New Moon Intentions Part 3 of 3: My Ritual

In the last couple of days, I shared my philosophy on intention setting as well as my personal experience with the practice. Today, I will share my actual process, the steps I take during each new moon. Please remember, this is not magic, it’s not The Secret, and it’s not The Law of Attraction.

This is about aligning our thoughts, emotions, and actions with our deepest spirit-led desires. This ritual is an invocation, an announcement to (the Divine, God, the universe, Source, the quantum field – whatever you want to call it), which becomes a co-creation that manifests in our physical reality.

Step 1 – Write Intentions, Rough Draft
In the week prior to the new moon, my mind is on my intentions. As I move through life, all sorts of things pop into my head – refinements to current situations or the desire to manifest new ones. Every time I have a thought like, I could really use some clarity on the book that I’m writing. I’ll email myself with the title “Intentions” and I’ll put “Clarity on my book” in the body of the email. As the week progresses, I reply to that email with new possible intentions.

It’s likely that you don’t think like I do, so you’ll need to find your own process. To start, simply block out some time and space to sit and think about your life. Consider all areas: career, social life, love life, family life, your personality, mental health, physical health, spiritual health, financial health… all of it. Then write some intentions. They can be centered around situations, things, or qualities such as a new job, money, or to be a kinder person. It’s okay to dream big here, and there’s no need feel guilty about it – this is YOUR life! Live it!

A Course In Miracles, a modern-day metaphysical text, says we do not ask God for too much, but for too little. No intention is too big or too small – or too selfish.

Step 2 – Prepare the Space
Pick a spot where you feel comfortable, that is free of distraction. The rest of what I’m about to share here in Step 2 is optional. In Step 3, we’ll be clearing our mental space and tuning into nature’s vibrations with a centering meditation and this is really all we need to do. The rest is just a nice-to-have.

You can clear the energy of the space ahead of time with sage (you can buy this at any natural food store) or palo santo. You can also bring other objects into the space like crystals, flowers, incense, anything that makes you feel more connected to nature. We want to tune into nature, because it’s the abundant energy of the universe that will be aiding us in these manifestations.

Make sure to have a fresh piece of paper and a pen. Blue is the color of spirit, so I like to use a blue ink pen – puts me in the mood. 🙂

Step 3 – Centering Meditation
I am in the process of creating a YouTube channel where I will share some guided meditations such as this Centering Meditation or the Love and Gratitude Meditation in Step 4. But for now, you’ll need to do this on your own.

The point of this meditation is to tune into your own spirit energy. Believe it or not, despite physically inhabiting this energy, many of us are disconnected from it. A good centering meditation will put you into closer communion with your higher self, your intuition – the very part of you that knows your needs and your deepest desires. This is the home of self-care and self-worth.

Wherever you are with this is okay. It takes most of us quite a bit of practice to be able focus during a meditation, let alone to tap into this place on demand. Whatever happens, just know that it’s perfectly fine and totally normal. The point of this is to relax, so don’t spend your time beating yourself up about getting distracted, Just refocus once you realize your mind has wandered off.

          Close your eyes.

          Sit up tall, lengthening through the spine but do not strain.

          Crown of the head reaches toward the sky. This is the part of your head where you would wear a crown.

          Notice the breath, but do not change it. Simply feel the air as it enters the nasal passages.
          You might notice that it is cooler as you inhale, and slightly warmer as you exhale, see if you can notice this.

          Notice how the body feels. Scan the body, moving from the crown, noticing how your head feels, your face,
your ears, your scalp – moving on to the neck, down to the collar bone and into the chest area.
          Continue this throughout your entire body in a systematic way that works for you.

          See if you can feel your own heartbeat. If not, that’s okay – this also takes practice.
          Simply allow yourself to quiet any mind chatter.

          Take a deep inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth with an audible sigh. Repeat twice.
          You can do this as many times as feels good.

          Match the length of the inhale and the length of the exhale, counting for 4.

          Set an intention to be fully present with this process.
To be graceful and loving toward yourself and to be open to new ideas.

Do not get tripped up by the order here. Do not worry about a thing. There is absolutely no wrong way to do this. Do what feels good to you. Do you. That’s what this is all about. Be gentle, and graceful, and loving with yourself. Always, always. In all ways.

Step 4 –  Re-write Your Intentions
Now that we’re in a more centered space, it’s time to look at our intentions again.

Pick up your list and read through each one. Notice if you’re feeling a sense of guilt with your intentions. You deserve everything you want. You deserve a good life. Do your best to own this idea. For a long time, I had to “fake it till you make it”. And that’s okay! This entire process is an act of self-love. There is no one in this universe that deserves your love more than you do. Notice any guilt or lack of worth you might be feeling and know that it’s okay. Have compassion for yourself and commit to acts of self-love like this one. You will get there.

If you read my post yesterday, you should have a good idea of what a spirit-centered intention is like, versus an ego-centered intention. Get real with yourself and decide whether what you wrote came from a place of fear, lack, or insecurity, or if it came from a place of wanting what’s necessary for your soul to shine, to be a positive force in this world.

