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December 27, 2018

3 Steps for Your New Year’s Intention to Take Flight!

Today, our little yoga community will gather and move through a beautiful ritual that allows us to slip into our different levels of consciousness and uncover truths about our past and present.  We will connect with the deepest part of our self and ask the question-

 

What is required to live, each moment, with a purpose that is aligned with our heart? 

 

This is our intention.

 

So many of us have the best intentions.  And, sadly, so many of our intentions are never actualized.  It is a cultural norm for a large number of us to have a resolution for the New Year.

 

This past weekend, at a holiday gathering, I chatted with friends as they ate indulgent food and talked about the diet they were staring January 1st.  They complained about the weight they’ve gained as they put another cookie in their mouth.

 

But, hey, I too have done this.

I see the need for a change, I want the change, I voice the change, and then I keep doing the same old things.  Then the resolution, that was supposed to be helpful and inspiring, becomes a way for me to feel bad about myself because I’ve failed.  Not a good cycle to be part of; yet we all fall into this trap.

 

So, how can we turn this New Year’s Resolution idea into something that sticks?  Something that empowers us and actually takes flight?

 

I’ve experienced three things that can turn a resolution (let’s call it an intention) into empowering action.

 

  • First, be sure that your intention is true. An intention that is heart-centered, and not from the ego, has a better chance of taking flight with action.  Think of it as a seed.  It will take time to grow and will need to be nurtured.

 

When you understand why you are creating that intention and what has blocked you from actualizing it up to this point, then you are starting from a place that has possibility.  If an effort is made to release or shift the blockages, then you are starting from a place that has promise.

 

  • Create one super SIMPLE and doable action that you can do every day to help you remember your intention and honor it. Choose a practical time of day to do the action and set an alarm to go off at that time.  For instance, if your intention is to be more mindful, set an alarm to get up 10 minutes earlier; go sit, relax and breathe with awareness.

 

You are welcome to do more than one action a day, but they will simply be a bonus.  If you forget one day, just begin again.  This is about you creating self-love, not self-shame.  Each time you do the action, imagine the seed growing.

 

  • Lastly, find a way to be accountable. You can have a friend that you text after you’ve done the action, post about it, or join a group (online or in person) doing a similar thing to generate community support.  The more you can connect with people that are doing what you wish to be doing or living in the way you aspire, the more you will fuel your flame that turns inspiration into action.  It is said that we are most like the five people we spend the majority of time with.

 

If you would like to create a heart-intention to affirm your life’s purpose, the ritual below will gently guide you through a process of:

Identifying and releasing what is not serving you

and

Actualizing how to move freely towards your heart’s desires so that you are supported in every way, shape, and form.

 

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

– Aristotle

 

 

Creating an Intention (Heart-Promise) for the New Year (or Anytime!)

The Love Life Yoga Ritual

 

 

Rituals are powerful. They create a container to hold a singular focus for our mind and body. When dealing with strong feelings or thoughts, this allows us, in the simplest of terms, to feel safe.

What we are wanting to let go of (like grief during mourning) or manifest (like a New Year’s Resolution), is held for a moment in time.

This allows space to step back and observe. For a moment, to not be attached, but to be the “seer.” And, anytime we become aware of the fact that we are not our thoughts or feelings or a situation, there is freedom. Within that freedom, we can process, find clarity, and gain perspective.  Eckhart Tolle said –

 

“Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior.

You are beneath the “thinker.”

You are the stillness beneath the mental noise.

You are the love and joy beneath the pain.”

 

Here is a simple writing ritual to reflect on the last year and welcome in the New Year by planting a seed of intention.

You will need: Two pieces of paper, a pen, a pot, matches, something to put a hot pot on, a glass of water, and a quiet space.

In a quiet place, sit, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.  Notice where your body moves as you breathe. Let thoughts quietly come and then go, without attaching to them.  Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Begin to deepen your breath and let it stretch from the very center of you.

Imagine your breath spreading through your belly, ribs, chest, hips, legs, feet, back, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, face, and lifting up and out of the crown of the head.

When you feel ready, open your eyes and write on one sheet of paper:

2018

Now, write anything that comes to mind. Don’t filter or judge what comes out. Just write. Stream of consciousness.

Write about any challenges, joys, obstacles, people, moments, or situations that you think of.

 Take deep breaths and stay relaxed.

Write about anything from the last year that you would like to let go of. Any part of yourself that you wish to be less dominant.

Anything that may be obstructing your heart – Pain, Ego, Anxiety, Pride, Fear, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, Confusion, Resentment, Lust, Jealousy, Slothfulness…

 

*WRITE:

I release the obstacles that keep me from connecting with my highest self

and serving the greatest good.

 

Breathe in love (a tremendous amount!) as you write.

Stop whenever you are finished.

For a moment, gaze at the sheet of paper. Let your eyes get a little blurry and imagine you can look through your eyes with complete kindness. Pure love.

Now imagine you can step outside of yourself and watch what is happening. Notice what your face looks like. How you are sitting. How you are breathing. Observe how you, the true essence of you, is not what you wrote. See and feel how you are beyond your thoughts and feelings.

 

How, “you are the stillness beneath the mental noise.

You are the love and joy beneath the pain.”

Next, rip up the sheet of paper! Tear it into tiny pieces. Take some cleansing breaths.

Optional: If you would like to move your body a bit, now is a good time to stretch, do some yoga, twist, and shake out tension. Let your body do whatever it wants to do!

Next, burning the obstacles. First, be sure you are in a safe place to make a small fire. Be by an open window or go outside and have your glass of water ready to put out the fire.

Put the ripped up paper in the pot and set it on fire. Take some deep breaths and watch the flame. Then, put out the fire with water, if needed.

Take three cleansing breaths. In through the nose, out of the mouth.

Now, sit and write on your second sheet of paper:

What makes your heart sing?

What parts of yourself do you wish to grow and expand?

Awareness, Understanding, Courage, Authenticity, Love, Patience, Humility, Compassion, Joyfulness, Perseverance, Kindness, Being of Service, Integrity, Faith, Peacefulness, Sense of humor, Gratitude, Honesty, Lightness of being….

When you get really still, really honest, what are your Dreams? Hopes? Visions?

Is there a seed of intention you would like to plant for the new year?

 

*WRITE:

I move freely towards my heart’s desires and I am supported in every way, shape and form.

When you are finished writing, fold up your paper and place it on your chest (heart center), under your right hand and place your left hand on top of the right. Take some slow, deep breaths. Relax.  Allow a calm to settle over you. Let a small smile come to your lips.

Acknowledge deep within you, that your seed of intention is already beginning to blossom. Imagine every single time you are aware of a breath – you are helping to manifest your heart’s desires.

To close, you can scatter or bury your ashes, repeating:

I release the obstacles that keep me from connecting with my highest self and serving the greatest good.

I move freely towards my heart’s desires and I am supported in every way, shape and form.

 

 

“What one does is what counts.  Not what one has the intention of doing.”

– Pablo Picasso

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Michele Bickley  |  Contribution: 1,125