I love hot yoga so much that I’ve been doing it for 10 years now. One of the reasons that I like it is the wacky yoga phrases, like when we have done close to 50,000 bicycle sit-ups and are gasping for breath, the teacher might say “breathe in deeply and breathe out horse lips”. That’s right, horse lips. That’s not something you hear everyday, is it? And yet it works. Horse lips somehow releases tension and helps us to manage our pain. I am even thinking of bringing that phrase into my home when I hear my children rumbling and moaning during chore time: “Hey girls, empty the dishwasher and then give me some horse lips.”
Another yoga phrase I love is “if its available to you today,” like when the teacher suggests some pose that requires us to get our body in a position it hasn’t seen since our Twister days and I want to laugh out loud because they must be crazy to think I could do that. But right before my chuckle becomes auditory, she qualifies her request with that phrase “if its available to you today” to which I mentally reply, “No, its not” and then I just lay back and do some horse lips.
But one of the best yoga phrases is “set your intention for class today.” Sometimes my intention is to not be distracted by the heavy breather next to me, sometimes it’s to push myself to master a pose, and sometimes it’s just to survive the class.
This is a phrase that I believe it significant for all of us who want to start the year 2014 with intention. How can we set an intention for our lives today? Choose a word. Find one word that will guide you, remind you and cause you to live with purpose in 2014. Over the last several days I have been asking God what my word should be, since only He knows what next year will truly be like, and I have landed on OPTIMISTIC. My word for 2014 is OPTIMISTIC.
And I don’t mean a Pollyanna-type of optimism that closes its eyes and crosses its fingers and denies reality. I mean Christian optimism that acknowledges that life can be hard, brutal at times, and yet we can do it because God is with us, has wonderful purpose in everything that touches our lives, and will hold our hand through it all. Jesus says in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble…” What I like about Christian optimism is that it always acknowledges suffering. “but take heart…” Be of good cheer. Be optimistic in the midst of difficulty. “…because I have deprived the world of its power to harm you.”
And I think that is what is different this year. I actually believe that God has and will continue to protect me. In the past I have struggled to feel lovely enough or soft enough to deserve to be defended and so I have defended myself. Some days I felt strong and powerful but other days I felt tired, lonely and pessimistic. But this past year during my separation and subsequent divorce, I have seen God fight for me and defend me and now I can take heart and be optimistic because in the midst of my trouble I have a defender. My heart is OPTIMISTIC. And I will train my eyes to be OPTIMISTIC too. I want to move into 2014 taking a hopeful view of things. I want to see more of God’s goodness, love, and protection as I live in positive expectancy. “The Lord is the defense of my life…My heart will not fear; …I shall be confident.” Psalm 27:1-3
What about you? What is your intention for 2014? What word phrase will remind you of your value and purpose in the next year? What is your heart crying out for in 2014? Ask God what your word is and then lay back, enjoy, and do some horse lips.