Updated: Oct 20
WHY SHOULD WE SET INTENTIONS?
- To set intentions is to recognize that there are circumstances that need to change in our life. It means that we have allowed ourselves to want and to receive something more, something better than what we've had until now. It brings us into a generous and abundant state of mind.
- It motivates us and prompts us into action. When we set an intention the need for what we want becomes more real and it moves us from thought into action. When we take action to achieve what we want we feel empowered.
- Setting intentions is to set goals for ourselves. It gives us a sense of purpose, direction and hope.
WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SETTING INTENTIONS
Before we start thinking about how we set an carry out an intention we have to know that our life as it is now is a reflection of our inner world. Our life is the product of all of our conscious and unconscious beliefs, thoughts and emotions.
To set intentions that will transform our life into what we would like it to be we first need to practice self-awareness to a) acknowledge, b) understand and c) take charge of our inner world. When we get to know our inner world we are able to see what needs healing. If we practice self-awareness techniques such us meditation we can see the source/s of our 'problems' and might even see with clarity what we need to do to release them.
Unfortunately, it can be very painful or scary to look inwards. This is why so many of us don't. Instead we purposely -and to different degrees- fill up our lives with countless activities, people, behaviors (with the intention of distraction), excuses that give us patched-up versions of empowerment, fulfillment, identity, and perhaps even a false or very temporary sense of purpose and happiness.
Another reason why we might not want to stop and connect with our inner world is because we might think that we are trapped in our present circumstances, the task of changing our life is too difficult or too overwhelming. We don't know where to start and feel uncertain where it will lead us.
But think about this:
EVERYTHING PRESENT WITHIN YOU
AT THIS MOMENT
IS CREATING YOUR REALITY.
What your soul longs for, your thoughts about the past, the present and the future, your emotions and memories, your health and how you feel about yourself, your body, your life and your actions, all of it is being created and manifested in your life.
If what you CARRY within you (your beliefs, thoughts, emotions) has created and is creating unwanted circumstances, how can you stop it from creating more?
You can't. Not without first looking in, acknowledging the things that need healing or need to change and then taking some sort of action.
HOW TO SET PURPOSEFUL INTENTIONS
STEP 1 -SELF-AWARENESS
Self-awareness involves acquiring knowledge about all the different aspects of who we are: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Start by asking yourself the question: WHAT IS PRESENT WITHIN ME AT THIS SPECIFIC MOMENT?
Take some time to do this, close your eyes and ask the question. To answer it start with your BODY, mentally scan it to see what is happening within it. It is sometimes helpful to write down what you see or feel.
Continue with your THOUGHTS. Have you ever observed yourself thinking? If you haven't give it a try. You can do it now and continue doing it for few days or whenever you remember. When you have observed your thoughts for a full day or a few days you can then answer the questions:
1) What are your thoughts doing in your daily life?
2) What thoughts are more usual and stronger than others?
3) Are all your thoughts intentional or do you recognize some automatic thoughts that arise without your intention?
4) What do you think of yourself? How do you treat yourself in your thoughts?
Then begin observing your EMOTIONS.
5) Do some particular thoughts trigger specific emotions? What are they?
6) What is your general emotional state? Is it affected by the circumstances or people around you? Is it affected by memories or thoughts?
7) Are you happy? Do you feel fulfilled?
8) Do you feel free and/or able to create the life you want? Why?
9) What would make you to feel happier?
10) What can you do to accomplish it?
After a few days of this practice you will be able to answer questions #9 and #10. Write them down. You will use them to set your intentions.
With self-awareness we can stop sending physical, mental and emotional energy to automatic patterns of thought and behavior. All of that energy can be redirected with clarity and purposeful intention to those things we want to create in our lives, rather than the things we don't want.
STEP 2 – CHOOSING THOUGHTS
Did you know that you can choose your thoughts?
You are free to choose what to focus on! It only takes a little practice and determination.
Once you practice some self-awareness, it is time to look at what thoughts, emotions and parts of your physical reality are debilitating or empowering you, and how much of your time is spent entertaining (placing attention) in one type or the other.
Questions like ‘Where is most of my emotional and mental attention?’ and ’What thoughts am I thinking?’ 'What emotions I'm mostly feeling?' help us realize what we are creating in this moment , what we want to stop creating and what we want to create instead.
