Some of us mistake setting intentions with goal-setting. There’s no time like the new year where that becomes more glaringly apparent.
As we move further into the year, we may have noticed that those things we wanted to change about ourselves or our habits this year haven’t yet begun to materialize.
Why is that?
Goals tend to be short-term like the loss of a few pounds, more trips to the gym, saving a bit more and the like. Setting intentions, in contrast, set the stage for us to begin to manifest something much larger than ourselves.
Consider nature as an example.
There’s no one telling a flower to grow. The flower, through the basic exchange of the flow of energy and information, simply grows. For us, we have a nervous system that is capable of becoming aware of the energy and informational content around us. We even experience this as our thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, drives, beliefs and desires.
As we move along the spiritual path, we begin to become aware that our physical bodies are not actually separate from the vast body of the universe.
We are actually in essence, a part of the energy of the universe.
The universe is actually our extended body.
This is why you may have heard the expression “You are a spiritual body having a human experience” and not the other way around. We literally are just a tiny speck in the universe.
The human nervous system can become aware of the information and energy exchange of its own connection with the extended body, the universe. As Deepak Chopra would say “human consciousness is infinitely flexible through this wonderful nervous system. And because it is, we are able to consciously change the informational content that gives rise to our physical body.”
So if this is true, it means we can influence the energy and informational content of our environment and our world.
We can create conscious change either through our attention or our intention.
“Attention energizes, intention transforms.”
- Deepak Chopra
Whatever we put our attention on will grow stronger in our lives. Whatever you take your attention away from will disintegrate or disappear.
On the other hand, intention actually triggers an shift of energy and information. It also allows us to send our intention out into the universe, let go and allow the universe to handle the details,
In the scheme of nature, everything connects and correlates to everything else. Birds and whales begin to migrate in a certain direction at a certain time of year. No one tells them it’s time to go. Nature is being orchestrated at the ground of creation.
The human body is no different. Our cells are turning over, replicating and doing a trillion different things every second. The human body can sing, play music, kill germs all at the same time. It’s part of the grand design of nature.
Intention is desire without attachment to the outcome.
This is interesting because most of us set goals and are quite attached to the outcome. In this way, in essence, we are going against the grain of nature itself, against the grain of the way nature organizes itself. This makes our goals quite weak. Not only that, it sets us up for disappointment or self-judgment when our goals are not met.
But when we set an intention and are detached to the outcome, it leads to present-moment awareness.
Your intent is for something in the future, but your attention remains in the present moment. As long as your attention remains in the present, then your intention for the future will manifest simply because you are creating your future in the present.
Start by accepting the present as it is.
Accept the present and intend the future.
If we struggle against the present, the future cannot be created through intention.
Learn to harness the power of intention and you can create anything you want.
You can still achieve results through effort and through trying, but at a cost. The cost is usually stress, sleeplessness, and physical disease. Instead, setting intentions allows you to put your intentions out into the universe and let go of the result, trusting that the universe will provide for you when you are ready.
One of the most effective ways to set intentions is to do so in stillness, centered in present-moment awareness. You can do this through meditation or simply by sitting still for a few moments and centering yourself on your breath. Next:
- Introduce your intentions and desires.
- Release your intentions. In other words, imagine that you are planting them like seeds into fertile soil.
- Trust that those seeds will bloom when the season is right.
- Stay focused on a state of self-referral. This means not allowing yourself to be seen through the opinions and criticisms of others. HINT: One way to stay in this state is not to share your intentions and desires with others unless they share your very same intentions and desires.
- Let go of your attachment to the outcome. This is a tough one! It means enjoying all the moments of your life, even if you don’t know the outcome.
- Let the universe take care of the details. Trust that the organizing power of nature will orchestrate all of the details for you.
Start by these simple steps:
- Make a list of all of your desires and carry it wherever you go. Look at this list before you go to bed, upon awakening, before you go into meditation or stillness.
- Release your list of desires and intentions and trust that whatever does not manifest, there is a reason. Perhaps the universe has other plans for you that you haven’t even thought of.
- Practice remaining in present-moment awareness. Refuse to allow obstacles to consume or dissipate the quality of your attention in the present moment. Tell yourself that you will accept the present moment as it is.
- Let go of the outcome.
- Remember, it takes practice. And patience.
If you would like to join us in-person for an Intention Setting Workshop, we would love to have you! Getting started can be intimidating, but when you work together in a community of like-minded individuals, your success rate increases abundantly!