Intention is the tool that takes us from the way things have been—the way we have been operating—to where it is that we want to go. Within our intention is the understanding that something else is possible, whether this is a change in direction entirely or a more continuous experience than we have experienced in the past. Our intention aligns us with our deepest truth and most intimate longings.
Often, when we look at ourselves, our lives, or our behaviors, we do so because we are evaluating how we got to a certain point. We ask ourselves questions such as “what has been true for me” and “what has contributed to where I am in this moment?” These types of questions have us looking at who we have been and how we got to the present moment, regardless of whether the present moment is great or not so great. It is actually much more productive to examine ourselves in a forward-reaching way, rather than retrospectively through our prior behavior.
Our intention focuses on where we are going to go and what is it that we want for the future. How is it that I want to construct my moments moving forward? Our intention might lead us into an entirely different experience or solidify a newfound one. Intention directs us to what we want, what we desire to create, and our next phase of evolution. Because of this, it is an incredibly helpful tool to guide us through life.
Additionally, as we set our intention, we create a frame for our understanding, providing a tool for us to evaluate what it is that we are wanting and doing. It helps us to become that much more informed about who we are and what it is that we want. When we form an intention, it allows us to see where we are in line with that intention and where we might be off track. For example, we might set an intention and then realize that it was not exactly what we wanted. In this way, setting an intention helps us learn about ourselves and the directions in which we want to advance. So the more that we are intentional, the more we can understand our desires, their impacts, and what is in our way. This brings a high degree of awareness into our lives.
So my suggestion is to find a way of bringing more intention into your day, whether that means setting an intention to start your day or any other certain period of time—for example, before your meals, before you leave to go somewhere, as you’re getting in your car, before you begin a new task, before you reach out to someone, or any other time that is a beginning or a moving forward. Any of these initial moments can be a time to get clear and to get intentional; then you can watch how that shifts your perception and how it also changes your outcome.
If you need a little encouragement on your way, take a look at these 16 Quotes on Positive Intention That Will Inspire Your Soul.
I. Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase them.
II. “Intention is one of the most powerful forces there is. What you mean when you do a thing will always determine the outcome. The law creates the world.” — Brenna Yovanoff
III. “Intention is not something you do, but rather a force that exists in the universe as an invisible field of energy- a power that can carry us. It’s the difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is when you get hold of an idea and don’t let go of it until you make it a reality. Inspiration is the reverse- when an idea gets hold of you and you feel compelled to let that impulse or energy carry you along. You get to a point where you realize that you’re no longer in charge, that there’s a driving force inside you that can’t be stopped. Look at the great athletes, musicians, artists, and writers. They all tap into a source.” — Wayne Dyer
IV. “In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call intent and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link” — Carlos Castaneda
V. “Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, and then becoming the intention.” — Bryant McGill
VI. “A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.” — Seneca
VII. “It is not good enough for things to be planned – they still have to be done; for the intention to become a reality, energy has to be launched into operation.” — Walt Kelly
VIII. “You’ve got to know what you want. This is central to acting on your intentions. When you know what you want, you realize that all there is left then is time management. You’ll manage your time to achieve your goals because you clearly know what you’re trying to achieve in your life.” — Patch Adams
IX. “The more aware of your intentions and your experiences you become, the more you will be able to connect the two, and the more you will be able to create the experiences of your life consciously. This is the development of mastery. It is the creation of authentic power.” — Gary Zukav
X. “Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” — William A. Foster
XI. “Energy is directed by intention into action. If the action is not happening, if you’re finding excuses to not do whatever you set out to do, revisit your intention. Perhaps you were not being honest with yourself. Where is your energy flowing instead? That is where your intention sits.” — Akiroq Brost
XII. “Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it.” — David duChemin
XIII. “Gratitude in advance is the most powerful creative force in the Universe.” — Neale Donald Walsh
XIV. “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” — Wilfred Arlan Peterson, The Art of Living, Day by Day
XV. “Intention is more than wishful thinking—it’s willful direction. It is a philosophy of the heart put into practice, a consistency of conscious patterns of thought, energy, and action. Through intention, we see more and create with more clarity, passion, and authenticity. Our attention then becomes a spotlight for every shred of supporting evidence that we’re on the right path.” — Jennifer Williamson
XVI. “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” — Henry David Thoreau
If you’d like more support cultivating a life lived well, check out my individual and group programs, here.
A lot of times when people think about being happier in their life, they think about “having something”—having a sense of purpose, having the right relationship, having some quality of life that’s going to result in them feeling happier. In reality, having these things doesn’t always equal feeling happy. What does make us happier is incorporating the experience of pleasure into our day-to-day, moment-to-moment life.
When we learn what it is that we like and enjoy—and we learn how to do it more and more—we become happier.
Unfortunately, most of us have been conditioned to live the majority of our time in a state of deprivation, only occasionally providing ourselves with rewards. A classic example of this is to work all week so that you can enjoy yourself on the weekend. The idea is that you put in time being disciplined (“doing the right thing,” being responsible, making sacrifices) and that buys you some time to do what you actually enjoy.
When we live life this way, we can fall into the trap of having less and less pleasure in our life and thus less and less happiness. People who live this way often experience burnout. They report feeling a sense of fatigue, experiencing a flat emotional state, and wondering what the point of it all is.
To fix this problem, we start to turn things on their head. We ask the questions, “How can I bring more pleasure into my existence on a regular and consistent basis? What happens if I question the notion that pleasure is a reward rather than a state of being?”
