Affirmations., Goals, Inspiration, New Year intentions

A New Year, A New Intention

 

happy-new-year-by-edwin-flickr-com
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:

 

ef1h5yttmz8-annie-spratt
Flickr photo by Anne Spratt, cc.

 

 

Encouragement, Inspiration, Writing, Writing blogs, Writing groups

How Writing Goals Are The Secret Ingredient…

pottery figure of women encircled around candle, www.alvaradofrazier.com
Circle of Women Writers-WOmen Who Write, WOWW

 

to becoming a better writer.

Last night I met with my six writing sisters, a creative group of fascinating women who write stories and poems. This was our first meeting of the new year.

In 2015, we left behind numerous rejection letters, rewriting queries until all the cows came home, and some awesome writing conferences.

One of our rituals is to light our ‘writing sisters’ candle before we begin ‘checking in.’ This helps us to focus after all the chit chat and munching that proceeds our work.

During our check in we heard some thrilling news. Toni, one of our members, secured a literary agent to represent her middle-grade book and another member, Florencia, is in ‘talks’ with a publishing house for her creative non-fiction book. You can check out her cool blog here: Eat Less Water

We shared our writing goals, too many to mention, but you may find these 5 Simple Steps showing you how to set up SMART goals.

To make our lives easier, we also came up with a word for the new year. A single word to post near our writing space and journal is a reminder of our individual intentions.

  • Refine,
  • Momentum,
  • Go,
  • Possibilities,
  • Zoom!

Intention creates reality

Our meeting also included planning for one retreat a quarter. We need a day or three to refresh ourselves with hugs, laughter, and writing. This is how we make it through the ups and downs of a writing life entwined with families, jobs, and other responsibilities.

So the secret ingredient to achieving your writing goals and becoming a better writer is no secret. Becoming a better writer is a lot of hard work. You need persistence, resilience, and someone to cheer you on when you want to give up.

If you want to set an intention, you may like Deepak Chopra’s 5 steps to Setting Powerful Intentions.

To help you fulfill your writing goals you can check out this post: Top 100 Writing Blogs for Writers.

Now, give it all you got this year and get those writing goals down on paper and up on your writing space.

Until next time.

 

Encouragement, Goals, Gratitude, Latino culture

Why Looking Ahead is Better than Falling Behind

Make a new ending

I woke to sunlight creeping through my bathroom windows.

Unusual, since the last month has been grey days of coastal overcast. More unusual since June in our parts is called June Gloom.

It dawned on me (no pun intended) we are quickly approaching the middle of the year. Almost half of 2015 is gone.

Yikes. This got me thinking.

Did I follow my intentions for the year? Did I complete what I intended to complete or experience?

That attitude created pressure, anxiousness.

Bummer feelings for the first minutes of a new day. Especially since sunlight shone through my windows.

I took a deep breath and thanked God for a beautiful sunlit morning.

The oxygen and gratitude flipped my attitude.

More important, did I enjoy the past six months. Did I find pleasure in my family, friends, work and new experiences? 

I answered yes and felt invigorated.

If you can answer yes to the last question, all is well.

If you answer no, the good news is half of 2015 is ahead.

To quote a Mexican dicho:

“El que adelante no mira, atrás se queda

He who does not look ahead falls behind.”

There is still time.

Encouragement, Wisdom

“NY’s Day-Everything is in Blossom!

gettyimages.com
gettyimages.com

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.

Into the Journey-gettyimages.com
Into the Journey-gettyimages.com

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?