The Magic of Gratitude and Intention

springramen

Thank you for all the positive mojo I received in response to the InStyle video! It was one of the most “liked” and “shared” blogs on my site. I’m so grateful that you took the time to spread the word, helping it become a success! THANK YOU!

Also, please accept my apology over the lack of blogs over these past few weeks. It’s been a crazy and hectic time as I’ve previously shared, and I so appreciate all of you that reached out to check in. Thanks for your concern and your patience. My intention is to not let that happen again.

Gratitude and intention are powerful words that when practiced daily have the ability to change any single moment of your life and in turn, change your life entirely.

The concept is simple: where your attention goes, energy flows.

So many of us pay attention to the aspects our lives that aren’t working, anxious thoughts that makes us frustrated and sad. We’re more likely to ruminate on difficult co-workers, selfish partners or our poor quality of health than to notice the blooming magnolia trees, or the stranger that held the door for us at Starbucks with a sincere smile, or that we woke up today, giving us another opportunity to get our health in order. But focusing on what you don’t want often leads to more of the same.

I know the potential of this firsthand. I grew up a certified pessimist, believing the worst in every scenario not only because I lived with certainty of doom, but I also used it as armor. If I believed the worst and then something good happened, it would be a nice surprise. But to believe the best and then not get it? Well that would feel devastating. I honestly thought this mindset was protecting me until I realized that it was the genesis of my unhappiness.

Somewhere along the way I changed. I had to. My life was trending in a direction that made me miserable. I was practicing pharmacy and felt suffocated by a life I’d created by default. I’d chosen the safe route believing that the adventurous, creative life I dreamed of wasn’t available to me. And then, I started having panic attacks at work.

I knew instantly this was my spirit’s way of telling me I was walking down the wrong path. If I didn’t change course I believed with all my heart I would get sick and die and since I had evidence all around me that what I believed was what I attracted, I knew I had to do something.

I’d love to say that the shift was immediate but it wasn’t. It’s hard to change gears that fast. After a lifetime of negative ruminations and perceived slights, it wasn’t easy to think optimistically. At first I just practiced not thinking negatively. When a dark thought entered my mind, I pushed it away and tried not to attach myself to it. Still, the road ahead was long. But I supported my journey by doing a very simple exercise that helped me enormously: every night I’d write down the things that made me happy followed by the things I intended to do. I began to practice gratitude and intention. And everything changed…

Whenever I sit with a client that is struggling with anxiety, emotional eating issues, frustration or sadness, I encourage them to spend a few minutes every night writing down the three best things that happened to them that day, followed by three intentions they hold for the next day. This simple practice is the best and fastest way I know to change the way you feel and in turn, change the quality of the things that show up in your life.

By taking a few minutes every night to express three things that you’re grateful for you are reminding yourself that your life has beauty. Taking time to notice what you loved about your day and practicing this daily attracts more grace into your life.

Writing down your three intentions allows you to make a pact with yourself to move your life in the direction that you want it to go. Whether it’s making a healthy homemade breakfast or taking that 6pm Yoga class, write it down. It could also be clearing clutter from your desk so you can think more elastically. Committing your intentions to paper creates an imprint on your subconscious mind making it more likely that you’ll follow through. Doing this nightly allows your life to expand as you move in the direction of your dreams, giving you even more to be grateful about.

When I began my own practice of gratitude and intention, I was an unhappily married pharmacist with a nightly Ben & Jerry’s habit. I took two weeks of vacation a year to places I didn’t want to go and spent my free time in bookstores dreaming of a creative, magical life that seemed as far away as Mars. The former pessimist in me would be gobsmacked to see that through gratitude and intention, I achieved exactly what I wanted. And along the way, I’ve created a life that excites me every single day, one that I am supremely grateful for.

If you struggle with anxiety, sadness, emotional eating tendencies, or would simply like to see your life move in a more meaningful and positive direction, I encourage you to try this for 30 days. Give this practice 5 minutes of your time for 30 days and watch what happens. I’m certain you’ll be amazed by the results.

So here’s a question for you… how do you approach your life? Are you grateful, careful to craft your days in a deliberate way? Or are you stuck in negativity, living your life by default? I’m so curious to know, so please share in the comments below. If you’re interested in improving your health, this is an important practice to consider. All reality begins in the mind, including the state of your health…

I can’t wait to hear your responses and get a dialogue going… till then, stay well and have an excellent day!

xo
B

Birthday Celebrations!

50th Birthday Celebrations in Alicante

Well, it happened. Gratefully, I am 50. When you consider the alternative, this is a happy outcome.

I spent my birthday in Spain with my family and close friends. It was a magnificent week of laughter, joy, food and wine.

THANK YOU to those of you that reached out with birthday wishes! Here’s a picture of the celebration… it was a special time with people I love and I’ll never forget it….

Now, roll on 60…. Just not so fast 🙂

Spring Ramen Recipe

This is a perfect recipe for an early spring dinner. While the days may be warming up, the evenings are still holding on to the last remnants of winter making this soup is a wonderful way to keep cozy on these cool nights.

