Ask Yourself Why

Your Why

I love how, over at Modern Prairie, we started this new year by focusing on intention. YOUR intention.

In the What’s Your Word workshop I led, I spoke about how often New Year’s Resolutions are ineffective because they focus more on checking the box next to some goal you’re trying to accomplish or DO instead of focusing on how you FEEL. And so, in place of resolutions, we think about a word that encompasses a desired feeling, which will always send you in the right direction no matter what is happening around you.

If you were there, you learned what a word nerd I am and how I love deep-diving into the meanings of things.

I looked up the word ‘intention’ and was a bit surprised to read it merely as “an aim or plan.” Huh. When I think about an intention, it feels much more ‘internal’ than an aim or a plan. I decided to view the word intention as a mix of those two ideas—not just going after something with our heads but also with our hearts. With our souls. Searching inside to find what’s BEHIND the goals we want to achieve.

Have you ever spent time thinking about that? WHY do you want to do the things you do? It’s time well spent, as you are much less likely to succeed if you go after something or somebody else’s goals.

If you go after somebody else’s hopes and dreams, you will get a life that’s not meant for you.

At first thought, that may sound wonderful. “What? If I figure out what Jamie Lee Curtis’s aims and plans are and work toward those, I’m gonna be a rich and famous badass author, activist, and Scream Queen?!” 

Well….I probably don’t need to tell you this, but you aren’t Jamie Lee Curtis. There can only be one of those. And because we are all unique, the very same Jamie trajectories may lay themselves out in front of you, but they would still turn out differently because you don’t think, act, and have the same experiences she has. So, you would change the script. (now we’re getting deep!)

The point is that we are happiest and attain the most success in whatever we try to do if we work within the parameters of who we are. Not what someone else may think we are, and certainly not what someone else or society may tell us we should be.

Whew! And getting to the basis of WHO you are starts with asking WHY. Why is the question you must ask yourself as you think about your plans for the days, weeks, and months ahead in this new year. WHY is the very seed of intention.

And now, the tarot.

Each Page card from the tarot court is an excellent example of asking why, as they are the archetype that represents youth (and this state of being isn’t only regarding age, but the way we think and act as well), inquisitiveness, and learning.

Look at this cute little fish that is surprisingly popping out of Page’s cup! Fish symbolize the unconscious self, luck, and rebirth. When you stay curious, you have a better chance of landing on something that feels right than going along with the status quo. This little fish seems to tell the Page that it’s the beginning of a new phase for them if they stay on the path of growth and curiosity. And our subconscious, the inner part of us that truly knows what is good and right for us, is where this is all coming from.

Of all the Pages, the Page of Cups is the most curious. They come from a place of intense emotion, as feeling passionate about what they do is essential to them. You need to start questioning what YOU feel strongly about and if each goal you have been aiming for fits that requirement.

Think about when you were young, how you wouldn’t give a second thought about going after something that didn’t feel right. How you embraced what you loved with reckless abandon and confidence, and how you stayed curious! (Curiosity happens to be the theme at Modern Prairie right now!)

Time to Write!

Grab a piece of paper or your journal and write down any aims or goals you have; things you would like to do or work toward in 2023. Leave some space after each one.

Now write Why? And answer your question! Why do you want to do that?

Start a conversation with yourself as you dig into each decision.

If you signed up for a gym membership but would rather get your Tae Bo on with Billy Blanks, you aren’t going to stay motivated. If your heart isn’t into it, slowly but surely, you will find excuses not to go. Then you will feel terrible–not only are you NOT reaching your goal of getting exercise, but you are also wasting money in the process!

You can see how digging into something to get to its intention brings it back to YOU and what you really want. And that’s very powerful. If you are setting goals for yourself that don’t feel rewarding or like they fit who you are, you are much less likely to attain them.

Intention, my friends.

Get deep into the nitty gritty to make sure you are leading yourself down a path that will reap the rewards and be much more likely to lead to success.

So have a lengthy conversation with yourself on paper. Pretend you are a very inquisitive (and slightly annoying!) journalist getting down to the truth of the matter, and your inner Page of Cups is answering. Let me know what you discover!

I want you to live the life YOU are meant to live. Not someone else’s, because it will never FEEL right. No one is uniquely like you, and that’s a good thing! 

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