is for intentions
For me the idea of living intentionally means moving through this dance we call life with focus. That’s why I like to work with intentions. They help hold my focus.
I use intentions in a myriad of ways. Here are a few.
- My Guiding Star word. Did you choose a word (or a phrase) for 2013? That’s a perfect example of an intention. For me that’s like calling in an energy stream. I invite that energy to show up in my life, all year long, in as many ways as I can let it in, in as many different aspects as possible. It’s a touchstone I carry with me all year long – remembering, inviting, paying attention to, moving towards.
- Seasonal intentions. I work deliberating within the rhythm of the seasons. In alignment with the energetic qualities of each season (for example Summer is the time of Fire energy and expressing; Autumn is Water and feeling) I set intentions.
- I set monthly intentions and I do this at the new moon. This is one of the containers I really like working in.
- Every Monday morning I gather with a tiny group of friends by phone and we set our intentions for the week. This is a delicious practice that I love. We hold space for each other, we witness each other, we cheer each other on. And while of course our intentions often center around concrete things like “I intend to put in x amount of hours on the writing project this week so I have a working draft ready,” another equally if not more important piece to me is to call in the energy stream(s) I wish to be energetically connected with. Do I want to be dancing with the energies of joy, or clarity, or peace, or focused productivity? I name it so then I can pay attention to how it shows up and how I can shift to invite more of it in each moment.
For me that’s really what intentions are – an active dance. You can’t just write an intention a hundred times and never take any action in its direction. The fascinating part is that action doesn’t necessarily have to be linear, just in energetic resonance, which is what makes life so utterly amazing and delightful to me. But be that as it may, I think this quote by Martin Suarez sums it up perfectly:
“It is absurd for you to expect apples after you planted a lemon tree.”
- Daily I work with specific intentions as well. This may seem like a lot – too overwhelming, too confusing, too disjointed. But I have to say it works wonderfully for me. It feels like a lovely layered practice.
Speaking of practices, last year I was introduced to the practice of Lectio Divina. I’ve written more about it here. But every month I choose some quote, often a bit of poetry, and focus on it in, and at the end of the month I create some kind of piece of art around it. This is the quote I’m steeping in this month. We’ll see what wants to be created from it.
Intentions are an important part of my self-care. They help me from becoming lost, help me keep my feet on the paths I want to be traveling, and help me remember clearly that I’m a powerful creator.
So what about you? Do you work with intentions? Is there a particular area of your life you’re focusing on at the moment? Did you choose a word to guide you in 2013? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
Your blogs are so lovely … I’d never heard of anyone setting intentions in this way … only for a meditation or a yoga practice … but it’s such a purposeful way of approaching each day or month or season … thank you for introducing it to me.
Thanks for the kind words Fil. I guess I’m fascinated by the idea of containers and exploring them. And somehow setting intentions sets a container making it easier (more interesting?) to look at the alchemical stew within.
It’s amazing how when I put my intentions out there I find all sorts of things happening. And after awhile I find myself coasting along, neglecting the practice. Thanks for the reminder!
It’s so true isn’t it Susan – energy follows intention. Glad to be the gentle nudge reminder. 😉
Yes, I work with intentions. I have a theme word for the year and I have monthly and weekly intentions based on my goals.
I keep coming back to clearing the slate … I feel deep in my bones that my intentions are getting bogged down with a LONG to do list. I think I just need to backlog everything that I think I need to do and start over.
First thing on my new list … be intentional about setting the intentions. 🙂
I so understand that Cynthia. Sometimes it truly does serve to sweep your arm across the proverbial table and start over. That can be such a huge relief, and amazing, even though you can’t imagine it’s true in the moment, I always find that there are things I’m then able to let go of. They just don’t make it back on the plate again because I have new clarity about what’s important and feeling delicious to me.