USE THIS TO TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF DECISION MAKING
You wake up every day and go through your morning routine: coffee, breakfast, shower, getting dressed, you rush out the door to get to work and for most of the day you’re caught up in the busyness of whatever comes your way.
The next thing you know, it’s the end of the day, you’re tired, and even if you feel pretty good about how things went, you feel less than fulfilled and somewhat depleted.
All day long, you’ve been on autopilot, reacting to whatever comes up, and tomorrow is more of the same.
And maybe your weekends feel like this too? Whether you’ve been busy or not, Sunday evening comes and you feel a sense of just going through the motions of your life. Another weekend over, another begins.
Weeks, months, and even years can go by like this, without a definitive sense of purpose. Without feeling inspired. Without knowing exactly what you want or, even if you did, how to make it happen.
But what if there was a way to know, without a shadow of a doubt, if something is right for you? To be clear about where you should be putting your attention and energy? What if it was simple to make every choice in your life and know that your choices are helping you create the type of life you really want or yourself?
We’re talking about the powerful yogic tool of intention and you’re going to love the way intention setting helps you make big positive changes in your life truly simple. This is absolutely one of the most important and transformational lessons from yoga that will have a big impact with very little effort.
And that’s exactly what simple therapeutic yoga is all about.
So to understand the context of intention, let’s look at the word for intention in Sanskrit which is the ancient language of India where yoga originated thousands of years ago.
The word is sankalpa and, like many Sanskrit words, must be broken down to understand it’s deep-rooted meaning. San means all ideas, thoughts, and desires of the heart, united in one focus. Kalpa means single goal, the rule to be followed over all other rules, or way of being.
An intention, or sankalpa, is more than just a thought or statement, it’s an inner force. A heartfelt principle to direct your choices. A way of being guided by your highest truth.
Your intention starts from the premise that you’re already who you need to be to fulfill your life’s purpose. It’s an expression of your truth and therefore, something you connect with, rather than something you do. Your intention is your why, and your endless supply of motivation.
So imagine you wake up in the morning, and before you go through your routine before you rush out the door before you get caught up in the busyness of whatever you’re going to be doing, you took a minute to decide how you want to feel? Determined why the day is important to you? Acknowleged what will inspire and satisfy you?
Setting an intention becomes a GPS for the decisions you make every day (whether you realize it or not) about who you want to be, how you live and show up in the world, and what you contribute to the lives of everyone around you.
Here are some examples of intentions:
- To have an open mind and heart.
- To be steady, calm and focused.
- To feel vulnerable and yet courageous.
- To give and receive love.
- To peacefully connect with others.
Discovering your intention is a practice of listening. Your heartfelt desire is already present within you, waiting to be heard, and felt. It’s not something you need to make up or search for with your mind.
That said, it may take some time before you feel you’ve discovered your true purpose. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you feel empowered, energized, AND a little bit resistant, nervous, or scared.
Here are some questions to ask yourself as you get started with intention setting. Remember these questions focus on your inner experience. They’re about how you want to feel:
- What matters most to me?
- What would I like to create or nurture?
- What would I like to let go of?
- When am I happiest?
- What makes me proud?
As you ask yourself these questions and listen for the answers from within, let whatever comes up be ok for the day. Avoid overthinking, scrutinizing, or micromanaging.
Set your daily intention at some point during your morning routine. There are many things you do in the first hour or so of your day every single day without fail. Choose one of these to use as a trigger to set your intention for the day.
Once you’ve determined your intention (remember to let the process be simple!), create a short, simple statement such as:
- My mind and heart are open to every experience.
- I am steady, calm and focused.
- I give and receive love abundantly.
Repeat your statement often throughout the day and start to notice what is and isn’t in alignment with your intention. This may be your thoughts, attitude, actions, or choices. Give yourself permission to say yes to everything that serves your intention and no to the things that don’t.
Finally, you may feel pressure throughout the day to try to control or force every situation to match your intention. You know the adage the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Even though intention setting is the way to be guided by your highest truth, it’s important to trust what shows up for you.
As I teach in my online program, Make Peace with Stress, when you experience inner opposition, there’s an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of your path to transformation. When your day isn’t lining up with your intention, acknowledge it and express what comes naturally from your heart as best you can.
Check out how I can guide and support you in discovering your intention through my online program Make Peace with Stress.
NOW YOU TELL ME, HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL IN YOUR LIFE? WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO LET GO OF? WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST? WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
HI, I’M STEPHANNIE.
I’m a Certified Yoga Therapist on a mission to make yogic wisdom, movements and breathing practices simple so that you can make them part of your routine and be less stressed, more confident, and experience more cam every single day.
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