Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Creating and Setting Intentions

In The Complete I Ching, Alfred Huang writes, "The intention behind each action determines its effect. Our intentions and our actions affect not only ourselves but also others. If we believe that every intention and action evolves as we progress on our spiritual journeys, then if we act consciously we evolve consciously, but if we act unconsciously we evolve unconsciously."

As we choose to live intentionally, we become active participants in the creative process at work in our lives. We evolve consciously, being proactive in the creation of our lives rather than reactive and involved unconsciously (our habitual responses).

We take charge. We are aware. We create from our intentions, and our lives flourish as a result of our intentional living.

Intentional choices make for intentional, conscious results. Intentions invite us to explore and discover our life circumstances, calling us to creatively live our lives.

When we set an intention, we put our life force into its generation. It becomes our reference point, guiding our experience. Instead of reacting to situations with habitual responses, we hold our intention and use it to direct the experience.

Creating an intention begins by asking what you want for yourself and in your life. You can write these down as they come. These will form the basis for your intentions. Choose one that stands out to you the most, one that would result in a lot of your other wants falling into place as well.

From here, reframe it using action verbs. These are words that are affirmative and active in nature and bring you into the moment. Leave out words that point to a particular difficulty such as worry, fear, or doubt. Use words that express freedom from such a difficulty. For example, if you want to be less stressed in your life, your intention might read as "I live freely and peacefully. I trust my choices," rather than "I live a life without stress." Other examples include:
I experience joy in my life.
I connect with all of life.
I live an abundant life, doing what I love.
I act...
I express...
I create...
I realize...
I appreciate...

Note the difference between an affirmation and an intention. Intentions use action-oriented words; whereas affirmations use being-oriented (affirmations use state-of-being verbs and are typically "I AM" statements, such as "I am happy"). Using affirmations is a good starting point when we begin to consciously create our lives, but intentions generate more accountability. Using active words encourages us to align ourselves, in the moment, with the given intention. When we want to break through layers of habitual thought states, intentions directly influence our experiences in a dynamic way.

Once you create an intention, it's time to activate it. Work with it in a way that feels best for you. You can journal about it, chant it during meditation, place it on a vision board, display it in a prominent place as a reminder, repeat it, sing it, etc.

Pay attention to the physical and energetic sensations in your body as you work with it. Make sure that it resonates with you. A timely intention will enliven you; it will feel good and right within and may even feel a little risky. It will naturally generate the desire within you to move and create.

Happy creating!

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