5 Intention-setting Ideas to Honor Our Achievements
The Season of Harvest is Upon Us – Let’s Celebrate!
I had the pleasure of visiting the Kripula Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts for a day recently and participated in creating this sand mandala (below) or sacred cosmogram with a compassionate community of others raising awareness of something larger than each of our small worlds. It was a reminder of the impermanent nature of all things – including ourselves.
As we move deeper into the Fall season, Mother Earth and her beautiful nature begin to remind us that we are all shapeshifters. When we are conceived and born into this incarnation, it is the infinite universe manifesting into a finite human form. And what we have to always keep in mind is that this incarnation is temporary, transitory and will ultimately shift us back into the infinite universe. When we can truly embrace that, by divine design, we are all simply passing through this human experience, constantly in flux, growing, changing, transforming, we open our hearts up to embracing every moment as an opportunity to celebrate our lives.
So let this change in season, when nature offers its last harvest for the year before its annual shapeshifting where it begins to pull back within itself, shedding its last fruits, flowers and leaves, slowing its growth down, and turning brown and as the breezes begin to cool down, encourage us to honor the abundance in our lives by celebrating.
Below are some intention setting ideas to honor our personal experiences of shapeshifting by acknowledging, sharing and celebrating our own achievements:
- Reflect on achievements. If I were to ask you right now what is the biggest thing you have accomplished in your life so far, what would come up? Is it difficult to identify what you have accomplished, what you have done that might bring you joy when you think about it? Does it seem that no matter how much you do achieve, it feels like it is never enough and you find yourself needing to accomplish more and more, until you feel overwhelmed and exhausted? Well, you just might need some perspective that offers an alternative to measuring the value of your life by the number of achievements. I remember when I was younger, I would tell people that I wanted ‘She was productive’ engraved on my headstone. As I write this now, I am laughing at myself. Perhaps set an intention to see your achievements in a different light, as ones that have contributed to your growth and transformation instead. When seen in this light, failures might now be relabeled as achievements.
- Write down achievements. After reflecting on those things that you have done that brought growth and change into your life, write them down. Some of these life-changing events might be graduating from school, having and raising a child, buying your first car, taking your first trip, or starting your own business. Keep this list out where you can see it every day . . . and set an intention to add to it, perhaps every couple of months or once a year. Reminding yourself on a daily basis that you too are a shapeshifter will help to challenge those moments when you might think that you haven’t accomplished enough or feel a little stuck or stagnant.
- Share your accomplishments. This suggestion might feel like I am asking you to brag about your successes. However, many of us avoid sharing our accomplishments for fear of appearing boastful. But keeping your achievements to yourself or minimizing them robs your friends and family from learning and growing. It’s good to share such experiences with your loved ones as long as you do so in an authentic and humble way. When we allow ourselves to tell others what we have achieved, we are letting them know that it is not out of reach or impossible. In fact, we can inspire them to continue to reach for their own personal goals for growth and transformation and connect more deeply with what is really important to them!
- Celebrate moments of accomplishment. As we move through this process of honoring our experiences of shapeshifting, we must not forget the celebration! Whether it is folding the last piece of laundry after doing 3 loads in one day, getting to work on time after getting your kids dressed, fed and off to school in the morning, and/or after a long day at work where you finally finished that project that you have been dreading for so long, if you begin to experience a sense of accomplishment, celebrate! Consider setting an intention to not rush onto the next thing on your “To Do” list without taking a moment to relish the fact that you accomplished something you set out to do. The more you don’t sweat the small stuff and instead celebrate it, the more joy you will invite into your life and the lives of others!
- Celebrate milestones. Last but absolutely not the least is the intention to celebrate any and all milestones in your life. Whether it is a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion, plan to celebrate to commemorate your human beingness. Some of us avoid doing so for fear of bringing attention to ourselves, again believing it might be viewed as self-focused or selfish. Consider setting an intention to mark such moments in your life, whether you celebrate by yourself or with others, to remind you that the sands of time are flowing, moving, changing by divine design and you are too!