Living intentionally allows you to be in the present moment and empowers you to masterfully manifest the experiences you ultimately want to create in your life. A complete lifestyle overhaul isn’t required to restore this balance to your go-go life, either — small changes can bring great rewards. Here are five simple tools that will positively impact the way you live your day-to-day life:
1. Set a weekly intention on your alarm.
Technology often distracts us from what’s important, but there is a way to use it to bring what you desire into your life. What do you want to manifest this week — happiness, peace, loyalty, passion, commitment? Use your phone’s alarm as an invitation to set a powerful intention for the day. If you start your morning with a clear intention, then you can respond in ways that support your desire rather than take you further from it.
2. Nightly gratitude.
Many religions close each day with prayers. In the 13th Century, a monk made famous the line: “If the only prayer you ever say is ‘thank you,’ that is quite enough.” This can be a profound way to end your day. Ease into sleep by getting into the habit of listing a few things that you are grateful for. Let the peace that a state of gratitude brings you take you into slumber. I use this technique every time I have insomnia, when stress or overstimulation keeps me awake. Instead of counting sheep, count your blessings.
3. Use your daily prep time to practice self-love.
Let’s be honest, we’re all a little too critical of ourselves. So what if, just once a day, we looked in the mirror and thought, “I love me exactly as I am right now…I am capable, ready, and beautiful!” The next time you’re brushing your teeth, take a nice cleansing breath and consciously love yourself instead of being lost in thoughts of past or future. Make it the one time of the day where you ban self-criticism and make self-love your daily practice.
4. Be here now!
Put the phone down, shut your computer off, silence the TV…and spend some quality time without electronic influence — even if it’s for an hour a day. Although it’s tempting to scroll through your Instagram feed, you have to break the internal patterns that keep you stuck. Try taking a deep cleansing breath when the urge to grab your smart phone arises and watch that urge melt away like wax on a candle. If you like, you can even make it a game…. Simply put, be here now and really connect with your children, your partner, pet, or self. An awakened inner heart will surprise you and your daily life will be richer than if you’d won the lottery.
The proper use of our breath is one of the best-kept secrets of the Twenty-First Century. We often rush around forgetting to breathe, but connecting to your breath, as we find in yoga, brings everything into focus. Breath nourishes our bodies, but, even more powerfully, it calms our mind. You don’t have to go on 40-day meditation retreats to benefit from breathing correctly, you can begin now with baby steps.
Every time you turn on your car, pause and take three deep breaths. Three deep breaths take around 11.9 seconds that can make a world of difference before you hit the road. It might be challenging to stop and breathe as you’re rushing to a dance recital or soccer practice, but spare the seconds and treat yourself.