Living with Intention

Tis the season for setting resolutions, or the more modern term: intentions. In theory I like intention setting. I even went out and bought a planner just for intentions and spiritual work. As always, buying the helping hands is the easy part. But once I sat down to write out what I wanted to focus on for the year I had nothing. So I cast it off to the side until I felt inspired.

This was 2 weeks ago.

As of today I was still not inspired.

This had led me to meditate on why I wanted to do this in the first place. We have the ability to set big goals but it’s the little pieces in between that get messy and unclear. I can write down I want to save more money in 2020. But then what are my action steps, my accountability steps that hold me responsible. If I keep them unclear then I don’t have to hold myself accountable if I fall off track. This is a perfect plan for the ego, a less perfect plan for making real life changes.

This brings us back to what do we really want. It is both exhilarating and terrifying to say out loud what we really want. That realization can uproot life and set us on a track for the unknown. It can shake up our friendships and our home life. It is much easier on everyone involved if we only choose surface things that can easily be dismissed.

I remember when I decided to quit drinking last July. I knew this was a change I wanted to take on so I could open deeper into my spiritual practice. Still, daily, it is a choice I have to make. My friendships adjusted as I got more comfortable with says “no, I don’t drink, it’s a lifestyle choice”. At this stage, 6 months later, I am still in limbo between going to the bar every Friday night and the big unknown lifestyle I haven’t quite figured out.

When we think of intentions and change we think of easy transitions into our “new and better” lives. But instead, it is a slow journey of one change after the other until we no longer remember that habit we had before.

Realizing this I sat down to write my 5 intentions for the year. I invite you to do the same. They can be as big or as small as you’d like, as serious or as frivolous. But really take the time to meditate on the 5 things you want to add or take away from your current life. Listen to not only your thinking mind but also your unconscious self. When you are done, take this list and break down each goal into mini goals and action steps you can bring into your daily life. Then test them out. Don’t worry if your action steps fail, you can make new ones that are more workable for you. Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself.

I know in my heart of hearts I will never be a meal prep person. At least not in the stage in my journey I am now. Instead, I try my best to have oatmeal and fruit for breakfast. Yes, I probably eat more egg and cheese bagels in the morning than I would like to admit but instead of beating myself up for it I accept it as my choice for the day. Because of this habit one of my mini resolutions is to find a breakfast recipe I like so I’m less likely to buy an egg and cheese. Again, it’s a work in progress and that’s ok!

Your work in progress is ok too! Your life is a beautiful one. It is filled with wild twists and turns that help you better understand who you are. Intention setting is only there as a tool if you seek change. You could even set the intention to not have intentions to change your life at all. To accept it just as perfect and messy as it is. To say every day “I love my life” is a beautiful and difficult intention just in itself. This is part of the beauty of connecting with our inner selves. Our dreams and goals are already within us, we just have to listen.

My top 5 intentions for the year:

  1. Find home in myself and joy in my daily life
  2. Grow in my spiritual practice
  3. Connect deeper with my body and the earth
  4. Become a stronger teacher
  5. Fall in love