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Posts from the ‘Intentions’ Category

Practicing Mindful Self-Care


How are your New Year’s Intentions coming along? If you’re already falling out of the new routines you’re trying to establish, you’re not alone. Many people are feeling stressed already in the new year and having a hard time finding a new rhythm. The self-care strategies below can help you to create a firmer foundation from which to begin to move toward your intentions. Or if you’re already in a good rhythm, they’ll support you as you continue to move forward. Each of these tips is designed to support you as you live more intentionally.

  1. Practice mindfulness meditation to increase awareness and decrease stress. Studies show that practicing mindfulness results in decreased symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression and an increased sense of peace, happiness and wellbeing. All of the work that I do when teaching people how to increase peace, happiness and wellbeing is grounded in mindfulness training, because it’s the best foundation I’ve found for helping people to make any kind of changes.
  2. Make a commitment to your own wellbeing. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, drink adequate amounts of water and limit your exposure to toxic chemicals.
  3. Focus some attention on what is good in your life and the world. You can encourage positive mental and emotional states by pausing to notice and feel grateful for what’s going well in your life. Take time each day to notice something beautiful in the simplicity of your every day. If you need some extra encouragement in this area, follow my Instagram account @MeditateCreate where I’m posting mindful photographs of the beauty in this world.
  4. Practice compassion toward yourself and others. Treat yourself and others with kindness and an open heart. People who are kind to themselves have an easier time reaching their intentions and goals.
  5. Practice saying, “No.” If you’re in the habit of taking on too many things and then feeling overwhelmed, practice saying yes to the things that matter most and no to the things that don’t. Set priorities, and make intentional choices about where you put your time and energy.
  6. Make thoughtful choices about what you feed your mind. Find a balance that allows you to stay informed about issues that matter to you without overindulging in information overload.
  7. Get out and connect with nature. Slow down, and rest your awareness on the beauty that surrounds you. Take a walk. Pause to notice what you see, hear smell, feel and taste. Listen to the birds singing. Notice the color of the sky, the trees and the leaves.
  8. Live intentionally. Clarify who you want to be in the world, how you want to feel and what matters most to you. Open your heart to the power of creating a life that you love.

“After all, I want to live my life, not rush through it.” –Cheryl Richardson




Calm Body, Quiet Mind 4-week online program. Calm Body, Quiet Mind is a 4-week intensive mindfulness training and coaching program for women, available globally by phone or Skype. It offers a deeper experience of mindfulness and explores the healing potential of mindfulness practice. It is designed to guide you toward cultivating a greater sense of peace, happiness and wellbeing. Calm Body, Quiet Mind offers an intensive mindfulness experience to guide you in a reset and renewal of your body, heart and mind. Whether you’re feeling weighed down by grief, stress or a difficult transition, feeling consumed by a chronic illness or have lost connection with your creativity, this program is designed to help you get back on track. Cost: $500    Learn more  or email Jen to schedule a free phone consultation to determine whether this program is a good fit for your needs.

Creating Mindful Intentions

All you ever longed for is
before you in this moment
if you dare draw in a
breath and whisper, ‘yes
–Danna Faulds

Deciding to live mindfully and intentionally takes willingness to sit with the grief of a life unlived, courage to dream big, and sustained effort to see our intentions through. The result of that effort is a life that feels more congruent with who we are and what we value, which makes for a more meaningful life and a greater sense of peace and happiness.

In this season of newness and returning light, may we all take time to contemplate what matters most and what our hearts long for, and may we create clear and mindful intentions for the coming year.

Warm wishes for peace and wellbeing,



*******I’ve just had 2 cancellations in this upcoming workshop if anyone wants to join.*******
Creating Mindful Intentions for the New Year. Saturday December 30, 2017 9am – 12pm. McKay Healing Arts. Wilmington, NC.  How long have you been taking life as it comes without considering what matters most or how you want your life to be? This workshop will guide you in the process of creating mindful intentions for your life and learning strategies for successfully following through. It offers an approach to realizing intentions that is grounded in the neuroscience of positive change. We will use guided meditations and journaling exercises to help you clarify your intentions and then we’ll create an Intention Board, a creative collage with words and images to serve as a visual reminder of your intentions. Make 2018 your year of lasting lifestyle changes! Cost: $50. Email Jen to register.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction 8-week class in Wilmington, NC.  Free orientation Wednesday January 3, 2018  6pm. Class meets Wednesdays 6-8pm January 10 – February 28, 2017 PLUS Saturday February 17 9am – 3pm.

