Start Your Day With Intention

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Centered by Marjorie Ann – L.I.T.T.L.E. Project

Welcome to another Mindful Monday! If you’ve been practicing living a more mindful life, you probably have several intentions you want to work on. Maybe you’re very aware of them all the time or maybe they run in the background. However you use your intentions, it can be helpful to set a daily intention. This can change day to day or be similar throughout a week or longer.

How are Daily Intentions Different from My Other Intentions?

A daily intention gives more focus to certain aspects of your life. Making a single daily intention can help create a theme for your day and possibly help you feel more like you spent your day the way you really wanted to (I know it does for me!)

That certainly doesn’t mean ignoring other aspects in your life, but rather giving ample focus on improving/enjoying one area that you really want to pay attention to. Most likely many of your other intentions will be in the back of your mind anyway. Setting a single daily intention simply gives you permission to dial it up on one of them (or a new one) to make it more, well, intentional ūüėČ

While you should certainly set your daily intentions however you like, my tip is to keep it simple and set just a single clear intention for your day. Maybe it’s a smaller part of a longer week or month’s intention focus. Maybe it’s a short detour from the usual to help you appreciate something neglected.

Take a few minutes in the morning, perhaps while getting dressed, eating breakfast, or enjoying a cup of tea, to ponder what you want to align in your life today. Do you want to explore your creativity, spread more kindness, grow a relationship, appreciate more around you, or nurture yourself better? You can even get more focused, honing in on a specific way you want to live today!

Mindful Compilation
Mindful Compilation by Marjorie Ann

Use your intention to help guide your daily decisions. When planning your day or when someone invites you to do something, ask yourself if these activities are in line with your intention for the day. If they are, then you know you are living in the way you wish. If they aren’t, you can decline or redirect your actions, knowing that at least for today you need to be doing something else.

Here’s a fun article about how daily intentions can work:

Don’t worry if you forget to set one in the morning though. You can always start at whatever point in the day you realize you want to be living more mindfully! Thanks for visiting and have a lovely week ‚̧

Living Intentionally

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Photo by Marjorie Ann – L.I.T.T.L.E. Project

It’s Mindful Monday and today’s tip is on setting Intentions. I wish I could say I was great at setting intentions or that by setting intentions I always follow through and live how I want to live, but that’s just not the case. However, setting intentions HAS helped me become more mindful of how I want to approach my life and definitely helps me make more decisions aligned with my desired life path. For me, it’s a lot like yoga, it’s practice with the intent of becoming better rather than trying to attain a specific goal. Speaking of which…

Intentions are Different from Goals

Intentions are values and perceptions you want to have and live your life by, rather than the tasks to complete in order to reach your goals. I look at it like this, my intentions are the journey I wish to take in life. Goals are more like destinations, places I wish to go. An Intention, my personal journey, may take me away from a goal, especially if that goal doesn’t align with my values. Another way to look at it is: goals are what we want to accomplish in life, while intentions are how we want to live life.

Intentions are Guides for Your Actions

In some ways Intentions are much better than making a goal to achieve a desired outcome. Because intentions are behavior based, they force us to look at the things we are doing right now, moment to moment. Once you’ve set Intentions for yourself, you can ask yourself at any time: Does doing/saying/responding like this align with my intentions? If not, do I think doing/saying/responding this way is worth the consequence to not following my intention(s)?

There are a lot of articles to help you on your path to setting intentions. These were just a few of the helpful ones I’ve found.

Being mindful this way can help you find better clarity and happiness in life. Some intentions are easier to follow than others, some are relatively painless. Others are harder and can even make you feel like you’re turning your life upside-down and inside-out! I’m a firm believer that if I’m not at least somewhat challenged, I’m not growing – I’m being stagnant.

Of course, I’m no expert. I fail many days to be mindful and have to pick myself up and try again. Setting intentions have helped me focus on the bigger picture, to be more kind and patient with myself and others, and to allow myself to grow and change. I’ve only been practicing this mindfully for about a year but it’s made huge positive impacts already though not without struggle, heartache, and lots of tears sometimes! Change can be painful, and some of living Intentionally can be painful (though I find much of it isn’t). Either way it certainly forces you to grow.

