Some days are just better than others - you know the ones, where you go to bed with a deep sense of calm and satisfaction, thinking "that was a great day". What is it that makes the difference? And, spoiler alert - it is neither chocolate, nor wine nor holidays. It is intention.
Many people talk about intention- but what is it exactly? Without really understanding what it is, you cannot put it to work in your life. I've heard wasted a lot of great days just 'sort of' understanding it and not tapping into the full power in my life.
So let's get to the point: When I say intention in this post, I mean coherence of thought and action. This means that you identify what you want, and then actually take steps to achieve this. Sounds easy - but is it?
I’m a yogi - it is what centres me and gives me bliss: It is the rock in my life that never left me - that thing I could always do, always go back to, and know I would come back from my practice feeling better. I've been doing this nearly twenty years. In most of the classes I took, the teachers started off asking us to think of an intention for the class. I did, or I thought i did. I usually took the first thing that came into my mind, trying not to overthink - things like : I should be nicer to the people I love, I want to support my husband even more, I want to spend better time with my kids...
I would think on this at the beginning of practice, circle round with an OM at the end of the class, and then more or less completely forget about it. My mistake was in thinking that this was enough- that by sending my wish and my good energy out into the world, the universe would do its work. Nuh uh.
What was missing, was obviously follow through on my part - a commitment to taking the actions to making my happen. What would I have to do or stop doing; what do I need to prioritize so that this can actually work? This is the key, and what no one was telling me.
Intention without action is just a wish
When you treat intentions like wishes, they have no power. Maybe they will happen, but maybe not. Out of your hands, right? WRONG. Intentions are in your hands, when you commit to following through. Mine had no power - because I had not given them my commitment. The universe does have your back, but she's not keen to do all the work alone. If you want to win the lottery, buy the damn lottery ticket!
So what changed? One thing that really helped me see this was the 5 minute Journal. It wasn’t the first time I was doing this either, but it was probably the most important. My sister knew I was going through a dark spot in my life, and sent it to me as a gift. This time, there was a different level of commitment on my part - I was going to do this damn journal every day, because if i didn’t, I was lost. The journal was one thing keeping me on the other side of fear, self pity, low vibe emotions.
It's a really simple gratitude practice with huge rewards - and seriously takes five minutes, twice a day. You start the day by listing three things you are grateful for, and identifying three things that would make your day great. At the end of the day- you list three great things that happened during the day, as well as a quick reflection on how you could have made the day better.
Now often the things you write down in the morning are not the same great things that you notice by the evening - this can happen, because there should always be room for surprises, spontaneity, miracles, for changing your mind. But, they should be lining up at least from time to time. That is YOU turning an idea into an intention, by doing something to make it happen. I noticed, that when the three amazing things I listed at the end of day, matched what I had written down as what would make my day great - I just felt better. More satisfied. Like my time was well spent.
Want to experience the power of intention? Practice it - often! Participate in your life, don't just read this - try it yourself.
- Think about something in your life that you want to happen, to change or to resolve. Give it the full attention of your mind, heart and body.
- Write down it down.
- Think of at least one small action that would take you closer to getting there, and put it in place.
- Reflect at the end of the day, whether your day feels better (it should).
This is how to Live. On. Purpose.