Deciding what you want and naming it is often considered the first step to success. I'm not so good at this. Setting personal intentions is tough for me. Before the yoga class is over, I've often lost sight of the intention I set during the first mountain pose.
Goal setting? My skills are poor. As I’ve mentioned, I’m still working to actually identify my goals on a regular basis so that I have something concrete to work towards. I've always been kind of soft in this area. I think my subconscious reasoning was that if I don't set a goal then I haven't really failed if I don't achieve it. The reality is that I'd have a much greater chance for success if I had an actual plan. A vision.
I see this now.
I'm intrigued by the current trend to pick a word at the start of the new year and then hold that word as a reminder and compass for the following 365 days. This practice makes some sense to me. I rather like the idea of having a word to guide my actions and decisions during a specific time period.
A touchstone of sorts.
I'm pretty good with challenges. Especially those having clear directions and manageable time parameters.
So, I’ve decided to dive in and try it.
Knowing my limits, I’m starting with one month.
I’m naming my intentions for the month of May.
I’ve chosen four words...
and yes, that might be too many, but I’m going all in!
The fifth month of 2017 is a big one for my family. Peter will turn 16. Greta will graduate from high school. We'll have two permitted drivers. Henry will finish his freshman year.
Lots of wonderful milestones to celebrate!
And lots of very busy days.
My four words for the month of May...
Memories- I’m expecting May to be filled with lots of emotions. I want to feel them all. The memories of my teenagers as little kids come to mind quickly now. I’m feeling all the feels of having my first child on the cusp of adulthood...with the other two right on her heels. I want to get a bit lost in the sweet memories of them as children. I want to cherish how far they’ve come.
And, I want to make wonderful memories as we celebrate the incredible ‘big kids’ they’ve are now. I plan to enjoy the time we'll spend with family and friends. Soaking in the joy and being present every possible minute.
Meditation- Intellectually, I’m an excellent meditator. In actuality, my practice is spotty. I’d like that to change. I’m committed to sitting on my cushion every day. Some days it might only be for two minutes, but I’ve learned that once I begin sitting...sitting regularly becomes much easier.
So, I’ll sit. No excuses. Just my butt on the cushion and my breath flowing.
Simple...right? Not so much, but I know that the benefits are worth the difficulty of trying to fit meditation into my days. My mind is noticeably calmer when I meditate regularly...and currently, I need that more than ever:-)
Manifesting- I think maybe it's the pending tuition payments, but I need an attitude adjustment. I’ve been stuck in a mindset of lack. I’ve spent too much time worrying about money and feeling like there’s never enough. I realize that I control what I think about...and I attract more of what I think about...it’s time to shift my thinking.
Abundance is everywhere....just take a peek outside. Countless leaves and flowers, and blades of grass. Plenty of air and sky and earth. I’ll be focusing on that and I will begin to attract exactly what I need.
Marriage- On May 18th, Matthew and I will celebrate 21 years of marriage. That’s a long time. I’m super proud of our happy marriage. We've worked hard over the past two decades to keep our love real and fresh and strong.
Matthew recently started a new job. He’s in charge of a cool new wine brand called St. Mayhem. His new role is challenging and exciting and time consuming. He's busy. Over the years, we've noticed that when one of us has a very full plate, our connection can sometimes suffer.
In May, I'll look for ways to improve our marriage and keep us steady even when life feels almost too full. Instead of being frustrated by Matthew's longer workdays and increased travel, I'll choose gratitude. I’m very thankful for his enormous contribution to our family...so I will work to welcome the mayhem.
Sometimes we both need to be reminded of what makes us so good together. Our anniversary month is the perfect time to reflect on our past and plan for our future.
Seems like I have my work cut out for me during the 31 days of May.
I like a challenge and I always work better with an outline...
Mmm, then maybe I should start setting goals and intentions more often, huh?
One step at a time.
What will you commit to for the month of May?
Will you pick a word or four? Which ones feel right to you?
I so enjoy reading your comments. You inspire me! I learn from your challenges and solutions. Thank you for sharing.
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Please help! Any tips for making it through your child’s high school graduation? I’ve been listening to Pomp and Circumstance for months trying to prepare myself and still can’t get through it without weeping:-)
Thanks for following along.
