At the beginning of yoga class, my instructor usually guides us through a short meditation, asking us to silently set an intention for our practice. My individual intention is my personal focus for the next hour and a half. As an article on YogaJournal.com states, "...[one's intention] is a path or practice that is focused on how you are "being" in the present moment. Your attention is on the ever-present "now" in the constantly changing flow of life. You set your intentions based on understanding what matters most to you and make a commitment to align your worldly actions with your inner values."
In talking to my dad over Thanksgiving, he reminded me that this Sunday, today, is the beginning of Advent. Tonight after Mass, I picked up a complimentary copy of the Little Blue Book, which includes daily reflections for each day of Advent and Christmas. I love little tools like this book as they provide a small daily reminder of what this season is all about. All it takes is six minutes a day to read and reflect on various readings, thoughts, and traditions.
I am already a little anxious about decorating and buying gifts and handling all the busyness of the next few weeks. But now that Thanksgiving is over, I am setting my intention for the holiday season. If my intention is based on what matters most and aligns my actions with my values, I want to focus on each moment - be with friends and family, celebrate my faith, enjoy the bounty of food and gifts, and all the while, remember the true meaning behind it all. We all lament how time flies, but I hope to savor this season, full of celebrations of light, love, life.
With the help of the Little Blue Book and the devotion of six minutes a day, I plan to fulfill my intention. I may not succeed in holding this focus each day of the season, but as in yoga, a gentle reminder can bring one's intention back to the forefront. Perhaps the Little Blue Book can be my reminder.
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you enjoy the upcoming holiday season, whatever your faith - and your intention - may be.