Set Your Intentions – Be Brave!

Set Your Intentions – Be Brave!



May is my birthday month. Yes, my age changes, but I’m more concerned with maturing spiritually, mentally, intellectually, socially, financially, and relationally. I called for an inventory of what things need to be modified and what needs to go away.

As a good deal, I’ve read from life coaches to listen to your “gut” or “internal voice” I found it challenging to act thus. Why? I allowed my emotions to run amok and speak louder in situations, thus overruling and distorting my perception. But I told myself for the month of May I wanted to do something different and I did. Yes, my emotions bucked because they were used to ruling the roost. But I made myself sit quietly and allow my emotions, their say, and then when they wound down I said four words – PRESENT, PROTECTED, PRAISE, & PEACE.

Now mind you I learned this meditation technique from Richard Miller, PhD  founding president of the Integrative Restorative Institute. The following exercise has greatly aided in calming my mind and easing my soul into a lying state. It didn’t matter the surroundings, I was in I still was able to do this technique. At work, on the bus, walking, and in my car now, it works. As you practice this exercise you will notice unresolved past hurts enter your mind like a New York marquee sign. It’s tiring and nerve-wracking but believe it or not, it’s a good thing. The more unresolved issues that are elevated to the surface means it’s time to release or modify. Too, this exercise assisted in discovering the little voice to identify which one that I needed to perform.

maturemeditationAs you answer the following questions pay attention to how they make you feel. Start with your first knee-jerk response. Don’t think long or you’ll think wrong. You desire that “what feels good” solution.



1. What is my deepest desire for practicing meditation?

2. How many minutes each session am I truly willing to dedicate to the practice?

3. How many days a week am I truly willing to meditate?

4. With respect to a particular meditation session, what is my deepest desire for and during this session? (For instance, is your goal to welcome a particular sensation or to remain undistracted by what’s arising in your awareness, and instead to experience and abide as awareness?)

“Then, express each intention as a concise statement of fact in the present tense, as if it’s already true. This enables your subconscious mind to register your intentions as actualities instead of possibilities, giving them greater power to materialize. For example, instead of saying, ‘I will meditate five days a week for 20 minutes each time,’ affirm, ‘I meditate five days a week for 20 minutes each time.

Next, pick one, two, or even three intentions and shorten them into simple, easily remembered phrases. For instance: ‘I meditate three times a week for 10 minutes each time’ can be stated as ‘Three and 10!’ ‘I’m kind and compassionate toward myself’ becomes ‘Kindness!’ And ‘I speak truth in each and every moment’ becomes ‘Truth!

Finally, repeat your intentions internally to yourself at the beginning of, throughout, and at the end of every meditation practice. Always affirm your intentions with deep feeling and certainty, with your entire body and mind.”1

Phamily, practice this exercise and reply below if it helps you as a good deal as it has served me. Here’s to your excellence in soul (intellect, body, emotions) health!focus2





Listen to one of my favorite “brave” warriors – Brene Brown. She has challenged me to get back up when I fall.  And each time I do I am  intentionally being brave!

“There is no shame in falling. It’s only when you don’t get back up you allow shame to win.” LMH


1 Richard Miller, PhD, “The Staying Power of Intention – How setting the right intention can help you stick with a meditation practice,” Yoga Journal  May 2016:  34.

Coloring as a Meditative Practice

Coloring as a Meditative Practice
Hey Phamily! I have a surprise for you! My good friend and author/mentor Alicia McCalla (and yes you must check out her website and subscribe, awesome writer of Multicultural Speculative Fiction) is my guest blogger for this week! Yay!!! She and her sisters (affectionately, the Cunningham Sisters) designed a coloring book for adults that desire to meditate in another form or just relax.
Phamily, you’ve been doing a lot of inner soul work these past few weeks with me that had your brain, organs, cells, and bones dealing with trauma filled places. Today, right now, this present moment, go get your crayons, your child’s crayons, or go and purchase them from the Dollar Store. But first before you grab your purse or wallet, sit down and read how coloring can help you be in a position of authority to reconnect to the alienated parts of your soul. I introduce to you Alicia McCalla, the eldest of the Cunningham sisters.

Did you know that opening a box of Crayola crayons and then smelling them is a way to reduce the anxiety associated with a panic attack?  Coloring has a way of helping us to calm down, reduce stress, and relax.

Active meditation is the use of repetitive motions such as running, walking, dancing, and of course, coloring. In fact, coloring can help to strengthen focus and shift your attention to a contemplative state. While you color, chaotic thoughts and extreme worries are pushed aside. Your brain is able to simply focus on the task of the gentle, repetitive motion of your hands as you bring color to paper.

There are other health benefits to your brain while coloring such as the selection of the colors and focusing your attention on highly detailed images.  These help your brain to open centers of creativity, ingenuity, and logical thoughts.  With all of the wonderful health benefits to coloring, you would think that everyone would regularly participate.  Unfortunately, meditative coloring is just beginning to take off in the United States.  If you are interested in an easy, affordable and cost effective way to reduce stress, boost creativity, and help your brain relax, try coloring.


Here are a few tips to creating a Meditative Coloring Experience:Get yourself some highly detailed images to color such as a Mandala or other coloring book. Stop by our website: to immediately receive free coloring pages.


  1. Make yourself a cup of healing herbal tea (Chamomile is great) or you might enjoy a small glass of Kosher red wine.

  2. Select your favorite coloring utensils. I love gel glitter pens but crayons, markers etc. are all wonderful to use.

  3. Begin your coloring session by smiling for one full minute. Don’t shirk on this one. Time yourself, if needed.

  4. Put on your iPod and listen to Alpha or Brainwave music. I have a BrainWave App and listen to “Positivity Boost.”

  5. Color your image. Allow the color choices to “speak” to you. Don’t push the choices just allow the choices to happen. Be amazed in the end…

  6. Drink your tea, listen to music, and color for a 30-60 minute session.

  7. After your session ends, if your image is complete, sign and date it.  You can also write any quotes, thoughts, or ideas that revealed themselves to you during your coloring session. Go ahead, write them on your coloring pages or keep a journal handy. Feel free to put your images in a frame or give them away as gifts.

Coloring is an amazing way to meditate, heal, and reduce stress.  Take some time to relax and color.

Alicia M 2

Alicia is the eldest of the Cunningham sisters. If you’d like to try a coloring book for active meditative practice, try Meditation: Sisters Stress Relief Mandalas and Patterns (Volume 2).  Alicia and Nicole are two of the Cunningham sisters.  They are inspired by their artistic mom and love to color. Alicia writes Dark Fantasy and Science Fiction. She’s also a school librarian. You can find her work at Nicole is an aspiring Cozy Mystery author and works as a social worker. Visit them at to receive your free coloring pages.