Creating Meaningful Intentions
With a new year often comes new year’s resolutions. Perhaps you’ve engaged in a detailed process of resolution-making, or perhaps you’ve resolved to NOT make any resolutions! Either way, the choice was motivated, and will influence the pathway you take going forward. To foster growth, develop personally meaningful intentions.
An intention is a point of mental focus, and provides energy to our actions. Everything we do and think has an intention behind it. However, in our busy lives we may not even recognise what our intentions are in certain situations. How do we move from a state of perpetual busyness and endless distractions, to one of clarity and calmness? Meditation fosters these qualities, and adding an intention to one’s meditation practice offers up a lighthouse of clarity in what can seem like an endless storm of thoughts in our meditation practice, or perhaps in our daily lives.
Being clear on your intentions brings you closer to what really matters deep down in your heart. A necessary precursor to knowing what you want is self-awareness, or ability to monitor your internal world. It is through coming to stillness, and spending time in meditation, that we develop self-awareness. As the muscle of self-awareness grows, we become more in tune with who we want to be, as we simultaneously gain clarity on our goals. Gaining clarity about who you are and what really matters to you can be empowering, and ignite the self-confidence that will enable you to create positive change in your life.
One approach to developing intentions that is grounded in ancient yoga traditions is the concept of sankalpa, or inner resolve. Richard Miller, who founded iRest yoga nidra, or iRest for short, describes a three-stage process for developing a sankalpa. Miller describes sankalpas as powerful internal agreements that you make with yourself, and then express over time.
The first step to developing a sankalpa is to set an intention, or short statement of positive intent for your practice. Miller recommends that we phrase our intentions in the present tense, as if they are already true. As Miller describes, using the present tense “enables your subconscious mind to register your intentions as actualities, instead of possibilities, giving them greater power to materialize.” (Miller, 2016)
Through the process of formulating your intentions as present-tense statements, you create the possibility of change. Even if it’s only an image you create during your meditation practice, an intention is the first, and powerful step, towards realising your true desires.
I’d be honoured to be part of your journey towards understanding, and moving towards, your intentions for the year ahead.
Miller, R. (2016). The staying power of intention. Yoga Journal, https://www.irest.org/News26Intention-RM