I restarted Yoga recently (in fact I re-start Yoga on a regular basis, no doubt we will come onto my inability to stick to anything at an appropriate juncture). At the start of every yoga practice we begin with the same focus on intention — ‘set your intention’, call upon it throughout the session. It is the keystone, why are you here, it is the purpose of your practice. Focus on the movement, flow, sensation, energy, tensions. Move ‘with intention’. Attend to the micro moment. Try not to break your neck doing a headstand…with intention….
I reflected on this and realized how rarely I do this in ‘real life’. I rarely state my true intention at the start of each day, the start of each meeting, start of each new venture, at the start of each new idea. I might set a few New Year’s resolutions which I swiftly and effortlessly forget by February, but I rarely reflect on why I am doing what I am doing and whether the ‘flow’ I find myself in is serving me(or anyone else for that matter) or what I am in service of.
In my experience, it is only at the moments of crisis or cries for help or real pinch points that we ask otherwise ‘why am I here?’ ‘what’s the point of all this?’ ‘why am I doing/putting up with this?’. Reflect on your own experience — when was the last time you stopped and thought about why you were really doing what you are doing?
If you have ever had coaching you will be familiar with the concept of your ‘goal’ and we can get very tactical about our ‘goals’. They are good for achieving specific things — losing weight, running that marathon, stopping smoking. However, here I don’t want to focus on ‘goals’, I want to focus on ‘intention’.
Let me give you an example. My goal: start writing a blog. My intention: To explore why we find it so hard to change and respond to some of the most pressing issues of our time: climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, human rights abuses, fairness and equality. We are arguably sleep walking through the most complicated and complex period in our time on this planet and we aren’t exactly making the best fist of it, and that my friends, is why it is more important than ever that we start to pay attention and begin to hold our intentions close and in full view. And we may need to be open enough to share those intentions with others.
In the words of Vanilla Ice “Stop, Collaborate and Listen”