sisflower

Thoughts on living


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Setting Your Intentions

How do you think of yourself?  What kind of person are you?  How would you describe who you are?  Normally, I think I just ‘know’ who I am.  I’ve been this way my whole life, right?  I’m nice, friendly, sweet, a little shy, creative and loving.  I don’t have to ‘think’ about it.  I just am.  But… am I these things and how does everyone else know who I am?  

Recently, my friend John asked me about who I ‘intend’ to be.  What are my ‘intentions’ about showing people who I am?  “What are you talking about?”, I thought.  People know who I am!  I have friends who have known me my whole life!  Others not as long, but I think they ‘know’ me.  But he really got me thinking.  Do I live an ‘intentional’ life?  Or, do I routinely go through my days, doing what I always do; going to work, interacting pleasantly with others, coming home to my daughter and making dinner, playing with my dogs, visiting the neighbor or talking to my family.  When I thought about it, there’s very little I do ‘intentionally’.  I don’t even think about most of the things I just listed above.  I just do them, with very little thought at all.  

So, I started to think about what I’m doing.  What do I want other to know about me?  How do I want others to perceive me?  Am I showing those that I come into contact with, all of those qualities that I think people should notice in me?  Do I show others I care and that I’m loving, understanding and compassionate?   If I think about intending to show those qualities throughout my day, something exciting happens!  I actually become more of who I think I am by demonstrating those qualities!!  The definition of Intentions is: a purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct.  If I intend to show my daughter that I love her, I actually think of ways to do it… a hug, a special note in her lunch, taking time to listen to her about her day.  Do I show my dogs I love them and care about their comfort?  If I’m intentional, I purposely cuddle with them, or take them for a long walk even though I may be tired from the day.  My attitude towards putting others before myself becomes more prominent when done with intention.  I let others go ahead of me in line, I offer to help someone with their packages when they try to exit the bus with their arms filled, I give someone change for the snack machine when they don’t have enough, I smile at a stranger, I offer to help someone in need.   

There’s a difference between doing things with a purpose and just doing things because we just always do them.  Set an intention tomorrow.  Show others your compassion or practice patience.  See if it doesn’t start to transform your life!  


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Mindful living

 

 


It starts as soon as the alarm goes off (or the third time you hit the snooze button), your day begins and you get out of bed, thinking about what you need to do before you run out the door to go to work.  You plan what clothes to wear while you’re taking a shower, you plan your lunch as you forage through the refrigerator, you plan out your day while you take the dogs out for their morning walk.  You’re thoughts are constantly on the go.  Even as you sit on the bus, or drive your car, you’re thinking about the upcoming tasks of the day.  How will your day go?  Will your boss give you extra work today?  Will the client show up early for the meeting?  Are you prepared for the meeting?  The thoughts whirl though your daily tasks, checking them off, one-by-one, as you think ahead to the next.  It doesn’t end at the end of your work day – even on the drive home, you have to think about what to make for dinner.  Will the kids need much help with their homework?  Do I need to pay bills tonight?

When do you take time for yourself, to stop, breathe, live in the present moment and appreciate what is around you?Tonight, as I walked my dogs, I inhaled the cold air and felt it fill up my lungs.  I gazed at the setting sun, a beautiful orange ball that turned the surrounding sky light pink and purple.  I watched the sun shimmer through the evergreen trees and hide behind the bare branches of the tall Oak trees that are yearning for Spring to appear, so they can begin to bud.  I saw squirrels playing, one chasing the other down a tree and into some brush, to play hide and seek.  I looked at the bark on the trees and felt their majesty vibrating with life.  I watched my dogs run into the wet grass ahead of me, thankful to be out of the house.  I took it all in.  I immersed myself in the present moment.  I felt my mind slow down, my heart calm itself in the tranquil setting.  I felt one with nature.

Whenever the day gets too busy and stressful, take a moment and look around, calm your mind, find some beauty in  your surroundings, think about focusing your thoughts in the present moment.  Even if your day is not busy, we need this practice to feel one with the world.  Are you the harried person who is always worried about what the next moment will bring?  Do you go about your day like a robot, just continually going from one moment into the next without ever  ‘experiencing’ the present moment?  How can you call that living, when you don’t take time to reflect on you, what’s around  you, or just to enjoy a moment?

I hope you will take a moment to sit back, relax, close your eyes, empty your mind.  Turn off your thoughts.  Try to ignore the sounds around you by focusing on one, single moment.  Notice your breath.  Inhale and let the air fill your lungs.  Feel them expand.  Hold it for one second and then gently exhale through your nose.  Feel the air rush out your nostrils.  Experience one peaceful, genuine moment.  Do this for as long as it takes for you to feel relaxed, free, unburdened.  This is mindful living.