Today’s intention is:
Give your family time.
Give your friends attention.
Give yourself a break.
My first good night’s sleep
The lead story below was written with my friend and fellow Student of Intention, Ryan Kearney. I want to collaborate with more folks from the community for posts and podcasts. Let us know what you think and if you like what you read, please subscribe and share with a friend or two of yours.
It’s quiet. As I open my eyes, I sense I was traveling through space. Or maybe I was just dreaming.
One pillow sits under my knees and one holds each of my arms by my side while I lie on my back. The instructor helped me get comfortable during an afternoon yoga class then I dozed off.
Where did everyone go? I think.
I look at the clock and it's almost noon. Class ended an hour ago. I feel puzzled and yet, amazingly refreshed. I’m buzzing with energy. I’m joyful, relaxed and attentive.
I am working to heal an injured ankle by dedicating consistent time to yoga. For 23 days, I’ve practiced yoga flows and intentional breathing for 90 minutes each day. I am new to yoga and so is my commitment to it. I expected the returned flexibility in my ankle but did not anticipate these waves of euphoria.
Even music sounds different. I’ve worked out at this Equinox for a year but never remember the music sounding so distinct. David, the manager of the gym, walks toward me.
“Did you get a new sound system?” I ask.
“What are you talking about?” He replies.
“The music sounds better… more clear. It sounds like y'all installed a new stereo or something.”
David shrugs, “Nope. Maybe you’re just digging the music today more than usual.”
Hmm, something is going on with me here.
When I take a shower, the soap smells better. The lavender scent extends gracefully up my nose and tickles my mind. Later, I get into my car and it looks incredible. There’s a noticeable freshness to it. Everything around me seems astonishingly vibrant and my mood is still euphoric.
This is rad. I think.
At home that night, I get into bed and set my pillows just how my yoga teacher, Jeanie, taught me in class. Then I think about her instructions as she told us to close our eyes. I remember Jeanie calmly say:
“Breath in your nose and into your belly softly. Then out your belly softly and out your nose softly. Continue breathing like this and count each breath until you reach 108. Your mind may wander and that is not good or bad. If it does, just start back at one. If you find yourself in a dream-like state and your breath fades away, don’t worry about coming back to your count. Take rest. Fully relax.”
I do as I remember and begin counting to 108.
One… two… three… four...
I breathe in my nose softly. Then out my belly softly.
My breath fades away. I relax and take rest.
Seven hours later, I wake up with a pillow under my knees and one holding each of my arms by my side. My body lay precisely positioned as it was when I began counting. I’ve never slept so peacefully. I sense I experienced
My own little miracle.
The past 23 days have been challenging. Running out of my door to yoga class each morning feels like a time suck. Some days I hate the idea of doing it. But I feel the benefits.
My lower back has loosened, my neck feels less tense and my ankle is more mobile.
I’ve gained a clear mind, sharper senses and better sleep.
Fast forward ten years and I’ve practiced yoga almost every day.
My commitment those first 23 days showed me a new way to live. What began as healing my ankle provided more valuable lifestyle benefits than I thought possible. No more lying in bed for hours trying to fall asleep. No more tossing and turning.
It made the soap smell better and the music sound clearer.
I realized daily commitment is my secret to any upgrade I want to make in my life.
It can be your secret too.
What upgrades do you want to make?
What valuable lifestyle benefits might be possible?
Who knows. You might sleep peacefully or find a new way to live.
You just might experience your own little miracle.
Mother of Pearl!
Over the weekend, I recorded the audio portion of my book, The 5 Buckets, with my friend, Chris. Reading out loud for 3 hours is challenging. But it serves as a good metaphor for living with intention.
For a moment, the words come out smoothly with solid pace and tone. I'm in flow and feel aligned with The Universe. All is well.
Then, all of a sudden, two words combine into one and I say a sound that doesn't make sense. My stumble leads to temporary pain and frustration. All is lost.
As I suggest in this clip, when you encounter challenges, write down your intentions.
When you feel sidetracked, beaten or unmotivated, write down your intentions.
Action is the answer.
Before you know it, the stumble is forgotten and that smooth flow returns.
I’m working with a designer to finalize the interior design of the book all this week. It’s a fascinating and challenging part of the process I didn’t anticipate. I appreciate you following along and staying patient. Next, I’ll work with the publisher on printing and distribution.
Stay tuned for updates each week and when it’s time, I’d love your support launching, reading and implementing, The 5 Buckets - A Framework for Living with Intention.
The discomfort of growth
More than one thing can be true.
While action is the answer, it can also feel brutal to push forward.
I had a particularly challenging past week. At times, I felt sidetracked, beaten and unmotivated. At times, all felt lost.
In his weekly newsletter, James Clear references the challenges of growth by highlighting a passage by Alice Walker:
I write this newsletter to share lessons from my journey.
Some lessons feel fun, exciting and inspirational.
Some feel anything but pleasant.
Regardless, I share them all.
Because it’s all a part of growth.
It’s all a part of living with intention.
Don’t wait. Start small. Learn as you go.