December 14, 2013

8 Buddhaful Intentions for 2014.


What are your best intentions for 2014? How do you see yourself actualizing those intentions?

I was going to write 14, but that was too many, so I cut it down to four, but that was too few. So, here are my eight best intentions for the year to come.

They’re kind of like New Year’s Resolutions yet hopefully more meaningful and achievable than “work out for 45 minutes 5 times a week” or “lose 15 pounds.”

1. Study the dharma.

This means reading dharma books and listening to dharma talks. It means practicing meditation, Being committed to sitting, daily, with both discipline and gentleness.

I have found that Buddhist teachings resonate deeply with me, and so by continuing to study and practice them, I become a more selfless, compassionate, aware and mindful person.

2. Be a better partner.

I am married, but is it forever? I am happy now, but is he? Will we stay together? Is our love genuine and everlasting?

In order to be a better partner, I need to be more open and communicative. This can be difficult sometimes, as I have to speak in my second language, Spanish. I am fluent, but in times of conflict and stress, I sometimes wish he was fluent in English.

In practical terms, I need to express my needs clearly and actively listen to my partner. Because I work and he stays home with our daughter, I want to be better about sharing the housekeeping duties.

3. Be a more mindful mama.

It’s a joy to have a child, but it can be irritating and stressful and overwhelming too. I want to be present and available to my daughter, not lost in thought or distracted or ungrateful.

I need to remember that my time for myself (to do yoga, read, surf the internet, write or whatever else) can wait. When she wants and needs attention, I will offer it freely and cheerfully.

4. Teach and learn every day.

I am a teacher, of yoga and of 3rd grade English/Language Arts. Although I love teaching and spending my day with kids, the school system is broken and I’m not sure how much longer I can be a part of it. “Un-schooling” is something I want to learn more about, especially with regard to my daughter’s education.

In any case, to be worthwhile teacher, I need to keep learning. Reading. Researching. Listening. Absorbing.

5. Do more headstands (and yin).

I love headstand. It’s one of my all-time favorite asanas. Yet, I find myself rarely practicing it. My intention is to add it back into my regular yoga repertoire. I also want to study and practice more yin yoga.

6. Inspire others to serve, love, give, practice yoga and meditate.

I’ll actualize this intention by living my life as an example, to the best of my ability. I can inspire others by sharing my stories, sharing the practice and benefits of yoga and mindfulness, and devoting my time to serving others.

7. Continue to write creatively and consistently—with humility, openness and purpose.

I want to take the wise advice of my dear friend Tommy:

Write what you need to write. Understand that no one will read it, because then it will be true.

And if your truth is worthy—that is, if it is generous—then others will be compelled to embrace and share it.

Or maybe they won’t, but that’s not the point. That can’t be the objective. Forget everyone else. It’s all about the work.

8. Let go of rigidity.

I am a pretty flexible person, thanks to yoga. I’m also quite open minded, generally. I recognize, however, that I tend to be extremely competitive with myself and can sometimes cling fiercely to my ideas, expectations and opinions.

I want to be better about realizing when I’m getting stuck or being too harsh and rigid so that I can let go and move on with the flow of life more quickly.

Reverb is a  personal and communal writing practice that provides a means to reflect on the year that has passed and set intentions for the coming year.

In case you are reading this in the future or missed any along the way, here is a recap of all the #reverb13 prompts from the past two weeks.

1) Word: Encapsulate your 2013 in one word. Why that word? What would you like your word to be for 2014? Why?

2) Gifts: What was the most cherished gift you received this year? What was the best gift you gave?

3) How We Rise Up: What was the low point of your year? How did you rise up, heal and move forward?

4) Open: How do you cultivate openness in your life?

5) Serve: Karma yoga is selfless service. How did you serve others in 2013? How will you serve in 2014?

6) Reads: What was a favorite book (or five) that you read this year?

7) Self-knowledge: What was one important lesson that you learned about yourself this year? Was it gradual or a sudden epiphany?

8) Express Yourself: What was your favorite music this year? What song/album/artist(s) did you adore?

9) Paradox: What changed in your life this year? What stayed the same?

10) The Power of Language: How are you expressing your voice? What can you do to communicate more clearly and compassionately?

11) How Young Are You?: Write a list of 13 (or however many) things that are great about being your current age.

12) What are your best intentions for 2014? How do you see yourself actualizing those intentions?

Here’s to a mindful, joyful, open and grateful 2014!

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: hebedesign via Flickr

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