Intentional Intentions

At the start of a new year it's only natural to set an intention. To focus in on your visions. But it's even easier and sometimes more natural to forget them completely or lose sight of how important they are.

So my new years intention is all about Being Intentional
Over our first 11 days of the year I've been keeping this morning ritual and I can see it already changing my life. I hope it offers you that and more! Here's why I insist on waking up 30 minutes earlier than absolutely necessary each morning:

Often the first thought in my head upon hearing my alarm in the morning is 'Not yet!!!' or something along the lines of 'I don't want to get up yet!' which is fairly common and not 'wrong' per se. But it is technically a negative thought. Now that's not to say it's a particularly bad thought, just the simple fact that in terms of black and white 'not' and 'don't' are negative words.

This leads to me to my next thought... If you have a negative thought, your next thought is more likely to be negative. And once you've had a series of negative thoughts, well we've all been down that spiral. Needless to say, this doesn't necessarily mean you wind up in a black hole by dinner everyday, but I know that I have the power to increase the positive conversations in my internal dialogue, ultimately leading to more positive experiences in my external world.

This is not only because of my conscious decision to be mindful every morning , resulting in changing my perspective, but also because my tendency to observe more positivity will then attract more positive experiences to me. Ha, what a win.

Today, I noticed I was especially grateful for my clean kitchen and my clean kitchen towel. Like, smiling and gently caressing my hand towel kind of grateful. And even better, I was mindful enough to think 'Oh sick! My daily mindfulness and gratitude practice is working! I am so stoked to appreciate things MORE!'

So here's my ritual. Simple, yet effective.

  • Wake up 30 minutes early. Every. Single. Morning.
  • After my morning routine is complete, I SIT. I personally wait until I have everything together and ready to go before I sit, so that my mind isn't flooded with my morning 'to do's' during my practice.

 

Step 1: SITTING
I sit with myself. I light some sage and assess my state.

Is my mind cloudy? Am I dreading something? Am I eager to take on the day? Is my mind busy or clear? I study my self. I give my mind space to be a mind. And then I determine what tool I can use most at that moment.

  • -a pranayama technique to energize or detoxify? perhaps balance or ground?
  • -the sacred sounds of singing bowls to cut through the external and internal noise and align me into my center?
  • -silence to simply observe and give space to my current state of being?
  • -a guided meditation to go on an explorative journey
  • -affirmations or mantras
  • -potentially many other things!

Once I've determined the appropriate tool I offer mySelf this service to fill my cup for the morning or day.

This is anywhere from 3-30 minutes or more if it's a weekend/I have the luxury to spend more time on mySelf!

 

Step 2: Drop into the Heart
Boom, heart space.

Consciously shifting the residence of your awareness from your mind to your heart is an even more powerful gift than your previous breathing exercise or meditation!
I like to draw a line from the organ in my skull to the organ in my chest and I energetically trace my consciousness through my throat into my heart. This is just one way this can look for me, what does it look like for you?
Try to place your third eye in your heart chakra. Place your hands over your heart and take several deep, intentional breaths into it. Then, commit to residing here, acting and speaking from here,being from here.

 

Step 3: REMEMBER YOUR WHY

And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, "This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!" And each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, "No. This is what's important."
-Ian Thomas

Why did you really wake up this morning? Why did you drag yourself out of bed? or why did you jump out smiling and eager? What is it that you want? What are you called to share? What is yearning to be expressed through you? What is your soul's purpose? You came to this planet to raise the collective vibration of earth to the frequency of unconditional love. That is your purpose. What is your medium? What is your craft? What does your heart look like and how does it communicate? THAT IS WHY YOU WOKE UP. THAT IS WHY YOU BREATHE. THAT IS WHY YOU WAKE UP 30 MINUTES EARLY. THAT IS WHY YOU CREATE SPACE IN YOUR LIFE FIRST THING WHEN YOU WAKE UP SO YOU CAN THINK ABOUT IT AND FEEL IT AND INGRAIN IT INTO YOUR FIELD OF VISION EVERY. WAKING. MOMENT. And when you remember that, early in the day, you create a ripple. In your waking moments you have cultivated powerful, creative, loving thoughts that expand into ideas and emotions and experiences and the domino effect is beyond your wildest imaginings. This is the real you. Radiating from the discipline it took to sit and align with your truth. You are worth it.

