I sat at a birthday brunch a couple weeks ago and asked my friends and my partner, “Do you have any intentions for 2014?” They looked at me quizzically for a second and then said “Oh, like a resolution? No WAY!” Much rolling of the eyes ensued. But I insisted, “Guys, I said INTENTION…” And so they reconsidered and shared the gist of what they most wanted this year. Fantastic! I would never have known!
So we all decided that we liked the way “New Year’s INTENTION” sounded, but I wondered why the idea of making “RESOLUTIONS” is so played out? (My not-so-in-depth google research follows...)
re·solve (riˈzälv,-ˈzôlv/) verb 1. settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter). 2. decide firmly on a course of action. From the Latin “re”= , “solvere”= loosen
in·tend (inˈtend/) verb 1. have (a course of action) as one's purpose or objective; plan. From the Latin “in”= towards, “tendere”= stretch
As one friend said, “intention” leaves you open “to learning something along the way... it’s a mindset, so the issue of failing isn’t as big.” Whereas “resolution” feels like an authoritative decree: Done and Done!
I’ve never been one to follow orders very well...not even from myself! No wonder every person I’ve talked to for the last two weeks has balked at the idea of a RESOLUTION, but has cozied up to proclaiming their 2014 INTENTIONS.
But before we throw out the baby with the bathwater...I have to give some credit to good old fashioned “resolve” because, when serving our intentions, it helps us take the baby steps that give us momentum.
I see this in my group classes all the time. My students come once or twice a week, they tell me their body woes (tight neck, low back pain, knee recovery…), and then we MOVE MOVE MOVE. By the end of class they’ve changed their mental, emotional, and physical state: feeling lighter, refreshed, and stronger. Feeling good, at the very least, for showing up for themselves.
No matter what your intentions are...you’ve go to support your body if it’s going to take you anywhere. Stepping onto the mat or equipment for an hour or two every week is like putting those intentions in the microwave: you get cooking!
Ahh...intentions bring fresh clarity into our lives...is there anything that gets your heart all jumbled up in your throat and and pumping hard because you want it so bad? We all deal in hopes and dreams--even if we fear we can’t “get there”--so you might as well put those intentions out into the world..share them with yourself in a journal, in a best friend’s ear, on in some pictures that embody your dreams.
Personally, my intentions are to ENJOY THE PRESENT MOMENT, and to continue to intertwine and share my work with MUSIC AND MOVEMENT in ever more interesting and fun ways. Stay tuned for that, literally! :)
In 2013, I watched you approach your life and practice with humor, love, and passion. Thank you for sharing your journey with me, and giving me even MORE to look forward to every day. In gratitude, may your heart light up your life, and may 2014 go absolutely swimmingly!