Using the power of intention is not about setting a specific goal and focusing so much on it that you lose sight of other possibilities. On the contrary, it is about setting a goal, being open to the many choices that present themselves in reaching that goal, then selecting the ones most likely to bring about the desired outcome.
Just as a plane is guided onto the runway, into the air, and to its destination by airline personnel and air traffic controllers, you, as copilot, can guide your intention into reality by co-navigating with your source. Making your flight plan a reality, however, necessitates being out in front of your intention, which means thinking and acting as if your intention has already manifested. Spirit assists in manifesting your intention by guiding the choices you make. You can be out in front of your intention by using creative visualization. Close your eyes and imagine how your manifested intention would look and feel in your life. Next, trust and affirm that your intention has already been manifested. Then expand your conscious awareness so you are open to the spiritual information that comes through your heart guiding the choices that bring your intention into reality.
In addition, because any thought or spoken word functions as an intention, it is crucial to keep thoughts and words positive. The phrase “Be careful what you wish for” applies to the potential outcomes of thinking or speaking negatively. If you catch yourself thinking or speak negatively, shift your ideas, words, or tone to be more positive.
It is important that our intentions reflect what we want rather than what we don’t want, because any intention has the power to manifest. For instance, if you complain to a coworker that you hate your job and wish you didn’t have to be there, you are setting a negative intention. In generating energy to support this intention, you may get your wish and end up being fired. For better results you could express your intention positively by saying, for example, “I want to use my talents and abilities to create a new career” or “I desire a job in which I can express myself more fully.” Having set a positive intention, you can manifest a new job by being aware of possibilities that will help you find it, such as talking to someone who tells you about another position, seeing a job advertised in the paper or on the Internet, or running into a friend who wants to start a business with you.
Trusting the manifestation of our intentions transforms our reality and allows us to relinquish attempts to control our destiny, such as trying to physically, mentally, or emotionally manipulate people, thus helping us attain more peace of mind and work more cooperatively with others. The Serenity Prayer used in AA and other self-empowerment programs underscores this dynamic by stressing the advantage of accepting the things we cannot change (such as other people), having the courage to change the things we can (such as ourselves), and having the wisdom to know the difference.
Familiarity with the transformative power of intention makes us realize that we have many more possibilities in life than we could possibly envision through the lens of old mindsets. In co-creating with our divine source, we can consciously choose what we want in life. And with new confidence in the innate power of intention to manifest our desires, we can trust in our ability to make our dreams come true.
Invite in blessings for 2015 and let go of any fear, negativity, resentments or disappointments. Resolve to complete 2014 with love, forgiveness and gratitude for everything that has brought you to this moment in your life.
For millennia, winter solstice celebrations have heralded the return of the light and are a time of quiet reflection and intention. In many Native American cultures, tribes and families would gather to start up a new year at the solstice and have a special celebration where they would make a request to the Great Spirit to eliminate certain things that they no longer wanted in their lives. As a way of representing this, they would craft six arrows: three to represent the things they did not want and three for the things they did want. They called them “death” arrows and “life” arrows because they held respectfully, the things they wanted to be out of their lives and those they wanted to bring life to.
One by one, they would each step into the ceremonial circle from the north, put arrows in the ground and say certain prayers, concentrating on that which they were willing to give up. Then they would go to the higher ground, and make the request to the Great Spirit for what they wanted to bring into their lives. They would leave the arrows standing for the Great Spirit throughout the year. During the sacred ceremony, what you requested to be taken out of your life would be removed, and what you wanted to come, came in. The Native Americans had unswerving faith that what they asked for would be granted through their intentions.
On the winter solstice, take the time to reflect on the things you want to let go of this year and the things you want to bring into your life. It’s an opportunity to name and release the situations or patterns in your life that are ready to be let go of and forgiven. Focus on what’s appropriate to your being at this time in your life. Sit quietly, open your heart and let the flow of energy move through you as you meditate on your intentions. If you feel inclined, write them down and put them in a special place to reflect upon at a later time. It is trust in yourself and your source that will manifest an abundance of all that is good, loving, and joyful in your life.
Cultivating self-compassion during the holidays requires precious self-care—that is, nurturing ourselves with the utmost kindness and love, as we would someone we cherish. Such behavior is not self-indulgent but rather essential to enhancing our health, vitality, and our relationships. It increases our energy, brings peace of mind, and restores balance. Even setting aside just five minutes a day to nurture ourselves can help us reduce stress, calm the nervous system, feel renewed, and be more productive.
Often we set aside our own needs while caring for others. Or we do not dedicate sufficient time and energy to self-care, due to the endless to-do lists, obligations, and distractions in our lives. However, disregarding our needs while instead focusing on the needs of others or on activities we consider more important takes a toll on us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It triggers such mindsets as “I must” or “I should” be doing for someone else instead of making our own needs as important as those of others. Putting off self-care may seem noble and selfless until we become stressed, exhausted, and even sick and lacking the energy to care for anybody, including ourselves—due to illness or compassion fatigue. The heart center is vulnerable to congestion because of the emotional processing that occurs there, especially for highly sensitive people, potentially causing health problems. And showing compassion to others while not to ourselves can result in loss of connection to ourselves as love source.
