Living with Intention

29 Mantras For 2017

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Unsure of what exactly a mantra is?  A mantra is traditionally known as a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration while meditating.  It is useful to keep you focused during day- to-day life and the challenges that accompany it.  
 
Below is a list of modern mantras and a few traditional mantras to try.  You can use them during meditation or repeat them to yourself throughout the day.
 

Modern Mantras

 
1.  Let It Go
2.  I Am Happy
3.  Today Is Perfect
4.  I Am Strong
5.  I Am Beautiful
6.  Life is Beautiful
7.  I Am Enough
8.  Just Be
9.  I Am Here
10.  Less is More
11.  This Too Shall Pass
12.  Smile
13.  Today I Choose Joy
14.  I Am Capable of Wonderful Things
15.  I Change My Thoughts, I Change My World
16.  Slow Down
17.  Where I am right now is exactly where I need to be
18.  I have a purpose in this life
19.  I am a magnet for joy, love, and abundance
20.  I am radiant
21.  Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better
22.  I am at peace with what is, what was, and what will be. I forgive you. I forgive me

Traditional Mantras

 
23.  Om – thought to be the primordial sound of the universe
24.  Om Shanti – a mantra for peace
25.  Sat Nam – a mantra for truth
26.  Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung – a restorative mantra meaning Sun, Moon, Earth, Infinity, All that is in infinity, I am Thee
27.  Om Nama Shivaya – means I honour the divinity in myself
28.  So Hum – meaning I am that
29.  Sat, Chit, Ananda – means Existence, Consciousness, Bliss
 
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24 Ways To Show Simple Acts of Kindness

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Gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to remind ourselves of how blessed and fortunate we are. Sometimes extending that kindness to others, is a lovely way of showing how humans can interact and connect with one another.

 


Here are 24 simple ways to show kindness:

 
1.  Send a text or an email to a friend to say you're thinking about them and that you appreciate them
2.  Like the service you’ve received somewhere? Take the extra step to let a manager know
3.  Allow someone to go ahead of you in a traffic line, even in if you're in a rush.
4.  Hold the door open for someone at the mall.
5.  Smile to a stranger on the street. It could make their day!
6.  Help someone carry their groceries or unload their cart if you see they are in need
7.  Bring a coffee or tea to your co-worker one morning and see the smile on their face.
8.  Compliment someone on what you admire about them. It will boost their confidence!
9.  Cook a meal for a friend in need. Nothing beats a home cooked meal.
10.  Be present. Be mindful. Put your phone away when you're talking to a loved one.
11.  Offer to baby-sit a friend’s child so they can have a morning or afternoon for themselves.
12.  Unload the dishwasher or take out the garbage without being asked, this can mean a lot!
13.  Give someone the benefit of the doubt. 
14.  Write a positive review online for your favorite restaurant or cafe (or naturopath!)
15.  Do a closet clean and donate those clothes you haven't worn in six months. Someone will make good use of them :)
16.  When you ask someone how they are, look them in the eye and mean it.
17.  If you're able to, donate to a local charity or fundraiser you believe in.
18.  Share your success stories and mentor someone who could benefit from your experience.
19.  Let someone know if they impacted your life positively
20.  Encourage a friend to try something new with you, especially if they're scared to try a alone.
21.  Help a friend with a blog or new idea they're trying to create.
22.  Practice being patient, with yourself and your loved ones.
23.  Make a list of ways you've impressed yourself in the past year, we need to be kind to ourselves too!
24.  Make time to do at least one thing you love, which makes you feel wonderful, every single day.
 
Try and practice one act of kindness per week and see how it makes you feel knowing you've made someone's life better!
 
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13 Ways To Turn Your Luck Around

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The New Year is about renewed optimism and intention for a happy, healthy and prosperous year to come.  For some of us, 2016 was a hard year.  We faced challenges and changes... and somehow, we endured and survived. Luckily, life moves in cycles, and you can switch up your luck.
 
