At the root of living a life with intention is the willingness to turn inward to determine the What and the Why of your intention.
The word "goal" has long been a buzzword, associated with people of ambition, action and some version of success - but whose version of success are you after? It has to truly be your own for it to flow and unfold in a way that will bring you purpose and peace.
A goal can simply be to beat your last time record on a game you were playing or to complete all the work your boss is expecting from you before you clock out for the day. You don't need to have a meaningful Why, or be aligned with your spirit or intention to set or even achieve a goal.
An intention is something entirely different - it comes from your inner intuitive voice that knows deeply what you want, what you need and what's going to fill you up.
My 5-year-old daughter, Nyah, has been learning in school about bucket fillers and bucket spillers (based on How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer). This relates to tuning into the things that fill you up and the things that drain you, followed by an intention to actively seek out more of what will fill your "bucket". When I asked Nyah to tell me more about what bucket fillers and spillers are, she said that when you're happy and you love someone, are kind to someone, help a person or give someone a hug, that will fill your bucket - and theirs. But if you're angry and you shout at someone, are mean to someone or if a person hits another person, both people's buckets will become empty.
Who knew that so much wisdom could come from my 5-year-old little girl. Funnily enough, my daughter's name Nyah means 'Purpose'. So in the spirit of this month's theme at cslto, "Say yes to intention", I challenge you to reflect upon your own "Nyah" - what is it? Why? And what's the why behind your why? Asking yourself why, and then responding to your answer by asking why again, and again, will connect you with a deeper and deeper understanding of the reasons, and the overarching life significance, behind your intention. You will begin to see more clearly why it truly matters beyond the more vague or superficial reasons that may initially come to mind.
Once you understand both your What and your Why, you can begin to understand your How. What step can you take today towards making your intention a reality, and what steps will follow? Setting your intention based on the truth of your inner Nyah will allow your own energy, as well as that of the factors and people around you, to move you gracefully towards the reality you intend to create.
This is in contrast to the resistance we sometimes feel when we set a goal or path that isn't truthfully aligned with our inner selves. Setting and manifesting a genuine intention can take courage, but once we take this step, the universal flow of energy within and around us will support us with every step. If it doesn't, and we begin to feel resistance, we should ask ourselves whether our Nyah has changed.
An intention is not set in stone - but is continually aligned with our evolving selves and the dynamism of this gift that is life.
Try this: close your eyes, breathe deeply, and ask yourself, "if I could be anyone and have any life, who would I be, and what would my life look like?" Pay attention to the characteristics of the future you in your mind, and of the life your mind is creating. Once you have a clear visualization, slowly open your eyes, and write down your intention.