Many of us who are deeply sensitive are dealing with compassion fatigue which can create feelings of spiritual depression. It is important to reframe these feelings as a time of “deep rest.” Restorative self-care requires performing small acts of kindness toward ourselves, such as taking a few minutes at the beginning and end of every day to meditate, journal, or relax; transforming our daily shower or bath into a ritual to cleanse our energy field after a stressful day; or engaging in activities such as walking, yoga, massage, acupuncture, tai chi, or energy work to release tension, toxicity, and enhance the flow of positive energy. Making a compassion covenant with ourselves by agreeing to practice at least one act of kindness toward ourselves every day can sustain happiness, well-being, and self-compassion while also modeling self-care for those we love. In honoring our need for compassionate self-care, we have more energy to serve others.
Cultivating compassion for ourselves by being kind, nonjudgmental, and nonreactive when we struggle, make a mistake, or feel unworthy supports our health and well-being. The more willing we are to treat ourselves this way, the more likely we will be to behave this way toward others. Such behavior generates a sense of universal love, inner peace, and spiritual attunement with everyone and everything.
- Consciously chose to move through every moment with an open heart, with no expectations and operating as stress free as possible.
- Celebrate each day no matter if the shopping lines are long, the traffic congested, and/or our interactions with people more challenging.
- Practice loving-kindness and non-judgment with yourself.
- Forgive yourself quickly and often.
Let your mantra be to sow seeds of light and love where ever you may go so that you leave it a better place for being there. Shine your light so that others may benefit. Celebrate life, express pure love and sustain the light of your being.
Opening your heart in gratitude releases a continuous stream of positive energy that supports spiritual clarity, creativity, personal effectiveness, strengthening of the immune system, elimination of energy blocks, and the diminishing of fear, stress, and negativity. As such, it brings us into emotional balance so we feel less irritated or angry when someone cuts in front of us in traffic or our partner makes an insensitive remark. It also helps us better observe our reactions, stop negative self-talk, and cease judging others. In response, we can access our inner guidance to make discerning choices in our health, relationships, and finances. Most importantly, the overall quality of our lives improves because we wake up each day with positive energy, inspiration, and a sense of gratitude for all the blessings in our lives.
When we are grateful, the heart and brain operate synergistically. With practice, we can improve and actively control this synergy to prevent stress-producing emotions and enhance mental clarity. We can initiate self-love that leads to loving others by closing our eyes, placing a hand on the center of our chest, and focusing our attention on our hearts. We can attain inner peace by going deep inside our hearts, quieting our minds, breathing deeply, and focusing on radiating love in the form of gratitude or compassion to ourselves or others. By breathing out negative thoughts, emotions, and judgments about ourselves with each exhalation, we can eliminate any negativity and clear energy blocks.
Begin every day feeling grateful for opportunities to open your heart. No matter what your circumstances, daily bless yourself, your fellow human beings, and the earth; then express appreciation for your unique gifts. This opens your heart and helps you hear the voice of spirit guiding your life. Expressing gratitude for such spiritual guidance inspires you with the knowledge that you are not alone in your journey through life and strengthens your sense of connection with the universe.
An affirmation that can be helpful in this regard is the following by poet e. e. cummings reminding us to affirm ourselves and life in this way: “I thank you God for this most amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky: and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes.”
Acknowledge the blessings of who you are and what you already have, even if you do not necessarily feel this way. You can start with feeling blessed for being alive, followed by other blessings in your life. Continue the practice by repeating the mantra “I am a blessed being” or “I bless myself, my fellow human beings, and the earth no matter what.” Keep a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others assist you.
Celebrating the holidays without expectations can be challenging even for those of us who live an authentic life. How many of us dread the holidays because we have difficulty saying no, declining an invitation, or setting firm boundaries with our family members? Whether it be family traditions we feel obligated to continue, or relatives we feel we must visit, our minds are filled with endless to-do lists, expectations and obligations at this particular time of year. Instead of it being a time of beauty, quiet reflection, and a celebration of our hearts, it becomes stressful and anxiety-ridden trying to live up to the expectations of ourselves and others.
As the holidays approach, we often have difficulty finding time in our busy schedules to be quiet and listen inwardly. Yet, this automatically sets us up to follow the dictates of our head instead of our heart. These mental dictates such as “I must” or “I should” can get us into situations in which we would rather not be involved, such as going to a family holiday gathering we would prefer not to attend. Such an expectation or obligation can also be triggered when a person suddenly calls and asks if you are free without telling you the plans they have in mind. You then may feel obligated to answer “yes,” leaving you vulnerable to committing to an event in which you may have no interest in or may compromise you in an unhealthy way.
In such situations, it is essential that you practice healthy detachment. Patterns such as approval seeking, people pleasing, or insecurity surface especially during the holidays because they are so fraught with expectations. Red flags such as blame, attack or defensiveness signal that a pattern has emerged. Practice pausing when you react, stepping back from the situation and asking yourself: Why am reacting to this person or situation? What is going on with me that I need to shift? Instead of taking another person’s reaction personally, stay detached by not trying to fix their problem, work out their issues, and remind them that you love them and are hear for them. Next, instead of reacting in anger, frustration or irritation, respond from a more positive perspective—for instance, asking if you can call the person back. Finally, affirm to yourself that you always have the power of choice and inform the person of your preference.
