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Setting the Scene: A Guide to Crafting Your Monthly Intentions - Ardent Market

Setting the Scene: A Guide to Crafting Your Monthly Intentions

Years ago, I took a creative writing class and won the coveted "theme" shirt. In that class, we wrote dozens of short stories based on obscure prompts and underwent intensive peer review and critique sessions. To lighten the mood, the class held an award ceremony where I won my t-shirt. This class taught me the fundamentals of writing—showing, not telling, setting the scene, and jailing "be" verbs.

Just as the internet is fond of "main character energy," I aim to make you the protagonist of our narrative. The real heroes of AM's story are our customers, vendors, and community members.

I've often told you about things instead of letting you experience them firsthand. I've set moods, drawn cards, curated playlists, and explained the purpose of each piece of content. Now, I want to show you instead. I want to inspire you to try things yourself and support you in the process. So, as the self-proclaimed Queen of Theme, I'd like to share some insight on crafting your practices and setting intentions for the month.

And hopefully, make Ms. Sampson proud.

Setting the Mood

I see inspiration as a funnel from gathering to execution—you gather as much as you can, refine it, and end up with something to play with that is tailored to your vision or dream. When pulling together inspiration for mood boards, I consider three things:

  1. The season and its energy
  2. The Zodiac signs and transits
  3. Color, texture, and emotions

These ideas allow me to relate everything to nature, humanity, and the slow life we're all striving for. Typically, I create a Pinterest board or design my own in Canva or Photoshop.

If you're in need of some inspiration, take a look at this Ardent Living board to get a sense of AM.

Going Deeper

After establishing a general mood, I brainstorm the topics (or prompts, after my conditioning) for all related content—shop updates, blog posts with practices, and newsletters carrying on the message. These ideas aren't pulled from thin air; they percolate from inspiration, curiosity, and a bit of deadline pressure.

To get through the giant list of things I create, I ask myself three questions:

  1. How do I want this month to feel?
  2. What am I trying to cultivate this month?
  3. How can I translate these intentions into action?

Journaling these questions usually yields strong thoughts and intentions for the month.

At this stage, creating or tuning into a playlist can be beneficial. Using keywords from the mood funnel, you can conjure up fun playlist themes, like this paperbacks playlist.

Adding a Touch of Magic

While optional, I find joy in drawing cards for myself to add a touch of magic to the month. I usually use a three-card spread, accompanied by reflective journaling questions. These cards often mirror the month I am shaping, occasionally providing me with specific elements to focus on.

Once these steps are completed, I tackle the monthly work. I'm armed with a theme I'm passionate about, compelling intentions, powerful visuals and sounds, and overall optimism.

If you'd like to start this monthly practice, join the newsletter and get my copy of the tarot spread and journal questions for the month! (Or feel free to create your own practice.)

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