DAY 8- Set Intentions
How many times have you heard that your thoughts create your reality? There can be a lot of mental resistance i.e. complaints, criticism, worry, and ego when we set out to make changes, challenge ourselves, or adopt a new practice. It is easy to get stuck in patterns of procrastination, worry, and thought.
Intentions are a pathway to connect what you truly want to practice or even manifest in daily life. By setting an intention, or having a prayer and goal on your mind, you can make decisive choices in alignment with your purpose.
Think of that old-school ribbon on a finger to remember something. You're creating a metal ribbon around your brain to stay focused on what you really need. Intentions create the space for you to see what you want and clear the path to it with a little more mental clarity.
You can set an intention by figuring out what matters most to you, how you would feel as your most fulfilled self, what you're grateful for, what you would like to let go of or even create more of. You can start with simple and comforting intentions like, "I am trusting my intuition," "I am capable of loving and wise choices." or "I can give and receive kindness with ease."
The cards we pull are also an example of an intention, a simple word that we can use in reference and alignment. Our September card is "Transformation," so an intention you can use for this could be, "I'm letting go of what doesn't serve me." or "I am committed to my growth."— whatever your need or want might be, remember you're clearing a path to change, so always make an intention from a loving and powerful place.
Since intentions are so important, and we are supporting our own purpose of inspiration, we are giving away one of the gorgeous intention bracelets in a drawing! They are far prettier than a string around the finger! You can enter by submitting your intention at the bottom of this blog post, or on Instagram! The winner will be selected by September 10th!
DAY 9 - Make a Mixtape
"The purpose of music is to elevate the spirit and inspire. Not to help push some product down your throat. It puts you in tune with your own existence. Sometimes you really don't know how you feel, but really good music can define how you feel...Someone who's telling me where he's been that I haven't and what it's like there...somebody whose life I can feel." - Bob Dylan
Back in the day, we made a mixtape for how we felt. We miss this form of self-expression and want to bring it back. Don't go out and get a walkman, but make playlists again. Intentionally curate music into folders for emotions, moods, and events. Set the tone of the season.
We crafted a mixtape to share for Autumn. We always identify with a little old and a little new. The jumbled excitement and coziness of the season spoke to us. We are expressing the intention for the season; please enjoy.
Share your playlists on #Ardent30 We want to know where you've been and what you're feeling!
DAY 10- Full Body Scan
Now that we've tried breathwork and setting intentions, and other mindfulness skills, today we are going for a body scan. No equipment required. A body scan is a very simple mindful meditation and soothing exercise. It's a building block for visualization technics and other deeply restorative meditations.
Take a seat somewhere comfortable or lay down. Start with a few deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth with some whooshing noises. Ease into a resting breath with your mouth closed and when you're ready, close your eyes. The purpose of this exercise is to check in with your body. You want to observe how you're feeling.
With your eyes closed, and the breath natural and restful, picture light above your head. Follow this light as it travels down from the top of your head, your forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose, ears, jaw, and neck. As you slowly scan from the top of your head down your face, notice any tension or sensations you feel. It's normal for you to notice hearing when scanning your ears with the light. Your mind might wander, when you become aware, pull it back to whatever part of the body you were focusing on. You don't have to correct yourself, just observe.
Move your light down your neck, shoulders, and chest with careful attention to your breathing. Notice the quality of the breaths and how they make you feel. It's common to have tension in this part of the body— stay with your breath as long as you need. Allow the light to fill those sensations you're feeling, like warm sunshine. Let the light travel from the shoulders to each of your arms, hands, and fingers. Continue to focus on your breathing.
Shift your focus back to your chest and the rise and fall of your ribcage and sides. Begin traveling down your back and lower abdomen. You can use your light and breath to release any tension you have in these parts of your body. Take inventory of your stress and revert to your breath if your mind wanders. As your light travels, let it meet your hips and pelvis and the floor you're sitting on. Continue with that flow as your light travels down your legs, feel the weight and connection to the ground. Notice any sensation you have as they rest on the floor, especially numbness or tingling. Finally, focus on your feet- soles, heels, and toes.
When you're ready, gently take a deep breath and allow the light to travel once more through, with more speed. Feel the sensations of the breath in combination with your light. Release any tension or discomfort in your body with your deep breaths.
As you finish the exercise, take two large, belly-filling breaths, spend a few minutes on the floor and relax. Breathe deeply. Open your eyes.
DAY 11 - Get Moving
We've learned a lot about the benefits of breath, but let's combine it with a little nature. Hike, walk, swim in a natural body of water, do yoga on the grass, or at the beach. Get moving. Connect your mind and body through breath, and your body to nature. Give it all you have and let it ground you.
DAY 12 - Take a bath
It sounds so simple to suggest a bath. But water is one of the most healing elements we have. We are composed of it, we drink it, we can swim in it, it cleans us and our environment, it helps things grow, and it has a soothing sound. Taking baths have turned into a luxurious ritual, but its purpose is to clean. Turn a relaxing bath into a meditative practice and connect with water. Wash away more than the grime of the day— wash through some tension, negative energy, and general unease. Add some crystals, flowers, salts, or soaps and practice the body scan we had this week. On average, the human body is 60% water, connect with your element and let it heal you.
DAY 13- Read in Long Form
Give something your focus, read and comprehend, get lost in words and expression, and unplug. Making time to read is just as important as reading for the mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.
Tag a book you're reading! Let's consider this a virtual book club! Post and tag #Ardent30
DAY 14- Hug More
"We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." - Virginia Satir
Hugs boost oxytocin and serotonin levels — i.e. the loneliness, isolation, anger healers and happiness and mood elevators. Hugs create a stronger immune system; they relax muscles and balance the nervous system. They also strengthen empathy, self-esteem, and create an energy exchange between two people.
Isn't it a lovely thought? We can heal ourselves and others with a simple embrace. The world needs many many more hugs. We have a gentle reminder in the studio, and you can have your own.
Hug someone and get a picture, tag us #ardent30 so we can feel all warm and safe too.
We are so proud of you!! Let's jump into Week 3!