Honestly. They are more often talked about in the sense of what have I not done, how have I not achieved my resolutions, and I think it all brings a bad vibe.
Hence, I introduce the Intention.
Resolutions may be very practical goals, or very lofty ones. Basically they are a “to do” list. And one that usually gets left behind come the second week of January. (And really, who likes a to do list? They are often stress inducing – even if you haven’t noticed… - as they weigh on your mind as things you should do but aren’t getting to.)
So, back to the Intention.
How does one create an Intention? What is an Intention?
An Intention is a commitment of the mind to focus one’s abilities to be flexible to the change that is to be brought about by the Intention. That sounds vague. For instance: My Intention today is to be more carefree – joyous and playful. Now, I set my focus, my Intention, for today: I open myself up to the possibility that even though I have not yet achieved this state as a regular habit in my life, I can be that today. Even though I am efficient and over-responsible as a habit, I know I contain the ability to be joyous and carefree and playful and open myself up to that.
Basically, when one creates an Intention for himself, he is believing that he already is able to do that particular thing, he has just not done it yet.
The difference here with Resolutions is that one feels the burden of accomplishing the Resolution with one’s own effort and resolve. It is difficult, effortful, a task. It is something seen to be outside of you and therefore daunting and challenging. This may be nitpicking here, but I believe the stereotype of a word carries a lot of weight.
For instance, if I say “I resolve to lose weight and eat healthier this year”, I hear: I have been naughty. I have not eaten or treated my body as I should, and I need to change that. (That all stresses me out, man!) I resolve to lose weight – I promise I will be good now and lose the weight! I resolve – I will gather up the courage and fortitude to pledge myself to this task. Basically, I hear a lot of criticism and blame and focus on the negative side of things when it comes to Resolutions. Maybe this is my own stereotype bred of my own particular circumstances, and if you disagree with me, feel free to respond with your thoughts. However, it is my feeling that most of you have had the same relationship – whether personal or secondary – with Resolutions as well.
Intentions have more ease and finesse to them. We recognize that which we wish to change, the state we wish to alter (eating right, being more carefree). Then we recognize that we already own all the positive character traits that are in our own best interest (eating healthy and being carefree and joyous are in our best interest, are they not?). Then, we open ourselves up to that knowledge that we are already healthy, joyous, and we allow G-d to provide us with opportunities that reveal this to us.
That sounds simpler and less effortful, perhaps?
One last thought – and perhaps the whole reason behind my writing this blog – where there is criticism and judgment, there is no forward movement. And if there is, it is only through incredibly hard work and tough determination. So whether you agree with me in the subtle yet weighty difference in the meanings of these two words Resolution and Intention, or not, believe this. Where you love yourself and allow non-judgmental observation on where you can grow as a person; when you allow G-d’s love and acceptance of you exactly where you are fill you up with support, with feeling you are enough, with unconditional love and the strength that that brings; when you align yourself with that Love and all the good intentions It has for you, YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING. Because you are aligned with the same purpose G-d has for you: For you to be your best. So you set your resolve, you set your intention, aligned with being the best form of you in this world, and it will be so.
For that is what G-d wants from you, too.
With love and wonderful intentions for this New Year,
What's your Intention for today? For 2015? I'd love to hear! Share with me!