Good Intentions

Yesterday I finally made my way back to yoga class.  There’s plenty for me to be discouraged about: my Down Dog and Warrior II are pitiful compared to all these spry retirees!  It will be a while before my Dancer looks like this again.

However, more than just my stiff joints and muscles were imploring me to unroll my green mat again.

Yoga helps me to be kind to myself and 20 days into the New Year, I find that out of all my resolutions and goals for 2011 the most important is for me to take care of myself and ease up on the self-criticism.

In my study of world religions I learned about the Buddhist principle of Right Intention but it was through a yoga class that I developed an understanding of how the concept could apply to my life.  Philip Moffitt describes the idea in this wonderful article called “The Heart’s Intention.”

Some key ideas from the article:

  • “Goals help you make your place in the world and be an effective person. But being grounded in intention is what provides integrity and unity in your life.”
  • “Intention is what provides you with self-respect and peace of mind.”
  • “There’s no need to judge yourself or quit when you fail to live by your intentions. You are developing the habit of right intention so that it becomes an unconscious way of living-an automatic response to all situations.”
  • “There are only two things you are responsible for in this practice: Throughout each day, ask yourself if you are being true to your deepest intentions. If you’re not, start doing so immediately, as best as you’re able.”

In a management course last spring, I likened the idea of intention to the vision statement one might incorporate in strategic planning.  An effective vision statement for an organization is rooted in values and offers guidance in decision-making.  Just as a vision is different from a goal, intention is based on an understanding of what matters most to you and requires a commitment to align your actions with your values.  I used lighthouses as the main visual image in my PowerPoint for that presentation.

This blog is one of the areas I’ve carefully considered as I’ve made goals and reflected on my intentions.  What began as a fun distraction for this Navy wife while her husband was away has turned into one of the “unfinished” projects that I feel guilty about.  (Silly, I know, but as I said, I’m very hard on myself.)  One of my long-standing professional goals has been to create a teaching resource, but achieving that goal with this blog was never my intention.  I needed to remind myself that this “database” is merely an experiment.

What I really need is a data entry assistant but it will be a few years before my daughter is ready for the job.  Eight should be a good age to put her to work, right?

For now, I’m going to approach this blog differently.  I’ll still add reviews but I may as well admit that this isn’t a book blog.  This year, I’ll be nurturing my family through another deployment, completing a few more classes toward my degree, and reading, reading, reading.  Here is where I’ll reflect on it all.

I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Good Intentions

  1. Welcome back, Joanna! Looking forward to seeing how this space evolves for you. 🙂