So, today on Friday the 13th, we are focusing on 2017 as a year of abundance, self-love and self-growth, your luck may just turn around with the right attitude and some easy-to-implement changes.
 

1.  Positive thinking

The power of our thoughts and actions can flip a negative event or experience, into an opportunity for learning and growth.
 

2.  Visualization

Creating mental images and foreshadowing positive events in our mind can lead to increased performance and confidence. Competitive athletes and successful professionals alike use these tools to attain personal bests. You can choose to visualize the final outcome, or visual all the steps needed to accomplish a specific goal. 
 

3.  Create Karma

Pay it forward, volunteer, give back. Good things happen to good people. Create a world you want to live in, and the world will become a loving and lucky place.
 

4.  Daily affirmations

Affirmations have been shown to rewire our brain chemistry; they release our happy and motivational neurotransmitters. Over time, these small affirmations can accumulate into changing our lives and attaining specific goals.
 

5.  Exercise

Exercise is one of the great equalizers. Moderate daily exercise is proven to increase moods, energy, boost immune system and increase quality and length of life. What could be luckier than that?
 

6.  Work smarter & put the time in

Hard work, perseverance and preparation all create opportunity and success.  Creating step-wise mini-goals that are time sensitive can make big dreams become reality.
 

7.  Gratitude

People who actively express gratitude have more positive moods, sleep better and experience more compassion and kindness.
 

8.  Write down your goals

Actions start as thought, and are translated into reality through writing them down. Take the time to write out your specific short-term and long-term goals, and lifetime dreams. Revisit these goals in a journal, or put them on your fridge as a daily motivator.
 

9.  Listen & Be present

Often, we can miss out on lucky opportunities when we are overly stressed, busy, or have our minds fixated on negative thoughts. Take a deep breath, come back into the body, and really listen to yourself, and to others.
 

10.  Be open & curious

Create new friendships and networks, try new things and put yourself out there. Opportunity doesn’t often knock while you at home binge-watching Netflix.
 

11. Take care of yourself – mental, physical, spiritual

When our minds and bodies are functioning optimally, we can focus our energy on reaching our full potential. If the body is bogged down with chronic pain, inflammation, or disease,
 

12.  Learn

Take luck into your own hands and educate yourself in the pursuit of your dreams. Study and read everything you can get your hands on to prepare yourself for when that lucky opportunity arrives.
 

13.  Nourish Yourself

We know the basics – clean water, colourful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and  healthy fats. Giving your body and mind the nourishment it needs is foundational to creating the building blocks to luck in every aspect of your life.
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12 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress

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Breathing exercises are a simple and accessible way to help you reduce your stress. Most of us don't even realize how shallow we breathe when we are stressed or caught up in our day-to-day flurry. We take our breathing for granted... something that just happens without us even thinking about it. But did you know that changing your breathing pattern can make immediate changes in your heartrate, blood pressure and your stress hormones?

Take a few moments for yourself. Pause. And focus on your breath and try these breathing exercises. Find out which works best for you!

1. Triangle breathing

Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out through your nose for a count of four.  Repeat.
 

2. Square breathing

Breathe in through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out through your nose for a count of four, pause for a count of four.  Repeat.
 

3. Balloon breathing

Imagine you have 2 balloons in your chest and you inflate them with your inhale through your nose.  When you're able to fully inflate the 2 balloons, imagine you have 4.  Continue increasing the number of balloons after you have fully inflated them.
 

4. Count to 10

Take a deep breath through your nose as you count to 10.
 

5. FIve-second breathing

Watch a clock and inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for 5 seconds.  Continue for 1 minute then go back to normal breathing.
 

6. Count down from 10

Take a full belly breath in through your nose and after you exhale, count 10. Count backwards from 10 with each exhalation.
 

7.  Extended exhale breathing

Inhale through your nose for a count of four seconds, hold for a count of four and exhale through pursed lips for a count of eight seconds.
 

8. Bhramari breathing

Take a deep breath in through the nose and breathe out while humming so you sound  like a bumble bee.
 

