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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Positive Intentions to Last All Year

Dec 30, 2021 09:31AM ● By Sheila Julson
A new year offers an open door to reflect and consider how we can be our best selves going forward. This quest has traditionally led to new year’s resolutions related to achieving hard or fast goals. However, setting intentions allows us to focus on the all-important journey toward our desires. Get inspired by members of the Natural Awakenings community as they share their intentions for 2022.

 Swamini Shraddhananda Saraswati, co-founder and executive director of the Kula Kamala Foundation ( says her intention has been the same for many years, but grows deeper with each orbit around the sun. “I vow to be grateful, to see the sacred essence of each moment—even the difficult ones—and to allow the potential of goodness to guide my relationships and steward my commitments,” she shares.

Saraswati believes that this past year has reinforced the truth of the most valuable lesson any of us can learn: no matter what difficulties we face, focusing on unity, love and supporting the well-being of those around us will help us navigate obstacles feeling less defeated and far more grateful.

“The year 2022 will be a year of living courageously and boldly from a place of deep inner truth. It will also be a year to continue to embody ahimsa (non-violence), daya (compassion) and seva (service),” she concludes. “2022 will be a year of bhakti (devotion) toward the divine mother and a time to continue sharing her powerful wisdom. May 2022 be the year we all achieve liberation from suffering and come to know true happiness.”

 For nearly two years, the current health crisis has swept many of us into a virtual existence, leading to isolation and fewer opportunities to engage with those that help make our lives whole. This coming year, therapeutic writing teacher Melissa Greene, of Write From the Heart (, intends to reacquaint everyone she knows and loves with laughter.

“Art remains the place I call home,” she says. “Art can take us all home to who we are. Add some humor, and creativity is like riding the wind with no hands. If we let go of preconceptions, it can’t help but lead us out of fear and despair.” Greene notes that in a world that’s losing sight of its soul, she intends to use writing to share the joy, healing and freedom still possible to everyone.

 Ashley Smoker, of Nature's Intuition (, intends to remain open to receiving abundance, happiness, pleasure and all the gifts the universe has to offer. “I am really going to give myself permission to welcome it all in,” she enthuses.

Smoker notes that over this past year, she practiced not just goal-setting, but appreciating the journey toward that goal, while keeping an open mind during life’s meandering, rather than trying to force something to work if it is no longer meant for her highest good. “It is perfectly appropriate to be flexible and to grow and change every day. Ask your body if the direction you are going feels right, and if you listen, your body will give you a, ‘Heck yes’ or a, ‘No, let’s see what needs to shift.’ The answers are already within.”

Throughout the new year, Smoker plans to follow her blissful pleasures and to find balance between being a businesswoman and a growing human. “I will also intentionally put away technology and consciously be with the ones I love,” she affirms.

 We are living in times that can be trying for even the most positive among us, observes Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck, of Malinda Harnish Counseling ( “I know I can only control myself, so my desire continues to be to cause as little harm as possible to myself, to those around me and to the Earth,” she says. “With every word I say and every action I take, I will allow all of who I am to be an intentional agent of truth and love, justice and grace.”

Time has taught Harnish to develop a deep appreciation for her own humanity. She strives to do the right thing in every situation and to seek justice for all, particularly the most marginalized and oppressed. “I don't always live up to my own expectations, but no one is perfect. I feel like I am learning to embrace my own imperfect humanity. I am much more gracious towards others, but I am learning that unless I also extend that grace to myself, I don't understand grace.”

In 2022, Harnish wants to be more playful, laugh more and see, hear and feel the joy in the world on a regular basis in order to balance the bombardment of negativity and pain broadcast from our screens.

 In 2022, Heather Kreider, co-owner of Hempfield Botanicals (, says her intention is to give as much love and joy to others as she can. “My heart is so full, and being able to share that love with others is very important to me.”

For Kreider, the past year has taught her that when one door slams shut, another one always opens. “It may not be the exact same type of door, but it can be an amazing door,” she says. “Sometimes we think that a certain situation or a certain person is the key to success or happiness, but that's not always reality, and sometimes that major change is actually needed.” This year, she plans to continue to be the true, kind, loving person within, no matter what is reflected back at her.

As we enter a new year full of possibilities, setting intentions by the year, month or even each day helps empower us decide what we want to achieve and how we want to experience life.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.