Have you ever heard this statement: “Energy flows where attention goes”? Or the other version over there to the right?
If this sounds like a new-agey statement, let me help you undo this idea (because it is actually simple science…and am pretty sure most of the religious gurus of past and present say something along these lines!).
If you are a mom who leaves her days up to chance, and you are at the end of another long day where all you see are Cheerios, toys and messiness because you spent the afternoon on Facebook and left the kids to chance (and who of us haven’t done this as we strive for connection in the loneliness?) – we would say your energy flowed into FB where your attention was. Your attention sure didn’t flow into cleaning the house…and now you feel drained as you look around you BECAUSE (you can say it with me now can’t ya) your attention was on FB!
Or maybe you weren’t on FB, but simply attempting to stay a few steps behind your kids so they don’t kill themselves. Your attention in this situation was not on prevention but was on reacting to your kiddos.
Now, if you are a mom who is learning to be a good steward of her energy…then you do a little pre-planning for your days and your life.
This is all that intentions really are. They are CONSCIOUS pre-planning seedlings that will help your energy flow into projects, events and people that will benefit you, feed you and give you more energy.
Setting your intention for anything – whether it be for a this 21-day class or for being able to get a shower in by the end of the day – is a way to consciously steward your energy, helping you avoid burnout and exhaustion.
Think of how a small small rudder on the ship sets the course. Your intention is the same thing – it is the rudder for your life, your days, your _______. (fill in the blank)
Here are a few other things to note about intentions:
- Intentions are like seeds. They might seem pointless at first, not very important nor potent, and certainly not very attractive. Yet, once those seeds go into the ground and are given the right amount of water and nutrients, they begin to hatch. And grow. Into magnificent Oak Trees.
- Like seeds that grow into that which they are (be it a pumpkin or a giant oak tree) – intentions will also grow into that which we intend.
- Seeds don’t know exactly what they will look like when they are fully grown – they just know they will become a tree or a pumpkin without specific expectations they will grow to be this many feet high or this many pounds heavy. This is the same for our intentions. We don’t know EXACTLY how they will look and feel when they come about – but we know that we get what we sow.
- Intentions are what we set consciously as we go INto something – and then we open up our hands to God and say “whatever come may come”. Expectations are the exact opposite: they are demands of what we think should happen at the END, usually have very specific ideas of what those “shoulds” should look like and usually involves us wrapping our hands so tightly around our expectations that we become desperately disappointed when they don’t come true. Do ya see the difference? Intentions help us open up. Expectations usually close us down.
In a society where we are bombarded by media and external voices, we often unknowingly follow the intention of others…and end up wondering where the heck we ended up. We do not usually take the time to stop and check in with our self to see where we want to go. Instead we follow the messages that come subliminally to us from outside – especially ones we deem as authorities – allowing them to tell us what to intend for our lives and where to thus put our attention (and energy!).
If we do not CONSCIOUSLY set our intentions and therefore our direction for ourselves -then we leave are like rudderless ships sailing in the night, hoping to make it to some destination by chance.
Can you see how this can drain your energy bank – especially as a mom with young kids who thrive on chaos and messiness like it’s no one’s business.
TAKE BACK YOUR ENERGY BY SETTING YOUR COURSE
Now is the time to start moving out of the exhaustion and into states of energy – where more fun, peace and love can happen.
By learning to tune into what you really want on the inside, you can start to little by little regain some control over your energy – and in doing so it will be like waving a magic wand in your life. Why? Because those little tikes are energy readers since their senses haven’t been numbed out as much as ours by life yet. If they sense you are in chaos, they will think that is the way to live. If they sense you are in control of yourself, they will settle down and follow suit much more easily.
Seriously – this sounds out there – but I DARE you to experiment with this for yourself!
Okay – so now onto the main course…learning how to set your intentions. These steps will work for setting daily/weekly/monthly/yearly intentions. The further out you are setting the intentions, the more time you might need on steps one and two – like a weekend solo retreat (yes you have the permission to do this even as a mom!) for personal intentions. Or maybe a romantic getaway for setting family/couple intentions. Hey – business execs do this every year…and your family is more important than a business (and could also probably be more efficient and peaceful if run a bit more like a business).
Also, do not think of these as rigid steps. In the world you are entering with me, there is ALWAYS flexibility. Things are always changing and moving as we grow/evolve/change and learn more about ourselves and the world around us (by experimenting!).
Take a few moments in a quiet space and quiet time of day – usually before the kids get up or after they are asleep (and you know when you think best and most creatively) – to get quiet (ha ha!). Yes, allow the quietness from the outside slowly seep into you through your skin and breath…and still the inside of you.
- GET QUIET: Take a few moments in a quiet space and quiet time of day – usually before the kids get up or after they are asleep (and you know when you think best and most creatively) – to get quiet (ha ha!). Yes, allow the quietness from the outside slowly seep into you through your skin and breath…and still the inside of you.
- ASK QUESTION(S): From this place, ask yourself specific questions in regards to whatever it is you are wanting to set your intentions for. If this is a new practice start small with daily intentions. It could be as simple as accomplishing one task by the end of the day: I want to take a bath by myself for 20 mins.
- LET IT GO: Once you have a good idea of what you would like for the day/week/month in your role as a mother – then you set out to see how you can make this happen. Get creative and be open to random, spontaneous ways of this intention being fulfilled. Like you shared this with your husband at the beginning of the day and he surprises you by bringing home dinner and putting the kids to bed – so you can get your solo bath!
- GIVE THANKS: Once you realize the intention has been met, even in the most unexpected ways – give thanks and make note of what GOLDEN NUGGET you have learned from this intention setting practice. This will help you build trust that the seedlings you are planting, the rudder you are setting is working in your life. This builds confidence to set bolder, more creative intentions and can create a fun challenge for yourself.
I have been practicing Intention Setting for years now – and always find this practice magical! – even though based on facts of mind science.
For example, sitting in my room one night years ago reading a book about the horrible stats of abuse in the world, I said out loud, “I want to know why abuse is so rampant in our society and what I can do to help end the tide.” Wham – I had set an intention and God/Divine/Universe (or whatever you call the Great Mystery that IS) heard me. Four years later, I have journeyed through amazing places, met more amazing people and have been led to experiences beyond my wildest dreams – all of which helped me know why abuse is rampant and what I can personally do to end the tide. And my answers don’t look ANYTHING like what I expected them too.
Now I practice intention setting (with the GOLDEN NUGGET) for each of my coaching calls and almost always both me and my coaching client will get the chills when we look back at the intention and see how it was fulfilled in the most delightful yet unexpected ways.
So, go ahead. I DARE you to start setting your intentions consciously, then to even “forget” that you set them…and see what comes of them!