I feel about average.”
– Kobayashi Issa
The Japanese poet’s haiku sums up my feeling about the first day of 2014. There is an adventure waiting, many I’m sure. A tingle goes through my fingers when I think of all the possibilities.But then I think of “expectations,” and how they ruin most things. That’s when I start to feel “average.”
Imagine a See-Saw, ‘possibilities’ is the up seat and ‘expectations’ are the down chair.
The definition of a “resolution” is “a course of action determined or decided on…a firm determination.” Sounds so final, so inflexible. Maybe that’s why my New Year’s resolutions haven’t lasted – they feel too much like something I have to or should do.
Not that resolutions aren’t helpful, they just don’t interest me. I forget the resolution-that isn’t true, what I do is go into denial that I even made any resolutions.
What I do enjoy thinking about are my “intentions” for the new year. An intention is “a course of action that one proposes to follow.”
I think of the intention as my own touchstone word. A magical word that becomes an aim that guides my action. I say my intention (has to be one word for me) and I feel good about all the possibilities surrounding or accompanying that one word.
Last year my word was “Create.” I had fun writing the word down on a 3×5 index card, drawing the word on the first page of a new journal, adding photos around the word, making wheel spokes out of the center word (Create) and attaching each spoke to a word that follows ‘create.’ Create…joy, create…new stories, create…gratefulness…and so forth. Into my own journey.
Instead of a vertical See-Saw, either I ‘do’ the resolution (up) or fail to do it (down), the wheel image makes me feel like I’m traveling on a journey.
Intention is defined as “a course of action that one proposes to follow,” or “an aim that guides action.” To me, this sounds much more self-directed, more purposeful. Like a journey, with lots of room for discovery along the way. An intention is something I want to do.
I’m not a big fan of the word “resolution,” because there’s something rigid about it, and goal-setting in the usual sense can set you up for failure and frustration.
Deepak Chopra says:
“An intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish.”
For the past couple of days I’ve mulled over and meditated on which word I wanted as an intention. The one word that resonates with me is “Move.”
Move forward, move sideways, move my pen, move my body more, move into myself, move over.
I’ve spent an hour drawing the word out, making my spokes, scribbling, and tossing the word around. Feels good. Feels energetic.
Chopra has 24 intentions you may want to use for yourself. See what resonates with you. Use a phrase or reduce the phrase to one word.
Choose one intention for one or two months, see how you feel about it, see where you go, where the word leads you to. If you want to choose another after that, go for it, after meditating and finding yourself in a place of contentment, from a “zen’ state.
- Expressing love more often.
- Understanding that forgiveness is an everyday ritual.
- Witnessing the temple in your physical body and taking care of it.
- Practicing compassion towards all.
- Spending time in nature.
- Creating thoughts that lead to optimism and courage.
- Building an attitude of gratitude.
- Meditate everyday even for a few minutes.
- Being bold without being a bully.
- Treating work as a way to serve others.
- Respectfully parting from those who discourage and lower your self esteem.
- Stop blaming destiny and start working on manifesting your own goals.
- Staying present.
- Staying in touch with old friends.
- Taking a break from work to relax.
- Eating healthier.
- Reading books and articles to expand awareness.
- Staying offline often to connect with the people in your life.
- Fall in love.
- Letting go off regrets.
- Release the need to treat yourself so seriously.
- Being kind, but not weak.
- Complimenting others more often.
- Breaking the norms.
- Make time for quiet moments
- Listen to your self
Whatever you do or don’t do, spend time with yourself for at least 15 minutes and think about your own journey.
What do you want to do this year? Where do you want to journey to?