I typically avoid making New Year’s resolutions. I am suspicious of calendar-based and time sensitive life inventories. We are creatures of habit; it takes more than a hyped-up holiday to make effecting changes.
Yet, hineni. Here I am.
Everywhere I go lately, there seems to be something or someone pushing me towards setting an intention. When I see a common theme popping up in my life (or in literature), I really like to ponder it. So, here it goes….
Intention| noun | in·ten·tion
: a determination to act in a certain way: resolve
a thing intended; an aim or plan
And since I am kind of bilingual:
The Hebrew root for intention is kaf-vav-nun. (Hebrew 101: All Hebrew words are derivatives of three letter roots, which are the building blocks for the Hebrew language.) I pulled out my handy dandy 501 Hebrew Verbs to look up the root and discovered the following associations:
Prepare, provide, be prepared/furnished, prepare oneself, get ready, mean, intend, direct, aim, adjust, calibrate
Such an expanded meaning. I find myself wondering: “Am I ready for my intention?” Have I prepared myself? Sure, I can list off a whole bunch of intentions. That’s what we all seem to do just before the new year. But what work have I done to prepare myself for my intentions?
The Hebrew word for intention is kavanah. A fully loaded Hebrew word. It’s not merely a dictionary definition, but a spiritual undertaking. In order to carry out our intentions, we must be prepared. Our hearts must be adjusted. Similar to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his most beloved Isaac, we must be ready for our own sacrifices. In a quiet whisper or a dramatic shout, we find ourselves saying, “Hineni”. Here I am.
This blog post tickles me because I had a completely different intention, but once I started to really explore the meaning of the word “intention”, I found myself in new terrain. I was going to jump on the NYE bandwagon and publicly list off all my intentions for the coming year. And now I find myself exploring the spiritual facet of intention making.
I wish I had a how-to for defining this process. I don’t. I’m still on the path myself, and if I am allowing myself to be completely vulnerable, I am deep in the woods. Instead, I offer this up: