As I mentioned in my 2018ex Explained overview, I spent the month of January pondering, reflecting, taking stock of my life, and setting intentions. I was gathering, absorbing, and taking things in. Now I’m ready to Exhale.
This month, I want you to join me in a united intention: just breathe.
The beautiful thing about the intentions I’ve set for this year is that they’ll work to support YOU in whatever your own personal, individual goals are.
Think about your goals and breathe in acceptance, gratitude, motivation, and positivity.
Then breathe out resistance, fears, doubts, and negativity.
Very literally, breathing is a form of control. I’ve just started going to yoga every morning at 5:30 a.m., and if you know me, you know how revolutionary that is. It’s challenging me and pushing me and showing me in concrete terms exactly how powerful breathing can be. When we feel tightness in a pose, yoga instructors often tell us to breathe into that place in the body. Breathe into your hip. Breathe into your hamstrings. Breathe into those trembling arms.
This month, I hope we’ll all take the time to breathe into any challenging place we may find ourselves. When we’re stressed for any reason, we tend to breathe more shallowly. That’s when it’s most important to take deep, cleansing breaths. Here are three yoga breathing exercises to try, which are great for times of stress and anxiety—or simply to help us draw in the power we need to live our best lives.
And here’s how I plan to apply my Exhale intention to the four pillars of memory keeping for 2018ex:
Experiences—I’m going to breathe out “busyness” and breathe in “presence” as I live each day more observantly and mindfully—and write down what I see.
Exceptional moments—I will pay attention to the highlights of the month—those moments that take my breath away—and jot them in the top section of my desktop calendar.
Expressions—I plan to use the Fresh Start Storybook set, with its calming colors and soft watercolor look, to tell a few stories more deeply this month.
Expectations—The source of stress and disappointment is often nothing more than a mismatch between expectations and reality. When this happens, I’ll mindfully breathe through it and adapt, adapt, adapt—but never give up.
How will you apply the Exhale intention in your life this month? I’d love to hear about it! Join me on Facebook Live on Feb 16th so we can chat and connect about how your planning, memory-keeping, and just breathing are going!
Here are five photos to take to decorate your planner or calendar this month.
1. A photo showing where you are right now, at the beginning of this 2018ex journey—ready to go through an exceptional year.
2. A photo of YOU at your most relaxed—in cozy socks by the fire, in your pajamas, curled up with a book, or maybe the moment after you complete a deep breathing exercise.
3. A scene that makes you feel peaceful and present—a favorite tree, a cup of tea, a photo of the sky, your yoga mat.
4. A photo of one of the reasons you breathe—a person or a passion that makes life worth living.
5. A photo of a book that has helped you slow down, live in the moment, and just breathe
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment live in the breath.”
“Sometimes it’s the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”
“When I breathe in, I am breathing in the laughter, tears, victories, passions, thoughts, memories, existence, joys, moments, and the hues of the sunlight on many tones of skin; I am breathing in the same air that was exhaled by many before me…
And so how can I ever say that I am alone?”
-C. Joybell C.
My finished projects and planning pages for February will be posted right here, so please check back at the beginning of March!