In yoga classes that I have been taking with a new teacher, I noticed something distinctive about his style right away. It has provided a lingering lesson for me.
Most yoga teachers ask their students to think about an “intention” for the class at the beginning of the class. The intention can be the aim that one wants to dedicate one’s practice to on that day. For example, “My intention is to honor the limits of my body today.” or “My intention is to be centered here and in life.”
This teacher is different. Throughout the class–not just at the beginning–but throughout the class he asks us to bring to mind our intention for our practice that day. When holding a particular posture he says, “Take a moment now to recall your intention.”
I found my intention becoming a continual touchstone. It provides the “inner work” in what otherwise would only seem like stretching into various physical contortions!
Likewise, our intentions as leaders can become a continual touchstone. As we remind ourselves of our fundamental intentions as leaders we can cultivate a prayerful awareness that can guide and inspire our actions in the world and in our organizations.
As I launch this blog, I open with my overall intention: My intention is to provide reflections, interactions and practices that help leaders to continually re-interpret and re-compose their leadership in a comprehensive, “integral”way so that they can “lead from a different place.” As we utilize a variety of lenses we will come to see our leadership becoming an integrated practice that intentionally includes spiritual, organizational, personal and cultural perspectives and practices.
I can offer to bring my own multi-disciplinary experiences and background in organizational development, narrative and family therapy, coaching, spiritual disciplines–and even yoga ! I imagine that together we can think and imagine broadly. As the days and months proceed, we will be honing this intention together–as a continual touchstone in our interactions.
Practice: Ask yourself, “What is the deepest intention of my leadership or my life right now?” [You can decide if this is an intention for today or for a whole season of your life.] Allow images and words to form from both your “head” and your “heart.” Then complete the sentence: “My intention is…”. Consider a way to hold this intention in your awareness periodically during the day (e.g. write it on a file card and post it on your desk, find a symbol that represents this intention and carry it with you, etc.)