intention-setting: you are more than a resolution

It's that time again... intention-setting! It's a new year, a fresh start, and although I've never been one for resolutions, I learned something in my yoga teacher training in 2013 that I have applied to my new year rituals ever since. That practice is intention-setting. It's different that a resolution, because a resolution implies there is something to be resolved, fixed, something that is not right needs to be made right. Resolution puts a very sour, very limiting taste in my mouth and makes me want to pitch a toddler fit-- why should I feel like I need to be 'fixed'?

I have found that this intention-setting, however, is a much more graceful approach to becoming a better human each year. When we set an intention, something activates inside. It's almost like our cells begin to recalibrate, and our lives start to reflect that intention that we so desire. It's remarkable.


In 2013 my word was LOVE. This was the pivotal time in my life when I really began to give love in an open way. I started choosing love, even when I felt the fear creep up into my chest that told me to be careful. I started to open myself to the possibility of loving without reserve, telling people 'I love you,' allowing intimate, honest and vulnerable relationships with friends, family, acquaintances, and SOs. I began to truly see how to love myself, too.

For 2014, I chose TRUST. This year I finished college, lived in a yoga studio, joined Tinder, got a big girl job, quit my big girl job, led my first women's retreat, and packed my bags for L.A. I think that pretty much sums it up. And yeah, I learned a whole lot about trust...

In 2015 my word was EXPANSIVE and, let's be honest, that shit was for the birds. Just kidding. It was really awesome. I was braver than I ever imagined I could be. I took stand upon stand for my truth. I put myself out there (on the west coast, literally). I made things work. I was all-in for every choice I made. I solidified my core values (Love, Integrity, Relationship, Quality). I saw the distinct power of choice. I yielded to love. I scaled back to give more attention and tenderness to the things that matter most to me. I survived. 2015 taught me about the power of our word choice when we set our intentions. Look out, because what you ask for is coming for you.

Last year I chose JOY. In all things. My intention was to be all-in in 100% of my endeavors and to do so with a joyful heart-- a singing soul, an effervescent spirit. Joy was definitely present in my year, but in many unexpected ways. Like the way I experienced joy was not always what I thought joy was before. I thought I would be carefree and exposed. I thought Joy was like a firecracker. And Joy can be those things, of course, but my Joy in 2016 was different. Joy was a whole lot of gratitude, peace, and strength. Joy was being comfortable in my home, loving the people I surrounded myself with, and choosing powerfully. Joy was cooking for friends multiple times each week and letting myself rest when I needed to. Joy was traveling. Joy was not worrying about things I can't control. Joy was realizing and accepting my own competency. Joy was learning to Trust and lean in. Joy was showing up and figuring it out as I go. Joy was touch and laughter and love.


So it's quite simple. Choose a word, and see where it takes you. There is no right or wrong. There is no good or bad words. You can post your word on your refrigerator to see it every day or write it on the last day of your planner so you don't see it again until the year ends. Do tell someone. People love to know what you care about, how you feel, and what you want most. People love to watch you become a bigger version of you, I promise. In fact, I encourage you to comment on this post or on our Facebook page. Tell us your word and why you choose it.

Here's mine...

For 2017 my word is AUDACITY. The willingness to take bold risks. Daring, brave, bold, courageous-- Audacity encompasses a lot of things I want to be this year. I want to be willing to take bold risks in my relationships-- to be boldly vulnerable, honest, and candid. Willing to take bold risks in my own growth-- to get uncomfortable and stay uncomfortable when I feel myself shy away. Willing to take bold risks in my business-- to show up every day at 100%, to be unconventional as I cultivate a Shakti community here in Athens, to be uninhibited and unashamed and to be confident in my business savvy. Willing to take bold risks in love-- to share freely and openly and to say 'I love you' even to the person who may not be a 'say I love you' kind of person. Willing to take bold risks when no one else will and willing to take bold risks with others...So for 2017, I choose Audacity. 

I cannot wait to hear about your 2017 words and watch you bring them to life!

i have you. i hold you. i love you.



Ruby Chandler