Pick your top five asks. You can certainly pick more but this will keep your energy more specifically directed, which is much more potent. This is also in the interest of time, as we’ll be sitting with each intention once again in the next step.

Re-write each intention on a new sheet of paper. There are times for specificity and times to keep it more general. Focus on the desired outcome, as opposed to the “how”. For example, I had a complicated situation with an ex that I was in business with. I set the intention “Resolution with (ex’s name)” as opposed to “For (ex’s name) to leave the business/move away/etc.” A week later, resolution came. It was dramatic and I wasn’t prepared for it, but it happened so quickly and powerfully that a very complicated situation resolved in the most unexpected of ways, allowing us both to move on with our lives. Putting the “how” down actually limits possibility. Rather than asking for someone to quit their job so you can move into their position, ask for a more fulfilling role/more money/more responsibility, etc.

Once you’ve re-written your list, go back and add “or something better” to the end of each item. This allows for divine substitution and allows for the highest good of all concerned.

Step 5 – Love and Gratitude Meditation

          Close your eyes.

          Bring to mind a person or a pet, or anything that brings in feelings of love and gratitude.
Do not pick someone or something that you have negative feelings attached to –
          like the boyfriend or girlfriend you were arguing with last night. 😉

          Take a long exhale through your mouth.

          Place one hand on your abdomen and one over your heart.

          Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth several times, making each round long and smooth.

          Move both hands to your heart and send love and gratitude throughout your body.
Thank yourself for taking the time and space for this act of self-care.

          Look at your list and read your first intention to yourself.

          Close your eyes, and visualize the reality of this outcome. Use your senses – What would it look like?
          What would it sound like? What would smell like, taste like? What would it feel like?
          Feel its results with your entire body.

“Feel the feeling of the wish fulfilled.” Dr. Wayne Dyer

          Do not worry if you are not able to visualize this fully. This is how we practice.

          Meditate on each item on your list in this same way for 1-2 minutes each.

          Finish by thanking God/Source/Universe that what you want is so.

Step 6 – Share Your Intentions
I know, I know – it’s scary. But this part is so powerful. With our voice, we weave reality. We have already brought our intentions from thought-form into physical reality by writing them out. We can bring even more power to them by bringing them into reality through sound vibrations. We send the reverberation out into nature, who acts as an ally in our effort to bring about change in our lives.

If I’m practicing this ritual with a trusted friend, I absolutely share it. My most powerful manifestations have come about in this practice. I’m not a church-goer and I am not religious, but I do ascribe to biblical truths that I have seen validated in my own life and so I must quote,

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on Earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

Step 7 – Put Some Energy Behind It
You must take action. You must take steps forward on the path. Show the Universe that you are serious. For instance, I want to be a published author. I have been attending writer’s group meetings, posting to this blog, and have started a FB author page. I have not been just sitting around and wishing for connections or for a book deal. I am taking action.

We can symbolically put energy into it as well. I like to do ten sun salutations with my intentions folded and underneath the corner of my mat. I hold the feeling of gratitude for their fulfillment with each move. My manifestations have gotten faster since I’ve added this piece into my ritual. And if you’re not a yogi, hold the intentions in your right hand (that masculine and action oriented side of you) and go on a brisk five minute walk in nature. Put your physical energy into this symbolic gesture. God loves symbolic gestures.

Step 8 – Keep Them Near You
I like to fold them up and put them in my wallet, then forget about them. They have my energy all over them and I believe they act as an unconscious reminder of the path I’m headed on. I also believe they act as a magnet, drawing in people and situations that help me along my path.

That’s it!
Now, relax. Do not get mental about it – we never want to think of these outcomes from a place of fear or doubt. Do your best to let the intention go. Clinginess will not allow it to manifest. It’s important that we have faith, trust in the universe, confidence, and positive physical sensations whenever we think about our intentions.

We must realize that we are deserving of the things we’re asking for. I’ve had much greater success manifesting crazy career situations because I’ve always felt very competent that way. I have not, however, been able to manifest a healthy relationship because until recently, I didn’t believe that I deserved one, so I wasn’t able to envision or create it. Faith is key. If you don’t believe you have the power to do this, then you won’t. However, faith can grow. So we simply keep trying and we have patience with the process.

Don’t take any of this too seriously – life is meant to be fun and playful. And… you’re welcome to use this, obviously, but remember that it’s okay for you to make this your own! Give this process your own unique flavor. Let yourself shine through in life. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions!

I love you.

New Moon Intentions, Part 1 of 3: Introduction

I believe ritual is a necessary part of a vibrant spiritual practice and there is a reason that all the major religions contain them. It is a demarcation, an acknowledgment that brings significance to events whether it be a union, a rite of passage, or in this case – a sacred act that demonstrates ones commitment to living a purposeful and divinely inspired life. This is a time that is set aside for reflection, a time to get in touch with our deepest desires and to move energy in those directions. When we know what we want, we can begin to align our inner and outer worlds, which results in much greater satisfaction and joy in life.

