Active Nation Day: Intentions and Gold, Shiny Shoes
Connecting. Fun. Adventure.
Those were the intentions which had me jumping out of bed at 6am on Sunday morning to head into the city for the Lorna Jane Active Nation Day!
I love being at events where I can experience new things, meet different people, have a good time and grow.
However, it wasn’t that long ago when I would have held myself back; when I was so limited by my critical thoughts and excessive planning and stress, that being outside my comfort zone was far too challenging.
It didn’t really matter that I craved adventure and connection- it mattered that I would be worried about the weather. Or not getting enough sleep the night before. Or not belonging, somehow.
Or, oh my goodness, there’s another woman wearing the same top as me and I should have chosen something different because I definitely don’t look as cool as she does!
Any little things could trigger a wave of panic and be enough to make me wish I was anywhere else.
Practicing mindfulness has helped me become much more aware of the thoughts which hurt and hold me back and gives me opportunities to reconnect with what truly matters. I can actually choose how I react to challenges;
Whether I laugh off a mistake (rather than criticise myself for it),
Ask someone I don’t know if they could take a photo of my friends and I (the “old” me would have died a thousand awkward deaths inside),
Or exercise in a way which feels good for me (such as taking a break when I need to! Again, I can actually imagine the old me cringing. Because then everyone would know I can’t actually do more than one real push up).
Being mindful meant I could experience the present moment and my intentions helped me interpret those moments in ways which made me feel really, really good.
At my workshop the day before, I’d guided my wonderful guests through a simple intention-setting process and encouraged them to check in with their intentions regularly.
I really do believe that by consciously deciding how we want our days to unfold, we are more likely to follow through with our intentions!
For example, when I set the intention to have an adventure at the Lorna Jane Active Nation Day, it meant I could embrace the unexpected and try to perceive it as an adventure. If it had rained, that would have been an interesting story and a different adventure (rather than focusing on the negative aspects of being rained on!). The area we rolled out our mats on was sloped, which meant that most of our exercises were done a little lop-sided. Instead of feeling frustrated by that, I laughed (ahem, a lot! I think my core got more of a workout from laughing as we tried not to roll down the slope than from doing the actual sit-ups!).
So, here are a few prompts for setting intentions of your own:
What will you be proud of yourself for at the end of the day?
How do you want to feel and think?
What actually matters to you?
How can you support yourself to create a day you might enjoy?
Is there any way you can remind yourself of your intentions?
How can you celebrate yourself for implementing (or, at least try to implement) your intentions?
Keen to know more about how my intentions unfolded on Lorna Jane’s Active Nation Day?
Here are a few highlights:
This was a little bit of a cheeky double intention- I wanted to connect with the lovely ladies I was spending time with and I also wanted to connect with the present moment.
During the yoga session, the sun came out and I could feel it sinking into my skin. There was a slight breeze and we were standing with our hands at our hearts- I felt so connected with that moment and my body and all of us, collectively practicing yoga outside in the sunshine.
I can’t believe I’m almost at the end of this post and I haven’t yet mentioned my gold, shiny shoes. I wore gold, shiny shoes to Active Nation Day. The black, very non-descript sneakers I wear everywhere (because hey, I think I have big feet and I normally don’t like drawing attention to them! Yep.) sat in my closet, while I wore gold, shiny shoes. How could I wear them and not have fun?!
This whole day was an adventure, really! It was a change in my routine, a chance to meet different people and see new things.
After the event, my girlfriends and I went for a wander to find somewhere for brunch. Not only was it an adventure (and a delicious one, too!), but we started planning our next adventure together.