Welcome to Living Your Intention!
On Thursday, December 22, 2011 many of us will celebrate the Winter Solstice. In Latin, solstice means "sun set still." Winter Solstice marks the great stillness before the Sun's strength builds, and days begin to grow longer. Ushering in the shortest day and the longest night of the year, this Solstice has long been honored by many traditions as a sacred and rich time.
The return of the light is the most prominent feature of most midwinter festivals. In Sweden on St. Lucia's Day, young girls don white dresses and a wreath of candles and awaken their families with cakes and songs. In the Jewish tradition, Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by 8 days of lighting the menorah candles. There is the advent wreath of the Christian faith and the all-night bonfire for the burning of the Yule log, a tradition with roots in Northern European pre-Christian times.
Many Chinese consider the solstice a time for optimism and joy and hold celebrations on this day. The Winter Solstice is a perfect example of the theory of Yin and Yang. In Chinese philosophy, Yin symbolizes the feminine, womb-like qualities of the universe while Yang the masculine, more dynamic energy. The concept is based on the observation that when something has reached one extreme, it will turn to the opposite, seeking balance. On the day of the Winter Solstice, the Yin is at its peak with the longest night. From then on, it will give way to the light and warmth of Yang.
The parties and holiday gatherings we enjoy during this season bring Yang energy and remind us that we're all in it together. We long for a sense of belonging, being part of a tribe, feeling that deep bond of family. But it is also important to avoid getting caught up in the Yang hype of the season, especially if we do this to avoid the darker or troubling aspects in life. When we keep in mind the importance of balance which the Yin/Yang philosophy teaches, we can also use the darkness to embrace the Yin energy of rest, silence and reflection.
The following continuation of Nancy Lynn's story is a testimony to listening to that quiet voice within that just might be urging you in a different direction. When we follow that voice, and our heart, we create a festival of light every day in our lives and, in so doing, bring the gift of our light to the world.
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me
there lay an invincible summer. - Albert Camus
May your Holiday be wrapped in warmth,
touched with wonder, and filled with love.
"Nesting in a Mayan pueblo on Lake Atitlan"
I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
- Diane Ackerman
The threads of my life began in the mountains of Montana, flowed through the deep love and connection to water, and wove through the unfolding of a deepening awareness that my nature needed to be close to the land, and that my heart needed learn to through the eyes of other worlds.
This clarity has taken hold after nearly four years living here in a contemporary Mayan village, along the edge of the lake made famous by writer Aldous Huxley, who declared it the most beautiful in all the world. The how and why of landing here is a beautiful mystery, but I will try to reveal what I do know.
Something big happened to me when I left the comfort of my known world. There was at first the thrill of "adventure" as I traveled alone to arrive here. There were so many sweet "encounters" along the way, I am sure, because my eyes were wide-open, wanting to take in all the beauty of the landscapes and the people, but also because I was feeling a huge shift in my heart. Before I left, some friends had expressed "concerns" about my decision to travel alone and to a "dangerous" country. I chose to leave these fears behind and tried to travel wisely but open to possibilities.
Life lessons and many of my "heroes" have taught me this - when I am most open, and less afraid, life presents gifts and solutions, shows the way. It has not always been easy to hold onto this knowledge, but when I have been able to sit quietly with the uncertainty, I have been astounded at where I have arrived.
San Pedro la Laguna is a Tzutujil Mayan village facing yet another challenge - the changes that modern western culture has brought with television, cell phones, internet, junk food and plastic garbage. I was in a kind of shock my first few weeks after arriving here, not from the cultural differences, but from witnessing how my own culture was impacting this culture which had survived the Spanish conquest, the invasion of Christianity of both the Catholics and later the "evangelicals" and the near genocide of the 30 year civil war that ended only 15 years ago. The plastic litter everywhere appalled me. I time each week, cleaning my favorite beach when I visited.
In the meantime, I made good on my promise to myself, that I would die being bi-lingual and seriously studied Spanish, though it is the second language here and many of the elders speak only their first, Tzutujil. After weeks and months of 4 hours daily of private lessons, I began to learn something of the local culture, the political history and the traditional beliefs.
Click here to read more . . .
Do you have a story to share about a profound connection to a place, an idea, or an ideal? Have you re-connected with a dream, or made changes in your life to achieve a deeper sense of connection?
I'd love to hear from you!
Please email me or visit on Facebook with your thoughts!
Your Destination is Just a Click Away with DreamTrips!
(4 day/3 night French Quarter 3 Star Hotel $719.99/pp) Includes: Ticket to see Dr. John performance at the House of Blues. Access to the members only Foundation Room at the House of Blues. New Year's Eve four-course dinner, after enjoy the view of the Jackson Square crowds, countdown to the ball drop and gala fireworks display over the river at midnight. Tickets to the Sugar Bowl on January 3 may be available for approximately $250 per ticket and additional hotel night may also be available at additional cost. Contact your DreamTrip agent for more details.
A Way to Give Back
Guatemala ($994.99 7 day/6 night January 5-11) For years Guatemala has been a contrast of natural beauty and socioeconomic disparity. Poverty is prevalent in all regions of the country, affecting every man, woman and child. Since 2009, the Manifest Foundation has aligned with select non-profit organizations to make a difference in Guatemala and improve the quality of life for children and families in need. By building schools out of discarded plastic bottles, an endeavor that costs just $12,000 per two-classroom school, the Manifest Foundation and its incredible volunteers have created environments for children to receive a quality education. This is your opportunity to take a Voluntour and help build a Bottle School for children in San Martin. You'll meet new friends, get to know the community, visit Mayan ruins and experience Guatemalan culture firsthand. Take a trip to make a difference. You'll cherish every minute.