Photos by the amazing Teresa Nora Trobbe. You can find her at Fotos by T. She's also responsible for making me feel sexy.
If you have littles...
Believe what 'they' say. It all goes incredibly fast! One day you'll find yourself here.
Sitting on the far edge of your baby's childhood.
The days are long, but the years are indeed very short.
Try not to miss too much by tending to the stuff that doesn't matter:-)
It's happening. Slowly, but surely, I’m beginning to believe that there’s actually something to the much talked about and celebrated act of being present. Until recently, I didn’t fully realize the incredible power of this seemingly small act. The reality is that ‘living in the present moment’ or ‘coming back to the Now’, though simple, is not at all easy. Such a basic concept….become aware of your breathing and of this very moment...nothing else.
Why is the practice so mind-blowingly difficult?!
The idea of mindful living isn’t new to me. I’ve been hearing about and reading about the Now for years...Jon Kabat-Zin, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chödrön...I read their words, yet only absorbed a few.
Obviously, I wasn’t really ready for the message until recently. I understood the idea and the benefits of staying present, but I wasn’t living it.
Grasping something intellectually is definitely not the same thing as actually doing it.
I was happily comprehending, but not really doing the work. I was playing it safe and then wondering why nothing was changing. Kind of foolish, huh?
Everyone is different, but for me Eckhart Tolle and two of his books were like lightning bolts.
For the past few months, I have been re-reading Mr. Tolle’s words and working towards becoming more present.
I’m all in. 100% committed to really living more of each day in the Now.
Well, I’d love to report that I’m fully enlightened, spending each and every day fully conscious and as a byproduct, my life is blissfully perfect.
Nope. Not even close.
But...something is different.
Things are happening, shifting, changing as a result of my paying more attention to Now.
Please know that there are still enormous chunks of time that pass with my mind in complete control. I’m lost inside the sea of thoughts with absolutely no regard for the present moment.
In those times,
I remain unbelievably unaware that I’m unaware. Crazy.
However, when I finally return from all the thinking, from what seems a bit like a dream, I’m able to recognize that I’ve been ‘gone’ and then happily stay present for a few seconds.
Sadly, it seems that a few seconds at a time of present moment living is all most people can manage. It’s ridiculously difficult to stay present in the midst of our full lives. It’s even difficult when sitting in silent meditation. Wacky really.
Our mind wants to call all the shots and if we don’t wake up...it does. Filling us with worry, anxiety, stress, anger, fear...that all seem very real and almost impossible to escape.
If you are one of the lucky humans who’s already figured this out, I applaud you and I’m a bit envious. I feel like I’m late to the mindfulness party.
But, in this instance I’m banking on…”better late than never”.
Ready to try it for yourself?
It's not too late to start...
If you haven’t read The Power of Now and A New Earth (both by Eckhart Tolle), begin there. Check them out of your local library or order them from Amazon. Both (used) books combined will cost less than $25. I’m honestly feeling like they were the best investment I’ve made in years.
Seems obvious, but I’ve been known to buy a book with great intentions and then never actually crack it open. You’ve got to commit to reading the words.
Notice the Now.
Start catching the present moment. Once you get the hang of it, the act of recognizing the Now becomes a little game. Try and see how often you can be present in an hour or an afternoon. Be prepared to fail miserably and then laugh at yourself.
The wonderful thing is that the present moment continues to repeat itself over and over again for the rest of your life. Every day we are given 86,400 seconds to try again. Lots of opportunities for success
Watch for changes..this has been the most remarkable part for me. I never imagined that by being more present in my life I’d begin to see things with so much clarity. Sure, I’d read about that happening for other people, but my expectations were low. Mind blown.
Here’s a bit of what I’m experiencing…
I enjoy the foamy milk on my morning coffee
I actually hear the laughter of my children
I notice my husband’s beautiful blue eyes
I feel the energy of the plants in my home
I’m drawn in by the flicker of a candle flame
I hear music more deeply
I’m in complete awe of the power of a sunrise or a sunset
and here's a less cliche example...
I recently had an exchange with my youngest son that made us both aware of how much I’m shifting. .
During a school day, I received the following text from Henry regarding his cell phone.
“Crap, I wrecked my screen...it still works, but it’s super broken”.
