Last December, in Shining the Light on Joy, we explored the idea of focusing on Joy in the holiday season. If you missed it or want a refresher, give it a read again. In that newsletter, I touched on one reason why it’s sometimes challenging to tune into joy – which applies always but perhaps even more so during the holidays. This reason comes down to one word: Expectations.
This time of year can certainly be filled with Expectations – what the holidays ‘should’ look like according to the movies or what this time of year was like growing up or what it looks like in the pretty picture in your mind. Because these expectations are usually not close to what is REALLY happening, they can bring in more frustration and feelings of irritation or dis-connect and less of the feelings we would hope to experience, such as peace, harmony and joy.
So as the year ends and we move into 2015, I invite you to play with the Power of Intention instead. When you identify your TRUE intention, you get to the essence of what YOU want. This has nothing to do with what you Expect, but instead with what is MOST important to you. It gets rid of all those other things that are most likely not all that important, but sound like they are – i.e. it helps you see what things are important to YOU instead of what society or another person says is important.
Playing with Intention now is great practice for then setting yearly Intentions, something I am a big fan of (very different than making New Year’s resolutions!), but let’s wait until next month to explore that. For now, let’s just focus on these next couple of weeks. What would you like these to look like? If you wanted to experience ONE thing during the next two weeks – what would that be? Another way to look at this is to say, “So come January 5th and I’m describing the last couple weeks of the year, what do I want to be able to say?” This could be a feeling of Connection, Relaxation, Celebration, Togetherness, etc.
Looking at your intention – what you REALLY want – helps you to get away from wanting things to be perfect, or hoping someone will do this or that. When you focus on the ONE thing – the one Intention – it’s easier to let other things go. If all you want is to experience Connection this year, it’s easier to focus on the things that will allow for that and let go the things that take you further from that feeling. For example, if you are spending time with family in the next 2 weeks and want to experience Connection, perhaps you don’t bring up the subjects that you know are touchy. Instead, you can focus on the things that help you FEEL connection – is that talking about favorite old memories, playing a game together, working on a project, going for a walk or doing an activity that everyone enjoys? This isn’t about avoiding touchy subjects, it’s about focus. It’s about being clear about what is MOST important and making choices about what you do, say – and don’t do and say – that will honor that intention.
I realize that this sounds simple. And it is! It isn’t complicated AND it can also be challenging. So, this is your invitation to play a bit with Intention. Just see how it goes. As you move through the next couple weeks and challenges appear, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What is my intention?
2. How am I honoring that intention?
3. What do I need to let go of that will support me in being true to my intention?
And probably the most important question of all:
4. How can I be more gentle with myself during this process?
My hope is that you will begin exploring The Power of Intention this month. We will continue exploring it next month as we look at an example of yearly intentions. Before then, if you want more tips on how to experience more joy, peace and ease in the holiday season, check out my new Mood Lady product: Mood Lady Wisdom: The Artful Journey of Holiday First Aid. This product was inspired by Mood Lady tools that support the process of making anytime, and especially the holidays, a time to cherish and appreciate. That is the wish I leave you with now at the end of 2014: more of what YOU want – creating it, experiencing it, cherishing and relishing it!