Rio de Janeiro ($3,209.99/pp February 17 - 22)
Consider this very special event trip your opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime celebration in the exotic city of Rio De Janeiro that takes place annually at the peak of summer in Brazil-Carnival. Originating from the Roman Catholic tradition and commencing 40 days prior to Easter, Carnival is a 4-day celebration that finishes on Fat Tuesday, the last day of indulgence before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent and a period of abstaining from bodily pleasures for 46 days. Members requiring additional nights, if not booked prior to travel, will be charged the hotel's prevailing rate, not the DreamTrip price.
This trip will close on or before January 10, 2012.
All That Jazz!
Cancun Jazz Festival ($665.99/pp 6 day/5 night, 5-star Grand Oasis Cancun, May 16 - 21) On this DreamTrip, jazz enthusiasts the world-over will gather to attend the Oasis Jazz U Festival, where six renowned jazz pianists and other notable jazz musicians will host a series of remarkable performances. If that wasn't enough, vacation-goers also have the choice of snorkeling the second-largest barrier reef in the world, scuba diving, fishing, surfing, jet skiing, shopping, biking, tennis, golf, water skiing, and visiting the archeological wonder of nearby Mayan ruins. The trip will close by April 1st.
Tour of Italy ($2624.49/pp 10 day/9 night Sept 29 - Oct 8) When you book this outstanding Italian DreamTrip, prepare for insider access to the refined cultural preferences of a mature and developed Italy-one renowned for its architecture, envied for its wine and thoroughly enjoyed by all! Take full advantage of 10 days and 9 nights of guided day trips through vineyards and farmlands, exquisite eateries and the cultural niches that inspired the Italian Renaissance. Listen to the sound of olive leaves rustling above your head as you breathe in the beauty and simplicity of a functioning olive grove, or run your hands along the leafy tendrils of Chianti's most appreciable, vine-ripened assets, right before you put the vintner's liquid masterpiece to your lips.The remarkable delights of Rome, Florence and the rest of the Tuscan periphery await your arrival. You and your companions will be spoiled for life! This trip will be closed on or before June 26.
Who Wants to Go To Disney?
Create the ultimate Disney® Experience for your and your family or group. Click the link for a few of the Disney resorts and destinations we work with, such as Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruises. If you would like to get a quote for your Disney vacation, simply select "Vacation Package Request Form" from the Quote Request menu at the link. One of our Disney Travel Representatives will respond to you promptly.
Thank you so much for your interest in Living Your Intention!
I welcome your feedback, and look forward to hearing from you! Please know that I am grateful for your presence.
"A mind that is stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimensions."
Oliver Wendell Holmes
|Yin/Yang Tips for the Winter Holidays |
1. Fill your home with light. Whether it is turning on a light in every room, adding extra the twinkle lights on your Christmas tree, lighting your fireplace or simply burning a candle, do so with the intention of energizing yourself and all occupants as well as guests. Think of ways in which you can make the world a brighter place.
2. Embrace the Dark. Earlier traditions focused on the battle between the dark and the light, but we know both are valuable. Honor the dark before calling in the light. Set aside some time (I do know how difficult this is during the busy-ness of the season) to just sit in the dark for a quiet period of rest and reflection. Don't forget to breathe!
3. Let go. This is a natural time for letting go and even, perhaps saying farewell. Release any resentments and regrets, knowing they will be transformed. Write them on slips of paper, which you can burn in your fireplace, fire pit, or in a special non-porous bowl.
4. Create intentions. This season can be a fruitful time for setting intentions. What you conceive now can grow with the expanding light, and gain momentum in spring. You might start this tradition for the holidays. Write your intentions on paper and place in a special box or drawer. Before the next Winter Solstice go through them to see what manifested from this powerful and magical time.
The Chinese New Year of the Dragon comes early this year: January 23, 2012.
The Dragon is magnificent! He is flamboyant, attractive and full of vitality and strength. In China, the Dragon is the sign of the emperor, as well as a symbol of power and wealth.
In honor of the Year of the Dragon, I am bringing you an exciting project!
Passionate about Feng Shui
Certified in Western Feng Shui, Traditional Compass Feng Shui and Fashion Feng Shui, Hinda is a founding member and President of the Feng Shui Institute.
For residential and business consultations, speaking engagements, or customizing a workshop for your group, contact Hinda at (952) 938-0894 or email:
create memories - discover yourself - escape - refresh - rejuvenate - enjoy
"You see the world differently
when you see the world."
Click here to register for Free Preferred Customer status!
Feng Shui Amore
Just the catalyst you need!
Make space for Love in your life!
The Feng Shui Amore collaborative evokes the power of love to enhance every aspect of your life. The four Feng Shui "love divas" will help you make a love connection or spark an existing relationship!
For more information or to arrange a consultation, call
Hinda @ 952-938-0894
or email email@example.com
To become a DreamTrips member, click here and look for the "sign up" tab at the top of the web page.
For information about becoming a Luxury DreamTrips member, click here.
All DreamTrips are backed by the DreamPrice Promise!
The purpose of this newsletter is two-fold: to share ways to incorporate the art of Feng Shui in daily life and to share travel experiences and opportunities you can access.
Each of these, in its own way, can
support mindfulness and intentionality
as we navigate life's journey.
I hope you encounter a new idea, a new resource or a new viewpoint. Perhaps some small insight will answer an unspoken question, provide a helpful tip, motivate or inspire you,
or simply give you a moment to escape from the day's demands.