If you are reading this, you made it to the final days of 2020. How many times have you said, “What a year!”? If you are like me, you said that a lot. And now it is about to be 2021.
A new year brings hope and provides a wonderful reason to start fresh. While we are all looking forward to turning the calendar page, we also know that all of the challenges present in the world will not be resolved simply because we make resolutions or eat black-eyed peas (but please do eat at least one!).
Truly, we have no control over what happens in the world around us. What we can control are our own actions and responses to what happens. This takes some consideration as to how you want to show up in the world for yourself and others. This is what it means to set an intention. How you are going to “be” moving forward. That’s the first step; your actions will flow from your intention.
Intentions set the stage for a mindful life, because in each moment, we can be the way we decide to be. Instead of getting distracted by the obstacles around us, we grow into having a steady and steadfast approach to our circumstances. We set an intention, put our best efforts forth and let go of controlling the outcome.
I often invite my classes to set an intention for their time in Yoga or meditation. I ask, “What do you want to cultivate?” or “How do you want to show up?” When you ask that question, a word or phrase or image might show up for you. Maybe a few things come up and one seems just a bit more important than the others, at least for the moment.
You don’t have to overthink it, and yes, you might have more than one intention, and intentions can change from day to day. Think of your intention as your theme song—it gets you moving to your own beat on your own path.
At the beginning of the year, sometimes I will choose an intention for the year, in the form of a word. This doesn’t mean there won’t be daily intentions, this is just an overall compass for me. One year my word was “courageous”. That was the year I wrote my book; when I wanted to give up, or was scared about revealing myself to others, I reminded myself that I had chosen to cultivate courage for myself, and I got going.
This year, the word “nourishment” keeps coming back to me. During this very strange year, I’ve thought a lot about how I nourish myself. And that does not just mean with food, although food is a part of it.
I’ve contemplated what sustains me, what gives me energy and what propels me forward. I’ve also thought about what depletes, saps my energy, and keeps me stuck.
The forced slow-down from the shut-down has been challenging, but also incredibly nourishing. I prepare a lot more of the food I eat, and I am able to really consider what provides me the sustenance. I’ve learned to enjoy food more, and be a little less restrictive with myself, and intend to continue that.
I’ve also experimented a lot with which physical practices nourish me and have found new ways of stretching and strengthening my body. My meditation practice nourishes my sense of “okayness” in the midst of a chaotic world. I’ve choosing my books more carefully and even being choiceful about how and when I consume media offerings. And when I am tired, I rest and allow renewal.
So, I’m heading in to 2021 with a commitment to nourish myself so that I can feel whole and full in a healthy way. There will be many other intentions that I affirm throughout the year, but I have my compass in hand, guiding me on my next steps of the path.
How about you? How will you nourish yourself in 2021? What is your intention? Do you have a word of the year? I’d love to know what it is!
Wishing you renewal and fulfillment and a nourishment throughout the year.
Be Well. ~Lisa