Living the Intentions

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 11

As 2010 came to its close, I attended a beautiful intention-setting and meditation event at the yoga studio to which I belong. I had already created a number of intentions in my heart for the new year, and even shared a few of them here, but I attended this communal session to more deeply commit to my desires and to offer them up in a ritualized way. The gathering did not disappoint, proving to be a truly lovely afternoon of writing intentions, lighting candles, meditating, and chanting.

Since Saturday birthed this new year, I have been embracing my wishes for living into the best version of myself. I’ve begun reading more and watching less by delving into new books I’ve gathered, including Liz Lamoreux’s Inner Excavation and Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening. I sat down Sunday afternoon in my studio/office space at home, curtains opened to allow the longed-for sun to shine, a glass of red wine poured, pen in hand, and slowed down to write a letter to a dear friend. And I set a January challenge for myself.

While I created my intentions for this year, I noticed that mind-body-spirit made it’s way onto the page. Again. For at least the second year, if not the third.  I’ve struggled over the years to maintain a consistent connection with my body, a holistic connection that is, incorporating my spirit and not simply aimed at “burning calories.” My yoga practice has waxed and waned during the past 7 years, including a 2 year complete hiatus. However, 2010 yielded glimmers of hope in my return to yoga, with *some* steadiness in attendance and practice throughout the year. Yet, I want to more fully honor this intention that keeps showing itself time and again as I close the chapter on one year and begin the next. Thus, I’ve created a “January Yoga Journey:” I am challenging myself to practice yoga every weekday for this month. I want to engage in this experiment, to commit to a focus on mind-body-spirit through yoga, for one month–a realistic goal, I think. And then I want to simply observe what emerges. How will I feel? Will something in my life, internally or externally, have shifted over the course of the month? Will I see with new eyes? Will I want to continue this JYJ into February (and then what would I call it?!)?

I was fearful of sharing this challenge with you, but I know all too well that telling others about your goals helps to manifest them. Today is Day 2 and I’ll keep you posted as this journey unfolds. Do you have a challenge you’ve set for yourself? Want to share it?

11 Responses

  1. Christa says:

    I am writing a note a day… to friends, to teachers, to the person on the street who helped me in some way. Thank you notes, basically, as a way to let people know how they have touched my life….

    I think the yoga idea is fantastic and may copy you in February! Isn’t it funny, how hard it is to do things we love?

  2. Lindsey says:

    I think you’d like Claire Dederer’s Poser. I loved it and found it really motivated me to consider a return to yoga (with which I’ve danced, on and off, as you have, over the years).

  3. Ken McRae says:

    AMAZING. Having done this intense yoga practice committment myself several times I can assure you that first it is not easy so JUST DO IT every day no matter what your mind says about it and second the benefits will be beyond what you could ever imagine and they last whether you continue or not. I will be reading about your journey.

  4. Sizzle says:

    I know a lot of people who do a monthly challenge to do yoga every day. I’m in awe! I can’t get to class every day because of scheduling conflicts but I do and have committed to doing a home practice daily (7 days a week). Even if it’s 20 minutes of yoga then 20 minutes of seated meditation, that’s something transformative for me. I commend you!

    I’m not only challenging myself yoga-related (everything feels related to yoga the more I do it, do you find that?) but am also challenging myself to reach out and call friends instead of relying on texting or email. Many of my closest, dearest friends live far away and I want to cultivate our connection in a deeper way since we can’t just meet up for dinner and conversation. I’m even thinking of skype-ing with a few.

    I have had Mark Nepo’s book for years – my copy is very tattered from daily love- and know you will enjoy it. It has brought me so much peace, enlightenment and strengthened my connection between spirit and mind.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I want to start a real yoga practice so badly! Mama/baby yoga is full of way too much pandemonium to count. My challenge is to do less. When Abra goes to sleep at 8:30 I have to stop myself from running all over the house and getting stuff done until the wee hours of the morning. It’s a compulsion. Great photo, Btw

  6. Amy says:

    Best wishes with the daily yoga practice this month! I trust that your senses and awareness will be heightened. You go!

  7. Tiffany Hogan says:

    What an awesome idea Meghan! I can’t wait to see you at yoga this month (inspires me to go more often!). My big intention is to become a morning person…I feel so much better when I exercise early and go to bed early.

  8. Anne says:

    Best wishes for your yoga goal…you’ll learn something, and will probably be surprised! Happy new year.

  9. mary says:

    This was on my “50 things” list…. Last year a friend encouraged me to do first a “30 day yoga challenge” and then a “90 day yoga challenge” that she was also doing in another town. Some days all I could manage was ONE sun salutation, other days much more. But, I can say that definitely by the end, it had become a habit that I was able to continue for the year. Good luck and see you at yoga!

  10. Sarah Jean says:

    Love this in every way, Meghan! So important to engage in activities that get is back “into” our bodies (running does this for me). When something is out of balance with our bodies, minds, or souls — everything ends up being out of whack. Also, love the idea of setting a daily intention for 1 month. Sending you happy vibes and support as you continue on this monthly journey.

  11. […] our mini photo-camp weekend as I was reading Mark Nepo (I’ve shared my love for Mark Nepo before!) the other day as part of my morning ritual. Nepo writes, “we think that accomplishing […]

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