Want To Lead A Fuller Life? Set These 10 Intentions
If you were to ask another person or even yourself what a full life means, you will probably get a million different answers. As for me, I used to think that a full life just consisted of a life with a lot of material things. You know the six-figure salary, designer bags, shoes, and cars. But as I grow and evolve, I realize that a full life to me is more than that. I think we all can agree that a life where we are happy, fulfilled, loved, and have no regrets is the ultimate goal. I recognize that if I am happy and live life with no regrets, those other things like my dream job, dream closet, and dream man will undoubtedly come too. For example, I'm shown time and time again that if I practice gratitude for what I already have, I am constantly blessed with more.
So, how do you lead a full life? Well, I've found that setting intentions for myself helped get me started on the path to fulfillment. Intentions can be set daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. It's truly up to the individual. To get started, first think about who you are at this very moment. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made but, are we operating as such? Oftentimes we are not. Now, think about who you want to be and how you want to show up in this world. This is where intention-setting comes into play. Intentions are simply hopes and manifestations of who you know that you can be and who you truly are. By setting intentions and then operating as such, you open yourself up to a deep sense of inner fulfillment that cannot be touched.
So no matter what your definition of a full life may be, these 10 intentions are sure to be a great start on the path to the full life that you were destined to live.
1. "I intend to forgive myself and others."
If you're anything like me, you probably find it easier to forgive others than yourself and that's saying something because I have been known to hold a grudge or two. But listen, it is so important to give yourself the grace that you so graciously extend to others. Some of us can be our own worst critics. You made a mistake. It's not the end of the world, no matter what it is. Learn from it, grow from it, forgive yourself, and release it.
As for forgiving others, it's indeed more for you than the person that needs forgiving. Holding anger and grudges in your heart isn't good for you. Forgive. Practice this intention until it becomes second nature.
2. "I intend to love myself unconditionally."
This may be cliche but self-love really is the best love. This intention is one I set for myself daily and sometimes multiple times a day as it can be easy to forget as we move throughout the day. Vowing to love yourself no matter what sets the tone for your life and your life's experiences. I once heard someone say that self-love is the bridge to where you want to go in life and how you show up, and I couldn't agree more.
3. "I intend to not let fear stop me from trying new things."
My good sis Beyonce said it best when she said that none of her fears can go where she is headed. So many amazing things are on the other side of fear. Last November, I decided to move to a new city. I had been in my previous city for almost 20 years. It was scary leaving the city that I was so familiar with and where all my friends lived to a city where I knew a total of about three people. This decision turned out to be one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. Set the intention to try a new thing every day and watch your life transform.
4. "I intend to practice gratitude."
I believe in this one so much. I feel that when you practice gratitude, it immediately puts you in a better mood because you are no longer focused on what you lack but instead focused on what you have. Also what better way to tell the universe that you are ready to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have.
5. "I intend to see the goodness around me."
It can be hard to see the goodness around you when there are so many things going on, especially this past year. We've had to deal with so much in 2020; COVID-19, death, sickness, quarantine, political unrest, inequality, and racism just to name a few. But despite all the negative things going on in the world, there is still so much goodness. You just have to look for it. I know that some days will be harder than others to see it but I promise it's there. Set this intention and begin to see all the good that is happening all around you.
6. "I intend to be happy."
Happiness is a choice. Tough times and not so great things are a part of life and often out of our control. It's how we choose to respond to them that is up to us. It is human to be down or sad about the things that happen in our lives. But it is up to us how long we stay in that place. When I am going through a tough time, I allow myself time to feel my feelings but then I set the intention to be happy regardless. I surround myself with the people, places, and things that make me happy. If you set the intention to be happy, you will be happy.
7. "I intend to listen better and not just react off of emotions."
This one right here. Pray for my strength, y'all. I have a bad habit of listening to respond instead of listening to understand. I know, I know, I'm working on it though. We all think that what we have to say is more important than what the other person has to say. But I have to admit that I have learned more by listening than by talking. Not to mention, setting this intention will make you a better friend, employee, employer, spouse, and/or partner.
8. "I intend to let go of the past and things that I cannot change."
It happened. You can't go back and change it no matter how much you wish that you could so you might as well make peace with it. Setting this intention will save you a lot of anxiety. Trust me. Learn from it and then release it.
9. "I intend to trust that I am where I am supposed to be."
