On Sunday, BuddhiBox Founder, Maxine, hosted a party inspired by Danielle Laporte’s, The Desire Map, for her local BuddhiBabes. Familiar with The Desire Map, I was eager to join. Since October, I have hosted an intention setting workshop called After the Mat. I designed After the Mat to transition the power of intention I found in my physical asana practice to daily living. Practicing yoga from a place of intention allows one to manifest the quality physically — as we invite that framework into our anatomy it is easier to find it within our thoughts and activities.
To achieve goals, After the Mat focuses on intention — The Desire Map focuses on feelings. For instance, my goal to travel is produced by my desire to feel freedom, spontaneity, adventure, and presence. More than the travel itself, I want to feel those feelings — travel without the feelings of freedom, spontaneity, adventure, and presence would not satisfy me. The Desire Map inspired me to examine the why behind my goals. What do I want to feel when my goal is accomplished? If the desired feelings are absent, the outcome will feel less meaningful.
Yoga teaches me NOW is always the best time to start. Whether it is a New Year or a new day or a breath, we can begin to live the life our dreams at a moments notice. And, through my practice, I’ve learned, things are perpetually changing. I cannot expect static goals/feelings/intentions to serve my ever changing reality. Internal and external stimuli tirelessly shift my physiology and ideologies. It is essential I regularly examine and spend time with my goals, intentions, and desired feelings.
Converging the wisdom I learned from After the Mat and The Desire Map, here is my process of intention setting:
1.Clear Your Mind
Breathe. Flow through a few round of Sun A. Meditate.
Meet yourself where you are at — if you are tired, move; if you are anxious, move then sit still. Do whatever you need to do to ground and relax.
2.Visualize Your Ultimate Desires
What does your dream world, day, job, life…. look like? Imagine your highest vibrating self — what are you doing? What makes you feel most alive?
Take a few moments to meditate and let your mind run free… Once you’ve explored your thoughts, journal.
In an email I sent to the After the Mat participants recently, I said, “Journaling is about getting to know yourself and to me, that’s what yoga is, too. In the same way we explore and understand our physical bodies through asana practice, journaling connects us to our thoughts and emotions — it’s “exercise” for our mind and heart.”
Tangibly explore the thoughts from your meditation on paper. How does it feel to write your ultimate desires? Will you be vulnerable enough to go after what you desire? Give yourself permission to manifest grandiosely.
I’ll courageously share my part of my vision for 2016 to get you started:
In 2016, I cultivate the incredible relationships I developed in 2015 — while deeply cherishing long-distance relationships with my sisters and friends. I return to my dedicated personal practice. My practice is as important as my professional and personal responsibilities. I attend one spiritual gathering each week. I journal, read, and meditate every morning and evening.
My yoga-teaching shifts. As I transition away from income-based teaching, I explore opportunities that allow me to teach to disadvantaged groups. At CorePower, The Little Yoga Studio, and Bird Rock Yoga, I share the many lessons I am learning in my life with my students and open myself to learn from them, too. I write weekly for my personal website and contribute regularly to BuddhiBox, Fast Company, LinkedIn, and NPR.
The Julia Sparkman Agency creates synergistic relationships with progressive companies. Not only does my work help people live more inspired, purpose-driven lives, it is revenue generating for the company. In 2016, The JS Agency gains so much traction, I hire someone to assist with business development and marketing.
I prioritize playtime and constantly seek new adventures. Shelley, Tara, and Curtis come visit me in San Diego and Madeleine and I travel somewhere we’ve never been before (Macchu Picchu?!). I visit Jade in New York, Leeann in Hawaii, and Melody, Stefan, and Jade in Austin. I take at least one trip alone and one trip with someone I have never traveled with before — and one of those trips will be abroad. I participate in a silent meditation retreat.
I let go of my need for perfection (and accept that I may eat out more than I cook, and be okay with it).
3.Identify the Feelings
Examining my vision, the feelings I identified were:
Prosperous | Purposeful | Loved | Spontaneous
Prosperous: I want The Julia Sparkman Agency to thrive so I can thrive and help others to thrive, too.
Purposeful: Everything listed is purposeful. My work with The Julia Sparkman Agency, yoga teaching, and writing are all rooted in my desire to inspire.
Loved: It is my goal to deepen relationships with the people I’ve met in 2015 and visit my loved ones throughout the US and globally.
Spontaneous: I am incredibly open to how these things manifest and I am excited to experience the journey organically.
4.Set An Intention:
Personally, it is helpful for me to have one word that guides my yoga practice. As I sat with the feelings that emerged from my vision, I felt most drawn to purpose.
In 2016, I am make decisions based on the “Hell Yes” or “No” principle. For far too long, I would agree to things because I thought I “should” do them. This year, I make decisions that support my purpose — my desire to live prosperously with love and spontaneity.
Take a moment to sit with your vision and your feelings. Decide what most calls to you and set an intention from that space.
Once you’ve chosen your word, continuously reflect on how you can bring that quality into every aspect of your day-to-day routine. How can you approach the most mundane and complicated task from your intention?
Visit the BuddhiBox Store to find items to support you on your journey of living your intention fully.