You want to wake up at 5 am the next day. You could set the alarm. But you could also set an intention, just before you go to bed. And sure enough, the next morning you are awake on the dot of 5! I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried this out and it works. I truly believe in the power of setting intentions.
That was just a simple example of an intention.
An intention is a commitment to yourself. It can be the initial step towards become the person you want to be.
An intention serves as:
- A navigational tool to steer you through the day when confronted with choices to make.
- A memory aid for maintaining your desired areas of concentration (acknowledging the challenges of maintaining focus).
- The process of pinpointing the kind of energy you wish to infuse into your day.
- A cue to maintain mindfulness throughout the entirety of the day.
Intentions have the capability to harmonize with your principles and aspirations. They can also correlate with the version of yourself you aspire to be. For instance, if you highly value productivity, your intention might be, “Today, I am determined to maintain my focus and steer clear of distractions.”
Steps To Setting Intentions Mindfully
I’ve been trying this method of setting intentions mindfully in the recent past and I’m happy to report that it’s working for me.
- Discover a comfortable posture that suits you. As you lower your gaze or gently close your eyes, become aware of the physical movements your body makes with each breath. Whether it’s the rise and fall of your belly, the expansion of your chest, or the sensation of air passing through your nose and mouth, take notice of this rhythmic flow.
- Now, take a moment to connect with your effort and intention for this practice. What do you wish to cultivate today? It could be a chance to find calmness and gather your focus, or a sense of determination and strength. Alternatively, you may simply want to approach this practice with ease and without pressure.
- Carry that intention and awareness throughout your practice. A way to do this is by focusing on open awareness during each in-breath. With every out-breath, choose a word that encapsulates your intentions for yourself in this moment. Inhale with heightened awareness, perhaps visualizing or feeling gratitude towards anything that resonates with you right now. As you exhale, release your intentions into the present moment.
- Remember that it’s natural to lose touch with your intentions during your practice and in life. If your mind becomes entangled in distractions, reactivity, or discomfort, don’t worry. It’s all part of the journey. Gently guide yourself back to this practice with awareness whenever you find yourself adrift.
- As you approach the end of the practice, pause for a moment with intention, and decide when to transition to the rest of your day.
Setting intentions mindfully directs our daily actions towards uncovering our passions and purpose. By declaring our intentions and committing to personal growth, we allow the Universe to support us in this journey.
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