The world can sometimes make you feel like you are behind but please trust that you are not. There is no magic age for getting married or having kids. Nor is there an age limit on finding your passion. Setting this intention is a beautiful and necessary reminder that what is meant for you won't ever miss you and will happen when it is supposed to happen.
10. "I intend to appreciate and enjoy life."
If I've learned nothing else in 2020, I've learned that life is precious. Set an intention to be appreciative of the life that you have and actually enjoy it. Too often we forget that life is meant to be enjoyed because we are so laser-focused on work and building empires. Don't get me wrong, those things are important too but you can't forget to live. I once read an article that talked about some of the regrets that people on their deathbed had. One of them was that they wish they hadn't spent so much time working. Enjoy yourself from time to time. Work will be there when you get back.Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!
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Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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If you haven’t scrolled upon Olivia McDowell's TikTok famous dinner parties, you may need to reconfigure your "For You Page."
What began as a passion for hosting aesthetically themed meals for her closest friends has quickly become a viral sensation. With an astonishing 12 million viewers, women describe Olivia’s picturesque dinner parties as the “dream girls' night,” complete with classy cocktails, beautiful table settings, elegant outfits, and, most importantly, food plated to perfection.
Seemingly reigniting the feminine urge to host fancy dinner parties, Olivia has perfected the finer details. Overlooking the skyline in her beautiful NYC apartment, she never fails to make her signature handmade pasta dishes while simultaneously looking effortlessly chic in the wardrobe of dreams while doing so.
Replying to @nara0630 what should the theme of my next dinner party be? #minivlog #nycliving #dinnerpartyideas #caviarinnewyork
What I love most about hosting intimate dinners for close friends are the connections and relationships that form over food. They don't require a caviar budget with a high-rise apartment, it just takes determination and a little creativity. Watching Olivia’s journey inspires viewers to be a part of a community of positive and uplifting women who share common interests and tastes in food, fashion, and decor. Simply stated, she’s raising the bar of friendship goals.
If you’re aspiring to host a holiday-themed dinner party this season, check out the four tips that will guide you along the way.
Choose Your Theme
Replying to @emz.life.tsv what was your fav part? 🤍 hope this gives you some inspiration to host a fancy friendsgiving too! #hostingtip #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Set the ambiance with a thoughtful theme, which will indeed be your guiding light for less stress during the planning process. Establishing a theme sets the tone for everything else to fall in place, such as menus, table design, and presentation. For example, a holiday-inspired dinner party is a perfect occasion for elegant all-white decor paired with draped table cloths, pillar candles lit atop luxe holders, floating floral arrangements, and, for a personal touch, handwritten place settings.
Utilizing free resources such as Canva for menu templates and creating a “Dinner Party” moodboard via Pinterest is perfect for gathering dinner inspiration for themes, decor, and recipes for the special occasion.
Simplify the Menu
How to host your own pasta making dinner party — part 1: pasta making from scratch 🤍 Hosting dinner parties has become my favorite thing to do this year. More goes into it than you expect, the prep, planning, guestlist, tablescape, etc. but it’s always worth it in the end. What do you guys want to see next? #hostingtips #dinnerparty #pastamaking
Don’t overcomplicate the menu. A simple dinner party formula to use as your guide to making sure your guests leave full of food and joy is appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages. As a starter, assemble an aesthetic spread that your guest can nibble on while awaiting the main course with starters such as bread, cheese, jam, nuts, and fruit. A simple salad will do, complete with a light dressing right before your entree. For a main dish, pasta recipes always go a long way and also allows your guests to interact with one another, which leads to McDowell's third dinner party hosting tip.
Include an Interactive Element
Replying to @itstai.tv 🖤 #girlhood
To break the ice and encourage guests to get to know one another, introduce interactive elements to the evening. Moments of interaction allow everyone to connect, like capturing content for social media or memorializing the essence of the night through fun Polaroids. Olivia also encourages her guests to participate in the pasta-making dinner process as a group, or if hosting a brunch, her friends indulge in building their own coffee bar as an opportunity for forming connections and conversation starters. Group board or card games are also great for laughs and healthy competition to help get the vibes flowing.
Don’t Forget the Dress code
Replying to @samantha_mendiz when all of your friends are the main character 🖤🥂 #dinnerparty #nycfashion
Tis’ the season for glamour and sparkles, so why not go all out with a super chic dress code? You can’t have a picture-perfect holiday dinner party without the coordinating attire to match. When planning, make sure to make the required attire specific yet broad enough for a range of personalities and preferences to comfortably partake while looking stunning doing so.
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