The Power of Intention
I’m going to be completely honest, I had a hard time sitting down to write this article, I procrastinated for days…literally, a week and a half. Finally, today I woke up and decided to just get it done….but first I thought I’d go to yoga, then I did a little grocery shopping, then I went to the dry cleaners to complain about a sweater they had washed and is now so tiny it would literally only fit a newborn mouse, then I got a pedicure because my toes were sad about my sweater, and then finally I returned home.
But after I put the groceries away, I decided I should really eat something. So I spent an hour and a half making a root vegetable soup, not a quick salad….root vegetable soup. After eating I decided to watch just one episode of High Maintenance (my new obsession on HBO), and just as I was about to sit down it suddenly occurred to me what I was doing. I immediately turned off the TV and I yelled at myself “Go write, you really really want to write! So just go! You don’t have to be scared! You are so capable! I love you!!!”
And in that moment I remembered the subject I wanted to write about: INTENTION. So I stood up, thanked myself for the slightly aggressive, mostly loving reminder, went straight to the mirror and set an intention for the rest of the day. I gathered my things, went to a coffee shop, sat down, and started writing. AND I DIDN’T STOP UNTIL I WAS DONE AND IT FELT SO GOOD!!
Why? Because setting an intention is SO powerful. It’s not complicated, but it’s easy to completely forget to do.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, let me start from the beginning…how about a definition:
If you ask Merriam Webster, she’ll tell you “intention is the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose.”
And if you ask my pal Deepak Chopra, he’ll be a big show off and tell you “an intention is a directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed form of that which you aim to create. Like real seeds, intentions can’t grow if you hold on to them. Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish.”
Today I want to talk about 7 ways I use intention on the daily and how it has dramatically improved my life:
1. I use intention to change my mood or outlook on a situation.
It’s easy to get caught up in our circumstances, or worse to play victim…you know, when evvvvvverythingggg seeems to be happening specifically to YOU. It happens to the best of us, and we can stay in that place for days, weeks, or even months. The problem is that it not only affects your general well being, but the well being of those around you (sometimes the people you love the most in the world). The first step is to catch yourself doing it, which undoubtedly involves self awareness (a big, beautiful subject for another newsletter). But once you catch yourself, set your intention! I am always saying, self awareness is 85% of the game whether it’s changing your mood, your situation, or a bad habit, the last 15% is intention! You can have all the self awareness in the world and still walk around being a big asshole…you’re just aware you’re being an asshole. Setting an intention acts as a powerful roadmap for your awareness.
So how do you set an intention? I come back to center, take three deep breaths, and check in with myself by simply asking, what do I really need right now? Sometimes it’s to forgive someone or myself, to find the joy again, to simply see the truth of the situation, or to find the lessons to be learned. I know this past month has been hard for our country, so many of us are still struggling with the results of this past election. Set an intention. Mine has been to find the light (aka the love) and to be of service and fight really hard for what I believe in.
2. I use intention to send and receive love.
One of my all time favorite teachers, Marianne Williamson taught me this, before you arrive somewhere, send love up ahead of you so that you are received with love. I have fully adopted this practice. It sounds woo woo, but just try it! On your way home, send love, heck take a moment and completely fill yourself up with love….you will change your vibration. People will notice and respond completely differently to you, just as they notice when you’re in a bad mood and your vibration is really low.
3. I use intention before a big interview or meeting.
Lately I have been doing some more speaking engagements and I can’t tell you how helpful it is to set an intention before I get up on stage. Nervousness comes from insecurity, ‘what if they don’t like me,’ ‘what if I mess up,’ etc. Instead of focusing on that, I’ve been setting the intention that I want my words and my time on stage to help people, I want to make people laugh, and I want to speak my truth. It has made such a difference…and my jitters have gone right out the window.
4. I use intention to get more out of what I am already doing.
Yoga, journaling, a phone call with a client, going for a walk, sitting in traffic! Turn a normal, everyday act into a sacred one. Before every yoga class I set an intention of what I’d like to get out of my practice. Apply this idea to everything, rinse, and repeat.
5. I use intention to deepen my connection and relationship with my friends and family
Let’s say something comes up in your relationship and you decide to sit down with your partner to talk about it (if we’re being real maybe it’s an ongoing fight). Instead of going into the conversation angry or with an intention to win/ prove your point, set the intention that you both win, that you find peaceful resolution, that you connect on a soul level, that you find forgiveness, that you come back to love as quickly as possible. I promise you will have a very different experience.
6. I use intention to get clear on my goals and ambitions and to put them out into the universe.
I’m not talking about owning a Ferrari and a house in Malibu (although, I wouldn’t say no if those things were offered to me). The notion of seeking what you want, or what you think you might need, is not what the Power of Intention is all about. This idea of “what’s in it for me? How can I get more?” is your false self or your ego talking. Instead, set an intention to continue figuring out and aligning with your truth and your purpose. Once you get clear on those things, set a new intention to make them a reality.
7. I use intention to start my day.
How do you start your day? Hitting snooze a bunch of times and then rushing around to get to work on time? Start carving out just a couple minutes as soon as you wake up (before you jump on your phone and start looking at social media, email, etc) to check in, what do you want from your day? Set an intention! And while you’re at it, tap into gratitude. It can be a simple as listing off three things in your life that you’re grateful for. Doing these simple, quick things before your feet even hit the ground can affect your entire day, and after a couple weeks of this, you’ll really notice a difference. You can also try this before you go to bed at night.
Try using one or all of these this week and begin to notice the difference that it makes in your life. And feel free to share your experience with me! Happy to connect! Until next month!