaking up these last few weeks of New England summer. 

Don’t worry though, I’ll still be writing—it just won’t be as specific to one topic as it’s traditionally been. And I’ve got September and October’s challenges all lined up so rest assured that lent is totally on for the fall.