As I’ve reflected on what I truly want in 2014, it all centers around getting intentional.
Last year’s word: Leap.
Leap into my every opportunity that comes up. Leap holding my husband’s hand. Leap with my eyes wide open.
Three years before: Learn.
The lessons really just would.. not.. stop.. By the end of that year I was begging for a reprieve but I emerged with a heart that was broken wide open, a strength that had been dormant and a lot more humility.
The year before that, and the couple prior, the word may have been Margarita but I’m not sure. It definitely wasn’t the Year of Intention.
And I never picked a word at the beginning of the year. Instead I set the same resolutions I do pretty much every single year – something along the lines of sweat more and drink less red wine – and only in reflection saw there was a bit of a theme going on. Lightbulbs and ah-ha moments but only in retrospect.
So why intentional?
My favorite moment in yoga class, whether I’m practicing or teaching, is the moment we get clear on an intention and what we are creating for this sacred time on our mats. I began taking it off my mat, setting intentions all day long. In traffic, in my relationship, with my writing, as I walked down the aisle nervous with excitement. Little paper airplanes sent right up to heaven with a wish written inside.
Intention brings color to all we experience.
By creating our intention, we create our universe.
And now I’ve been doing this living thing for thirty years now – sometimes fumbling, sometimes dancing, sometimes making big moves – and the word is no longer Margarita.
Instead it’s a time to get intentional in my work, intentional in my writing, intentional in my relationships, intentional at healing my body. Intentional in what I want and what I really don’t. There are no hard and fast rules. There’s simply noticing where you feel supported and where you feel joy and where you don’t.
Keep your gaze toward the light and keep moving toward joy.
What we strive for
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
and then nourishes
— David Whyte
Whenever you start guiding yourself by caring about how you feel, you
start guiding yourself back into your Stream of Source Energy, and that’s
where your clarity is; that’s where your joy is; that’s where your flexibility
is; that’s where your balance is; that’s where your good ideas come from.
That’s where all the good stuff is accessed from.
tonight i am sitting in my treehouse listening to the sounds of tree frogs and howler monkeys. i can see every star. i am doing nothing else. absolutely nothing else.
i came to costa rica with a grand ole plan – practice vigorous vinyasa every single morning, eat a strict vegetarian diet with no dairy or gluten, stay away from email.
and how did this little plan of mine work out?
not very well.
since my first day here my knee has been so swollen that i am unable to bend it more than a few inches.
i’ve devoured elaborate vegetarian meals with fresh grains and cheeses.
i’ve e-mailed to check in on my pup and my parents.
i’ve slept a minimum of nine hours every eve with only the stars and moon lighting our bed.
i’ve drank delicious cups of costa rican coffee with howler monkeys tossing date pits from a tree above.
in order to leave the sanctuary i traverse two rivers crossing four times barefoot. in the jungle.
i’ve created lifelong bonds with the amazing people who came on my first yoga retreat.
what i needed more than anything when i stepped onto that plane a week ago was to slow down, and i’ve now been reduced to a slow crawl. i cannot remember the last time i felt this relaxed, this balance, this at ease.
i have been reminded of the absolute beauty that surrounds our every waking moment – both in our inner and outer world.
i’ve been reminded of my need to indulge the adventuress inside of me regularly.
to open my eyes and my heart as wide as i possibly can.
(the worst that could happen is that they both explode.)
i have been rocking out to the 90’s hit by new radicals, ‘you get what you give’.
this verse keeps re-playing in my head, it goes:
you’ve got the music in you,
don’t let go,
you’ve got the music in you
so last night, i attended a seminar with some friends and the leader was speaking about michelangelo
and his masterpiece, david. he went way back and shared what it must have been like as michelangelo,
to see that big block of marble and know that david was in there.
and, he began.
the epic statue took him two years to complete. and, it is epic. i guarantee he had the music in him.
he didn’t let go.
what happens when we feel a bit stagnant? when we feel like a big block of marble? not sure of our
purpose or unclear of even where to start to chisel?
transitions can feel this way. life can feel this way. we shift. we start over. we get stuck.
and when we do, i shall sing to you, and you, and you:
you’ve got the music in you,
don’t let go,
you’ve got the music in you
and, you will find yourself, in the marble.
jacki carr is a yogi, runner, goal coach, writer, ‘possibilitarian’, adventure-seeker and life lover. seen
vespa scootering through the streets of venice, she lives a full life by the pacific ocean. when
not playing on the lululemon athletica playground that is her #joblove, jacki is sharing adventures
on her blog about gnarly life lessons on and off the yoga mat, an awakened reality in the beauty of
vulnerability, and the real deal about gratitude. an ultimate goal is to inspire all beings to live a ‘rock-
your-wildest-dreams-light-it-up’ life. we really only have one, so why not make it an all out adventure?
follow her on twitter+instagram here: @jackicarr.
check out her blog: adventuresforlife.wordpress.com.
wow, what a weekend. every moment of my weekend was packed with training, private sessions, and classes. a literal whirlwind mostly surrounded by really inspiring people, but the moment i got home tonight i took rosy for a quiet walk, then put on my pajamas, lit some incense and made a cup of tea. i needed to take care of me.
my intention this week: to create space. have some quiet time. reconnect with what i love, those i love.
here’s to a new chapter.
over the past ten years yoga has had a profound effect on my life but what has changed my life has not been the quality of warrior two (though my hamstrings have certainly benefited) or whether or not i can hold a forearm balance for three minutes, but my ability to now look inside and find exactly what i need.
well, what does that mean?
every single answer to every single question lives inside of you. they’re not in a book. they’re not in a seminar. they’re not from me.
yoga teaches us how to listen to ourselves. to pause, to be present through our breath, and then to allow our truth to unfold.
when that truth unfolds, if you have the strength to listen to it, what you’ll find is joy.
that joy fits different people in different ways – for some it might mean getting up at 5:30 every morning to meditate and practice; for others it might mean taking an hour-long walk at sunset with your pup a few times a week. or you know that one “friend” who just drains the life out of you? it may be time to say goodbye. and that other one who inspires you to see the world, write every day, learn to cook? see that one a lot more often.
true happiness requires work. it requires consistency and inner and outer awareness. and we’re not talking about swinging-from-the-rafters kinda happy. we’re talking about true, sustainable joy that is not determined by what is going on around you but by your beautiful inner world.
so now, as i embark on this new phase, my writing, my classes, my workshops will now center around one central theme: how to live a life of joy. how to get blissed, and stay that way.
will i still post pictures of my dog, my feet in the sand, and my lattes? oh, of course! but i’m committing to a journey for a bigger truth (in fact, that’s truth with a capital T) and i want you to join me.