Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Best Intentions

Hello, mid March. Wasn't it just New Year's? No. It's been months. Okay. Well I guess I should write the post I planned to write a good long while ago about intentions. Maybe it's better that it's way overdue. It's probably truer now that we've all completely forgotten about (and maybe begrudgingly pushed aside) the goals we made for ourselves those now many months ago.


So in the spirit of New Year's let's talk about intentions. I have posted about it before, but I think it's a really important topic that I know has helped change the way I look at The New Year and the whole concept of resolutions. Long story short, resolutions while in theory are awesome have the potential to lead to frustration, disappointment, and beating up the best friend you're ever going to have in the world, you. The idea of fresh starts and clean slates are so attractive to us (for good reason), but it's easy to set yourself up to fail and failing is a total bummer butthead. But here's the thing, it doesn't have to be that way at all. Have your cake and eat it too (metaphorically speaking, of course)! Flip that pattern of "failure" and self criticism! You are way too cool for that stuff anyway.

Intentions are where it's at for all that lightness and sense of renewal that comes from The New Year without the "oops I totally shit all over that resolution" hangover. Journal about how you want to feel in 2013, what plans you would like to see come into being, and practical ways you can make that happen. This isn't about a complete life switch overnight. It's about creating the space and mindfulness for real, lasting change to occur.

You are amazing and I believe that whatever you want you can create, but you have to set yourself up to be the best you in a real, tangible way. Flip the pattern of expectations, "failure", self-criticism on it's head! I know for me it has really helped to use a word or feeling to describe my intention. I meditate on that feeling. I let it inform my choices. I keep it close as a reminder of how I want my year, my life to proceed. A couple of years ago I chose gratitude and there are still several practices (that I will discuss in a later post) that I cultivated that year that I still use today. When you set an intention whether it be gratitude, love, health, mindfulness, forgiveness, philanthropy etc... there's no real way to fail. You are setting yourself up for greater self growth and that's really what this whole business is all about anyway, right?


Another method of "resolutions" that I have seen really work for people is trying certain changes on for size. Pick one or two points to focus on this month and if they really work for you and are feeding you emotionally you know you've got a keeper. Taking actions that don't resonate with you probably aren't going to stick and you're not going to feel good while doing them. No good! Take your resolutions out for a test drive and if you aren't totally diggin it trade it in for something that helps you shine!

All that being said remember to be gentle with yourself. You're human. Tripping and falling flat on our faces is just part of the gig, but how lucky are we that we get to learn from those falls! Thank goodness we aren't 100% perfect all of the time or else what perspective or compassion or blackmail photos would we have?


I love hearing about everyone's plans for the upcoming year (please feel free to share in the comments!) so in that spirit of community I'd love to share mine. Health has been my intention for this year. I have tried to cultivate health (physical, emotional, and mental) in all things in 2013. For me this has meant a combination of cutting out negative self talk, a stronger commitment to my yoga asana practice, making the time to meditate, more mindful consumption, etc... Basically, it was time to step up my game. I finally felt ready to face some things that I have been afraid or unable to commit to before. I was ready to not just be the absence of illness, but to truly be vibrant. I know that this has required work, but I feel really empowered by the groundwork that I have laid and the boundaries that I have made. I have faltered. I have definitely stayed up too late or not made time for my practice or let my negative self talk unleash on people that I care about. But...I'm trying. There really is no failing if I am patient and kind with myself. I wish for you that same patience and kindness with your own journey.

You are love and you can make the changes you want to see in your life. I believe in you. Let's rock the rest of 2013!



1 comment:

Positively Amy said...

I love this! Such a better way to approach "resolutions" I think. I never, ever make them because I know I'll give up after 2 weeks, but I like the idea of intentions! Hope you guys are doing great!