Inspiration Through Intention
Updated: Oct 16
I stopped creating New Year’s resolutions many years ago. They felt forced and contrived. And I chose so many that I lost momentum and motivation after about two months. It wasn’t fulfilling and didn’t take me where I wanted to go.
Instead, I now choose a word, a phrase or a feeling that represents the intention I hope to express in the coming year. This feels more meaningful to me, it resonates with my soul and allows me to express that intention in many ways. It gives me freedom to find out what that feeling means to me.
One year I was very stressed and burnt out, so “peace” was my word. Whenever I thought about taking on a new endeavor, I asked, will it bring me peace? Will it involve peace? It guided my actions and led me just to where I needed to be. I learned a new skill, started a new business venture, and tried something that brought me great satisfaction.
Another year I chose “kindness” and I decided I was going to nurture kindness and compassion within myself as well as look for it in others. This happened after I had a cranky year, where things didn’t go my way and I didn’t like how I was responding in the world. I value kindness as one of a person’s most important traits, and I realized I had been too self-focused and wanted to change. I wanted to be around kind people, who did big and small things that showed they cared. And I wanted to learn how to be more of that person -- kinder, more compassionate, and wanting to reach out to others more often. This has given me great pleasure as I discovered such deep satisfaction in expressing more kindness in my relationships with colleagues, friends, family and strangers. It changed my focus and helped me strengthen a deep connection to nature and animals. It changed my life in so many ways, ways that resolutions never would have revealed.
I don’t usually share my intentions with anyone, but in order to find the right word or phrase for the coming year, I get quiet, go inside and let the word or phrase come to me. It may take a few days of meditation, but soon I hear the word and I have a gut reaction that it is right. I do write it and post it on a card right in front of my computer and put it in notebooks, on my phone or anywhere else that captures my attention. I remind myself of what I want to accomplish through this feeling I want to have, this intention I want to put out in the world. And then I just let it take me where it will.
It’s an interesting process and I have discovered after doing this for many years, it always leads me to the best place...closer to my authentic self.