In farming traditions, the new moon is a time when the soil is most fertile and is considered the beginning of a growth phase, an ideal time to plant seeds. This is symbolic as well, allowing us a fresh start in our circumstances with each new cycle. We set intentions, “plant seeds” in the garden of our hearts and minds to bring about positive changes in our lives.

Tuning into the natural cycles of the moon brings us back into connection with our bodies, feelings, and our natural environment. I read some time ago that a woman’s most natural rhythm is to get her period during the New Moon. Not only is this the first phase in the feminine cycle, but it contains the quality of reflection and introspection – a perfect time to look within and get clear on what we want.

Due to hormones in our food, birth control, city lights, and a variety of other factors, many of us have fallen out of phase. This has been validated in my own life. In the several months that I’ve been focused on my health and well-being I have personally experienced a shift, with my period arriving on the New Moon like clock-work after decades of misalignment. If you don’t currently cycle with the moon, there are many ways to move into a more natural rhythm.

One need not be a woman or have a period to benefit from intention setting. The act of “planting seeds” alone consciously directs our energy in the direction we set out. Just like when we want tomatoes, we plant tomato seeds – our minds work the same way.

An easy example to understand how we direct energy is the simple act of waking up in the morning. We wake up and we think, “I need to get up and get ready for work.” The thought alone is sent as an energetic signal through our nervous system, which in turn activates our muscles, bones, and ligaments. Our bodies go to work for us, moving energy in the direction of our thought. Soon, we are physically moving – we getting up and getting ready to go to work. The thought “I need to get up for work” results in the reality that you physically get up for work. Our thoughts create reality and our life’s circumstances are the direct result of a thought we had at some point. They are the seeds and our circumstances are its fruit.

Through setting intentions, we calibrate or tune in – like a radio receiver that switches stations and finds clarity, you too are able to better tune into people or situations that may help you move along your desired pathway. It brings awareness to our lives. For example, if I have “loving, kind, and committed romantic relationship” as an intention, dating becomes “conscious dating”. Knowing what I want here keeps me on the path toward getting it, so I don’t get carried away in a relationship that is not aligned with what I want.

There are so many ways to look at it. It’s also like a non-secular prayer, on a schedule. It’s an act that relies on the divinity within and our connection to the universe to bring forth that which wants to come forth in our lives. We are incredibly powerful creatures and in fact, we are creators – I believe this is what is meant in the Bible when it is said that we were created in God’s likeness. We have so much more potential than we’ve been led to believe. This is a way of tapping into that power.

Setting intentions at the beginning of each moon cycle is one of my favorite ways to connect with my spirit. This is time and space that has been set aside to check in with myself – to take an honest look at my life. Because it honors the rhythm of nature, it also serves a reminder of the connection we have to Mother Earth and To Great Spirit. Recognizing their presence removes any sense of isolation I might feel, and performing this ritual with others brings me into communion with them as well.

Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my personal experiences with this process and on Saturday, I’ll post with my actual process so that you can give it a try if you’re inclined. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

I love you.

Feeling The Love

The following is a post that I made in 2010 on my then-church’s blog during a mission trip to Thailand. I am posting it here today because it informs a post that I will be here sharing tomorrow. It lays the groundwork for changes that I made in my life following this trip as well as the realizations that have unfolded since. Much like my trip to India, Thailand was a transformational experience for me and shifted the nature of my spiritual path.

April 2, 2010

I noticed today that the only word the girls can spell in English is LOVE.

I came on this trip because I could feel a well inside of me overflowing with love and I wanted to share. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for little girls that takes root in childhood experiences that would dampen this post if detailed, so I’ll skip it for now. Suffice it to say, I can relate to these girls on a deeper level.

The thing that’s ironic about my initial thoughts is that while I have been sharing my love with these girls, it is really them that have been showing me the love. Somehow I thought it would be work to get them to trust me, but from the moment I first stepped onto the grounds of Udon Thani Orphanage, they loved me. Two girls immediately took my hands and showed me around. It wasn’t long before I had a posse of four to look after my every need. They’ve carried my bag, gotten my chairs, brought me fans to stay cool, made me pictures, and on and on. These same four girls have been by my side every moment since.

When the vans pull up in the morning, the girls come running with open arms and vibrant smiles. When the vans pull away in the evening, the girls stay by the window waving and making the ‘I love you’ sign with their hands. So far, I’ve been okay leaving the orphanage in the evening (and even somewhat relieved after several very exhausting days), but I know that on our last day there will be no relief. I know this because even the thought of saying goodbye to these beautiful children brings up buried emotions.

Despite my sadness at leaving, these last few days have been healing for me. I know that despite the ugliness I had to experience, there IS love out there, all you need to do is reach for it.

My overflowing well of love is now more like a river that I hope will spill out onto the banks of my life to be shared with everyone in it. Whether I know you or not, I love you and I think these girls probably do too.

All my love,
Stephanie