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Intention for the Year

by Milissa on January 1, 2011

in Philosophy

A few years ago, I read about choosing a one-word intention for the year on Christine Kane’s blog. At the time, I had worked with sankalpa—the yogic practice of setting an intention or aspiration—before undertaking new endeavors. This had developed into a regular, sometimes daily, practice for me. Before teaching a yoga class, I would take some time in savasana, breathing with the earth and touching in with my deepest self, and let an intention come to me. If I didn’t have 20 minutes, or more, to be receptive to my heart and soul’s desire, I would draw an Angel Card, calling a quality to me in the form of the single word printed on the card: abundance or inspiration or grace. I’ve always liked practices that activate what Carl Jung called Synchronicity. The unconscious calls forward what it needs, and we simply need to be open to receiving the message, image, word or sign.

Even before adopting the practice of the annual one-word intention, I had stuck with a single intention over the course of a year, though it hadn’t coincided with the calendar year. Freedom was a sankalpa I worked with during the early part of my transition from matron to crone. At the time, I also called on the energy that destroys blockages to our True Nature, through chanting, and japa, silently repeating throughout my day Om Namah Shivaya and the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra. I won’t go into how much that intention kicked me around, but I will caution you: Be careful what you ask for! It might not look the way you expected, once the deepest part of yourself is manifesting your intention.

Asking for freedom sounds nice when you’re thinking, “I want to let go of my neurotic patterns,” but it’s another matter when the Universe decides you need to let go (completely!) of the way you’ve showed up in the past (and thought was working just fine, thank you). Support from yoga and meditation groups, teachers, therapists, bodyworkers, spiritual directors, coaches, best friends, spouses, are all an integral part of the process of self-transformation.

To be continued: More on the practice of conscious intention for the year will be posted next week.

If you would like help forming an intention for the new year I am available for private sessions. Also, consider the Half-Day Restorative Yoga & Mindfulness Retreat, January 22, where we will nurture sankalpa in the seed stage.

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