We all have our own unique way of viewing the world, but often our views are muddied by habitual behaviour, thoughts, emotions. Some of which are very helpful for us and others that are less so. So how do we get clear, how do we get out of feeling stuck, if that’s where we are? How do we make life meaningful for us if we feel that we have lost our way?
Intention setting is one tool that we can use. The yogis called it creating a ‘sankalpa’ or a resolve. In modern day language we call it ‘intention setting.’ An intention can help us navigate uncertainty, can give us clarity in life. It can be a base to fall back on and one that we can use to examine our own actions and beliefs in how they measure up to the original intention.
In yoga parlance, ‘Sankalpa’ is a vow or commitment to our highest truth. A statement of belief that we choose to make and one that we act upon over and over again. We are committed and determined to succeed in its manifestation.
Steps to create an intention
We can use a simple process to help set our intention/sankalpa. Similar to what we use in goal setting, except that the nature of our intention serves that deep inner source that is within us all.
1. Create space for yourself
Have paper and pen handy. Give yourself 10 – 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to reflect.
2. Reflect and question
Ask yourself what it is that you want in your life. Whisper this question to yourself a few times and then notice what springs to consciousness. A word, sound, vision, smell, colour, flavour – what arises for you? . If nothing arises at that time, try again a little later or let it go completely. See what seeps its way into your conscious mind.
3. Set the intention
How does what arose make you feel? Is this something you want to feel more of? Is this the way you want to show up in the world every day? If so, then flesh this out into a short sentence in the present tense. For example, I am connected and present when interacting with others. Or I meet challenges with compassion to myself and others. Or I meet challenges with curiosity and adaptability. Or My strength and resilience is stronger everyday.
4. Take action
What actions, thoughts, feelings can we implement that feed into this intention? If your intention is framed as I meet challenges with curiosity and adaptability, then you will need to challenge your fixed viewpoints, challenge your traditional behaviours and perhaps implement something new for yourself.
Create the framework for your life with an intention/sankalpa. The yogis used sankalpa as way of reaching their higher truth. An intention takes effort, resilience and commitment. It may rise and fall in its prominence in your life. But it can be your guiding light if you allow it.