Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Setting Intentions

The time of transition at the end of the year is a wonderful opportunity to take a moment and set intentions for how we would like the coming year to be for us. In truth, of course, we cannot accurately predict the future, so we must always release attachment to the actual outcome of our intentions. We must also factor in that the unexpected will happen at some point along the way, but this uncertainty about the outcome only adds to the excitement of life as it unfolds moment-to-moment.

Still, an amazing and almost miraculous thing occurs when we consciously set intentions: the entire universe joins with us and takes care of the details. All we have to do is pay attention to what needs to be done moment-by-moment in our daily lives (and anything we pay attention to will thrive, eventually), and give the intention over to the universe and its supply of infinite potential.

Begin by writing down your intentions and desires for the new year. Write them in first person and present tense (e.g., "I have" rather than "I will have"). Be specific about these intentions. As a Lakota sweatlodge leader once told me, "Be careful how you pray for things, because if you pray for a new car, you might get one in a crosswalk someday." The more specific you can make your intentions, the easier it is for you to do the next step.

Read over your list of intentions and desires as often as you can. When you do this, allow yourself to feel the emotional experience of having each one of them fulfilled. This is a present moment emotional experience, not a fantasy of how you think you will feel. Let yourself feel the desire and intention as being fulfilled in this moment.

Finally, let go of the outcome and the emotional feeling of it, and give it all over to the universe. This is the most important step, because you must release your attachment to the outcome of your intentions if they are to become reality. Clinging to your desires with a closed fist will prevent you from receiving the gift of the intention.

Your job now is to pay attention to what needs to be done moment-to-moment to manifest your intentions and desires. Again, be sure to include the unexpected in your plans, because we really don't know how these things will actually become reality. Remember, too, that all obstacles carry with them the seeds of opportunity, so don't get discouraged by seeming set backs along the way.

With the universe handling the infinity of details that it has at its disposal, and with you managing the moment-to-moment details of paying attention to your intentions, your desires will manifest themselves. It may not happen in the time you expect (or want) them to occur, and they will probably come to you in unexpected and surprising ways. However, all intentions and desires will manifest themselves in their season.

Until one is committed there is always hesitancy,
the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
There is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:
the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising to one’s favor all manner of unforeseen accidents and meetings
and material assistance which no man could have dreamed
would come his way.
Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ~ Attributed to Goethe


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