Friday, January 6, 2012

Setting intentions

I wasn't going to make any resolutions this year, but after reading so many inspiring posts (such as here, here, and here), I have been inspired to look at my avoidance of resolutions. I think for me, they've always felt that they come from a place that fails to accept who I am, and instead chastises myself for not being "better" at something. And they often also center around the superficial, asking me to judge myself based on someone else's ruler, and I rarely come out feeling like a winner. Or maybe it's just because this beautiful time of expansiveness and change has become tainted by marketers and buzz-words, that it cheapen the possibilities, and I've just passively boycotted it altogether.

If I acknowledge "the list," there are many things I would like to improve, master, or change. I would like to learn French. I would like to get back to the accordion (I was doing so well, but I've let it completely drop off). Finish the photobooks I'm so behind on. Paint more. I'd like to be nicer. More patient. Stop swearing when I'm angry. Stay on top of email. Keep in touch. Get things done. Cook more. Keep the house clean. Be confident. Be more grateful. Eat for wellness. Do a cleanse. Quit sugar. Be more centered. More present (live in the hereness, less in the thereness). ...and on it goes... I could easily add to this list, but it does start to feel a little defeating. Furthermore, so many of these goals simply don't translate well into rigid resolutions. I want to allow myself the flexibility to falter, because as soon as I'm "supposed" to do something, it feels like a chore, and I'm less likely to continue. It has to be something I'm passionate about and keep coming back to.

That being said, I do find a thrilling sense of hopefulness from starting a brand new year. The feeling of a clean slate. Who knows what this year will hold? So many possibilities and opportunities. Before I came across Susannah's free workbook: Unravelling 2012, I hadn't before fully assessed the year before and actively set out goals for the year ahead, but I did, and have found the process challenging, but also enlightening.

What leapt out at me was that I want to be a more active participant in my own life. Engaged. Start steering this boat and find out where it's headed. I've been reading The Happiness Project, and it's empowering to be reminded that only I am in control of who I am and how I feel (though sometimes I forget that I'm in charge and can get a little lost in the sea of routine and work and responsibilities, and sometimes it feels like these things rule me, rather than the other way around).

This is all a bit nebulous, but what I keep coming back to is the desire to meditate. Become centered and tap into the stillness within. (I know it's in there!) And this might seem at odds with wanting to be more active, but I see it as a vital ingredient to being more engaged in my life.

I'm sure this will be a process. A journey. And though I've dabbled in meditation, I've never committed. But there are so, so many resources out there that talk about the benefits of meditating regularly. To aid me in this quest, I am trying Jack Kornfield's Meditation for Beginners DVD, in addition to Gaiam's same-titled DVD (which I've had for years, but rarely use). I've also found a great many instructional videos on youtube, but also with youtube, there's a lot to filter through. If anyone has any self-directed resources (books, CDs, DVDs) they would like to recommend, I would love to hear about them.

So this year, I'll be patient and gentle with myself, and rather than choose an external talent (playing accordion, though I will do that too sometimes), I'm drilling deeper. Going to the source.

Anyway, thanks for reading. What intentions are you setting for yourself this year?


  1. I just noticed that was my 100th post!

  2. This is so wonderful and thank you for sharing your finds! Must sit and fill in SC's free workbook. Wow.
    I would love to find time to be quiet and still...all things have a season though...I liked Deepak Chopra's guided meditation:
    Enjoy the stillness my friend.

  3. Thank you so much for the recommendation! And bonus: it's at my library! Sweet!
    So far I've been consistent at trying, but each "session" has been a struggle - cats crying and walking over me... sigh. Will continue trying to find the stillness. xo