9. Alternate nostril breathing  

Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and breathe in through your right nostril.  Cover your right nostril with your left ring finger and release your thumb as you exhale through your left nostril.  Inhale through your left nostril.  Cover your left nostril with your left thumb and  release your ring finger as you exhale through your right nostril.  Repeat several times.
 

10. Light imagery breathing

Imagine yourself bathed in a white, healing light.  As you inhale, imagine your body fill with this white light.  As you exhale, imagine all your negative thoughts, emotions, pain etc seep out of your body and be washed away by the light.
 

11. Pulsed breathing

Inhale through the nose and exhale through pursed lips in bursts following the rhythm short, short, long.  Repeat.
 

12. Hands on abdomen

Place your hands on your tummy with your finger tips pointing towards each other and just touching at your centre line.  As you inhale, notice your hands expand apart as your belly lifts them up and out.  As you exhale, notice your hands come back together.

You will find different breathing exercises will suit different times of day. Hands on abdomen breathing is a great one to incorporate into your bedtime routine. If you suffer from indigestion and tend to eat fairly quickly, try the five-second breathing exercise a few times before you start eating. 

 
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Two Ways to Increase Your Yin

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First off, let me start with the definition of Yang; according to Google, Yang (noun), (in Chinese philosophy) the active male principle of the universe, characterized as male and creative and associated with heaven, heat, and light.
 
The definition of Yin; according to Google, Yin (noun), (in Chinese philosophy) the passive female principle of the universe, characterized as female and sustaining and associated with earth, dark, and cold.
 
We are always trying to find a balance between these two forces. Often, especially in western cultures, we are dominated by a Yang energy. Constantly on the go, wearing our business as a badge of honor. However, our bodies will find a way to bring in some Yin energy. This can be in the form of getting a cold or flu and forcing you to take time off and rest.
 
There are TWO simple ways you can increase Yin:
 
MEDITATION
 
This simple, but challenging practice can:
 
- help you relax your body and mind
- improve concentration and attention
- develop insight into how you relate to yourself and others
- help to decrease stress and anxiety while increasing a sense of inner peace and happiness
 
If you would like some guidance to this beneficial practice, check out this website on Mindful Meditation. This 8-week series is for beginners and those looking to learn more about meditation in the tradition of Yoga.
 
SLEEP
 
Sleep can improve memory, curb inflammation, lower stress, and help you maintain a healthy body weight improving your overall well-being! So how much sleep do you need? Sleep requirements vary from person to person, but most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at our best. Children and teens require even more! It's also recommended that you try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, even on non-work days. If you work shift work, you will have more of challenge finding a consistent sleep pattern that helps you feel rested.
 
Remember to turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before your bed time and put your phone to "do-not-disturb." Create a night time routine (maybe include your newly developed meditation skills) that helps you unwind, let go, and drift off into slumber...
 
Hopefully you can find a way to include these simple changes into your routine in 2017.
 
Be kind to yourself this year. It's hard to pour from an empty jug, and we give so much to our families, friends, jobs, and hobbies.
 
Take time to recharge so you can continue to be your amazing self!
 
Metta is betta ;)
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The One Resolution You Need to Make in 2017

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Ah, resolutions. Why is it by spring, our new years resolutions are a distant memory? We kind of set ourselves up for failure right from the start, because our resolutions are more of a scolding for all the things we did wrong the previous year. We ate too much, drank too much, didn't exercise enough, spent too much money.
 
Ask yourself ... WHY you are setting these resolutions.
 
Resolutions come from a place of "should", and quite frankly, we are "should"ing all over ourselves. Real life is hard. You may have only one resolution or many, but I challenge you to add one resolution to your list:

This year, I'm going to start by accepting myself exactly where I am today and who I am today.

 
Starting from a place of love, acceptance, and compassion for oneself will flow forth into all of your other resolutions making it more about doing good for yourself rather than punishing yourself. We are all in this together and together we are going to make 2017 great!
 
Metta is betta ;)
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