Unconscious intentions are running through our heads all the time – for most of us we are predicting disasters, trying to read other people’s minds (and assuming they have bad intentions), worrying about the past and wondering how it’s going to negatively affect us today, etc., etc. etc. Since these thoughts/intentions usually cause us to have negative emotions, we act negatively on the negative emotions, and create negative outcomes.
If I get up in the morning assuming I’m not a good person and that bad things are going to happen to me today, bad things will probably happen – or at least I will believe bad things are happening – interpreting neutral events as bad. On the other hand if I “set an intention” - make the effort to consciously decide who I want to be and how I want to act - there’s a very good chance I will have positive outcomes.
Setting healthy, positive intentions:
1. Get clear about something you want and write it down.
2. Share it with someone who will encourage you to take the action to make it happen.
3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to taking the action.
1. When you get out of bed, say, “Dear God, I intend to remember all day that I am in your loving care and to remember to be kind and loving to the people in the day. Please help me remember.”
2. When you get in the car, say, “Dear God, I intend to drive safely and remember that I am in your loving care.”
3. Before you get with a friend or family member, say, “Dear God, I intend to spend quality time with ____________and I ask you to help me act in such a way as to make that happen.”
4. Before you go to work, say, “Dear God, I intend to do my part today, to be kind and helpful to the people in my day, and I need your help to carry out my intention.”
5. Before a business meeting, say, “Dear God, I intend to be calm and professional in this meeting and to care about other people’s concerns as well as my own. I intend to be helpful to everyone involved as well as myself. I need your help to carry out these intentions.”
Monitor your thoughts and words: One of the major keys to changing your thoughts is to become aware of them! Most of our thinking is unconscious but by checking in with ourselves, we can notice these thoughts and change them. Noticing when we speak negatively (complaining, blaming, judging, predicting disaster, etc.), will let us know that we are speaking our thoughts. Then we can change what we say. I spend a good bit of time saying, “Oops! I take that back. What I really meant was….” Watch out for words like “hate,” “terrible,” “never,” “always,” “but.” Instead of complaining, get in touch with what you want and set your intention for that! For example, instead of saying, “I hate the food at that place, “you could say, “I love the food at this place. I’d like to go there. Would that be okay with you?”
Take action: Everyone has heard the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” That’s a good example of why it’s necessary to take action as soon as we are totally clear about what intention we want to set. One of the first actions after writing the intention down is to contact someone to share it with whom you can check in to share what happened. By sharing your intention, you solidify your commitment. I also like to wear a particular piece of jewelry to remind myself throughout my day of the actions I intend to take. Every intention needs reminders to help me stay focused on it. Otherwise my mind wanders off in its usual directions that are either negative or have nothing to do with what I intended.