Cheshire Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?
Cheshire Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know
Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.
The alarm goes off and you get up, maybe you snooze it for ten. Once your feet hit the floor you go about getting ready for the day. Much of the day’s preparation is gathering thoughts like what must be done, what we will eat, wear, etc. Certainly, those bits can blow about your brain like dandelion tufts! You have launched. The day has begun.
But what if before the feet hit the floor you dedicate your day to a particular feeling, state of mind, or habit? What if you start your day with intention? “Today I will _________. “ Maybe it is cultivating a state of mind, like positivity, relaxation, joyfulness, kindness. Or maybe there is a habit that we wish to address, like healthy eating or increasing physical activity. Whatever the case, if you begin the day with an intention, you are planting seeds that can support you and nourish your soul.
Sometimes we can ask ourselves, ‘how did my life get here?’ or ‘how can I climb out of this rut I seem to be stuck in?’ The words we repeat to ourselves are enormously powerful. If we wake up and tell ourselves that it is SSDD (same sh*t, different day), then there is a high likelihood it will be. Now, there are circumstances beyond our control that can be painful, agonizing, boring, terrifying. I am not saying we need to slap on a happy face and push it all down. But maybe if we approach those circumstances from a different angle, it can make the difference. Instead of following the same rabbit hole we change things up a bit. We take charge of our inner lives and add some direction, some opportunity to change the internal conversation which can then increase our sense of well-being.
For example, if we are undergoing some emotionally painful times, we might set the daily intention to be kinder to ourselves, to tend to self-care first, or to reach out to others. If it is a habit we are dealing with, we set a positive intention. We tell ourselves we will make healthy choices today.
Here are some thoughts about maximizing success with intention setting:
- Make sure the intention is stated in a positive way. Example: Instead of saying, “I won’t smoke cigarettes today” or “I will cut out all sugar,” you might want to say, “I will focus on healthy lungs and fresh air today” or “I will make choices that support my desire to be healthy in mind, body and spirit today.”
- Schedule a few check-ins during the day to remind yourself of the intention. Natural breaks like noon or when you leave work for the day are easy to remember.
- At the end of the day take time to review. How did you do? If it was not a smashing success, do not beat yourself up! Tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start.
- Try writing your intention down and practice soaking them in during the day. When we can witness our own words and wishes they tend to stick better.
- Keeping with the same intention for several days, a week, or a month might allow you to reinforce and deepen the process.
- Resist the tendency to work on too many things at once. One or two intentions go a long way and is a simpler way to remain focused.
I recently saw this quote, “Energy flows where intention goes.” Harnessing the energy of intention is breathing life into our future being. And this future being grows from the inside out, so let’s experiment with filling our insides with what we want to manifest on the outsides.