The Power of Intention
The Power of Intention
“Speak it. Let it know you’re there. Hell, let you know you’re there – because this statement of intent is just as much an announcement to yourself as it is an announcement to the universe or anybody else. Hearing this announcement, your soul will mobilize accordingly. It will mobilize ecstatically, in fact, because this is what your soul was born for.” -Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
We’re knee deep in 2016 now, which means you’re either a) still fully committed to the New Year’s resolutions you set or b) you’re back into your old habits, like eating everything you said you wouldn’t. I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions – it seems silly to me that you have to wait until January 1 to set, by definition, a firm decision to do or not to do something. Why not do it right now?
When I first read about the Wigwam retreat, I was obviously giddy with excitement over the thought of a weekend filled with yoga and Chef Jess. But what really did it for me was this: “…a wonderful list of speakers/teachers/coaches assisting you with setting clear intentions for 2016.” Ah, intentions. That’s something I can get behind.
Now if you’re one of those girls who can set a resolution every year and you stick to it, you go girl. You do you. I’m not here to tell you not to do that. I’m here to offer perspective because I think I speak for most when I say sticking to resolutions are hard. They’re hard because it only takes another firm decision in your mind (remember that previous definition?) to do the opposite of your resolution. Simply put: a resolution to stop drinking coffee could quickly turn into a firm decision to stop at the next Starbucks.
Resolutions distract us from the present moment because when we set them, we’re thinking about the past or looking ahead to the future. And they’re usually centered around something you want to do versus someone you want to be.
Now here’s why I like intentions. Intentions keep you present. They’re good for your soul. By simply stating the words “I am” followed by a word or a phrase of how you want to be, you are choosing how you want to be in the world. Because it is a choice – don’t forget that!
Let’s do a quick exercise. By definition, intention means an aim or plan. Let’s say you made a New Year’s resolution, or a firm decision, to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. So by exercising, how do you aim, or plan, to feel? Let’s say healthy. Now turn that into an intention – I am healthy. Do you feel that? I feel that! That’s a powerful intention.
Once you’ve created your intention, start saying that intention to yourself repeatedly, and soon enough you’ll start to feel it. And when you truly feel and believe your intention, that’s when it starts to show up in your actions. A mindful intention creates brave actions.
Throughout the weekend at the Wigwam retreat, we completed a number of exercises that helped us explore and create our own intentions. When we finally felt like they stirred our soul, we shouted them loud for everyone to hear. Like a wolf howls to its wolf pack.
To me, intention setting was the most powerful part of the Wigwam retreat, but there was more to its magic. Chef Jess fed our stomachs with clean, healthy, delicious food. We drank champagne. We learned all about Ayurveda from Anna Apotheca. We flowed with Ofelia and Meryl. We meditated. We created visualizations with Rachelle. We bonded, and we became the first Wigwam wolf pack. And for that, I am grateful.
So the next time you’re thinking about making a resolution, make it an intention. Write it down. Say it out loud to yourself and the universe. Let it ignite your soul. You may surprise yourself.
Carly is a PR girl by day, yoga teacher by night and weekends. She lives in the West Midtown neighborhood with her boyfriend and fur child. She enjoys traveling, kombucha and sunny afternoons in the outdoors. For information on how you can practice yoga with Carly, visit carlymarieyoga.com and follow her journey on Instagram @carlymarieyoga.