Thursday, September 5, 2013

Setting An Intention

I recently read an article in the paper about a female Chief Financial Officer retiring from a major oil and gas company.  In retirement, she was looking forward to working more with the not-for-profits that were close to her heart, pursuing new corporate board appointments and having more time with her family, her tennis game and books.  She had an impressive resume including being the highest-paid female executive of a Houston based public company. As I read the article I decided I would like to send her a congratulatory cookie bouquet. A cookie bouquet is like a bouquet of flowers - but instead it is made up of decorated cookies on sticks. I imagined one cookie being the bouquet company's signature bear with a tennis racket in its hand for her hobby. I could picture her delight upon receipt of the bouquet from a stranger wishing her well.  

As I wrote my letter to her to accompany the bouquet I asked myself what my intention was for sending this gift to her. What was I really wanting out of the connection?  Was it just to congratulate her? Did I want a business meeting? Advice?  I decided that since I coach young female professionals as part of my business, what I really wanted was an opportunity to meet or speak with her about any tips she might have for young women as they navigated the corporate political jungle.  That was it - the letter was finished, sealed and attached to the bouquet ready for delivery. (I'll let you know what happens later).

I have attended yoga classes in hundreds of different venues with as many instructors.  At yoga studios (as opposed to a gym) the instructor will start the session advising you to set your intention. What is the reason you came to practice yoga today?  To de-stress? To work on a particularly achy part of your body? For general all around health?  To work hard and send your energy to someone that really needs help or healing?  There are many reasons we practice and it is an important part of that practice to set your intention as you begin to maintain your focus and obtain the results you are looking for.

As in cookie bouquets, in yoga and in life - set your intention before you begin a journey - short or long - and note the difference.

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