Happy New Year!
Thank you all for being part of our sangha (community of practice) during 2008. What a wonderful year of yoga, meditation, mindfulness, Pilates, dana (generosity) and community building we have enjoyed together.
Though I am not usually one for resolutions, this New Year I decided to look into the various aspects of my life, and think about how I would like to approach each in 2009. Where would I like to put my attention in 2009? As I have discovered, and you probably have as well, wherever I put my attention, that is where the most life and growth will happen.
What was fascinating was that I discovered that although I had a lot of small resolutions that would help lead me reach specific goals in my body, mind, and heart, I found only three overarching intentions for 2009.
I see my intentions as the foundation on which all of my actions are based. They are the first thing I remember in the morning, the last thing I remember at night, and I practice them with each breath as I move through the day (as much as I can remember them.) The more that I practice, the more clarity I have for my life’s intentions, and the more succinct they become. So this year, I ended up with only these three intentions, and I would like to share them with you.
The intention that came forward most clearly was to listen to my inner wisdom and to act from that place as often as I am capable. To make decisions from the place of deep wisdom. The other side of that intention is to look for and hear the wisest, most beautiful Self in every person that I encounter. Nonviolent Communicators Kathy and Red Grammer wrote the song “See Me Beautiful,” which sums up this first intention for me:
See me beautiful,
look for the best in me.
That’s what I really am,
and all I want to be.
It may take some time
It may be hard to find,
but see me beautiful.
See me beautiful,
each and every day.
Could you take a chance?
Could you find a way?
To see me shining through
in everything I do
and see me beautiful.
Click here to hear this song.
My second intention is one that I have been trying, not very successfully, to practice especially during the last year. This intention is to let go of worrying and obsessing about problems, and turn instead to that deep inner presence for guidance. To do my best in every situation, and then let go and trust that the universe will find a wise solution.
The last intention that came up for me is related to the spanda or pulsation of the universe. My intention for 2009 is to allow for the pulsation between fun, effort, movement and play – yang energy – with quiet, rest, and stillness – yin energy. To consciously bring more fun and play into my life when I get too serious, and bring more quiet into my life when I get too busy, distracted, and restless. In the past I have had the habit of continuing to be serious when I feel serious, or getting busier or more distracted when I’m already distracted and busy. That hasn’t worked too well.
One other intention that arose just now as I was writing these words is the intention to be gentle with myself when I am not able to live up to my own expectations for myself. When I forget about my intentions, and act in ways that are unskillful and harmful to myself and others, I hope I can be compassionate to myself, and simply start again with the next breath. This actually may be the hardest intention of them all.
So those are my intentions for 2009. I would love to hear what intentions you have for 2009, so we can continue to support each other going forward into another year together. If you are inspired to send me a note with your intentions, or mention them to me at the studio, I would really enjoy it.
Also, I hope to see everyone on Saturday, January 24th, for the Mid-Atlantic Yoga Association’s Yogathon 2009, from 9am-5pm, at the Josephine Butler Center in DC. Click here for more info.
With much gratitude for all that we experienced together in 2008, and for the chance to welcome another new year.