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  • Paula Cristina Azevedo, PhD

New Year, New Intentions, New Word

Happy New Year!! I love the start of a new year. The air is filled with electric energy and the seeds of our highest potential. At the start of a new year I like to contemplate on the word that I want to focus on in my life for that year.

This year my word is CONSCIOUS. The word conscious means to be aware of and responding to one's surroundings; to be deliberate and intentional; and awake. I’ve come to a point in my life where I want to be more aware of how my actions or inactions impact others in my close circles, but also how my actions or inactions impact local, national and global communities. My practice this year is to be awake for joyful moments,, awake for the grief and deep sadness, and awake for the mundane daily tasks.

As I’ve delved deeper into my meditation practice and recently became a certified meditation teacher I’ve realized how much I’ve just missed out on in my life. For most of my life I’ve been so focused on achieving, getting more, and hustling that I’ve not lived a full and aware life. I’ve been consumed by what society has told me I had to do in order to be successful, but I never stopped to ask myself what do I want to do; what feels right? The best way to describe this sensation is being on an automated ride where you have no control of the speed of the ride, where you turn or where your final destination is.

I’ve also noticed patterns of emotionally shutting down and being aloof when I’m having BIG feelings like grief, deep sadness, fear, anger. These are all emotions that I never did well with and honestly, who does?!? These are big scary emotions that we’ve been taught to avoid, hide, or control. The past few years I’ve been working with allowing these emotions to arise in my mindfulness practices. Do I always allow them to arise fully? No, of course not because who wants to see someone crying in front of the frozen section in their local grocery holding a bag of frozen peas? No one wants to see that and personally, I don’t want to practice feeling all of my emotions fully in the full view of strangers or even worse, my students (LOL! Though, knowing my students they’d just give me a big hug). My point is feeling these emotions, even the big scary ones, has really been healing and made me aware (or conscious) of the fact that I’ve been holding back and not fully living, not fully being present, not fully responding to life, and as a result, not fully being aligned with myself and even my values.

So, this year will be a year where I will bring more consciousness to the many parts of my life. Here are some ways I plan to be more conscious:

  • Be more aware of what I put in by eating more plants based foods and drink more water.

  • Be more aware of what I put on my body by including more plant based beauty products and products that don’t harm animals.

  • Be more aware of what I purchase by asking the question- do I really need this?

  • Be more aware of my thoughts by compassionately dropping the negative thoughts that pop into my mind and incorporating a daily gratitude practice.

  • Be more aware of my emotions, even the big emotions.

  • Be more aware of and present with the people I love.

  • Be more aware of my consumption of social media.

  • Be more aware of the words I speak and write by asking myself- are these words coming from a place of love and compassion?

  • Be more aware of the work I am being called to do.

  • Be more aware of the Mama Earth, her rhythms and beauty, and take action to heal her.

Of course I know that I’m going to stumble along the way. I’m not perfect and I’m not planning to be perfect. The word “conscious” is this little seed for the year that I’ve planted in my mind and heart and as I write this blog post I am releasing any expectations that I may have. Throughout the year I’ll be nurturing this seed of consciousness and reflecting on how this word has manifested in my life, but I have no real expectations of how I want to see my 2020 word grow.

The beauty about letting go of my expectations of what the word “conscious” will look like for me is that it may blossom in my life in unexpected and unimaginable ways. Only time will tell.

What will your word or intention be for 2020? All we have to do is take that little seed and with care and compassion plant this seed, allow the word to manifest and emerge in your life, and nurture the beautiful growth that may arise from this tiny seed. Will there be challenges along the way? Of course. Will you be perfect? Nope. But that’s where we grow as humans. We grow from our imperfections and mistakes.

May your 2020 be filled with joy, love, and PEACE.

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