When we left off in yesterday’s post, I was saying that when I came back from my sabbatical, I wanted to be clearer about setting intentions in class and for my life. I wanted to focus on the why/the results I wanted to create as much as the what! But boy howdy, I’ve been challenged to break my focus-focused habit!
Feel Intention in Movement
Which is a bummer, since intention unleashes a boatload of energy and moves me in the direction I want to go. In the body, intention delivers immediate shifts in movement and sensation. Play with me for a minute here: right now, push your right palm forward and then pull it back. Do it three or four times noticing the sensation. Now, push your right palm forward with the intent of cultivating strength. Do that a few times and see how it feels. When I do this, I can feel my whole arm and core working in a completely different way once my intention is engaged. Did that happen for you? Imagine if we danced a whole class with that kind of directed attention! Imagine if we lived a whole day like that…or a year!
Setting an Intention
Instead of setting a resolution, the first of the year is a great time to set intentions. What is the fuel that will energize my year? What is the destination that I want to plug into the GPS of Life? Seriously, if I was going on a trip, it’s not likely that I would just say, let’s go “west-ish.” I’d have a specific address that I was heading for. That’s what an intention is: the address where you want to go!
Where Do You Want to Go?
Start by determining what you want your intention to be about. Think about an aspect of your life where you’d like to see a shift: your relationships, or your work, your eating habits, or maybe your Nia practice. Or you might have a specific task or habit you want to form or break. Or maybe there is an overarching intent you’d like for the coming year or season, like more balance or more kindness or more fun. Decide what result you’d like to move toward.
Next, clarify your intention. One of the best ways to get clear is to write it down. It doesn’t have to be grandiose: in fact, the simpler and clearer, the better.
As you pick up your pen (or keyboard), here are some intention-setting guides: (1) make your intention something you really want, (2) make it positive and in the present, and (3) put yourself in it, front and center! First, choose and intent that you really want – if you’re going to harness this energy toward something, best to do it around something that really flips your skirt (or britches)! Second, write your intent in the present tense as if it has already happened (that is, “I am more balanced in my body and my life” instead of “I will build more balance in my life”). State your intent in the positive (that is, “I have a wheat-free diet” instead of “I will stop eating wheat”). And third, make it an “I” statement. It’s not an abstract intention it is yours. Put yourself in the center of it.
A second, excellent way to reinforce your intent is to share it with someone. Tell a friend or a spouse or a classmate what your intention is and suddenly, it feels a little more real. Writing it or speaking it doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to do it (you may always change your mind and your intention at any time), but it directs more energy toward what you want to create if you do more than say it inside your little noggin.
Susan’s Intent…Now Yours!
As 2012 winds up, I invite you to step into the new year with intent. For myself, know that my ultimate goal in everything I do is to help myself and others be happier and healthier. So with that destination plugged into my GPS of Life, I am recommitting to giving more attention and clearer expression to my intent. So here are my intentions (one for my teaching and one for my life in 2013). I’m writing it down and sharing it with you, my blog peeps:
I clearly set the intention at the beginning of every class.
I make space and time for creativity, exploration, play and love.
Your turn! Direct your energy and attention by setting an intention for yourself. Write your intention for 2013 and share it below!
And thank you for being part of the first year of Focus Pocus! I look forward to continuing to explore the “magic” of inquiry and intent with you in 2013.