As I mentioned yesterday, I have been setting intentions for a long time. I like to think of this as a form of spiritual goal setting and have used this process to move the picture of my life into greater alignment with who I really am.
In the last decade so much has, and continues, to change. I hardly recognize the insecure and fearful girl I used to be. My shape and fitness levels have improved, I have moved to sunnier climates, gone from serving in the military to more peaceful work as a yogi, writer, and entrepreneur. I have gone from jealous, suspicious, and frightened to trusting, peaceful, and loving. I have broadened my horizons, shed layers of a false identity, and moved into a place of greater authenticity. While I once felt disconnected, I now enjoy a direct, close, and ineffable relationship with the divine.
When I first started setting intentions they were super specific and tangible, as is usually suggested. I would list things like “tall, handsome, athletic and well-traveled man” or “job with a start-up that includes travel and high income”, and I was able to get both of those things quite quickly and easily. Our minds are incredibly powerful tools and with a little faith, we can manifest anything we desire – this I believe with all of my heart. The problem is, very few of us really know what we want.
On a list last year I listed:
- a “Graceful exit from Convoy” – a company that I couldn’t leave because while I was miserable in the role – they had just paid a lot to move my things from Miami to San Francisco and it would have felt unprofessional to quit.
- Enough money to start a business
- A bed & breakfast
- My own yoga studio
All of these intentions fruited within 3 months. I was laid off from my job, given a severance, and encountered a unique opportunity to rent a small hotel in Ecuador where I had my B&B and taught yoga from my own studio there. It was perhaps my most powerful list to date. The problem with this list, and specifically the B&B and yoga studio are that these were not in alignment with my spirit’s desires. I just didn’t realize it at the time. As these manifestations eventually crumbled, I came to understand the difference between creating from ego and creating from spirit.
When we allow our ego to run this process, its creations are made from fear and insecurity which makes for a fragile structure that may temporarily result in peace or happiness, but will eventually self destruct. The yoga studio I manifested was not coming from a place of higher good such as, I want to share the gift of yoga with the world. It was instead coming from a place of needing validation from the world that I deserved the title of yoga teacher. I have many examples of this such as my last two jobs in Silicon Valley, past relationships (ie. that athletic and cultured man that I landed), and several other situations.
Since leaving Ecuador and the hotel behind, I have realized the importance of aligning to my spiritual desires and forgoing any intentions that I’m not clear on. We co-create with the world around us and that brings responsibility. When I left the hotel after realizing how far out of alignment it all was, several people were negatively affected and I felt horrible. For several months after, my intentions were related to my personality and to aligning with God’s will for my life, rather than people or situations. I haven’t wanted to affect others unless perfectly clear on what I wanted. This is a poem I wrote at the time while reflecting of these ideas.
All I’ve ever known is slipping from my grasp
Beneath it is a whisper…
Let go of that which is going
My hands and mind have been like magic wands
Creating all I’ve ever wanted
But magic doesn’t last
Ego-creations can glimmer fancy in moonlight
When no shadow is cast
But they decay in the sun
And so I’ll try something new, I give it up to God
Naked and scared, I ask
Where then am I going?
There is a whisper above it all. Surrender…
There is nowhere to go.
All is coming, Love.
When we create from spirit we move into divine alignment, resulting in more solid foundations and greater joy. Our hearts are like magnets that pull in people and situations that are aligned to our frequency so it’s important to have positive feelings here, love & gratitude for what already is. A sense of bitterness, lack, or resentment will manifest bitter, lacking, and resentful situations.
Spirit centered intentions look more like this…
- A loving and emotionally supportive environment
- Alignment with my purpose
- To be kinder
- To be more loving
- To be of service in the world
- That my skills and talents be used for the greater good
- A partnership that is spiritually nourishing with someone who inspires me to be my best authentic self
The Universe is self-correcting and interested in us thriving. No matter our mis-steps, it will meet us where we are every time we want to begin again. We do not need to have it all figured out right now. Part of the beauty here is getting onto a regular schedule – using the new moon as a reminder is a great way. The more we practice this, the better we get, moving into greater alignment with our highest selves each time. Just keep an open heart and an open mind.
Tomorrow I’ll share my process in case you’d like to borrow from it in creating your own intention setting ritual.
I love you.