My day starts probably begins like that of other women raising children, working and running a household: getting everyone up, getting dressed, eating and then out the door.
My kids are sleepers, so we move at a pretty good clip once they roll out because they want to get every last minute of snooze time they can.
It would be easy for me to get swept away with the momentum of that and just let the day happen once we got going. The truth is that, for many months, I have been letting the day begin and reacting as I go.
And that’s fine — that’s what happens when one is doing stuff like paying two mortgages, moving residences in a foot of snow and building a business, among other things.
I’ve shared before about the value of setting daily intentions and what a powerful difference they can make for not just one day — not even one week — but your whole life. I want you to read on and hear me more clearly than ever before because I want you to offer yourself the power of this.
Setting intentions a practice I was devoted to for many months beginning about four years ago. My coach made that my “homework” each day when I was working with her to change my life and my body.
Six months later, I was stepping into a whole new way of living my life that was so much more about possibility and curiosity than going through the motions of the day or worrying about what might fall apart if things started to go well.
I also lost almost 40 lbs. and have happily maintained that weight loss ever since.
Fast forward to this winter when I hired my coach from four years ago to work with me again this year. I kept telling her I was overwhelmed. Feeling lots of worry and anxiety about stuff connected to my real estate situation (lol). Eating lots of sugar at night — like after 10 or 11 p.m. These were old patterns of mine that had crept up again.
We talked about my daily routine and how I had a habit of launching right into it lately without taking that early morning time to do some planning and decision making for myself.
I had gotten away from making plans for my mind and this was impacting what transpired in my daily life.
Sometimes you have to circle around a bit and then come back home to yourself and the things that nurture and support you. We all do.
I never completely abandoned my practice of feeling like a creator of my life, but here’s what I think happened: I think I developed a belief that because I had put in the practice long ago and literally changed my brain, that I was somehow permanently “righted” in terms of the shiny, positive neural pathways that were created.
Here’s the thing, though — a practice doesn’t end if your life is devoted to your art. My life is my work of art, so why would I think that this creation of mine would ever get to a set place where it could run on its own generator forever?
That’s like hiding blessings, success, joy, love and satisfaction from myself.
I was simply out of practice, so I got back into it this past month. Here’s what it looks like and here’s what has come to pass in my life as a result. If I could only give you one powerful tool of mine to walk away with and say, “Abacadabra — change your life!” … this would be the one.
- I drop Grace off at school and head to fuel up on my daily caffeine at the neighborhood coffee shop.
- The moment I have that latte in-hand, I find a spot in the shopping center’s lot and take out my journal (that I always have ready to take to the car in the morning).
- I write down the words “Today” at the top of a blank page and I write down words that describe the way I want to feel that day or thoughts I want to tap into steer my day. Here are some examples from the past week:
- possibility, play, uplift, forward, celebration, focus, resourceful, solid, closure, spirited, build momentum
- Know the beauty.
- Presence and patience.
- What would be bold?
- I know how to take care of myself.
- Spring is here and aligned with the new life we’re creating in this house and I’m creating with my work.
It’s just a flow from the pen for a couple of minutes, and then I read it out loud to myself.
After that, I write this down: “Good things are happening today:” and I list the things that I “get to do” — not “have to do” in my day; or events / things that are scheduled that might seem ridiculously simple, but I choose to celebrate (3 or 4 minutes):
- get my workout on
- moving furniture back into the family room
- dinner party!
- taxes are done
- find dress for ball
- spray tan : )
- the light in the open windows on this sunny, warm day
- vacuuming my car- lol – this pleases me
- email about the car I want to trade VW in for
- walking in the neighborhood after the sun sets
That’s it. I look at that list and feel gratitude for every bit of it — that I have created a life where these things are happening or are a consideration. Then I move into the rest of my day.
And as a result of this practice the past month?
Events have transpired and things have landed in my life that feel serendipitous and joyful, but also as though things are unfolding exactly as they should.
It’s because when I claim what I want and how I want to feel — when I pay tribute to what is there and what’s on its way — I also learn to trust.
Here are my celebrations. Go get yours. xx ~L.
- sold our house – boom!
- five figure tax refund on its way
- a meeting with a person I’ve been wanting to connect with to talk about some big future plans connected to my work
- two ridiculously fun birthday celebrations for awesome friends
- not one, but two dresses on clearance for ooh-la-la events I have on my calendar (as in $300 marked down to $87 and $200 marked down to $46 — woot)
- a red 2008 Volvo S40 on its way to me now from North Carolina via an awesome independent dealer we work with — a lateral trade to something safer. And hot, too ; )
- registrations coming in for my April 4th event — my phone dings with an email almost every single time I think things might get quiet
- a volunteer event where I get to teach adolescent girls about exercise and living a positive life
- my first party in my house and realizing I’ve never loved having people in my home as much as I do this new house
- two reward pre-paid debit cards in the mail today that I forgot we were getting for setting up our new cable and internet — totaling $350
- my daughter telling me in carpool one day that I just seemed more consistently happy and “even” than I have in a long time