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Set Your Intention in September

September 4, 2011

For years, I’ll confess, I was in yoga class and often had no idea what the teacher was talking about. “Be present. Set an intention for class.” OK. Whatever, I’ll just put up my prayer hands and hope for the best.

It wasn’t until I was studying behavior change and taking meditation classes at IMCW that I started to understand. So just in case there are any yogis out there who, like me, were puzzled, here’s the translation:

“Be present” really means…
Focus your mind on something happening NOW. Either physical sensations in your body or the ebb and flow of your breath.
Stop replaying the past: “I can’t believe what my boss said to me today.”
Stop predicting the future: “I’ll go up to him tomorrow and say bleepity bleep, that’ll show him.”
Stop reviewing your to-do list: “I”m out of coffee, better stop at Whole Foods after class.”

When you focus your attention on one of the 2 things above (your body, your breath), then you join your mind and your body in THE PRESENT MOMENT. Yes you’re going to wander back to your to-do list, but as soon as you notice it happening, gently go back to your breath. It’s a constant see-saw that will steady with practice.

“Set an Intention” really means…
Pick something to focus on, something important to you, something you want in your life.
When you spend a little time “being present”, you can then usually connect in what your immediate emotional needs are because being focused like this helps to clear away the cobwebs and create clarity. So now you can ask yourself “What’s important to me right NOW? What do I need RIGHT NOW? What do I crave or desire RIGHT NOW?” Allow an answer to come to you. And let THAT be your intention. Strength, clarity, great connections, freedom, love, compassion, stability, a meaningful job, loving friendships. Whatever, it’s yours.

Why is this important?
If you don’t look where you’re going, then you’ll go where you’re looking. If you connect with your heart and listen for what you need, then the decisions you make day to day will be (subconsciously perhaps) guided by this intention and you will begin to direct yourself there.

So, want to get where you want to go? Then set an intention this “new” year.

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