Intention: the how of what I think, say, and do

Intention Circle at Londolozi Private Game Reserve*

On New Year's Day I took a workshop led by my yoga teacher (Becky Klett). On this day, she teaches yoga with a broad, reflective stroke. She incorporates ideas about how to live with pose practice. 

I bring a notebook to respond to her questions. Here are a few:

Between poses she asks, "Think and write about challenges and gratitudes this past year." Not surprising, many of my challenges are also my gratitudes. 

Then, "Think anew, and with an innocence or ability to let go and not judge your past, set a tone for the coming year." She says, "Intention is not about setting goals, it's the attitude or underlying feeling in what we think and how we act." 

And that's where we're headed: to consider personal intention.

Setting intention is different than goal setting. 

Intention is not about future outcome. It is a way to focus on being in the present moment. It's an aspiration or how I want to be. It's an alignment of what I care about with how I live what I care about. 

Being grounded in intention offers me integrity and unity in my interactions.

Becky ends the workshop by inviting us to put our intention into one word. 

For example, if I consider setting limits as a goal, an intention would be a purposeful direction of my mind as I set it. It's the HOW of what I think, say, or do. A few of my (intention) words for the year are loving, kindness, consistent. So, I will set limits (a goal) with love, kindness, and consistency (intention). 

What are your intention words?

*Artist Simon ‘Max’ Bannister created Intention Circle at Londolozi Private Game Reserve. This ‘Land Art’ is made from discarded strips of rusty game fencing. The same wires that once separated wild animals, including elephants, from each other are now two enormous ‘tusks.’ Facing west towards the Spring/Autumn equinox, the ‘tusks’ represent the intent to create an elephant corridor connecting the The Limpopo Transfrontier Park to the Blyde River Canyon.