 

Step 4: Practice Gratitude
Whatever you want to focus on each day is up to you. This is a personal favorite for cultivating gratitude! The Rainbow Way! Focusing on gratitudes associated with each chakra.

Root - Home, bedroom, space to call yours and find comfort in. Food, abundance, clothes, basic needs, feeling safe, secure, supported and stable. Gratitude for your deep connection with the Earth.

Sacral - gratitude for your body, your appearance, your physical strength and abilities. Your physical appearance as a representation of Spirit. Your health your relationship to you. Love and appreciate your beautiful body exactly as it is! Observe the parts of you that you love!

Solar Plexus - gratitude for who you ARE. Your power, your presence, your light and your freedom. Gratitude for the radiance and the experience of yourSelf!

Heart - Gratitude for LOVE AND LOVING YOU. Gratitude for loving all others. Start with your family and your friends see their faces in your heartmind and bless them all, including you and feel thankful for them all!

Throat - gratitude for Self expression and the ability to not only express but to witness and hear and observe the expression of others. Gratitude for communication and connection and listening to others. Writing, singing and opening up.

3rd Eye- gratitude for your Spirit and your intuition and insight. Gratitude for the ability to awaken to inner truths and inner wisdom. For the ability to see beyond the veils and illusion and peer into the light and reality, that all is love.

Crown - gratitude for spirit, source, universal connection, wisdom, life and light. Gratitude for our connection to the Divine and infinite cosmos and knowledge that spreads forever in every direction! Gratitude that we ARE this infinite magnificent Universe!

...And sit in that gratitude, let it resonate within you. When your ready, re-enter your day from your heart, from your gratitude and feel the sensation of overflowing love.

 

Step 5: Write
Journal about whatever came up. Any visuals or emotions you witnessed. Any new tools you can use to align with your why/truth each day, affirmations or mantras that may have come through, words or images or anything! Record whatever you're feeling or anything that inspires you, maybe there's a quote that you'd like to focus on or an additional practice you'd like to start incorporating to your daily ritual.

 

Step 6: Live with Intention, Without Expectation.
Accept that whatever happens today IS WHAT'S BEST IN SERVING YOUR PURPOSE, YOURSELF AND OTHERS.
You might feel like gold in the morning ready to tackle your personal projects or creative dreams and wind up needing a nap before noon. Or your morning meditation might feel more like a groggy storm cloud and you can't seem to care that a purpose might be erupting from the depths of your soul all day! Just trust, be open, honest and unapologetically you in every moment.  The main purpose of this exercise is to hear you, and some days we sing sad songs and some days we laugh through our happy songs. The purpose is to sing the song of your truth, whether is beautiful or painful.

 

Step 7: Indulge your sense of smell!
Light some palo santo, sage or treat yourself to a few intentional breaths with your favorite essential oils. Give yourself another moment to be in that space and to take this glow with you as you transition into your morning. Move forward from your heart, into your day that you create, offering light and love to all situations all experiences. Know that you can cultivate these emotions at any time, any day. Your heart is always waiting for you to come home. Door's wide open.

NOTE: This practice is easily modified and adapted to anyone's individual needs. I know plenty of people who set aside ten minutes in the morning for their own sadhana (spiritual practice). You can also start with 5 or 10 minutes and work your way up or adjust depending on when you wake up etc. Make this your own ritual, and commit to it. You are worth these precious moments each morning, to command your day and to be present. Please feel free to share what your ritual evolves into and anything else you feel compelled to tell me or ask me :)

With love and gratitude, Namaste my dearest Earth Tribe.

Natalie Stryffeler