Finding Focus in the New Year with Yoga, Aromatherapy, and Meditation

This past weekend, I attended a wonderful yoga and aromatherapy workshop. The topic was cultivating clarity, vision, creativity, and gratitude—great things to cultivate for sure.

Lately, I’ve been just a bit stuck in terms of vision and pursuing my goals. And while I haven’t been too concerned about it (the universe usually directs me eventually), I was thrilled when I saw the theme for this workshop. I knew immediately I wanted to attend.

If you’re in a similar boat, here are five things to try that will help you cultivate creativity, find clarity, and move toward your goals.

1. Set an intention, but don’t think too much about how you will get there.

Yoga teacher Jan Jeremias, one of the workshop’s two facilitators, read a stunning passage from a book by Jeff Foster:

On every page of a book, behind the words—no matter what the words are describing, no matter what is going on in the story—there is the whiteness of the paper. Rarely noticed, even more rarely appreciated, but absolutely essential, so that the words can be seen.

As a writer, my first thought was this passage minimized the impact of what I do, of the words that I write. But then I thought about it more and realized that while I do write words, my role as the whiteness of the paper is far more important.

The point is our willingness to hold an intention may be even more significant than exactly how we go about doing what we intend to do. We can write and rewrite and edit the story. But without the white space—without the intention—the story can never be read.

So if you’re not exactly sure how to go about reaching your goal, that doesn’t mean you’re not ready to set the intention. Set it, and then be open to what unfolds. The words (the way to get there) will come.

2. Tap into the powerful benefits of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is a powerful tool for physical, mental, and spiritual transformation. In this workshop, Jan introduced a few essential oils whose aromas are known to help with focus, creative energy, and vision.

The two oils that stood out for me were peppermint, which is very uplifting and energizing, and a proprietary blend for mental clarity and focus called “In Tune.” The blend, from doTerra, consists of amyris bark, patchouli, frankincense, lime, ylang ylang, sandalwood, and roman chamomile. I’ll be using this at my desk often!

3. Chant a mantra for creativity.

In the Kundalini Yoga tradition, there’s a mantra for…well, just about everything. In this workshop, yoga teacher Dee Andalkar led a chant of the mantra for creativity: Har Haray Hari Waheguru. If you don’t know it, you can hear a version of it here.

According to Spirit Voyage, this four-part mantra “represents the cycle of creative activity.  Har represents the seed potential of Infinite Creativity. Haray represents the flow of the Creative Force. Hari represents the manifestation of the Creative Force. Wahe Guru is an expression of joy and the wonder of this process.” Chanting the mantra, then, is like saying, “Idea, Flow, Here is it, Wow!”

4. Practice yoga.

I probably don’t have to elaborate. If you’re a yogi, you know setting an intention for the practice is a powerful way to focus and cultivate clarity and vision. It’s particularly powerful when the pose takes you out of yourself and connects you to something greater.

5. Be grateful.

As I said, the theme for the workshop was cultivating clarity, vision, creativity, and gratitude. So what about the “gratitude” part?

While it may not always be obvious, gratitude is a strong motivator for creativity. I can promise you when you’re grateful for the things you experience, you’ll open to more and more possibilities for creativity. For example, gratitude for the experience of attending a workshop can inspire you to write a post for your blog!

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Maria Kuzmiak, M.A. is a health and well-being writer with a background in nutrition, psychology and education and a passion for yoga. She has written hundreds of articles, blogs and newsletters for clients in health-related fields, particularly those specializing in yoga, natural medicine, nutrition, and spiritual health and healing. Maria has also worked as a nutritionist, teacher and technical editor. Learn more about her writing at

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