Welcome to Living Your Intention!
2012 is finally here and the build-up leading to its arrival reminded me of the atmosphere around the arrival of the millennium. People were excited then, but yet there was an anticipatory concern about what was to come - especially how all computers would be affected! Remember? Of course the subsequent years brought new and unanticipated challenges and our world is certainly very different from what it was at the onset of 2000.
New Year's Eve 1999 was spent with a group of close friends. We created a ceremony by writing on pieces of paper what we didn't want to carry into the new millennium and then burned them in the fireplace. We then wrote our intentions for the new decade and placed them in our own special containers. It was a memorable New Year's Eve. Our group has remained close through the years although some have moved to a distant city and last year, one died of cancer. Change is inevitable. Memories are constant.
But 2012 comes with a different expectancy. There has been much discussion about personal and cultural transformation: developing a clearer sense of your authentic self and re-evaluating your life's direction and sense of purpose.
The goal is to create higher levels of Joy, Love and Peace - a rather lofty goal, perhaps, but why not? Think what might be possible if people around the world embraced these goals and began to put them into action? What kind of a shift would occur?
This New Year's eve was unusual for me; it was the first time I'd attended a party where I didn't know anyone. It was hosted by a former colleague of Tom's, who had planned a New Year's Eve reunion party with a mix of current and former colleagues, as well as friends old and new.
I'd like to believe the energy at that party represented a microcosm of what the energy shift from 2011 to 2012 might look like. As I stepped inside our host's home, an immediate sense of camaraderie surrounded me. Within five minutes of arriving, I felt as if I already knew each person. There was a great welcoming energy of friendship, caring, joyfulness, playfulness and inclusiveness. There were no strangers!
Walking into someone's home and being made to feel welcome and cared about is a gift. This is one of my intentions for 2012: pay attention to all who come into our home or the space of my personal energy and make certain they feel welcome and cared about.
Wouldn't it create an amazing shift for peace on our planet if this year everyone intended to welcome all with love, compassion and honor?
"Everyone thinks of changing the world,
2012 Year of the Water Dragon
Mighty and magnificent, the Dragon of mythical folklore enchants and stirs our imagination. Some of its magical qualities, illusory or not, are contained in those born under its sign. Dragon characteristics include magnanimity, vitality, strength, enthusiasm and loyalty. They can also be egotistical, dogmatic and demanding.
This year the Chinese element associated with the Dragon is water, which takes on the Dragon's yang energy. It is predicted that the yang water this year symbolizes the ocean, an element of power, force and strong energy. It could be the destructive force of nature, such as the tsunami, or it can be the impulse and drive for social, political and economic changes. The yang water is also a symbol of intelligence, courage, generosity and charity. If the energy is guided in a positive direction, it can move quickly towards progress and reform with less violence and struggling as in the previous metal-wood years of 2010 and 2011.
For detailed information on how to find your Chinese Animal, its characteristics and the influence of the Year of the Water Dragon, see The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes Seventh Edition by Theodora Lau.
The Bucket List You Didn't Know You Had!
The Bucket List, a 2007 comedy-drama film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, follows two terminally ill men on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket." It received mixed reviews from film critics, but was a box office success; obviously, it struck a cord with many people.
Since that film, "Bucket List" has become a catch-phrase. What, indeed, are the activities, travels, experiences, skills or adventures you know you want to do before you die? It might include running the Boston marathon, traveling to Bali, riding an elephant, learning to play the piano, climbing Mt. Everest - the list can be endless.
Recently I came across a link on Facebook to the 100 top foods to eat before you die. Truthfully, I actually hadn't given it any thought, but I was certainly curious; what are the "must have" foods? I went to the list to take a look. As a traveler and lover of good food, I consider myself an adventurous eater. As I went down the list, I was amazed at how mundane it was - peanut butter and jelly sandwich, hot dog from a street vendor, venison, oysters, Jell-O shots (are they a food?) and pistachio ice cream to name a few. Of course, insects and durians are on the list. I never plan to eat an insect, even if it is chocolate-covered, and I had no idea what a durian was.
