What Happens in the World When You Set Intentions?
You may ask, “What happens in the world when you set intentions? Do they really matter?”
A phrase popped out at me a few weeks ago: Blast everyone with love today.
Woah, I thought, that is a great intention! I can see it now! Imagine what would happen if we did not just politely sprinkle it around, but if we actually blasted it so much that no one could escape it?
So, I copied it onto my desktop and every day it winked at me as I opened my computer.
I knew one day I would post it somewhere in the far-reaching world of social media, but until that time it encouraged me to be a little more mindful of my thoughts, words and actions each day.
Then one Thursday evening, as I was drifting off to sleep, a bolt of excitement ran through me and I just knew that tomorrow was the day! It was time to own that intention and purposefully be my most loving self, blasting love around.
What is an intention?
You have heard about intentions, but sometimes intentions are confused with goals, so let us see if we can clarify here.
Goals are all about something you want to achieve in the future. You identify your desire, create your plan, and follow through to its completion. Check! Next!
Intentions on the other hand are about who you are in the moment and who you want to be. You identify your values and live them out now. Your intentions are not about what you are doing, they are about how you are being.
Why set intentions?
You are more productive when you define a clear desire for being open to ideas, thinking and guidance that promotes higher efficiency and effectiveness.
You break through limitations when you clearly state and focus on that which has a positive impact on your life. There is a difference between wishing (limiting) you were happier and intending to be happier.
You shift your perspective when you purposefully look for opportunities to embody your intention and notice others embodying it also. Sometimes you are so caught up in the routine of the day that you do not notice all the little ways that life is good.
How to set intentions
Identify your intention
- Check in with your mind, body and spirit for guidance. Some people find inspiration for their intention through meditation, arts, friends, or nature.
- Let go of any limiting beliefs: intentions have limitless possibilities.
Set your intention
- Be clear in your vision and wording. Declare the specifics of what you are seeking. However, if the specifics are not quite ‘there’ yet, if your intention is more of a ‘feeling’ or other sensation, not to worry. Once you set your intention to the best of your ability in any moment, it begins to grow and become clearer.
Release your intention
- Announce your intention to yourself and the universe. Doing so invites the universe to conspire on your behalf.
- Be flexible. Sometimes the path does not go the way you imagined, but being patient and open-minded allows for diverse opportunities to realize your intention.
Commit to your intention
- Take action each day in regards to your intention. Perhaps keep a journal of your experiences and observations.
- Hold yourself accountable to your intention. People sometimes share their intention with family or friends in order to receive support and encouragement.
Knowing all of that now, are you curious as to what happened after I set my intention to reflect my most loving self?
I woke up Friday morning, got ready for work in record time, grabbed my computer and posted the tantalizing phrase on my social media accounts. It felt like I was sharing a secret with the world and at the same time daring myself and the whole world.
I could not wait to step outside my door to see what the day would bring.
How would I blast everyone with love today? And would I encounter evidence of that intention rippling through others?
Twenty minutes later I pulled open the door to our staff room at work. No way! Donuts and muffins?! One of my colleagues had chosen today (today!) to treat the staff to some goodies. At the end of a week spent getting back into ‘the routine,’ what screams “love,” better than a sweet treat and the consideration of a co-worker?
And wow! Good intentions travel fast, huh?
Later that morning I was on the phone with several people trying to unravel some technological glitches in our system. I could feel disbelief and frustration seeping into my spirit. Instead of reacting upon those feelings to the woman on the phone (who I could tell was feeling frustrated as well), I acknowledged and thanked her for her efforts, and mentally blasted her with love. After a few hours passed, and with a little help, the situation was resolved and we all felt efficacious.
One more example from that day: At an outdoor event that evening, four of us friends were listening to a band. We wandered over to where there were three chairs, and after a brief discussion three of us chose to sit down. The fourth chose not to sit down, preferring to stand.
Fast forward a few minutes and what happens? A man who appeared to have seen better days stands up, limps over with his chair, sets it down for our friend, turns around and goes and finds himself another chair. Although a bit bewildered at first, our friend decided to honor this man’s generosity by taking a seat.
Two acts of love from one small gesture.
Throughout this day, perhaps because I was more purposefully on the lookout for love in action, I encountered innumerable deeds stemming from our love for fellow human beings, animals, and the planet.
I myself was more productive and effective in realizing my intention. Plus, my perspective shifted that much from all of the ways I witnessed others seemingly joining in on my intention.
If you ask me, yes, setting your intention really does matter.
If the sun is shining, my Crosstrek is calling me to fill up her tank, throw open her sunroof, and head for the back-roads. With wind in my hair, I smile at everyone I see. Grace smiles back at me (even through the trees).