Living with intent in 2016

Despite using positive affirmations daily for the last 12 years, repeating mantras since 1997 (I’m calm, alert and strong, thanks very much), teaching meditation for the past 5 years, and daily encouraging students to set their intention, create their resolution, and plant the seeds of their Sankalpa deep in their subconscious mind; only recently did I really learn for the very first time the true meaning of this exercise, having a pure and complete ‘lightbulb moment’, when asked by a friend “what is your intent”?

There I was in full flow verbal diatribe, mid-rant about the stress of the morning rush hour, school drop off hell, and she asks me “When you drive your kid to school, what is your intent?” Intent, what does she mean, intent? A word so much stronger than the pleasant “setting intention”, this no harm done, mild, happy, positive affirmation. All these years I’ve been sitting quietly in meditation, calmly setting my intention for the day ahead, and never once stating my intent. No wonder then, that upon arising from my steady, comfortable yoga seat (pedestal / soapbox) I spend the rest of the morning unravelling at the seams, shouting at people far smaller and more vulnerable than me, who I deliberately intended on bringing into this world, no accidents here!, and making sure they start their day as miserable as I was positive and calm 10 minutes prior to their waking in my little meditation bubble, setting my positive intention.

Intention can say “But it’s not my fault, it’s their fault for getting in the way of everything I wanted to do and be, and all my dreams I gave up on for x, y, z.”

Intention can say: “But I didn’t mean to go bananas on that petrol attendant / cyclist / lollipop lady / slow driving parent looking at their phone while the traffic light finally turned GREEN…It’s their fault, I had such good intentions before starting this day.”

Yawn. Intention, though you mean well, where are you when I need you in the real world?!

Enter, with a drum roll please… INTENT. Aha! To DO something, with intent… To BE with intent…That is brave and strong, and fierce! Survey your battlefield, then go forth and conquer, with intent! Intent to kill, to create, to live the best life you can live! I love it.

So when it comes to goal setting for 2016, what is your intent?

Like me, do you write down your goals in the back of your diary, then shove it into a drawer, lost under piles of paperwork for the next 12 months? Or diligently take part in a goal setting yoga workshop, or sign up for yearly membership to Louise Hay, Gabby, Oprah and play Beyonce on repeat?! (Remember, you both have 24 hours in your day). It is said that we overestimate what we can achieve in a day, and underestimate what we can achieve in a week. Oh to be Beyonce. She goes hard, with intent!

What happens once the goals are written and gym memberships paid for? How do you live, love, change, be?

How to be in this world, surrounded by your fellow human beings, realising the power of your actions and how they affect every single person you will meet today. In this one day. Writing your own legacy every time you interact with another person. (As Maya Angelou said to Oprah when she thought her legacy was building a girl’s boarding school in South Africa).

Waking up today, as you live and breath throughout the day, what is your INTENT?

5 tips to achieving goals while practicing self-love

Here’s some good advice from Purely Twins on setting goals:

1 –  Enjoy the time. Don’t obsess over the goal. Remember it’s a journey.

2 – Pick your goals out of love. This way you’ll make ones you believe in and will be okay with setbacks (as there will be obstacles).

3 – Do the best you can – no need to be perfect. Wake up and believe every day is a new opportunity to do good and serve.

4 – Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Negative talk will only stall the process.

5 – Give yourself a compliment – silly but it is important.

Now your turn. What goals are you going to make for yourself, with intent, this year?