Using the Power of Intention

Most of us know that intention is powerful. When you state your intention, magical things can happen, especially when you mix in some faith and trust. Your mind has so much power in determining how you feel, in both positive and negative ways. And living without intention is like being on a boat and not steering or having a direction. Deepak Chopra says that “Intentions compressed into words enfold magical power.”

The use of intention has been recognized as powerful in eastern philosophy and yogic practices for a long time, and science is starting to back this philosophy. Dr Dan Siegal, neuroscience expert and psychiatrist says that by engaging in intention setting on a regular basis, the mindset shifts become a part of your personality. And using intention with embodiment practices like yoga and bodywork makes intention even more powerful because your mind and body are connecting and working synergistically.

I have found that when people set an intention for their bodywork or coaching session, the session is more effective and people are more satisfied. That is why, at the beginning of each session, I usually start with a guided meditation to really notice what’s happening in the body, and invite you to set an intention for the session. It’s helpful to set the intention on something that you want rather than something that you are wanting to let go of. And to state it in the present state is also helpful.

You can state it like an affirmation: “I am relaxing” or “I am peaceful inside” and it can really help to aim your session in a positive direction. Simplifying your intention into a word or two can be helpful, and you can use those words to help anchor your mind on the breath and the present moment. For example, you can breathe IN “peace” and breathe OUT “serenity”

Sometimes people use intention to try to get away from a feeling or a problem and might be tempted to exhale out the word that represents the problem. For example, if someone wants to release stress, they might want to breathe out “stress” and breathe in “calm”. But, I find that if you instead find a word that describes how you really want to feel, then your mind and body are going to shift in the direction you intend.

To discover a magnetic intention word, try getting curious about the part of you that is feeling stressed/sad/frustrated and ask it what it needs. When you are clear about what it needs, you can simplify it into a short statement or a word.  For example you might hear the stressed part say “I just want life to be more simple.” So then you breathe IN “calm” and breathe OUT “simple.”

And then, the real work comes when you get off the table or get off the call and go back into your life and try to keep that feeling with you. You can try writing down those words on a post it note, or on your screensaver to remind you to keep setting your intention so that your life goes in the direction of your dreams.

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