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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do Your Actions Match Your Intentions?

My friend Jen has a great blog called Not Just Another Jen where she writes about life, marriage, kids and "all the messes in between". Each month she chooses a word and encourages others in the blogging world to write a post about that word and share it. This month, the word is "Intention", and these are my thoughts on this very appropriate word for the beginning of a new year.

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I practice yoga at the Anahata Yoga Studio in Encinitas. At the beginning of each class, the instructor gives us an opportunity to set an intention for our practice. The intention may be for spiritual or physical healing in yourself or someone else, it could be to manifest a transformation in your life, or to cultivate a particular characteristic in yourself. Several times throughout the practice the instructor will remind us to come back to our intention. For me this is such a beautiful example of how important it is to keep reminding yourself of the reason you are doing something - what was the original intention? Do your actions, efforts, and results still reflect that intention? 

In my work as a glass artist, I find that what I produce reflects my loyalty to my main intention for embarking on this path. Over the last few years I have fallen head over heels into an artistic endeavor in the medium of glass. It started as a curiosity that I needed to fulfill. It became a hunger and quest to learn more, to become more skilled at my creations, and finally to turn it into a business that could not only satiate my need to express myself creatively but could also help me continue to learn and grow.

One huge thing I have learned in this journey is that no matter what I do, my original intentions are always the measuring stick to what I produce. If the reason for creating new pieces doesn't feel right, or if it feels forced, I am not inspired, and I find it very difficult to create pieces that speak to me or reflect what is inside me.

A recent example: I started thinking about Valentine's Day in November last year. Instead of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, I had visions of hearts. I created a few pieces before Christmas - some really fun Hanging H'art ornaments and just a few necklaces with liquid platinum hearts that I liked. But as the hectic holiday season began to wind down and with Valentine's Day fast approaching, I began to inflict on myself the pressure to create more Valentine-inspired pieces. I found myself torn between that and getting ready for a show in New York coming up.

Creating Valentine-themed pieces began to feel like a chore, something I "had" to do. It took the fun out of creating, and what I was making didn't feel right to me. I made the decision to stop trying to force these pieces to happen and to just let it go because they did not reflect my intentions. Once I made this decision, I felt a huge sense of relief and a security that my intentions remained intact and uncompromised. (And, I also realized that there is always next year!)

Many of the concepts behind my creations are inspired by yoga and overall harmonious living. I share thoughts about my art, other artists, fashion, and inspirations in my blog; and one of my intentions with my blog is to share a simple meditation each Monday that anyone can follow (including myself!). If you are interested, you can read my post describing an Intention meditation here. But no matter what you do, just keep checking in with yourself and make sure that your actions and thoughts reflect your highest intentions. Namaste.

1 comment:

  1. Well done, Suzanne. I LOVE what you wrote wholeheartedly (pun intended). Thanks for playing in the Word of the Month club. I always love to hear your 'voice.' xoxo