The Power of Intention and how to use it to become healthier.

“The sages of India observed thousands of years ago that our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires. The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” -Deepak Chopra

I have to admit this word “Intention” is one I have heard over and over again for the last 10 years at Buddhist meetings and in books, yet it never really resonated with me.  It seemed so broad and general, or too deep for me to really understand how I can use it in a practical way.  I’m not sure why all of a sudden this word “intention” is taking over my life.  For some reason, I feel that I need to deeply study, understand, and apply it.

A few weeks ago I had a strong feeling that I needed to read a book by Wayne Dyer.  In a few different books I’ve read, this man has been mentioned as a great mentor and spiritual teacher.  So, I chose to listen to his book “The Power of Intention” on audible (read by Mr. Dyer himself, I love that.)   A whole book on intention, that turned out to be equally incredibly inspiring, and confusing.  I’m now listening to it a second time and getting even more out of it, but I might need to listen a third, or forth time, I don’t know.

What I’ve found is that I’m starting to understand the word “intention” in a spiritual way.   I mean, of course I understand the meaning of the word intention in regular life, like, “my intention was to go to the gym but I got so busy at work I lost track of time”.   I get that.  But what is my intention in the deeper parts of my life; what are my intentions in my relationships, in my career?  What are my intentions as I make some pretty big decisions in my life?   I see now how powerful it is to get clear on these things.  How having a clear intention is like clearing a road to achieving your desires in the most meaningful way.  Dyer says that “intention is a force that is in the universe and that we all have within us.  Intention is a field of energy.”  Wow, that’s deep, right.

This week in my innovative nutrition class we spent a solid amount of time covering the topic “intention”.  How ironic, or perfect for me as I’m finally getting a grasp on this word and how I can use it to propel forward.

Here are some of my take aways I would like to share about setting intentions:

  • An intention is NOT a goal. An intention focuses on feelings.  Yet this process provides the foundations for setting effective goals.
  • Intentions are tied to personal values, they reinforce a belief in your potential.
  • An intention connects to a greater purpose – what you want to contribute to the greater world.
  • Intention is a way of being, or mindset;  it is who and how you want to live your life.
  • An intention bridges where you are now with where you want to be in the future.
  • Your intention is YOURS and no one else.

In my class, we did some writing assignments where we explored what our intentions are for taking this course. These kinds of exercises are very powerful.  I think if we all sat down and dug a little deeper into what our intentions are with our relationships and the decisions we make, we all would better align our actions with our hearts.

In health and wellness, I think if we set our intention on a more profound level, we could more easily get to where we want to be.  It’s less work when our intention is to feel good rather than lose weight.  If our intention is health from the inside out, we wouldn’t question what to eat, it would be a simple answer, whole nutritious foods.  If our intention is to feel wonderful, we would go out and take a walk or bike ride in the sunshine.  Things become less of a chore and more of an honor.  When we set an intention the answers and pathways open up like golden gates to making our desires a reality.

When you commit to an intention, write it down and recommit everyday, you feel sure in your heart that this is the right way to go.  Even if you fall off track you can get back to your intention.  It’s unique to you.   It’s exciting to me to have this clarity, I hope I made some sense here.  If not, that’s okay.  I’m just now feeling like I get it and I know I’ve got a long way to go.  Maybe I’ll blab more on this topic later.  For now, here is a really healthy exercise you can try:

Pick any part of your life you want to gain clarity into.  For example, you might feel like you want to get married, or you want to start a business, or you want to lose weight or get closer to someone.  Write that down, then under that write “in order to….” And answer that, and under that answer write “in order to…”, and under that write “in order to….”  Until you gain clarity on what your true intention is.

So, “I want to lose weight in order to run around and play with my children, in order to feel happy in my skin, in order to connect with the ones I love on another level, in order feel healthy and full of energy, in order to feel like my best self.”   Through this exercise you can get deeper into your intention on a more meaningful level.  Write it down and return to it daily.  Your intention will become you, and then it is bound to be.

Have fun!


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