For example, I have hosted Thanksgiving at my home for almost thirty years. I look forward to creating a sacred celebration completely different from the chaotic, tumultuous, and conditional holidays I experienced as a child. This year, however, my daughter being separated from her boyfriend while attending medical school decided to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with him. At the same time, my son and daughter-in-law having just moved into their new home invited my husband and me to spend it with them. Instead of laying a guilt trip on my children for not coming home for the holiday, I had to let go of any expectation that Thanksgiving was at my house and with my entire family. Not having an expectation, I wasn’t setting myself or anybody else up for disappointment. I wanted my children to share the holiday with me not out of obligation but from their true intent of what was best for them. So I graciously accepted my son’s invitation.
Then I fielded the next curve ball when my husband decided that he wanted to stay home. First, I had let go of my children coming home now I was being challenged to let go of my husband and I being together-we had never been apart for the holidays. At first, I offered every accommodation I could come up with such as driving instead of flying, bringing our dog Cammi with us, staying at a hotel, and getting an early start home. His preference, however, was to have relaxing down time. As much as I wanted to share this time with him, I knew I must release any expectation and let it all be. I am now flying to Washington DC by myself for Thanksgiving.
Having expectations of ourselves, others, or situations can create energy blocks that interrupt the flow of positive energy because, in becoming attached to particular outcomes, we set ourselves up for disappointment. Not honoring our hearts, leads to resentment and stifles the creation of new possibilities. Moreover, attachments to specific results often prohibit the possibility of even better outcomes by keeping us locked within certain perimeters of intention and perspective.
- Be receptive to new experiences, ideas, and people in your daily routine. Let go of any comfort zones, expected outcomes, and welcome the enhanced love, joy, and play that streams into your life.
- Practice letting things be. Focus your energies on your own life, and stop micromanaging others. Encourage yourself to live without judging present situations or resenting past ones.
- Make more discerning choices by listening to your heart instead of your head. If anyone or anything does not feel aligned with your authentic self, trust your intuition, and change the situation as soon as possible.
- Give yourself permission to break with tradition: Give yourself permission to take time for yourself. Be open to creating new experiences and breaking the predictable patterns of what you’ve always done around the holidays. Take a short get-away, visit friends, and spend more relaxed time with yourself.
- Practice giving yourself permission by doing one or both of the following activities: (a) Telling yourself, “I give myself permission to __________.” (b) Expressing your authentic self in some way.
Regard such shifts as natural life occurrences, seeing parallels in the natural world. This allows you to act in ways that direct more of your creative energies into new possibilities for your future.
Let go of relationships that tie you to the past and are no longer appropriate for your life while sustaining the others through healthy detachment and unconditional love.
Clear potential energy blocks so that you remain an open channel of creative energy. Be sure to release any pattern of resistance or avoidance, which only intensifies your transition and in some cases produces a physical, emotional, or financial crisis.
De-clutter your environment with people or things that are inappropriate to your being, drain your physical energy and generate stagnancy and illness.
Slow down, breathe, and ground yourself. Spending time in nature, getting into water such as a bath, shower or pool, taking a walk or doing yoga will calm and center your energies.
Moving through life from one transition to another without resistance, avoidance, or energy blocks allows us to open to these new possibilities and develop spiritually.
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to just be? People close to you may have ideas about how you should live your life, ideas that can come from love and the desire for you to be happy. At other times, they can come from a place of need within them-whether it is the parent who wants you to live out his or her dreams or the friend or spouse who wants you to play an a defined role. You can appreciate and consider those people’s input, but ultimately you must follow your own heart.
Giving ourselves permission to “be” allows us to let go of our preconceived notions and beliefs of how we think we “should” live and choose to follow our heart. Remember, when we had twenty minutes for recess? The bell would ring, and for twenty precious minutes, time stood still and the universe of possibility opened up to us. As children, we yielded to this freedom of spirit knowing that nothing else mattered. However, as adults, we feel resigned, overwhelmed, and fatigued from the challenging pace of endless to do lists and tasks that require our time and attention. In the doing process, we lose a sense of ourselves, trapped in our roles and identities. It is crucial to our well-being that we must give ourselves permission to do what makes our heart sing and what makes our being come alive.
So much of our lives is spent pleasing or seeking approval from others whether it’s our boss, partner or family member. We validate our existence from these outside sources instead of trusting our inside source. Yet, our brain stores patterns, mindsets, and beliefs that dictate what we “should do” instead of what our heart desires. We must give ourselves permission to dance in the light, play in the possibilities and fully express who we are.
The spiritual principle of permission is essential to channeling information to guide our choices for well-being, abundance and fulfillment. This powerful tool can set us free from the negative thought processes that keep us in our confined comfort zones. It clears the way for us to make the discerning choices that are closer to our soul’s journey.
I give myself permission to:__________________.
Give yourself permission to just be.