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  • Writer's pictureMichael Stern

Intentions for 2018

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

In my coaching practice, I use the above model (thanks to Heidi Helm for the graphic) to help clients think about how they're attending to different domains of life.

The basic idea is that our three primary relationships are to Self, Love, and Work. Play indicates not only that it's important to enjoy each of these relationships, but also that we need to remember to make time to just have fun. And Spirit is the always, already, ever-present context for the whole experience - ultimately, everything is our spiritual practice.

Using this framework, I've identified a few key themes to focus on in my own practice for 2018.

SELF: Study & Practice Since starting my coaching practice a little over a year ago, I've learned a tremendous amount just through supporting others in their challenges - definitely a "teaching what you need to learn" kind of experience. I've also recognized some of the limitations of my competency. So this year I want to prioritize a commitment to my own development, knowing that I must embody the wisdom I seek to share with others if it is to be truly beneficial.

LOVE: Integrity & Generosity In the past, I have struggled with honesty in some of my most important relationships. As I continue to do healing work around my own shame, anger, and fear, I am, slowly, but surely, finding it easier to make amends and heal ruptures in my relationships with others. I have also been blessed with tremendous privilege in this life, and as our society continues the process of coming to terms with its history of systemic oppression, I find I am called to notice my own patterns of attachment and complacency, and shift those in the direction of generosity and engagement.

WORK: Create & Share

Over the course of a ten-week purpose discovery course I participated in last Fall, I came to the realization that it was time for me to start moving away from being a Consumer and toward being a Creator. That doesn't mean that I'm not still a student. It means trusting in what I've learned so far, and working through my resistance to sharing that with the world. Practically, I expect this to mean more writing, creating tools and resources for my coaching clients, facilitating workshops and coaching circles, and growing my coaching practice.

PLAY: Nature & Music Some of my best memories are of dancing all night on the top of a hill in Nepal. The freedom, connection, and surrender that came when I let go into the intensity of the music and the beauty of the soul longs for more. Growing up in NYC, I never developed a strong connection with nature, and I departed from the path of a career in music when I was in college. Now I can feel how important it is for me to cultivate my relationship to these "languages of the soul."

I don't have any specific intentions for Spirit, because of what I said earlier - everything is my practice. However, I think the Daily Enneathought from December 31 captures it perfectly:

This New Year's Eve you can lay the groundwork for continued growth without making any resolutions except one—to let go of the past, connect with yourself, to Wake Up, and be Present.

I'm curious to hear about your intentions for 2018. And if you could use some support in following through on them, please reach out. I would be honored to support you.

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