What the fuck are they? And then, once you set them, what do you do with them?
I have spoken about intentions quite often, so thought it would be best for my next post to reflect that. This post is all about intentions – what they are and how to set them.
I was never a new year’s resolution person – mostly because I always knew I wouldn’t meet the expectations I was setting for myself and then I’d be disappointed, perpetuating my fear of failure, etc. etc. The “goals” I was setting were not in alignment with me at that particular time. It was always to lose weight, go to the gym more – the usuals. However, I was never looking at the emotional connection behind those goals. That is what intentions are – it is the feeling behind the goal.
Intention and Desire go hand-in-hand. Desire is the yearning for something, and Intention plants the seed of the yearning. For example, if I am seeking a relationship and I write down that I want a boyfriend and he has to be a specific height, weight, have a specific job and look a certain way, I am not really leaving any room for the universe to kick in and give us what we really need. I am seeking only the external, and not attaching the emotional and spiritual connection to the desire.
If I say that I desire a true partnership with love and respect, honesty and forgiveness, someone who always has my back and I love with my whole heart – now that is an intention. It gives room for the universe to work its magic, but also attaches the emotional connection to the desire, thus, the intention is set. It plants the seed.
Setting intentions for yourself
Give yourself some time and space in setting intentions. Let yourself be in a vulnerable state to access yourself.
Take a few long, deep breaths. Bring yourself to the present moment.
Some questions to consider:
What is your happy place? When are you accessing your most natural and authentic self?
Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing?
Where do you feel: comfortable, safe, open, content and present?
Now, what do you really, really, really, really, really want? How do you really, really, really, really, really want to feel??
Make a list. Some aspects of life to consider:
1. Physical Body: How do you want to feel in your body and how do you want your body to feel?
2. Materially: what do you want materially and how will it feel to have those things?
3. Emotionally: what do you want to feel?
4. Spiritually: what does your practice look like and how do you want it to feel?
5. Relationships: what does having your relationships be healthy and strong look like? How would you feel if you were in that position?
6. Lifestyle: what will your life look like?
7. Purpose (or Dharma): What is your purpose in this world? If you don’t know, how might it feel if you do?
It might take sometime, but allow yourself the time to make these lists.
Once you are done, circle 10 of the most important to you. You can take one from every list, or take lots from more from the list that feels most important for you. Really, whatever feels right.
This is your intention list. Rewrite it. Maybe post it up somewhere. Have it beside your bed or somewhere you will look at it. But somewhere you will ACTUALLY look at it, not pass by it every day for the next 5 years as part of the furniture.
I encourage you to bring this list out before or after meditation. It can be daily, it can be several times a day, or it could be once a week. Whatever feels the most natural for you. I do not look at mine daily, but at least a few times a week before and after meditation. I have mine printed and stapled to the front of my journal so that every time I pull it out I can see them. This is what has worked for me.
Next week we will look at intentions vs. Goals and how to use your intentions to navigate goal-setting!
Let me know how it goes! Where do you keep your intention lists and what works for you? Would love to hear from you.