This year, I celebrated Winter Solstice with my yoga class. My teacher led a session to mark the shortest and darkest day of the year (December 21): the official start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. His point was simple and quite lovely. Plant your seeds of intention, while the world is cold and still, and as spring emerges, these intentions will start to emerge. I love this idea: mindfully planting seeds of intention for the year ahead.
As we close in on the end of 2012 and the start of 2013, I am brought back to this idea. In preparation for New Year’s Eve, I have been thinking about intentions for the year ahead; and I have settled on three.
Keep it simple
Time, energy and space are finite. In recognition of this, I have recently been trying to get rid of unnecessary ‘stuff’. Clutter in my closets; junk in my garage: piles of paper on my desk. This also goes for unnecessary activity. I too often find myself running around, trying to fulfill too many commitments or complete a list of tasks: leaving me irritable and exhausted. This year, I am committed to quality over quantity. I will focus on creating more space for myself – both literally and figuratively.
From time to time, I catch myself looking outwards, comparing my life to others, rather than focusing on expressing gratitude for the beauty in front of me right here, right now. This year, I will take time each day to remember what I am thankful for in my own life.
Earlier this fall, I was fortunate enough to see the writer, Danielle Laporte, present on her work. She described the importance of getting clear on how you want to feel in your life, before you setting goals. Here is how she describes it, in her book, The Firestarter Sessions.
“Typically we come up with our to-do-lists, our bucket lists, and our strategic plans – all of the stuff we want to have, get, and experience outside of ourselves. All of those aspirations are being driven by an innate desire to feel a certain way. What if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel within ourselves, and then we designed our to-do lists?
Maybe what you want to feel is “energized” or “joyful.” For years, you’ve been thinking you want a three-thousand-square-foot house in the city and to be promoted to VP. You should want a bigger house and a bigger job, right? Bigger is better, right?
But maybe those things aren’t energizing or joy inducing at all. You could be mortgage poor and working sixty hours a week. Perhaps energizing and joyful would come from a stylin’ little condo, and you could use your extra money to see one European city a year and help put your nephew through school…First, get clear on how you want to feel. Then, do stuff that makes you feel that way.” (Pgs.64-65)
I love this idea. If I can let go of my preconceptions of what ‘success’ looks like, I open myself up to all kinds of new possibilities. This is equally true for my work life as my home life.
For the year ahead, I have created my aspired “feelings” list. It is posted prominently up on my desk, so I will have a chance to glance at it on a daily basis. Whenever I make a decision in the year ahead, I am going to check back on this list to see if it is in alignment with how I want to feel in my life.
I wish you much love and success in the year ahead. I would love to hear your resolutions for the year ahead. Please share them with me here.