Setting New Year’s Intentions

This year, I invite you to set aside New Year’s resolutions.  That’s right. Toss ’em aside.

Instead, I invite you to set New Year’s intentions.

Yes, this may sound like one and the same: but the distinction lies in the dictionary and is mirrored all around us in the mass media. The definition of “resolution” includes one’s resolve to make change – a valiant virtue, indeed – and concurrently, also indicates the act of resolving a problem – emphasizing we are starting from a problem, rather than focusing on the solution we hope to birth. This view of the world is echoed throughout mainstream magazines, movies, and music, where even the images of beautiful models are so often perfected before published.

When we try to crystallize and catalyze change in our life from this shaky footing, we launch into the transformation from a place of feeling disempowered, and may not be able to maintain the long term focus and energy to continue striving toward our desired state – in short, we lose our resolve. Perhaps this is part of why it’s generally accepted that many of us will set really dazzling goals today – often including gym memberships, yoga studio subscriptions, dietary overhauls, new running shoes or visits to your herbalist – but fewer of us will still be committed by Spring Equinox.

The blemishes and scuffs of 2014 have molded us into who we are at the precipice of 2015.  Those things we wish to change about ourselves also inform us, teach us, guide us.  What could happen if we choose embrace these parts of ourselves that we want to help grow, integrating our yin with our yang? What possibilities emerge when we seek to create positive change just for the sake of cultivating our whole, healthy selves – and not a paradigm that requires we minimize, diminish, or degrade parts of our self in the process of our personal growth.

So this year, I invite you to set New Year’s intentions instead.

In comparison, the word as defined by Merriam-Webster indicates a similar determination to change or create positive states of being as resolution. But the word intention doesn’t infer there was a problem to begin with. It simply invites us to start from where we are, and grow forward, creating the vision of what we want, no judgments on where we are now.

The word intention also infers a sense of “prayer” which is a big selling point for me. The more prayerful and spirit-filled a wish, the more likely I know it is to be fulfilled.  This act of ceremony reminds us that when it comes to making a dream a reality, we can only do our best with our best intentions, and then let spirit lend a hand.

So embrace 2014 – all the mistakes, the mishaps, the drudgery, the imperfections. Don’t cast it out, don’t belittle it, don’t wish it away. All the potholes have built our resilience. All the falls from grace have taught us how to stand up again. All the flaws and faults have helped us build character. Thank them. Thank yourself. And then, simply set an intention for all those desires you have for 2015. Visioning our desires with the power of prayer, you will almost magically begin to watch those desires unfold in your life in beautiful and divine ways.

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More Tips for Setting Your New Year’s Intentions:

WRITE ‘EM DOWN: Yes, in a journal, on a poster board, even a scrap of paper will do. Read them. Reread them. Embellish them. Doodle perhaps. But get them on paper.

SHARE THEM: With friends, your lover, your neighbor, and (sigh) even social media. Speaking our intentions gives them power.

SUPPORT THEM: Some of my favorite tools to support creating my intentions in the 3-D world include
– Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map, its accompanying planner, and her array of support materials help me integrate my core vision into my daily life, helping me focus on the forest in the midst of the trees.
– Flower Essences! Chestnut Bud helps create new habits, Honeysuckle brings our relationship with the past into right alignment, Walnut brings ease to transition and transformation, along with many other essences based on our personal needs bring grace to the process of growth.
– Prayer Arrows, Vision Boards, and similar tools allow us to create space and time in our lives for reflecting on our intention. That time alone is so powerful, but we also nurture the creative part of our soul in the process – which helps us create more of what we want in our lives!

Rosemary Gladstar, teaching the art of prayer arrows.
Rosemary Gladstar, teaching the art of prayer arrows to help us root our intentions in fertile earth and let spirit carry them to the heavens

What are YOUR favorite tools to support bringing your intentions into manifestation? Let’s share in the comments to help each other build the most beautiful visions in 2015.

 

PS since we first posted this blog, we were sent a copy of “New Year’s Non Resolutions” with a graphic “Revel in your Imperfections”
We LOVE it!
Check it out at this link.

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