Observe your DEBILITATING THOUGHTS and your EMPOWERING THOUGHTS. You might find it useful to write them down in two columns next to each other. Also take note of how much time of the day is spent thinking each one.
Next time you become aware that you are thinking debilitating thoughts, shift by thinking of something positive. Distract your mind with another -this time intentional - thought.
Here's some of the things you can do when this happens:
- Decide to think about what you are grateful for (practice of gratitude).
- Bring to your mind someone/something you love and allow yourself to feel that love in your heart (practice of loving kindness).
- Intentionally bring a positive memory to your mind. You can also think about a time in which you helped someone and made a positive change in their life. How did you feel helping them? Can you think of anyone else that might need your loving presence or your help? If you can, take action. Then spend time feeling good about the help or support you provided.
- If you are familiar with the practice of Ho'Oponopono apply it to each negative belief, thought, emotion or circumstance. If you are not familiar with it you can learn about it in the book "Zero Limits" by Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Joe Vitale (I recommend the audio version of the book).
If you have set positive intentions or goals but most of your time is spent in thinking debilitating thoughts, no real/permanent change will ever be possible. You might be able to create some positive change but it will only be temporary, until it's turn for the negative thoughts to manifest.
It is also important to understand that OUR POWER TO CHANGE EXISTS ONLY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. So if most of our time is spent in revisiting the past or speculating and trying to control the future, we won’t have enough attention/energy left to create change in the present moment.
Don't get caught in WAITING to have peace of mind to create positive things in your life. This will never happen on its own! You have to make it happen with determination and practice.
STEP 3 – PRACTICE
Our new intentions or goals won't materialize without regular and sustained practice. In Reiki we call this the principle of DILIGENCE. Being diligent means to apply constant effort to accomplish your goals; being attentive and persistent. To be diligent is the opposite of being passive or forgetful.
In practicing steps 1 and 2 you might have realized that you have been persistent in thinking and feeling certain things throughout the years. You have long held certain beliefs that have manifested in your reality. You were diligent in your practice of those thoughts and consequently created a reality that reflects them. Now you can choose your thoughts intentionally and be diligent in doing so.
To MANIFEST your INTENTIONS you must know what, why and how you are thinking all the time. So you can correct and align your thoughts and your actions with your intentions.
YOUR MIND, YOUR HEART AND YOUR ACTIONS NEED TO BE ALIGNED IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR INTENTION.
We have to be COHERENT with our goals and intentions.
We can't succeed in being abundant, happy, healthier or in having loving relationships if our thoughts, emotions and actions are persistently disempowering or destructive (intentional avoidance of action is also detrimental). You will manifest what your mind and heart are mostly focused on.
Diligently observe your inner sates to recognize negative thoughts as they arise. Intentionally self-regulate by choosing what to think and feel as described in Step 2.
Start a daily practice to create new habits of thought.
Take care of your BODY by becoming aware of its needs. Exercise and seek healing therapies if you need to.
Take care of your THOUGHTS by meditating regularly. Take classes or read books on personal development or spiritual wisdom.
Take care of your HEART by meditating on unconditional love until you can spontaneously feel it for yourself and others.
Remember: Practice is not only mental, emotional or spiritual. We also need to support and reinforce positive thoughts with positive action. Procrastination drains your energy and promotes negative feelings of self-worth. Positive action increases self-esteem. Every day take at least one action that is aligned with your goals.
Practical Exercise to Realize Goals and Intentions:
Visualization followed by Healing Meditation
Begin by VISUALIZING yourself already having achieved your goals, in complete health, happiness and expansion. Let this vision become your only reality at this moment.
INVOLVE ALL OF YOUR SENSES: Sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and your sense of spiritual purpose and fulfillment.
Without moving from your spot start by using your breath to move all of those images and sensations of having realized your intentions into you.
BREATHE YOUR VISUALIZATION IN.
Breathe it into your BODY.
Breathe it into your HEART.
Breathe it into your MIND.
Be fully present in each breath.
Practice as often as you can, gradually increase the time you spend doing the exercise until you can spend at least 10 minutes visualizing and 10 minutes meditating on your intentions without losing focus.
During the day keep your VISION in mind making it a part of your thoughts, your emotions and your reality.
All rights reserved - Guillermina Neal - HealCoach 2020