The truth is that a new iPhone isn’t really in the budget right now. I sincerely wish that his phone wasn’t going to need to be replaced any time soon.
However, as a result of the simple yet profound words of my new guru:-), Eckhart Tolle...I chose to accept the situation as it is.
I didn’t resist and become angry or irritated.
I was able to reply to my son’s text with kindness and compassion and presence of mind.
After exchanging a few texts about the phone situation, he actually wrote…
“Thanks for being so kind about this. I was worried.”
(as in, he was worried I’d completely freak out...and I’m sure I would have a few months ago)
If I’d tried to find a real life example of the power of Now...I couldn’t have come up with one this meaningful. It matter how I treat people. Being present helps me be a better person.
My actions and reactions are changing.
I know this maybe sounds corny, hokey or far out. And I agree.
But I also know that I’m seeing things differently. And the most bizarre part is that I can actually FEEL it happening. It’s wild! And it’s wonderful.
How well do you manage to stay present throughout the day? What's your best tip? Please share! I always enjoy learning what works for others.
Thank you for being here. Questions and comments are always welcome.
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It's been a while since I've shared my most favorite things at Anthropologie. That's partially because I don't shop much during the winter. It's such a transitional time for both weather and retail inventories that I prefer to wait until the spring styles have arrived in stores. And this year, since I've been focusing on creating a new vision for my wardrobe, it's been easier to resist buying...even during the post-holiday sales.
For the past several weeks, we've been receiving new merchandise at Anthropologie almost daily! It's such an exciting time to be in the store. The visual displays have a fresh feel (like those gorgeous handmade flowers pictured above) and the clothing and home goods are incredible!
It was hard to narrow down my choices for this post. I've included pieces I own or want to own...or pieces that look amazing on my customers. For this round-up I've stayed with fairly classic styles since that's my vibe and I feel they're super wearable for all ages and body types.
Note: This is not an affiliate post. As always, all opinions are my own and I'm not compensated in any way for sharing my faves.
Here's what I'm currently crushing on at Anthropologie...
Shimmered Tee $58
I loved this tee the minute I saw it in the April catalog. It's fabulous! The fabric is soft with just the right about of sparkle for warmer weather. I found it runs a bit big, I bought an XS. I can't wait to wear it! (In the photo it appears almost iridescent or mother of pearl, it's not. It's just a good gold with dark flecks)
Relaxed Chino Pants $88
You probably already know about my obsession with chinos. I love them! This season, Pilcro chinos have been replaced with Chino by Anthropologie. At first, I was concerned...don't mess with a good thing. However, I'm happy to report that I love these new chinos even more! They're softer and slightly looser. Great seam detail at the ankle. I'm 5'6" and I can cuff or roll the hem for the same length as shown on the model. Tons of colors!
Crewneck Swing Tank Top $68
Awesome basic with a little fair! The fabric is a lightweight French terry cloth. It has the best (subtle) puff sleeve. The swing of this top is dynamite. It's a glorified white t-shirt with pizzazz! And it's also available in other colors:-)
Nighttide Jumpsuit $128
I'm not usually drawn to jumpsuits for my own wardrobe. I only sometimes like them on others. This one is making me rethink my position. What a perfect piece. The fit of this jumpsuit is spot on. It can be dressed up or down. Great for travel. If you've been wanting to try one...this is a super entry-level jumpsuit.
Crewneck Swing Tank Top $68
I've been searching for great basic tanks. This one is terrific. It's not too long, It has cool detailing. It's sleeveless but covers your bra strap. I grabbed it in navy and in white. I realize it's a little pricey for a tank top, but I really love the fit and fabric and colors....so I invested.
If you're ever wondering about a piece from Anthropologie, just ask me.
Post your question in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm happy to offer my honest thoughts on fit, sizing, fabric, quality, etc. After all, I want you to have your own Anthro Faves!
Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend!
I'm really hunkering down this spring and soaking in all of the family time I possibly can, Thanks for your patience if this space takes a back seat for a bit.
In addition to holding my people close, I'm also working on a new course, an Instagram revamp and a different blog format. I'm extremely excited to share it all with you...probably in a month or two.
Want a hint?
Think S I M P L E....
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Thank you for following along.
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,