Typically, at the beginning of a yoga class, a teacher will guide us to choose an intention to hold for the duration of our time together. The intention might be to honor our body's current level of movement, focus on breathing and forgetting the outside world for an hour, or even just allowing ourself to be happy right there on our mat.
In all the years that I've been practicing yoga, I've never brought the practice of setting an intention to my morning routine - I'm not sure why. Recently, as my feet hit the mat one morning and I took that first deep breath, my mind automatically went toward setting an intention. And it wasn't about setting an intention for my morning yoga practice, it was about setting an intention for the entire day.
Every Saturday for the past few months, I've been setting an intention of cultivating kind thoughts for myself - I basically take the day off from beating myself up. What that means for me is this: every time my mind drifts to a negative thought about myself I recognize it and consciously think a thought to counter it. Like, negative thoughts about my body, bad hair day, smile lines - yes, I constantly pick myself apart - I do my best to push those thoughts aside by purposely honoring myself right then and there. I give thanks for those "smile lines" and the fact that I have hair. My body doesn't look like it did when I was 21 but hey! I haven't been 21 for a really long time.
Even on a cloudy day there is still beauty in a flower.
What intentions do you hold for yourself today?