in·ten·tion [inˈten(t)SH(ə)n] noun: an aim or plan. // In medicine: the healing process of a wound.
Intentions drive SO much of what we bring into our lives. Seriously, they are the driving force behind the law of attraction and how we perceive our daily lives. They are the key to manifesting anything we desire in life. Intentions allow us to ground our energy in what we would like to call into our future, whether it's a new moon, full moon, or new year. You can put intentions out into the Universe by simply thinking a thought or going through a more in depth practice. You can put intentions into your crystals, clothing, and really any aspect of your life. Intentions will always shape our future reality (even if it doesn't look how we expect it to, but more on that later!).
When should you set intentions?
Really whenever you want! But here are some ideas for times of the year that pack a little extra punch:
– New month
– New moon
– Full moon
– New year
… Personally, I like to work in the cycles of the moon. That way you can set an intention and see how it progresses and when that moon cycle comes back around, it's a great reminder to revisit the intention you previously set.
How do you set intentions for manifesting?
Intentions acts as a great tool to get your energy in the frequency of what you're trying to manifest (read more here). Truthfully, you can set intentions anyway that feels right to you! You can say them silently to yourself, you can write them down in a Google Doc or you can put pen to paper. Personally, I like putting pen to paper for this because it allows me to step away from electro magnetic frequencies of technology and channel my creative side while doing so. Especially since they don’t need to be a long list. It’s just 3-10 things you’d like to cultivate more of in your life or manifest in your life!
Step 1: Set the stage
Here’s the time to really connect with yourself! Get a yummy smelling candle going to awaken your sense of smell. Burn some sage or frankincense to cleanse the energy in your space. Pull out some crystals to help you with your intention setting. You can even draw yourself a cleansing bath and do them in the tub!
Step 2: Meditate!
You can make you meditation extra juicy by finding a mantra or anchoring theme. For instance, maybe while you were “setting the stage” you chose to read a book that inspires you first. Try to pull out a quote from your time reading and write it down. Not sure what to read or which quote to choose? Try an oracle deck to help let the Universe guide you in your intentions (sometimes the spirits know what we need more than we allow ourselves too!). Seriously follow your intuition here! For more steps on getting started with meditation click here.
Step 3: Write!
Seriously, don’t filter just write! Take a few deep, cleansing breaths and put pen to paper. Remember, this is for your eyes only, so there is NO need to censor yourself! I like to think of this process like automatic writing; where it’s like something else has taken over and is just letting things pour out. Rather than trying to control or filter your thoughts, let your soul speak to you. If you feel yourself analyzing what you’re doing, take a moment. Pause. Breathe. And go back to your oracle card that you drew before hand or the quote you pulled from a book that inspires you. I also love getting some markers and color pencils out to help express myself creatively. You can do this in silence or while listening to music, whatever you prefer!
Step 4: Express yourself.
In many ways, you've probably been expressing yourself in each of the previous steps. But, if I know firsthand that when you start a new practice like this, it's easy to fall into copying someone else's practice you read about or saw on Instagram. If you don't feel positively lit up and inspired by now, then use this time to turn inward and see how you can really bring your whole self into this practice. Maybe you choose to get some markers or colored pencils and make your intention paper beautiful. Maybe you put on some music and dance around the intentions you just set, letting them light every cell in your body on fire. Whatever you choose, makes sure it honors who you are while connecting with your inner child.
Step 5: Revisit, reflect, and grow.
Sometimes when we set our intentions, we might find that we get the exact opposite of them appearing in our life… but guess what? That's the Universe’s gift to you! It's the Universes way of saying, “it's time to practice and follow through with your intention!” Seriously, I heard Oprah once said that she used to have a guiding word each year, but she found that whatever she themed her year as, she got a bunch of stuff that tested it!
For example, if my intention is self love, then all of the sudden I start getting tons of mean, rude, and abusive emails – that’s the Universe saying, “Okay Rachel, it’s time to love yourself despite what’s being thrown at you. This is your chance to fight back and choose love. To not let others define you.”
So pick a time that's 30 days, 6 months, or even a year out that you'll go back and revisit these intention sheets, reflect on how they manifested in your life, and grow from the experience!