I’ve been thinking a lot lately about setting intentions. Setting an intention for the day is like being on a much anticipated trip and deciding to explore on a side trip one day. You tune into your internal GPS system, set your intention to orient to where you want to go and the route to get you there pops up.
Yet, your internal GPS doesn’t run on automatic. It runs when you turn it on and tune into it. Below are some ideas on just how to turn it on and keep it on.
Awareness. Turning on your GPS starts with awareness of where you are now, like noting your location on a map, and determining just where you’d like to go next.
Center. Now that it’s on, you’ll want to tune into your GPS, so you’ll want to center yourself. This involves aligning your mind, body and spirit. From center you’ll able to be present to yourself and others, to be open to possibilities for this trip you’re on, and be connected to the question of ‘what’s important?” on this bigger journey that you’re on in life.
Listen with your whole self, not just your head. With a deep in-breath, still your body, heart, and mind, focusing on your breath at your belly.
Take a second breath and focus on your breath at your heart.
Take a third breath and focus your breath on your mind.
Take a fourth, cleansing breath, allowing your body to be as it is right now. In this you’re aligning yourself in the present, on purpose, to your passion.
Allow the intention to arise from your whole self. Out of this quiet space give yourself an extra few moments to settle into yourself today. Just listen. Allow your intention to emerge from here, your center, and come into your mind’s eye.
As it becomes more clear, use all your senses to experience it: see it, smell it, feel it, taste it, and observe it fully.
Speak your intention to yourself aloud. Feel it fully in your body, then speak it two-three times out loud, coordinating it with your breath, deepening it with each breath. Breathe it in as the most important thing you’ll do today on your side trip.
Write it out, post it all over. By turning on and tuning into your own internal GPS, you’re effectively choosing where and how to direct your energies. Writing extends your intention out into the world. Be bold. Post your intention all over the place to remind you of what’s most important and how you’d like to shape this day trip, and maybe the entire journey.
Find a picture, pick a song. Select a picture that represents your intention, one you can put up to remind and inspire. Pick one that makes you smile. Or, reflect on a song that matches the energy of your intention and play it often, maybe singing in the shower! Or, do both!
Share it with a friend. Finding a buddy to share your intentions with will do two things, well maybe more. It’ll help you be true to yourself because they’ll ask you how it’s going. And, it’ll provide support since they’re your friend and that’s why we have friends.
And, it reinforces that you’re making an active, very conscious choice about the shape of your day, your life and what matters to you.
For added adventure, you might even do an experiment with your friend. Share your intentions for the week—verbal & written– get together early the next week and review how holding a conscious intention impacted your week. Repeat, rinse, repeat again.
Reflect. Review your intention at the end of the day by feeling into it in your body, reviewing—without judgment—just how you lived into your intention—today.Take notes.
The process of reflecting upon, setting and moving towards your intentions is a declaration to yourself and others that you’re serious about your life, this journey. Ultimately, it’s to that Big Life Commitment of yours, you know, that thing that matters the most.
For today, however, it’s being clear that you’re consciously and actively on your journey through life, that you’re leading from what’s most important to you.