Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Live with Creative Intention

It's that time of the year when making new year's resolutions seems to be the thing to do. However, for more uplifting and long-term results, I compassionately encourage the making of *intentions* rather than resolutions.

At the beginning of every one of my yoga classes, I invite my students to create a seed of intention (Sankalpa) for their time on the mat and to plant that beautiful seed deep within the heart to be nurtured and grown. This intention provides focus and direction in how they approach and think about their practice during that hour on the mat.

Intentions set our sights toward the life we want to live. They are powerful seeds which yield abundant results along the journey of life. They have a wider scope of uplifting effects and do not hold hands with failure, as resolutions typically tend to do.

Intentions offer a lifestyle flowing with possibility, creativity and positivity, whereas resolutions are demands from a hard task-master which yell: "get this done or you are a failure!"

There are a number of helpful articles on the internet talking about the differences between resolutions and intentions. Here are excerpts from some of those articles with the titles hyperlinked to the original posts.

Drop the Resolution and Live With Intention
"...resolutions don’t stick when you stop to consider what a “resolution” is: the solution to a problem, a decision or determination, an opinion expressed as part of a voting body. I am not a problem to solve, a determination to make, or an opinion that needs voting on. I am a human being, a divine creation, a co-creator in the world."
"In The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer defines intention as “a strong purpose or aim, accompanied by a determination to produce a desired result.” An intention is something you aim to achieve, something that has a purpose, something that you actively work to manifest in your life."
"Compared to an intention, a resolution is relatively simple: it either is or is not, it sticks or it doesn’t. Intentions require nurturing and cultivation, tending and care. Intentions require whole-hearted commitment to a purpose or an aim as well as a willingness to surrender ourselves to this all-encompassing force, to trust that, as we contribute each day to nurturing this intention, our vision and purpose will unfold in our lives. Intention also offers us the chance to create, to collaborate with the universe and the energies humming around us so that our visions manifest. A resolution doesn’t offer much in the way of creativity: you do it or you don’t."  -
-Alexandra N. Carroll

What’s an Intention vs. a Resolution?
"I’ve grown to love how setting an intention brings a feeling of excitement and promise, more so than the old-school resolutions I’ve made in the past; those left me feeling guilty and lazy when halfway through February they were old news. The resolution problem lies in thinking that we aren’t “good” enough the way we are, and that we will be better or happier when we get something else, or change who we are.
In setting an intention, you resolve that you’re already “enough,” so you move forward without having an attachment to the outcome- it’s more about the journey. You might still want to lose 10 pounds, but it isn’t focused on skinny jeans, it involves caring enough about yourself to eat good food and exercise. Naturally the pounds come off, but it’s not because you need to change who you are.
The catch is that you can’t just set your intentions and run off; you need to live them every day. As you gain wisdom through self-reflection, your ability to act from your intentions blossoms. We plant seeds of true intention in order to watch them grow like leaves on a tree, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s called a practice because it is an ever-renewing process."
--Danielle Diamond

New Year: Resolutions vs Intentions and Goals
"A resolution is a course of action with a firm determination. It doesn’t give you any leeway or room to move. It is focused on change; but usually something that is “wrong” with us. This can even be seen in people’s wording – “I will lose…” If we deviate from our course of action we feel guilt and shame for being weak or lazy and worse still, if we don’t achieve this course of action we are a “failure” and feed into our negative self-worth.
An intention is an objective that guides our actions. It is self-directed and purposeful, with room to change and adapt to circumstances. Intentions are a commitment to align our actions with our values and our purpose – they reflect who we are as people and make as feel energized, fulfilled and in balance. Intentions are the higher framework that are underpinned by our goals; enabling us to live our purpose."
--Speed of Life Coaching

May we live wholly and abundantly with creative intention each and every day, not just at the beginning of a new year.


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