Yesterday one of our teachers hosted a yoga class after school on campus. I was so grateful to her for offering her time and for sharing her practice with other faculty members.
During the after school class yesterday my co-worker offered up the invitation to set an intention at the beginning of the class. Yesterday was a long day for me, full of strategy and tough conversations and a marathon meeting. I didn’t end up setting an intention, but I thought about it later.
I have to be honest, I usually don’t set an intention in yoga. Every time I go to class the instructor invites us to set an intention at the beginning of class or a mantra to come back to while we practice. I rarely do. If I set one it is usually “I am a bad ass” which gets me through when my body doesn’t want to cooperate. Obviously, I don’t put a lot of thought into it. I might use an intention when the instructor offers one up. I need to get better at it in yoga and I am beginning to see I need to get better at it in my daily practice as an educator.
Why am I not setting intentions each day when I go to work? A goal for the day or a mantra to remember when I get bogged down in frustrations? Why don’t I set an intention at the beginning of each team meeting or presentation? Or the beginning of the week? Maybe even at the beginning of homework time with my son? At the beginning of a weekend?
I like action plans and strategic plans. My brain works backwards in Understanding by Design mode all the time. Setting an intention is basically the same thing in a smaller chunk. Could setting an intention get me further? Would it help to cultivate connections by focusing on my behavior and emotions from the outset of any interaction? Would it provide a path to accomplish goals?
I do think setting intentions each day or at the outset of any meeting or professional development session will help guide my thinking and remind me of my purpose. So, I am setting the intention to set intentions more often. Well thought-out, well crafted intentions.
I have a Bullet Journal so I am thinking I may add an intention at the top of each day in my Daily Log. I use my Bullet Journal constantly throughout the day. The act of putting an intention in writing will keep me accountable and remind me to return to the actions, dialogue, and connections that will lead to growth. When I feel a conversation veering off topic, when I get frustrated, or when ideas start firing off in my brain I can return to that intention for focus. I see them as a way to reset or re-calibrate.
I am also looking back at my Lead Like a Tree activity to mine for goals that can be turned into daily intentions. I am still very much focused on using my tree to guide my practice as an educator this year.
Being an educational leader is complex. I am looking forward to the simplicity that might be found in setting intentions.