Affirmations., Goals, Inspiration, New Year intentions

A New Year, A New Intention


Flickr photo by Edwin


Like many people, I don’t like ‘having’ to do anything. This is why I cringe when people ask me about my resolutions or goals for the new year.

“Goals,” “Resolutions,” the words sound so inflexible. 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.This is not to say resolutions aren’t helpful, they just don’t interest me.

What I do look forward to is thinking about my intention for the new year. The word “Intention” is defined as “a course of action that one proposes to follow,” or “an aim that guides action.”


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.”

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. It’s a word which represents the type of year I desire.  The intention is my own touchstone word, a magical word that becomes an aim that guides my action. I speak my intention (has to be one word for me) and I feel good about all the possibilities surrounding or accompanying that one word.

I’ve chosen an intention for the last four years. One year the word was “Create.” Another year, “Move.” Last year my word was “Refine.”

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. For example, with “Create” I attached each spoke to a word that follows ‘create.’ Create joy, create new stories, create gratefulness …and so forth into my own journey.

Last week I mulled over and meditated on a few words. If you’d like some direction on how to do this check out the post by Nicola Gulotta. Some of the words are:

Balance, Connect, Encourage, Release, Nurture, Surrender

My word for the year is “Breakthrough.” The definition is to advance, step forward, progress, and revolution. I like the sound of that last word, revolution.

Another alternative to making new year resolutions, besides an intention, is to make positive changes in a different way. Read this short article by Melissa Eisner. I chose two of the items to fulfill this year.

Whatever you do or don’t do intentions, spend time with yourself for at least 15 minutes and think about your own journey.

You don’t have to come up with a word. Sometimes enough is enough. And that’s fine.

See you all next year:


Flickr photo by Anne Spratt, cc.



Affirmations., Louise Hay, Single Parents, Wisdom, Working moms

Wisdom in a Box

Do you ever have those “what’s it all about Alfie?” days. You’re feeling slightly off, unbalanced, tired. 

About ten years ago I went through too many of those days. Single parenthood, hustling kids to school, careening to work, dealing with inmate and staff problems, repeat…you get the picture. 

Too many of those days took their toll, and I didn’t have the correct change. 

During one particularly stressful day I spent my lunch hour wandering through a bookstore–a micro vacation for me. And that’s when I found my wisdom in a box, a set of 64 colorful cards written by Louise Hay, metaphysical lecturer and author.

The back of the box read “A Deck of 64 Affirmation Cards to Help You Develop Your Inner Wisdom.” A few colorful cards decorated the box. 

Hmm. Can one buy wisdom? I loved the crown in the center, the colors made me smile, so I decided it was worth a shot to purchase the box. A souvenier of my micro-vacation.

Sitting in my car I unwrapped my new little treasure, shuffled the cards, and pulled one out. 

“Okay, what do you want to tell me,” I said. 

“Really? ” was the first thing that came out of my mouth. “This is the way it’s supposed to be?”

And then I flipped the card over.

That imperceptible shift that turns the “Ugh” into an “Ah-ha” moment came. I was doing, because that’s what working mothers do. I wasn’t envisioning the garden motif in the card. I wasn’t cultivating a garden.

My picture had a blurry Ford Explorer passing a blurred elementary school, with three fuzzy kids at a school gate, and me in the drivers seat, putting on makeup, the dim job site in the distance.

Rereading the card led me to think about my attitude. I extended my micro-vacation in my car, for a few minutes, and asked myself: 

What can I do to enjoy my life, right now, as is? 

I thought about how life is but a brief moment. There is an ebb and flow, ups and downs. My kids will grow up in a flash, this particular time in my life will come to an end.

I came up with a couple of ways, primarily shifts in attitude, to “enjoy the process,” of my life. It’s okay to start small, as long as you start somewhere, I told myself.

The last line on the card echoed in my mind: I choose to enjoy the process. 

The feeling stayed with me for a couple of hours, and it made a difference. I repeated the quote often. It was a new beginning. 

Ten years later I still shuffle the cards, pick one up and reflect on its message. More often than not I find value and pertinence to whatever I’m doing that moment.  

You can find wisdom in many places: from a child, a book, a trial in your life, an event or from a colorful box at the bookstore. 

Where do you find wisdom?