When I googled about durian, I learned it is an exotic fruit, along with dragon fruit, mangosteen, acai berry and jackfruit, used in the raw food diet. It originated in southeast Asia and there are over 30 varieties. Who knew? Evidently it is either loved or hated depending on one's sense of smell. Since smell and appearance are important factors determining what we will put in our mouth, the durian's odor evidently prohibits even some of the most adventurous eaters from sampling it. I was amused to learn it is banned from southeast Asian airports and hotels because of its terrible, lingering odor.
It seems the categories of bucket lists keep expanding. However, a friend's recent comment set my thinking in a different direction. She and her husband were on a road trip this fall and took an alternative route that resulted in a site-seeing adventure that totally delighted her! She was amazed by the experience. On their return she said to me, "It was a bucket list item I didn't know I had!" Food for thought, indeed!
The notion that a bucket list can be filled with activities, travels, experiences, adventures - or even foods we don't know about! How do we get our heads around that notion since obviously this is something we can only know after the fact? What came to mind is this dialogue in the 1958 movie, Auntie Mame:
Auntie Mame: Oh, Agnes! Here you've been taking my dictations for weeks and you haven't gotten the message of my book: live!
Agnes Gooch: Live?
Auntie Mame: Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!
I cannot even begin to know all the glorious travels, adventures, skills or foods available in the banquet of life as we know it! So many are beyond my personal range of experience and knowledge, but I am aware there is much available and I want to be open to it all!
Thus, I decided to create a blank bucket list just waiting to be filled with the items I don't yet know are "musts" for me. In order to do that, however, it occurred to me to first check my existing bucket for any old list items that need to be purged:
- preconceived ideas
- others' judgments based on their experiences, not mine
- closed mind
- fear of the unknown
I will make sure my new 2012 bucket list includes items such as:
I'm taking Auntie Mame's advice to heart! I intend to live life to the fullest!
- open to new possibilities
- new ways of seeing
Each year brings new reasons to celebrate, new journeys to begin. I wish you a year filled with discovery and a bucket list that is open to the adventure of life.
What are you planning to add to your Bucket List this year? What might need to be released first? I'd love to hear from you!
Please email me or visit on Facebook with your thoughts!
Your 2012 Vacation is Just a Click Away with DreamTrips!
Cruising into the New Year!
- Western Caribbean Cruise (8 Days/7 Nights under $650/pp, includes port fees and taxes!) Departs New Orleans aboard Carnival Conquest for Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and three fun days at sea, arrives Fort Lauderdale. March 11-18
- Canary Islands Cruise (10 Days/9 Nights under $625/pp, includes port fees and taxes!) Departs Barcelona (Spain), Arrecife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Funchal, Malaga (Granada) on the Norwegian Jade. March 16-25
- Panama Canal Cruise (16 Days/15 Nights under $1575/pp, includes port fees and taxes!) Departs San Diego aboard Celebrity Infinity, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Quetzal (Guatemala), Puntarenas (Costa Rica), Panama Canal, Colon (Panama), Cartagena (Colombia), two fun days at sea, Fort Lauderdale. If you are a nature love, you will love this trip! April 10-25
Ways to Give Back in Central America - Take a trip to make a difference. You'll cherish every minute!
Manifest Bottle School Guatemala ($994.99/pp 7 Day/6 Night February 7-13 or March 5-11) Since 2009, the Manifest Foundation has been building schools out of discarded plastic bottles, an endeavor that costs just $12,000 per two-classroom school. 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. These trips are run in collaboration with and sponsored by Serve the World Today LLC and Hug It Forward.
Manifest Series Nicaragua (9 Days/8 Nights $699/pp March 3-11) If you are looking for a "full immersion" experience, this is the trip for you! You will have the honor of living and working with the most loving, welcoming families in Nicaragua, as "Guests" in their homes. Repair roofs and homes, build a Bio-Fuel unit, and visit Managua, the Mombacho Volcano, organic coffee farm and other tours. This trip is run in collaboration with Compas de Nicaragua, with projects projects by Women in Action (WIA), a local group dedicated to teaching others how to implement and create projects to help fund education and housing.
All That Jazz!
- South Padre Island, Texas (8 Days/7 Nights 1-Bedroom beachfront Inverness Condos offer fully equipped kitchen, living/dining room with sleeper sofa, pricing from $339.99 to $529.99 depending upon size of group). Two dine-out meals per day, per person and Red Carpet Party Package included.