Using the beautiful veggies of the season, you can make this soup with little effort and a modest investment of time. It’s healthy and simply delicious! Enjoy~

springramen

Stock

  • 1 split chicken breast, bone on
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 ½ inches ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 6 scallions, sliced in ¼” dice (use mostly white part and some of the green)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (you can also use rice wine vinegar or white wine)
  • ½ teaspoon Himalaya salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon chili oil (this spices things up but also takes the bitterness out of broccoli rabe)

Vegetables

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 5 asparagus spears, tough bits cut off, and sliced thin
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli rabe

springramen-gingerspringramen-kale

Noodles

  • ½ bag kelp noodles (you can also use angel hair pasta or soba noodles)

Garnish

  • Handful of sprouts (I used clover sprouts but you can use any kind you prefer)
  • Sliced scallions
  • Place the chicken, water, ginger, garlic and scallions in a pot and bring to a simmer, covered, for about an hour.
  • While the stock is simmering, prep your vegetables so they are ready to go.

springramen-sprouts

Tip: Save the tough ends of the asparagus and broccoli rabe for juicing if you’re in the habit of making green drinks. They are full of nutrition and have multiple health benefits. If you don’t juice, then save these bits and ends in a Ziploc bag and freeze them. Do this every time you handle vegetables and when the bag is full make vegetable broth)

When stock is done, remove chicken breast with a slotted spoon. Place in fridge and allow it to cool so that you can shred it with your hands. Then add tamari, white wine vinegar, salt, sesame oil and chili oil to the stock and allow to simmer another 10 minutes at low heat.

Tip: Once you remove the meat, freeze the chicken bones in a Ziploc bag, and do this whenever you make chicken on the bone. When you have enough, you can make bone broth. (Make sure you use organic chicken if you decide to do this).

Add kelp noodles and simmer a couple of minutes. (If you’re using angel hair pasta or soba noodles, then cook them separately according to package instructions, drain and place in bowls).

Add the asparagus and broccoli rabe. Simmer one minute more then shut off heat and keep the soup covered for about 5 minutes.

Add the peas and let it sit covered for a few minutes more.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sprouts and scallions… Serve and enjoy!

Serves two

Share Your Thoughts...

17 comments on “The Magic of Gratitude and Intention

  1. Michael

    Thank you , for your 3 and 3 advice. I too struggle with negative thoughts. My health is ok with the help of meditation,and my PB is needing help too. 144/93. I have not started taking meditation for this just yet.. I am looking for another way to handle this. Then I came in contact with your video.

    Congrats on your 50th and many more, also on your lovely family.

    Again ,Thank you for your Blog.

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez RPh MS Post author

      I’m so glad it resonated for you and I urge you to try this for 30 days… You’ll be surprised at how effective it is~ and then let me know the results! I’d love to hear your feedback. Till then stay well and thank you for taking the time to comment! I so appreciate it!

      Reply
  2. Alyson

    Happy Birthday! I have my first appointment with you on Friday and I am very much looking forward to meeting you and gaining from your wisdom. ~alyson

    Reply
  3. anne

    Barbara, congrats on your new professional chapter in you life. ( sorry I am a bit late with this). I have worked as a health care professional all my life. I have always been open to alternative healing modalities despite my traditional background. I am so grateful and appreciate the change in your life path from Pharmacist to your current profession. Everyone benefits from your vast knowledge. To date I do not take any medication. I hope I can continue in this mode. Belated Happy Birthday and best wishes fir many more. Anne

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez RPh MS Post author

      Thanks so much Anne! I actually made that shift about 15 years ago! But I still hold onto my pharmacy license just in case 🙂
      Good to know you’re not on any meds to control your health… speaks to the power of self care~
      Thanks again for your good wishes!
      Best~
      B

      Reply
  4. Louise DiSclafani

    Appreciate your comments today. I’ve had a lot of career changes over my life as well. Each time it was to something I wanted. I really do love what I’m doing now…just that so many medical and life issues have been getting in the way. I’m just about back on track now and keep reminding myself that staying on track with my plans will get me to my goals very soon.

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez RPh MS Post author

      Thanks for commenting Louise! I can see you work hard towards manifesting a life that feels satisfying for you. I encourage you to try the 3 best/3 intentions exercise I wrote about. You’ll be amazed at how well it works at minimizing negativity and helping you see more clearly all the positivity in your life. It also moves the needle forward on your journey. If you try it, let me know how it goes for you…
      Wishing you all the best!
      B

      Reply
  5. Lori russell

    I am still trying to find my way, Barbara. It has been almost a year since losing Bill. I did say to my children that we have done a lot in a year. My son moved, new dogs, holidays, etc. Not all good but mostly positive. I have always been a Pollyanna and trying to see the positive is just a little harder now. Thanks for reminding me to practice positivity. Especially before I go to sleep. I have so much to be thankful for. I can’t forget that. You are always an inspiration to me. Even though I don’t post a lot I still read your blog. Take care. Lori

    Reply
  6. Tony

    A journey it has been and a journey it will continue to be my friend. A happy and healthy journey to you B~

    Reply

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