Daily Intentions and Gratitude Practice

Yoga_IlloAs we go through the holiday season, it can create a lot of financial and emotional stress. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of it all. The best way I have found for me to stay grounded during the holidays is by setting a daily intention and practicing gratitude. Every morning my alarm goes off, after I have hit snooze once or twice (hopefully not more), I lay in bed with my eyes closed and think about the top five things I am grateful for that day. Today, in no particular order, my top five included 1) it’s Friday, 2)my beautiful, healthy daughter Sonoma, 3) we get to fly home for the holidays in a couple weeks, 4) I get to work from home and 5) I was able to buy a plane ticket for my upcoming girls weekend. Some days my top five include things as simple as my warm bed or the roof over my head. It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, but I find this practice grounds me and starts my day off on a positive note. I started this practice several years ago when I was struggling with some things in my personal life. At that time in my life, I was constantly comparing myself financially, professionally and physically to others. The constant comparison created a lot internal turmoil, but I found when I focused on everything that I was good in my life that I actually had a lot to be thankful for everyday. This is a practice that is automatic to me now. As soon as I wake up, even before I put my feet on the floor, I have named my top five things I am grateful for that day. Give it a try tomorrow and see how it changes your day. It’s amazing how it can shift your perception on life. As for example, instead of being frustrated that your kid is waking you up at 3 AM, but grateful you were awake at 3AM because you created another beautiful life that needs you. It’s a very simple way to make your day a lot happier.

My new daily practice I started in December is setting a daily intention of how I want my day to go and the way I want to feel. For example, today I set the intention to eat and move in a way that will make me feel good about myself and support my current health goals. I intend to feel energized and happy all day. I set my intention in my mind right after I complete my top five. It has really been interesting to see the shifts it has created in my everyday life. If I intend to move and eat in a way that supports my health goals, then I think about that intention throughout my day and it helps me make better choices. It is becoming as automatic for me now as listing my top five. I had always set an intention for my yoga class, but never for my day. I love setting the intention to cultivate self-love during my yoga class because it is a time that a lot of negative self talk can occur. Then every time a negative thought comes up (which happens when there are mirrors in front of you and you are sweaty with no makeup), I rephrase it because it does not match the intention I set. For example, I might look in the mirror during class and think “gross, your arms are big.” I then rephrase that to “I have strong arms that allow me to practice yoga several times a week.” It’s something little, but it can make a big difference in how you feel. Give it a try too and let me know how it goes.

So with my intention to eat in a way that will make me feel good about myself and support my current health goal, I leave you with a nourishing recipe that aligns with this intention, basic sautéed kale with garlic. I have been eating this several times a week, but I typically leave the vinegar out. I am just not a big fan of vinegar, but keep it in the recipe if you like it. Eating and cooking healthy does not have to be complicated, keep it simple. I personally just like about three cups of kale cooked in a tablespoon of olive oil and minced garlic with some sea salt sprinkled on top. The kale provides my body with fiber, vitamin A, C & K, biotin, protein, and much more. The olive oil is a great source of healthy fats to help keep me full and you can listen to Episode 3 of the Real Foodie Friends Podcast to hear more about why we need healthy fats.

Leave me a message below or on my Facebook page. I would love to hear how you practice gratitude and daily intentions.

~With love and peace
Kristi