On Living with Intention
Whether we want it to be or not, the New Year marks a period of introspection, reflection, and planning. The thinkers and doers in our society want us to set big goals, the magazines at the grocery store want us to be thinner, pop culture wants us to be more glamorous and "instagrammable". There's no shortage of expectation at this time of year.
We know it's ridiculous, and yet we still want these things for ourselves. We set goals to lose weight, to read a ton of books, to get a promotion. And in the process, we look back at last year and regret the weight we never lost, the books we never read, the effort at work that didn't bear fruit. And, perhaps, we begin the year with that nagging sense of shame that we will never be "better", that we will never reach our personal best. Repeat cycle.
Rather than go down this slippery slope of comparison and longing one more time, why not begin the year with an intention? Rather than measuring our success or fulfillment against an arbitrary and isolated goal that we aren't likely to keep or an outcome that we can't control, why not practice infusing our lives with a quality or an act that brings us joy and helps us feel closer to our truest selves?
This year, at the Spitfire Club, we're trying something new: Each Spitfire girl will be setting an intention that we will support and reinforce in our programming each week.
So here's the challenge for you: consider living your life in alignment with a core intention, as well. Maybe you'd like to be more service-oriented, turning each action and each day into an opportunity to be of service? Perhaps you find yourself in a cycle of negativity and would like to practice having more compassion? Or maybe you feel tired and unhealthy and would like to infuse your life with behaviors and habits that add to your energy rather than deplete it?
In the words of Deepak Chopra, “You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.”
Setting an intention rather than a resolution allows us to practice transformative behaviors by aligning each choice we make with an intention that speaks to our own values and helps us get closer to our most wonderful selves. It is impossible to live with intention each moment of each day, but when we practice, we become better and better at it, until eventually it becomes part of who we are. No shame required.
And that is transformative. Because our choices don't just impact us, they impact our families, our colleagues, our friends, our communities, and ultimately our world.
When we think of our actions within this framework, an intention isn't just one or two actions. For example, living in service doesn't necessarily mean that you should do one service project each month or that you should up your monthly contribution to your favorite charity. These are great things to do, but you can also live in service in smaller ways by attending to yourself and your needs, considering the needs and desires of your partner or children more closely, practicing servant leadership in your community, and raging against a global injustice (peacefully, of course) every once in a while. We're not going to hit the mark every time, but even if it's only half the time, it's still a positive contribution.
Give it a shot and let us know what intention you plan to set! We'll be right there with you, learning and growing along the way. ✌️