Every two weeks, I’ve been posting a blog about a different spiritual practice, and you, hopefully, have been trying them with me. For more information as to why we are doing this, read the bottom paragraph. *
Review: Last week we talked about breath prayers. Did you try it? It’s such a lovely, easy way to bring prayer into your day, isn’t it?
Today I want to talk about Living with Intention.
Every time I go to yoga, my instructor starts a session by asking us to choose an “Intention” for our practice. The first time I went, that was a new idea for me, but I’ve found that it helps to have something to go back to when my mind wanders or when the pose is hard to hold. Sometimes this intention sets the mood for my day or even my week.
About a decade ago, I started picking an intention for each new year. This would be a word, a phrase, or a scripture, to sort of “pray into” for the year.
For example, when my kids were younger I remember picking the phrase, “People are not an interruption” – two years in a row! I really needed help remembering that.
When I was going through a particularly hard time, and the voices coming at me were overwhelming, I chose the image of living with blinders on. The idea was to keep my eyes on Jesus and what I believed he was calling me to do, instead of being distracted by all the negative things coming my way.
How do you find an intention? Well, first you need to set aside some time to reflect on last year and sort of brainstorm about this year. Recently, a friend of mine wrote a blog with some great questions to help this process. I encourage you took click on her blog to see the questions! I took her questions on a recent silent retreat and journaled through them.
Then finally, I came to a word that kept surfacing as I answered these questions and spoke to my spiritual director about them. The word was contentment. This year my husband is retiring. That will be very new for us and will come with a large loss of income. There is a verse in Philippians that I have always loved; it says in 4:12 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
I feel content in my life right now. I like my job, I like my church, I like my life. As we begin a new chapter, I want to stay in the place of contentment.
Well, that’s my intention for the year. I’d love to hear yours!
*As you may know, my newest book, The Retreat: A Tale of Spiritual Awakening, will be out in March 28th through Harper Legend (pssst, you can actually pre-order it on Amazon right now). This book is fiction, but came out of my time at the Grounding Retreat. In anticipation of its release, I invite you to join me on a journey of spiritual awakening as we try different spiritual practices together. As I said above, every two weeks, I will blog about a different spiritual practice; we can try it together and discuss how it is or isn’t working for you! Ready, set, GO!