At the beginning of most yoga classes, participants are asked to set an intention for their practice.
And I really like that ritual. It helps to focus the mind and remind ourselves why we’re there. It is not often during the week that we get that opportunity to really decide what we want out of our next hour.
But what if we did give ourselves that opportunity? What if every day, even throughout the day, we stopped to remind ourselves what we’d like out of our next hour?
This is something that I’ve been playing around with lately. I notice that if I’m not intentional with my time, I default to zombie land.
Zombie land is when you’re just zoning out in life and letting thoughts thrash you around.
If someone cuts you out in traffic, zombie mode immediately defaults to anger. Or a recent example of my zombie land was when my husband and I finally went on a mini-vacation. We hadn’t been anywhere for a long time and really needed a break.
But instead of setting an intention to not allow anything get in the way of relaxing, I flew off the handle at a small inconsiderate comment made by my husband.
Was that really necessary? Nope. Most married people would agree that 99% of these annoying little comments should be ignored. Was it worth it to ruin the weekend over it? Again nope. But I wasn’t living in intention. So I made it a big deal and ruined the weekend.
I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’d like to be on my spiritual journey. If I’m at point A, how do I get to point B. I have to be honest with you, I don’t really know. I’ve written a lot about self-acceptance and how we are already “there.” Buddhists believe we are already at point B. There is no need for all this striving and grasping for something that we inherently already are.
And while this is true, my ruined weekend proves that I still have some shining up to do. Wiping away the mud that dulls my brilliance is WORK. I am prone to selfishness and let my anxiety get the best of me sometimes.
But I notice that when I set an intention, it creates space for my higher self to step into.
The intention allows me to change out of my dirty petticoat and step into a beautiful ball gown. There is no striving. No beating myself to be “better.” All I have to do is STEP IN. The Jessica who is patient, kind and living life to the fullest is there. But I need to create room for her.
You see, it is human nature to step up to the plate. To want to do better. To be who you really are. Who you know you can be. So when you call upon yourself to be better, to vibrate at a higher frequency, you WILL meet yourself at that heightened state.
And you will begin to feel so good about yourself that you won’t let anything come in the way of maintaining that intention. That resolve will be tested. But you will only get stronger and stronger as you continue to prove yourself right.
So I challenge you to start setting intentions outside of Yoga. And I will too! I think you’ll notice that when you do, you really start stepping up to meet yourself. The best version of yourself comes shining through.
Here are a few situations where intentions can be helpful:
1. At the beginning of each day
2. Commuting to work (road rage is REAL!)
3. Interacting with someone you don’t like
4. Any type of customer service call
5. Before you meet your kids/husband at the end of the day
6. Interviews/presentations or anything that is nerve racking