There’s been a lot of buzz around this word, intention. And by buzz I mean it’s been buzzing around my head, mostly. I hear it a lot, so what’s the deal? It must be some kind of super power because people I admire use it and they are winning at life right now. When my yoga teacher talks about it; “set an intention for your practice” at the beginning of every class, I think, “get through pigeon pose” or if I’m feeling zen-ish I’ll think “gratitude” But this is not about yoga. This is about intention and I intend to get to the bottom of it. See what I did there 😉
Recently, I’ve been feeling…blah. It’s the best way I could describe it; I’m motivated but eh, not really. I knew my morning routine needed some serious revamping. I whined about it to a wise friend, “I wish I could wake up confident in the direction my career is going you know, like the progress I’m making is actually getting me closer to where I want to be” and they kindly suggested I set an intention before I get my day started. So I was like “Cool, yea, I’ll try it”.
I woke up the next day, asked myself “what’s your intention for today?” and then I thought, “What the fuck does that mean?” You know when you think you know what something means but you only know the surface? I was shocked. I had read about it and heard from friends that waking up and setting intentions was the way to manifest your deepest desires but I never thought to ask what that actually entailed. All this time I thought, Intention: The thing that pushes me to meet my goals. The reason behind what I do. The why. If there’s a sound associated with this ‘thing’, it would be the OOMPH. But something was missing, so I turned to the dictionary. On my phone. Here’s what I found: “An act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. A purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct.” With these definitions side by side, I started to see where I had missed the mark.
It became clearer when I chatted with a friend over smoothies, recently, yes, smoothies, (so f’in fancy) about a talented actress, who we both just found out is also a brilliant playwright. We raved about her, in awe. We were both like “when does she have time to be on a major television show ANNNND write amazing plays that are being produced all over the country?! And of course, I don’t know her life but it seems like she’s got that *Zing, you know, that fire that makes you GO, GO, GO…that OOMPH. As I sipped on my Elvis Alive (the smoothie) I wondered when that Zing would come for me. When I would finally wake up and carpe diem…
When I read “An intention becomes your road map to ultimately achieving your goal” in one of my favorite wellness blogs, Sakara, I silently screamed “yaaasss!” Then I asked an artist mentor of mine if he uses intention in his work and he said “It helps to keep me focused, but you also have to keep a fluidity of life…not be so rigid where you can’t adapt or adjust to anything else” That really resonated with me. Set your intentions but stay present and in the moment.
Here’s what I learned: I was already setting intentions but when they became specific it made a world of difference; my intentions are more than just passive nouns, they are verbs. So how do I figure out what my intention is? I apply it to something in my life that needs a little Zing; like my recent morning Blahs for example. I learned that for me it has to start the night before, sometimes I’ll sit crossed legged, eyes closed and say, out loud “I intend to sleep like a queen-uninterrupted, I intend to attract the right projects that will take my career to the next level, I intend to smile more…” Sometimes it happens during a quick sun salutation. No matter how I get to it I always end expressing gratitude. The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t have to be a chore or another task to worry about, you can start with small intentions and eventually you’ll get comfortable enough to apply them to your bigger goals. It’s a short practice that truly has shifted my energy-well, when I do it. 🙂
*Zing: I made it up. Simply put, a burning desire.