Sunday, November 10, 2013

Living a Life of Intention

Observing a moment of silence while breathing deeply can give us just the space we need to focus our attention and our thoughts on being completely present in the moment. Setting aside time for serenity seems like such a good way to start the day, or to start over a day that's not going the way we'd like.  

I am learning about setting an intention. The Buddhist saying is, "When the student is ready, the teacher will come." I am so grateful for some strong women who have shown up in my life just lately. I am so grateful for a teacher and author, a young yoga instructor, and a famous researcher.

It has been my pleasure to attend a book study group on the weeks that I am in our little town with a small group of friends. We are studying Seeking the Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Debbie Ford. Before our class starts, Erin invites us to close our eyes and focus on our breathing as she guides us through a centering exercise. 

We are encouraged to set aside any worries or concerns we may have brought with us, just for the duration of the class, if we're comfortable doing that. We are to clear our minds. 

It only takes a few moments to set an intention, but it always relaxes me, and helps me let go of any troubling thoughts I may have brought with me. I find myself centering myself throughout the day when I feel stressed or anxious.

When Sierra and I attended Lexi's yoga class at the Lakeshore Athletic Club near our hotel in Westminster, Colorado, we spent 90 minutes focusing on our breathing, and being aware of our bodies.  

Before we began class in the expansive, dimly lit room, we set our yoga mats on the wood floors, and listened to the soft sound of meditation bells in the background. Lexi set an intention for us: loving everyone and everything in our lives. Throughout the session, she would remind us of our intention, and she would bring our minds back to the present moment. All day long, I felt gratitude in my heart for getting to spend Sierra's twenty-fourth birthday with her, and for this opportunity to travel to the Denver area to be with my kids. (I am providing a link for Lexi's blog here about Mindfulness in Movement.)  

Watching Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, featuring Brené Brown, has given me a new perspective. Brené begins each day with an intention. Her value is always courage. She reminds herself that because her value is courage, there will be uncomfortable moments throughout the day, but that is okay. I am learning to "lean into the discomfort" so I can learn the lessons that are presented to me, and will continue to be presented to me until I learn the lessons that are there for me.

This morning I set my yoga mat in front of the sliding glass doors facing the eastern sky. The sun was beginning to edge out the darkness. In the background, soft meditation bells helped me slow my breathing. Relaxing into the moment, I stretched out some of the tightness of my still-wakening body. My thoughts turned to courage and love. I set my intention of living in an awareness of love for my family and friends, and I reminded myself that my value is courage. I am learning to welcome each moment as it comes, for the joy and the lessons that are available to me by accepting them. 

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