The new year is upon us. Letting go of what has not served us and heading into something fresh stirs up excitement deep within our cells.
Traditionally, this profound contemplation of what has been and the energetic motivation to move up and on leads us to make new year’s resolutions.
- settle or find a solution to a problem
- to decide firmly on a course of action
I have always been a goal-setter. A resolution maker. A believer in the sacredness of time and the beauty of new beginnings.
Many years ago, in listening to people talk about their resolutions, I found a disconnect between the way we use the word resolve and the beauty and excitement associated with a new year’s resolution. I explored the definition of the word resolution, I quickly saw that this was not the ritual I sought. Bringing old problems into a new era in hopes of “resolving” them was not spiritually cleansing or awareness-inducing.
So what is the intention of a new year’s resolution?
- an aim or plan
- the healing process of a wound (medicine)
The Bhagavad Gita tells the story of Arjuna, a warrior forced to choose between loyalty to family and loyalty to moral law. He must take action and go to war with his family, as this is his sacred work—or dharma— in this life. His heart is filled with dread. Krishna, Arjuna’s charioteer, offers encouragement by pointing out that it is the intention behind his action that most matters.
Krishna says intention, when in alignment with our dharma, elevates all action into sacred action. Sacred action is anything that fulfills our unique and precious work in this life.
Let’s be clear though: intention requires action to truly have meaning. Simply “intending” to do something, to make a different choice or the move in a particular direction is not enough. Real change requires the fire of actions united by a common intention.
An intention focuses our actions onto a single point: our work in the world. Sometimes that is the development of a quality, a recognition of an overarching theme in our life, the work that shows up in our day-to-day living. Intention-setting for the practice that is our life, provides a clear direction: aiming us toward a more purposeful life, well-lived. (It’s one thing to practice equanimity on the yoga mat, quite another when you have a deadline and your little one is screaming in the other room).
Intention-setting provides a mental drishti on which to focus when our attention wonders. The intention—in both a yoga practice and our business plan—acts as a rudder, steering our attention and action back on course when we become distracted, distressed or unfocused.
Intention provides a lens to frame our experience and our motivations. Resolutions, goals, or To-Change, can easily devolve into reflexive responses to inadequacy, dis-satisfaction, self-criticism. Conversely, intention provides an overarching meta-theme to our daily choices, refined by our commitment to conscious awareness and actions.
In the art of conscious annual planning (for life and business), an intention serves as the litmus test for what to pursue, what endeavors to devote energy to, and what collaborations and creations fit into the year.
Intentions guide action. Action allows us to fulfill our sacred work in this life.
Before we act, we intend.
But before we intend, we need to align.
Aligning us requires us to go within: to listen to the inner whispers, to seek out universal guidance, and to create the space for transformation.
While it may be simple to resolve to eat less sugar or book more private yoga clients in 2015, transformation—in your business and in your life—only arises when you commit to remain intentional in all actions.
Intention is uncovered through inner work
- When you sit quietly holding the space for your intuition, what arises as your own sacred work in this life –for the next year?
- What intention would bring you more in alignment with that sacred work?
- What does the the process of setting intentions bring up for you?
Go ahead, pick up the pen & your 2015 journal
Make some notes in response to these questions, but be warned, that this could turn all of your new year’s resolutions into something much bigger than yourself.
I know all too well how thrilling, yet absolutely terrifying, it can be when intention aligns your course of action. The metaphorical light bulb goes off, followed by the big questions…
What do I do next?
Well, I don’t have the answer to that questions, but I do know how you can find it.
On January 4th, 2015, I am hosting a completely free happiness challenge for your business called Finding Flow.
If you’re reading this post right now, you are either a conscious, creative entrepreneur or you’re going to be one some day (even if you don’t yet realize it!). Consciouspreneurs, as I like to call us, live out our dharma through our creative, helping & healing businesses.
Sometimes—more often than not—it’s a challenge to make it all flow while still getting our meaningful work done, especially when you’re on the multipassionate end of the spectrum: but I know it doesn’t have to be that way.
I’m inviting you to join me for Finding Flow | A Happiness Challenge for Your Biz.
28 days of vision, planning, purpose, flow, productivity and creative rest.
The investment is one I know you can make: Your Time & Commitment.
Make 2015 your happiest year in business ever.
Intrigued? Fill out the form below to flow with us: get your first 2015 Action Step automagically delivered by email.
P.S. Today is the last day to register for Strategy is Sexy. Which just so happens to be a very strategic compliment to Finding Flow!