Website graphic

Expressive Arts: Embracing Intention

Website graphic
A beginning is an opening for surprises. Beginnings are new horizons that want to be seen. What is the new horizon in you that wants to be seen? ~John O’Donohue

Have you made New Year’s resolutions? I think most of us have, at some time or another. Did you succeed in meeting them? The dictionary tells us that “resolution” is a determination to do something or not do something”.

My own track record with these beginning-of the-
year resolutions to ‘do better’ in some way has usually been to abandon them early on. At some point I would do something that I resolved not to, or not do something that I resolved to do, and that would likely mean the end of my resolution. I might give it another try or two, but I can’t think of any time where I experienced more success than failure.

For me the energy of the word “resolution” is one of gritting my teeth, exerting
my will power, and holding, or contraction. A resolution seems to come from a place of needing to fix something. This kind of energy, I find, rarely serves me well.

What about the word “Intention”? A quick dictionary search brings up: “An aim that guides action”. “Intention”, for me, carries a different kind of energy than “resolution”. It feels like an expansion, rather than a contraction. Intention isn’t about not-doing, and in some ways, not even about doing. It is about getting clear, discerning, paying attention to what is trying to emerge deep within, and planting that in the world. It is positive. It is more about actualization, and less about limitation. I discover my deepest intention by allowing myself to enter the mystery of darkness, to mine my imagination, to allow my imagery to arise, revealing to me the gifts of my creative wisdom. Resolution is about forcing. Intention is about discovering, clarifying, honing, and allowing, and guiding. Resolution comes from the outside. Intention comes from the inside.
[vc_empty_space height=”25px”]

Why are the expressive arts such a great vehicle to discover and articulate our intentions? The arts visual, movement, sound, rhythm, guided meditation provide access to our vein of deep inner knowing, allowing us to tune in and discover the buds of whatever is growing and emerging in us. The expressive arts attune us to our longing, and allow us to witness that longing with our eyes and our hearts. When we listen more deeply, beneath the all-too-familiar words, and into the heart of the matter, we invoke the real truth from within. Then, and only then, are we ready to craft our intention in writing. We craft just the right words AFTER we engage in the arts, and we invite our true intention into the rhythm and flow of our daily life.

[vc_empty_space height=”20 px”][mk_image src=”” image_size=”full”]

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. ~Maya Angelou


Join us as we celebrate your expressive art from May 31 – June 5 in “The Landscape of Expressive Arts” which I will be presenting with Tamara Teeter Knapp. In the meantime, meditate with me below:

Cedar website graphic
Website graphic

Fill up with inspirational videos, insightful articles, and delicious recipes from our presenters, staff, and community.

Gain Insight

HollyHock Talks