The Milky Way from Taos, courtesy @taosimagery
With the New Year just around the corner, it’s easy to put the cart before the horse when it comes to goals. At Vapour, we prefer the word “intention” to the word “resolution.” Resolution is defined as: “A formal expression of intention and a determination; a resolve.” Here in Taos we don’t get down with formal too much. Authority on learning, Annie Murphy Paul, defines intention as: “The purpose and awareness with which we approach the occasion.” That sounds more like it to me. Being present and aware of ‘What Is’ rather than making a decision to stick to.
Krysia Boinis, Vapour’s co-founder and CEO, lived a highly intentional year when she was healing from breast cancer. For a whole year, each month, she added one positive element to her life and eliminated one negative. One month, she cut refined sugar and added yoga, another month she was mindful about thinking negative things about herself and started meditating. Another month, she stopped using technology an hour before bed and started drinking 2 liters of water a day. Talking about that year fondly, Krysia says, “At the end of that year, I had 24 positive changes in my life.”
While Krysia thrived during her year of 24 personal and professional advances, this kind of goal setting might overwhelm some of us. Jonathan Mead suggests being present with yourself and how your objectives might change. “What’s most important is to remember that I create intentions to be happy. If I cling too much, something needs to change.” A friend of mine has a new “theme” every year. And Mead agrees that having a theme can help you stay focused when things become challenging.
When looking at the year ahead, first be present with the moment you’re in. Be with the changes that have happened in this last year. Some will be easy to define and positive, some will be easy to define but hard to look at. Perhaps you got a promotion or moved into a new home. Some of the adjustments will be less tangible; maybe you grew emotionally or deepened a special relationship. Be there for yourself, acknowledge growth, however small or large; take a moment to be still with your troubles and your triumphs.
From your place of presence, on your walk or at your altar, make a list of intentions, not shoulds. Even start your sentences with “I desire to...” or “I want to...”
Innovative fitness coach Mindith Rahmat suggests asking yourself, “Are these focused, realistic, positive and healthy intentions?” You may have just a few or you may have many.
More and more my desires have to do with how I want to feel. Sometimes it’s my intention “to have fun,” and often, I set the intention to “be relaxed and present.” This last year, on my birthday, I decided that my own personal New Year’s intention was to be more confident. When teaching about manifesting, miracles expert Gabrielle Bernstein says, “It’s the feeling more than the thought that creates the form.”
As you spend time with yourself and your New Year's Intentions, remember that you’ll have each new day within your new year to set a whole new intention. Jack Kornfield says, “Each day we are born again, what we do today is what matters most.”
How do you want to feel? What are your routines around setting intentions? Do you have any specific intentions for the next year you want to share with us? We’re all ears, or eyes, as it were.