‚ÄúFor a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.‚ÄĚ

‚Äē¬†Cynthia Occelli

Thanks for visiting! Enjoy and have a beautiful week ‚̧

Discover

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Photo by Marjorie Ann

Hi there! Welcome to another Mindful Monday. Last week I had a few conversations with some friends about forgotten plans. You know, those things you always plan to do and say you should do but never get around to actually doing? It was interesting to me because the topic seemed to be in the air. It came up randomly in a few convos I had with completely different people, one of whom I went out and did one of those things we planned and talked about. We made a day date of it and went! The photo above is one of many I took while on our day trip ūüėČ

So my mindful focus for this week is to be more aware of those ‘we should…’, ‘we could try…’ and ‘it would be fun to…’ activities and scheduling them throughout the month. I’m just more likely to do anything as long as it’s in my schedule. My SIL made a kind of bucket list out of hers – once a month she’s picked one of those things to do and had put it on her calendar, bought tickets, enlisted friends to go with her, etc., for the next 3 months. Another friend is planning to do one every week.

Which brings me to the Mindful Monday tip for this week: Be mindful of those things you’ve been saying you should try or discover, and do what you need to turn those wishful thoughts into concrete plans. We only have so much time and there is always so much to see and do in life. Make sure you’re not letting your desire to discover and explore life go unfulfilled simply because you aren’t paying attention! I hope you have a wonderful week exploring, trying something new, discovering or rediscovering something you love. Thanks for visiting and have a lovely Monday! ‚̧

 

Alluring Agave

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Photo by Marjorie Ann

These small agave plants have an alluring quality to them with their thick sculptural leaves and radiating design. They are some of my favorite landscaping plants and these smaller ones are happy surprises on the edges of desert garden paths. Plus, they always make me think of tequila, which makes me think about sipping ice-cold margaritas!

Speaking of tequila, here are a few fun recipes. I’ve been trying to upgrade our little home bar to include the fixings to make more of our favorite drinks. For ease, I’ll probably start with a classic like this:

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Then I’d like to try these out:

Thanks for visiting and enjoy ‚̧

 

Happy Cactus

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L.I.T.T.L.E. – Desert Blooms

Cacti seem to bloom for just a short time. They remind me to take advantage of things when they’re around. Like taking pictures of flowers when they are in bloom! There’s only a short time they are available, so you have to catch them while you can. I feel like that is how life works a lot of the times as well. You have to catch things when you can, during the short time they are available to you.

 

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So pretty, right? I love how light and happy this duvet is! It doesn’t go with anything in my home, but that’s okay. I don’t have to buy it to adore and appreciate it. Part of being mindful about what I bring into our home has been learning what I can live without and what I truly want in my life. Figuring out where the line is between ‘loving something’ and ‘loving it but not needing to have it’¬†is always a challenge. But I’m getting better at figuring that out. The hard part is when something is only available for a short time. Then that ‘catch it when I can’ feeling kicks in! If only I could turn it on for experiences and turn it off when I’m shopping!

Desert Fireworks

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L.I.T.T.L.E. – Desert Blooms

This crazy plant is called an Ocotillo Cactus. During the winter it looks like scary lightning coming up from the ground – dark, twisted, and spiky! The first time I saw one was in the winter and I wondered why anyone would want these around let alone in their yard. Then I saw it bloom and learned why. These cacti look like fireworks when in bloom! Their long skinny stems change from charcoal to bright sage and at the top are these crazy hot bursts of flowers! They are some of the most fun cacti we have around.

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Speaking of fun, check out this darling cacti notebook! My hubs and I try to be¬†mindful of the things we buy and what we bring into our lives and home. However, I’m such a sucker for fun office supplies and stationary. Along with books and coffee, these types of things are something I tend to buy without thinking of where they will go or what I will use them for! They are a definite weakness for me.

Pretty Prickly

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L.I.T.T.L.E. – Desert Blooms

One of my favorite parts of spring are when the cacti start to bloom! These prickly pretties fascinate me with their terribly sharp dense spines and these large delicate blooms. I love how these plants are so very much like their desert home: harsh, sharp, and biting, yet brilliant, bright, and beautiful. She shines like a hot pink star in a cloudy gray sky.

