How do you set an intention for yourself?
I am reminded through Oprah and Deepak meditations, how the power of setting intentions drives our personal reality. Aligned with your beliefs and values, intentions create wander and put positive energy into your mind and out into the world. Why not give yourself such freedom to be creative and enjoy how it can uplift you as you believe what you see?
Before I started practicing yoga and meditating, I believe the only intentions I set were through prayer as I grew up going to church with my family, which to this day, I have such appreciation for. I didn’t have awareness around consciously setting intentions until I started hearing it in the yoga classes I would take and responding happily to it. As a competitive dancer and tumbler in my youth I definitely remember those crucial moments right before performances or competitions as I hit my mark, found my beginning post and suddenly a rant of thoughts went through my head; I'm scared, just breathe, don't mess up, do your best, don't forget to smile, just have fun Andrea, stick your landing, use facial expressions, don't bite your lip, I hope I don't fall... you get the idea. I had no idea how to control this mindless chatter with fear often highjacking the positive.
When I shifted into being an actress in my twenties, audition filled days caused a free-flowing stream of these types of rants in my head all over again. Thoughts would hang on me as I entered rooms causing me to feel in limbo between having fun and doing my best or flopping and leaving frustrated. I've always had my things I do to prepare but as I grow, I dig bringing awareness into simplifying thoughts which leads to more clarity when I need it.
As "intention" setting in yoga class migrated its way into audition rooms, my morning rituals and meditations, I knew it would be an important thing to share in the yoga classes I instruct. Encouraging others to take the moment to get still, feel right where you are, take a deep breath in and out and let an intention come to mind is a moment worthy of exploring.
After recently spending time with my nieces I realized sharing the importance of how to set an intention could inspire them as they prepared for their dance recital. When I asked them if they were excited about their show, they reminded me of myself when I was young. All the same fears and worries overpowered them being able to relax and say positive things to themselves. What a perfect time to share with them my past similarities and what I've learned that can be calming in these nerve racking situations. I reminded them that it's ok to feel nervous and that sometimes it's just excitement brewing too, which can be the little adrenaline rush you use to give it your all!
There are several ways to get to intention setting, here are a few tips to the process I often use:
- Close your eyes, get still and connect with your inhale and exhale.
- Ask yourself where you would like support?
- Think short term and in the moment.
- Invite in clarity with-in your thoughts.
- From that thought grab a positive word or phrase that inspires where you want that support.
- Your intention is set, say it to yourself as you breathe in and out a few times and let it uplift you!
Example of mine today: I will nurture myself with compassion and be proud of my accomplishments today.
I decided to have some more fun with my nieces in sharing this "intention" setting process through a company I love, called MyIntent. I met founder, Chris Pan about 2 years ago at a sunset rooftop yoga I was leading and immediately connected with him. As Chris has grown MyIntent into something authentic with purpose behind it, I get excited to share the goodness that he’s paying forward, spreading light into the world.
The girls and I sat together at the kitchen table. They all wrote on their cards what their word was and why they chose it and I took to my craftsmanship to make them their bracelets with the MyIntent maker kit. To sit and have these moments with them is priceless and better than any post I could share. I'm a fan of creating an open dialogue with our youth which gives us all permission to share what we are feeling and bring light to what we'd like our intentions to be. I'm proud of my nieces for the inspiration they give me and are putting out there for themselves.
I'm on my third word and bracelet since meeting Chris. As we shift and grow our intentions can change. I'd love to share mine because they've greatly reflected what I've brought into my life. My why included was written during the time of choosing that word.
- 2014 was Let it Happen: I often worry about the future in many aspects and even as I feel like a motivated, genuinely happy person, I create unnecessary stress by seeking results or needing to "know" how things will turn out too often. I aspire to be more present and let things organically happen. Embrace what IS here and now. Let It Happen.
- 2015 was Perspective: I catch myself easily slipping into thoughts of self doubt, frustration, and having my opinions about the way I feel about things that can be judgmental. I will challenge myself in these moments to be open and shift my perspective in a positive way, respecting all beings and inspiring a stronger sense of self acceptance. Perspective.
- 2016 is Compassion: This one was chosen for me by my guy, Erik Almas, whom also made it for me. Erik encouraged me to have better "self talk". I will be aware of the things say aloud in front of others and in my own inner dialogue. I will acknowledge the way I look at myself and see things with tenderness and compassion rather than be so critical. Compassion.
If you've done some intention setting for yourself, let me hear about it? Or perhaps you're sporting a MyIntent bracelet... what's your word? I'd love to hear from you. Have your intentions helped? Keep this circle of light swirling! Thank you guys.
Namastamy featured in photos.