How do we set clear intentions that help us manifest what we want in our lives?

The View

I believe that we all have an incredible ability to manifest what we want in our lives by setting clear intentions.

I am spending the weekend at my sister’s house in Boulder.  It is cold and beautiful. She lives in a dynamic place with expansive views of the Rockies, high mountain meadows, and aspen trees nestled in amongst the firs in their bright yellow fall foliage.  It is a place that people would pay to go to on vacation.

My sister is good at manifesting things in her life.  To come to this place of beauty, she had to set very clear intentions earlier in her life .  She manifested this place of hers in her life because she knew early on that this is what she wanted.  Now, she is in the midst of turmoil in her life.  She is so good at manifesting things, that she is over-the-top busy and filled with stress.  Amongst the swirl of her life, she has a difficult time seeing what she wants most in her life. At this point, there is so much possibility and things are so easy to manifest, that her life is too full.  Amongst the flurry of life, it can be difficult to set clear intentions, to prioritize what is most important in our lives and know what we truly want.  To work through the clutter and find the spaciousness to manifest what matters most can save us.

We manifest things in our lives whether we intend to or not.  Without clear intentions, we can end up manifesting a whole slough of things we don’t intend. For example, if we are afraid of failure, we can actually manifest failure by not clearly focusing on and believing in success.  In this case, old patterns might need to be explored to see what is blocking success in our lives.  Or, we might want a deep and caring relationship in our lives, but deep down we are afraid of intimacy. In which case we might need to explore our fear of intimacy.

We have to be able to deeply trust and believe that what we intend will manifest, and then interestingly, we need to let go of our need for a certain outcome.  By hanging onto a specific outcome, we distort manifestation.  We really do not know how our intentions will manifest.  The world works in mysterious ways and often unexpected things come into play.   If something is blocking our trust, then we begin to hang onto outcomes and the manifestation will be distorted.  We need to trust that world around us will support and guide us on our path.

There is a difference between making a resolution and setting an intention.  This differentiation is important to understand because most resolutions are not kept are are not manifested.  Resolutions are mostly set in the negative.  We tell ourselves what we won’t do, eat, or say, and in this way we are actually still subconsciously focusing on the aspects of our lives we wanted to let go of.  We are negating an aspect of our self, and essentially trying to stave it off by sheer will power.  Willfulness may work temporarily, but there is no power in will if you can’t see yourself doing it.  And you can’t conceptualize, visualize or even imagine yourself not smoking, not drinking, not eating cookies.  It is impossible.  Which leads us to another fundamental resolution flaw: we brought all our focus onto a goal, an end result, that we can’t clearly see ourselves achieving.

This is where intention comes in.  An intention is a course of action that we intend to follow.  It is about the journey towards a more positive version of ourselves, reflected in our actions.  To set an intention means to invite and embody a more positive aspect of ourselves into our lives.  Specifically.  If you want to stop over eating, set an intention to eat smaller meals.  Invite in healthy eating habits, and see yourself eating that way.  If you want to stop over spending, set an intention to save money.  Invite in savings, and see yourself living in abundance.  When we focus on the positive, we can conceptualize ourselves there.  We can see it, feel it and believe it. When an intention is properly set, it becomes not about the end product, but about the path towards bringing out more of what is already there for us.  And that is the beauty of setting intentions we invite something in clearly and definitively, and here is the key: we let go of the outcome. Because on the path towards a more positive you, there is no ultimate destination, each small step forward along the way is an opportunity and a blessing.

To manifest what we want in our lives takes clarity on what we want; honest, open awareness or consciousness about what blocks us from receiving the things we want in our lives; and clear intentions to work toward manifesting what we want.  After this, I think there is a certain trust we put in the unseen world, the world that is bigger than us, the spirits, that is vital.  I am not saying we don’t have to work toward what we want to manifest, but there is a certain aspect of manifesting that is beyond work or conscious thought.  Somehow, when we are conscious and clear on our intentions, they will manifest in some form in our lives, or, on our path to manifesting our intentions, we find greater joy in our lives and opportunities to find wholeness.

I invite you to do the following exercise to help you with setting your intentions for your life:

  1. Find a time to reflect on what you want in your life. For many of us who have full lives, this might be the most difficult step.  Many of us are so busy doing what we do, that we don’t feel we can take the time to reflect on what we want to be doing in our lives.  Setting aside the time to do this reflection is a critical step in manifesting what we want in our lives.  Often it is helpful to do this reflection in a supportive community of peers.  See below for links to communities that can support you in this work.
  2. Treat this time as sacred.  Do not allow the normal interruptions of life like cell phones or emails during this time.
  3. Set up a space that feels sacred.  This can be as simple as lighting a candle.  You may also want to smudge the space to clear and protect it.
  4. Diffuse the Clear Intentions blend into the air using a diffuser or put a few drops on a tissue and, holding the tissue below your nose, take several deep, cleansing breaths.  Specific plant essential oils can support us in setting clear intentions and creating clarity of consciousness.  They help us to quiet our minds and focus. Also, as we diffuse the aroma over time, they remind us of our intentions and help us hold them in our awareness.  The Ancient Ways Botanicals Clear Intentions aromatherapy blend, is a fresh coniferous blend of cypress, lavender, bergamot, and frankincense that has the ability to lift the fog and clear the mind, helping us to move forward with our life’s intention. It is amazing to me how, by just setting up a sacred time and space for this reflection, we begin the process of settling more deeply into ourselves and allowing clear intentions to emerge. 
  5. Reflect on the following questions.  If you have limited time, then do one or two questions each day or each reflection time.  You may want to write your reflections in your journal:
  • Where do you feel you are living with congruence with what you want in your life and work right now?
  • Where do you feel out of congruence?
  • What are the main things you want in your life right now?  (For example:  spaciousness, creativity, better health, time with my children, success in my business, a fulfilling relationship, etc).
  • What inside yourself is blocking you from receiving these things in your life?    This is quite variable and often you have to look very deeply and truthfully at yourself to find the answer to this.  For this questions, we are not looking at something outside of ourselves that is blocking us, but rather something inside of ourselves.  We often cannot change the things outside of ourselves and sometimes we cannot change what is inside either, but we can shed the light of our awareness on these things, which helps open us.  For example, as in the example I gave earlier, we might be afraid of failure so we are blocking success, by becoming aware of this fear, it often allows us to move forward with our fear.
  • If you were living these priorities of what you want in your life, what would a day, week, month, year look like, feel like, smell like, sound like, taste like?  What would you be doing?
  • Now, set a clear intention to live into these priorities.  Make a statement or a number of statements of these intentions.  For example, you might say, “My intention is to nourish my body by eating healthy food. “
  • Now, look at what your first step is to set you on a path toward your intentions.  For example, you may need to research what healthy food is for your body, or you may need to find recipes, or you may need to just make a trip to the grocery store.  Do not try to set or plan all the steps, just start down the path.  If you try to plan all the steps, you are hanging onto a specific outcome.  Set your intention in motion and then allow the world around you to support you and guide you.
  • Finally, trust completely that your intentions will manifest and that you do not know the form in which they will manifest.  Once again, set your intention in motion and then let go of the outcomes.  Pay attention to what the world is teaching you at every step.  Enjoy and appreciate each step along the path.  Find compassion for yourself at every step.

You are invited to share your reflections and tell your stories by commenting on this blog.  I welcome your sharing. It helps us feel supported on our path.

Enjoy the journey!  I hope you find time to breath deeply, laugh, and love along the way.