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Craving this cute cactus tank from Target now. Or pretty much any of these fun cactus pieces. Still debating whether these are one of those things that’s better to want than to have. They certainly are fun!

Harry Potter Cuteness!

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L.I.T.T.L.E. – December 20, 2016

Aren’t these little Harry Potter Plushies just too adorable! I sometimes wonder if people think I’m crazy-cakes for setting things up in stores just so I can take a picture of them. There are a lot of things I¬†love but don’t need to necessarily buy. Many times my way of feeling the gratification of having something (that I don’t need) is by taking a fun photo of it. Here I set up a puzzle and cauldron to make these plushies feel right at home. Once I got home I played with my Pixlr App to add some ambiance and little side dash to the pic. So cute!

Merry Christmas!

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L.I.T.T.L.E. – December 22, 2016

This year I came across this article on Design Sponge about having a Donation/Experience Christmas. It resonated a lot with how we have been trying to shift our own holiday celebrations to moving away from a commercialized Christmas. Last year we tried a no-presents/ be present Christmas. Instead of getting gifts for each other (in our household) we focused on simply giving to others, giving more to charity, and doing family activities together the entire week.

To celebrate we had a Star Wars Marathon, which started about a week before Christmas and finished with us watching the new Episode VII in theaters right around the holiday. Christmas day itself began with a delectable breakfast, then we opened an envelope to read off the amounts our girls donated and all the gifts they gave to others. After that we spent the rest of the day just being our silly nerdy selves, playing board games, hanging out with extended family, and finished by making a delicious dinner together full of Filipino food.

We have adolescent daughters, so the next day we had a talk about how our Christmas went, what they liked and didn’t like so that they could contribute to creating a unique holiday tradition with us. Our oldest loved it! She didn’t miss the presents one bit and wanted to do this every year and we agreed. Our youngest liked most of it but felt left out of the celebration. One present, she said. If she could open just one present (from us) she would have felt more included in the holiday. We completely understood.

So this year we planned to do just that. A one present Christmas (just for them, the hubs and I still didn’t want any ‘gifts’) and continued our theme from last year of giving freely to charity and gifting to others. We always end up with many gifts from friends and family so we don’t feel like we miss out on receiving. Plus creating a more ‘be present’ holiday instead of ‘get presents’ holiday¬†means our focus during Christmas stays on giving to those around us!

We do have a Christmas Eve gift tradition, which we didn’t change. Every year since our girls¬†were just tots we’d open pajamas and get to wear them Christmas Eve. It’s our own way of making something needed become something special. I’ve always loved the concept of turning the ordinary things in our lives into little extraordinary moments. Our pajamas don’t match (they fit the personality and style of the receiver) and it’s rather a common tradition but it’s one we truly love and really get into!

Whether you celebrate Christmas or a different Winter Holiday (or not), our family wishes you well this winter season! May you be safe, warm, and surrounded by those you love. Here’s wishing you good tidings and a Happy New Year!

Let’s Stay Home

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L.I.T.T.L.E. – December 21, 2016

When it comes to the cold, my first instinct is to huddle up in the blankets and never get out! Except when that means going to the grocery store for some fresh goodies to make something delicious. Lately it seems I’m at the grocer’s¬†every single day. They keep creating these cute displays near the front of the store and this would make such a darling front porch display. I love the fluffy yarn snow man, fresh flowers, and signage. It’s a bit more craftsy than our style, but I could definitely see incorporating the general idea of this on our porch with a simpler¬†sign, pretty garden stool, our succulents (that we had to move from the open back porch to the safety of the covered front porch), and some fluffy/frosty reindeer¬†with some bling!

Front Porch Holiday Round-Up:

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  1. Sterling White and Gold Shelf
  2. Succulent Garden 
  3.  THIS PRINT from Etsy
  4. Surya Chantilly Ceramic Stool
  5. Standing and Sitting Deer

Lovely, yes? Do you ever look at a fun display and imagine it in your own style?