Intentions for a Happier Life

It is still January… what often seems like a dreary, long, sobering month after a season of celebration & overindulgence. Yet, this year, January has been pleasant, often dry and with more sunlight than normal- lending to better moods to start the new year.

The start of the year is a time for many to reflect on what worked (or didn’t work) in the past year, and set intentions or resolutions for the changes we desire in the upcoming year. It is a great time to re-set our behaviour, our mindset, or to commit to a new routine or hobby. As a teacher & parent, I have always found September to be a great time for this too— the start of a new school year, yet another fresh slate.

Intention is also something coming up more and more in discussions about mindfulness- both in meditation & yoga. Both are times where we limit our focus and commit to being in the moment.

But how do you pick??

Well, it isn’t a marriage or long-term commitment— you can choose an intention for as long as you want to focus on it— one class, one month, or until you notice a shift in your feelings. Our feelings are really where we find our intentions… how are we feeling about our families? our social life? health & fitness? How do you feel about the way we spend our time? The way we speak?

Focus on you feelings, and find your intention. If you are feeling lonely, create an intention of community. If you are feeling insecure, create an intention of Confidence. If you are struggling with sadness or loss, bring an intention of joy into your heart. Feeling fearful?? We all are, about something- it is the feelings that pushes human more than anything else… set an intention for safety, security or comfort. If you feel weak or ill, set an intention for strength.

Find your feeling, set your intention. You can focus on a single word, such as HEALTH, or a mantra or short phrase or positive affirmation, like I AM HEALTHY. Keep language in the present tense— the old adage of ‘fake it tie your make it’ stands true here. It is what we repeat in our minds/hearts, that we believe.

I AM BRAVE.

I AM STRONG.

I AM FREE.

I HAVE BALANCE IN MY LIFE.

MY LIFE IS FILLED WITH LOVE.

I HAVE LOVING RELATIONSHIPS.

I AM FULFILLED IN MY WORK.

How do you want to FEEL? Focus on that. Forget goals, don’t set an intention to lose weight, or to be ‘healthier’ or walk 3x a week. Stick to I AM HEALTHY or I CARE FOR MY BODY & MIND.

So, try to set an intention for your next meditation, your next yoga class, or even your next walk. Keep it in your mind, repeat it and start to feel it!

Good luck!

Michele