We are now a few weeks into January, and New Years Resolutions are in full swing. I set an Intention at this time every year instead of a resolution. Let's talk about the difference.
Webster's defines resolution as "The act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something". An intention is defined as "the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose".
Resolutions are often things like loose weight, start a fitness program, etc. I would like to concentrate on intentions, "aim or purpose". Starting a fitness program or meditation practice may be just the thing to help you achieve your intention, but the intention itself is different. Your intention may be strength, joy, love, letting go, etc. Often these are themes that yoga classes are based on, but they don't have to stop when you leave the mat.
While meditating during a New Year's Day yoga class, I decided that my intention for 2015 would be joy. It is only by allowing myself to express true joy (I'm a bit reserved), that I will be able to share it with others.
My method of practicing my intention off the mat is simple. I have a flexible bracelet that I wear daily. Whenever I feel my joy being disturbed by anger, anxiety, or the emotions of others, I move the bracelet to the other wrist. Simple enough, but awareness is the first key to change.
I have to confess that the first day that I tested this method, I found myself moving the bracelet very regularly. I would like to a person who brings a positive energy to a room rather than being dragged down into the negative energy of others.
Awareness is the first key to change. Realizing when I'm being dragged into someone else's drama and moving my bracelet is quickly teaching me to stop the negative energy at the source.
I encourage you to take the time to ask yourself what you really want in 2015. Maybe the reason that you have resolved to accomplish that handstand, loose that weight, or get that new job is because you just want to be happy.
Take the time to meditate on the true improvements that you want to make in life. (Hint - it is probably one of the reasons that you come to the yoga mat in the first place.) This year, find your aim or purpose, and not just the conflict that you'd like to resolve.