- Kona, Hawaii (6 Days/5 Nights Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel $592.99/pp) Ocean view accommodations; includes private, furnished lanais with garden, partial-ocean or full-ocean view, mini-bar, small fridge and daily breakfast buffet.
Cancun Jazz Festival ($665.99/pp 6 Days/5 Nights, 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, for a series of remarkable performances. 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.
Start Your Engines!
2012 Bristol March Nascar Race (4 Days/3 Nights $558.99/pp Hilton Knoxville March 16-19) Take this once in a lifetime chance to live every NASCAR fan's dream at Bristol. Known throughout the racing world for its short track and high banks, Bristol is a racing experience like no other. Wallace Tower tickets to the Spring NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 on Sunday, track tour, onsite manager and concierge service, meet and greet with Kevin Harvick.
Renowned World Wonders
Beijing, China (5 Days/4 Nights $536.99/pp 4-Star Grand Mercure Xidan Hotel April 18-22) 3-day private sightseeing tour with local English-speaking guide, entrance fees and taxes to local sites: Mutianyu Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Temple of Heaven, Siheyuan Residences, Temple of Earth, daily breakfast buffet, airport transfers.
Tour of Italy ($2624.49/pp 10 Days/9 Nights Sept 29 - Oct 8) Guided day trips through vineyards and farmlands, exquisite eateries and the cultural niches that inspired the Italian Renaissance. The remarkable delights of Rome, Florence and the rest of the Tuscan periphery await your arrival. This trip will be closed on or before June 26.
- Wisconsin Dells Chula Vista Resort 3 Days/2 Nights $300.99 per Fairway Villa (accommodates up to six people with a kitchenette, living area, two queen beds and a sofa sleeper. Tickets to Los Rios Water Park, all taxes and resort fees included! March 23-25
- 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
Happy Chinese New Year of The Dragon
The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements. This year the lunar New Year is January 23rd. The solar is February 4.
The Chinese believe everything associated with the New Year's Day should represent good fortune and the events that occur that day may impact your life for the rest of the year. Be careful in your actions, selective with what you eat and greet people who will bring you joy.
It is a time to think of the changes you want to make in your life. The intention is always to bring in good luck, health and prosperity. The following are my suggestions for setting a positive course for the year:
Completely clean your home from top to bottom before New Year's Day for good luck in the coming year.
It's an auspicious time to clear clutter, especially any negative things associated with the old year.
Changing blankets and mattress covers, etc. is part of the tradition of cleaning house in preparation.
Make sure all your lights are working and replace any that aren't.
Polish your mirrors.
Liven up your home with fresh flowers and plants.
Resolve differences with family members, friends, neighbors and business associates.
If you plan a New Year's dinner, buy foods that represent abundance, and make enough to have leftovers, symbolizing that money will roll into the new year.
On New Year's Eve:
- Get together with close family for dinner.
- Acknowledge ancestors; they are believed to be responsible for the fortunes of future generations.
- Open all windows and doors for a few minutes to allow the good luck of the New Year to enter.
- Switch on the lights for the night to 'scare away' any misfortune that might compromise the luck and fortune of the New Year.
- Surround yourself with colorful fruit so that you will have a fruitful 2012: Oranges and tangerines represent money and wealth.
- Eat sweets to ensure a "sweet" year. Round candies represent togetherness.
If anything breaks, like a cup or a plate, during the first two weeks of the Chinese New Year say, "Fall to the floor and burst into bloom!"
Some believe that what happens on the first day of the new year reflects the rest of the year to come. Make it a sweet and happy one!
New Online Store!
In China, the Dragon is the sign of the emperor, as well as a symbol of power and wealth. In honor of 2012, the Year of the Dragon, I am excited to introduce my new online store:
Order Chinese New Year cards, stamps, stickers, address labels, and apparel!
Feng Shui Your Way to Romance!
Want to add some sizzle this Valentine's Day?
On February 9 you will have an opportunity to explore ways to use the power of Feng Shui to bring more love and romance into your life!
Class: Feng Shui Your Way to Romance
Where: Normandale Community College
Date: Tuesday, February 9
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Hinda Abrahamson and
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
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!
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.