Intention Rather than Resolution

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. I let the holidays sweep me away, but here I am. I read a post on Instagram that said, “Ditch the resolutions. To resolve means to find a solution to a problem. You are not a problem. The way you showed up for your life the past year was necessary for your growth. Now is a time to reflect. To learn. To create an intention, a positive call to shift, as spark of magic [plus] manifestation rooted in self-love and backed with action.” I don’t know who said this quote, but it really struck home. We all make “resolutions” to eat better, workout more, curse less, etc. While those are all good for the well-being and the soul, they don’t seem to come from a place of love, but rather from the ego telling us we’re wrong–we weigh too much, we eat too many potato chips, we curse too much while driving–and it can even get to a place of self-blame because in coming from ego it’s saying, “I’m not good enough. Something is wrong with me and I have to be fixed.” What if you instead offered yourself compassion and acknowledged you are doing your best? Does it feel odd? Does it feel like you are condoning “poor” behavior? Offering self-compassion doesn’t mean you don’t try to be your best self and take care of your mind and body, rather it inspires you to take care of yourself in those ways because if you love you then you want to take care of you.

This is where intention comes in. Intention is about focusing on your biggest desire to fulfill what you want to come out of this life. When you focus and set a goal to be your best–to learn, to evolve, to be compassionate–this helps you live in the moment and allows you to work toward that intention. As the quote from the Instagram post says, “…rooted in self-love and backed with action,” we must always start from a place of love rather than ego or self-blame so that our actions will carry out those intentions and desires. Instead of resolving to “fix” yourself, you intend to be the divine being that is your true nature by being loving toward yourself and others. Look back on your past actions. They probably weren’t all perfect, and that’s okay! Don’t sit in self-blame, rather look where you can make a change and learn from those experiences–positive and negative.

I’ve been reading a book by Tara Brach, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, and it has been very transformative. I would highly recommend it because it teaches you that we all have Buddha (divine) nature within us, but our culture constantly tells us we are wrong, sinful, and must work to be better. The truth is we can’t beat ourselves into submission through self-blame. When we accept ourselves as we are, we open the doors to self-compassion, empathy for others, and lovingkindness toward all. This year, I challenge you to accept you and make the intention to accept you. In reading this book, I’ve become more forgiving, kinder, and I even workout more and eat better because I know I deserve that and am worthy of feeling well. I’m by no means perfect. I still get impatient with the dog or annoyed when my son is moving slow in the morning, but what has changed is I am able to stop and say, “Okay, she’s a dog, and dogs bark,” or, “He’s only five, I’ll get where I need to when I do. He’s only little once.” It’s a practice, but having focused intention on accepting myself feels so much better than making a resolution to fix something that never was broken in the first place. I hope your 2019 is off to an amazing start. Love and light, and I hope to see you soon.

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