MBSR offers a great opportunity for experienced mindfulness mediation students to get support in developing a regular practice and a solid foundational introduction to the practice for new students.  Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teaches meditation and gentle yoga to cultivate awareness, reduce stress and create a greater sense of peace and wellbeing. If you’re tired of your racing heart and mind keeping you up at night, struggling with feeling anxious and overwhelmed, feel you’ve lost yourself in the chaos of your life, come to the free orientation to check out the class. You’ll learn how to relax your body, calm your mind chatter, cultivate more peace and joy, and start living your life more mindfully and intentionally.
Registration is limited and required. Cost: $425. For more information click here.   Or email Jen to register.

Being Inspired

Do what intrigues you, explore what interests you; think mystery, not mastery. –Julia Cameron

Consciously choosing to activate the energy of feeling inspired supports a positive mood and encourages action toward personal and career goals. Many of us create intentions and/or goals throughout the year, and a lot of us ride the wave of inspiration that comes with the beginning of a new year. Remember that whatever we place our attention on grows, so resting our attention frequently on our intentions helps to propel us forward to take action that is aligned with those intentions. But to keep going, we’ll need to cultivate some inspiration. Read more


We find lightness and ease in our lives as we increasingly care for ourselves and other beings. –Sharon Salzberg

As you move toward your intentions, hopes and dreams this season, keep in mind that practicing self-compassion may be one of the most effective things that you can do to help you realize your intentions. Some people hold the belief that beating up on themselves and not letting themselves off the hook helps them to keep moving toward their goals, but the research on willpower and achieving goals indicates otherwise. Read more

Mindfully Creating Clear Intentions

Your intentions have more impact than your actions.―Dabasish Mridha, MD

 Mindfully creating clear intentions is one of the most powerful things we can do to create change in our lives. I’ve been devoted to this practice for a number of years, and it’s one of the practices that supports me in creating an intentional life. Read more

Season of Light

 In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. –Albert Camus

The darkest day of winter has passed, and the days are gradually becoming lighter. As we enter into this season of light, I invite you to consider which aspects of your being are longing to be brought into the light. When we see our lives and ourselves more clearly, we have the freedom to change. Read more

Finding Stillness

Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity. –Lao Tzu

 During this holiday season, it is more important than ever to take time to find moments of stillness. Amidst the end of year work deadlines, holiday celebrations and shopping for gifts, we run the risk of overdoing everything—eating too much, drinking too much and doing too much. In addition, though the holiday season is a time of joy for many, for many others it is a season that activates the grief of loss, and this creates additional stress. The invitation this season is to try to take fifteen minutes per day during the next month to find stillness. Sit quietly and practice awareness of breathing, listen to your favorite instrumental music, write in your journal, watch birds at your backyard feeder, make a photograph, draw, paint or anything else that brings you to a centered, quiet place of internal stillness. Wishing you many moments of stillness during the coming month and always.

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Mindful Communication

A statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken…It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will. –Buddha

Mindful communication begins with each communicator arriving in presence. It requires that both people be present in the moment and bring awareness and attention to the connection and conversation. Read more

How to Be Happy

The basic root of happiness lies in our minds; outer circumstances are nothing more than adverse or favorable. –Matthieu Ricard

The way to be happy is to cultivate happy states of heart and mind. It really is true that whatever we rest our attention on grows. If we wake up and focus our attention on the difficulty in our lives, we will cultivate a state of worry or dissatisfaction. Read more

Choosing Mindfully

Life is filled with 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows.—Chuang Tze

It is possible to delight in a bird’s flight even in the midst of picking up litter from the beach. It is possible to cultivate a state of equanimity even in the midst of uncertainty. It is possible to cultivate a state of peace even as men and women return home still fighting an internal war. It is possible to cultivate a sense of internal freedom even in the midst of carrying deep-seated fear and anxiety. Read more