It is helpful to start small. What are some easy ways to bring more pleasure into your life? It can be anything from bringing a picture into work that reminds you of something pleasurable to eating your favorite food or taking a moment to see something that’s beautiful in your environment. We can start with these simple methods and then build on them.
Then, we can start to ask bigger questions, such as “Am I engaging in work that is actually pleasurable to me? Do I enjoy myself when I spend time alone? Does this person in my life bring experiences of pleasure?”
Pursuing what brings us pleasure does not mean that every single aspect of life will now be enjoyable or that we will no longer experience difficulty, pain, or challenge, but it will start us working in a way that creates a life that feels good. By doing this, we start undoing the habits and patterns that keep us in a place of deprivation.
Pursuing more pleasure in our life helps ensure that we are happier on a regular basis. It feeds us at a very deep level. It takes care of us in a way that we cannot address through goals and plans. It ensures our happiness in the moment to moment.
If you’d like more support cultivating a life lived well, check out my individual and group programs, here.
If you are a sensitive person, one of the ways that you can take care of yourself is through the creation of regular rituals. Here are thirteen reasons why sensitive souls need rituals to stay healthy, happy, and balanced.
If you are a sensitive soul that identifies as a healer and are looking for support to find the gifts within your sensitivities, you may benefit from my Integrative Healing Apprenticeship. Find out more here: Integrative Healing Apprenticeship
I was about twenty years old when I first realized that I was empathic. I didn’t know that word at the time, but I recognized the empathic qualities that I possessed.
One day, I walked into a building and was instantaneously hit with this wave of negative feelings. At first, I thought that it was me. At the time, I believed that I had social anxiety and that I was nervous about entering a space where there were lots of other people. But in this moment, I had an insight. I recognized that the feelings I was feeling were not mine; instead, they were the feelings of the people in the space that I was entering. This was a revelation—the type of revelation that empaths have when they realize that they are empaths.
This is the type of experience that empaths have all the time. They’ll be going about their regular everyday life when they are suddenly hit with waves of emotion that are not theirs but someone else’s. They may have these feelings when they are relating to someone close to them or even with random people they encounter. In fact, it does not even always need to be people—it can also be things in their environment.
While this is very useful information—and for people like me, it is incredibly supportive of what I do professionally—it is not always easy to deal with. It can at times pose great challenges. Some people who have such experiences might say, “Well, I didn’t choose this for myself. I wish I was not like this; I wish I could turn it off.”
Most empaths at least wonder, “How do I work with this way of being? How can I make this an easier experience?” To be healthy as an empath requires a lot of self-care and also strengthening yourself energetically so that you can build a beneficial relationship with the things that you come into contact with.
If you identify with this idea of being an empath but you’re struggling with some of aspects of it, the best place to start is with self-care. Being healthy as an empath requires diligent attention to your self-care. You need to learn how to keep yourself clear, know how much downtime you need versus contact with different people or types of energy, and know what you need so far as sleep, food, and healthy environments are concerned. It is essential to take care of these areas of your life if you want to truly feel good in yourself and happy in your life.
The next step is to actually strengthen your own energy so that you are better able to consistently maintain a clear state of being. In part, this requires clearing negative energies and patterns from your life. The more that you clear any kind of negativity or problems that you are personally carrying inside, the easier it becomes to relate to what is going on around you without taking it on.
So working on yourself is of crucial importance. Working on yourself goes hand in hand with understanding how to strengthen yourself energetically, and as you do, it becomes easier and easier to discern what is yours versus what is another’s.
Being empathic is a gift. Although it might be hard to see it like that when you are faced with some of its challenges, as we attend to our self-care, clear our own disturbances, and strengthen ourselves, we begin to experience the benefits more and more.
Join me and a community of emergent healers for my Integrative Healing Apprenticeship, starting this year. If you are coming into your gifts as an empath and healer, let’s walk together on this one. Read more here: Integrative Healing Apprenticeship
We often strive to create healthy and satisfying relationships. But sometimes, despite how much we may try, we’re unable to create relationships that are mutually supportive and fulfilling. When this happens, there are several things we can do to bring our best selves to our relationships, and in turn, bring about the positive change we seek.
To be your best self in your personal relationships you need to develop your awareness of yourself. What do you value? What do you dream of? What are your strengths? Where are the skills you want to hone? When we ask ourselves these kinds of questions we grow our awareness of ourselves and we can use that awareness to create relationships that are beneficial for everyone involved. Sometimes our personal relationships hit a rough patch. When this happens, your awareness will clue you into how you might be contributing to the difficulty at hand and whether or not that relationship should be maintained.
Learning to love yourself is such an important step towards creating healthy relationships. It’s cliché but true – to truly love someone else, you have to love yourself first. This is because we’re unable treat someone better than we treat ourselves. Our limits in loving others comes from our inability to love ourselves. Over the course of our relationships, these limits inevitably come to light. We may compensate for our inabilities by giving more to others than we have – or have allowed ourselves – to receive. Yet, this can set us up for difficulty. If we’re not loving ourselves then we’re likely looking for someone else to give us that sense of being loved. This can be the starting point for lots of problems like dependency, fear of abandonment, and fear of intimacy. To really love ourselves, we need to see the unique value and intrinsic beauty of who we are without any externally imposed definitions. To begin to do this, take the time to tell yourself all the things that you like about yourself. And do it often.
Part of showing up as our best selves is to be in the present moment as much as possible. This means that our previous experiences need to be left where they belong – in the past. To do this, people typically undergo a process wherein they remember the past, understand how it affected them and then disentangle themselves from it. There are a number of different tools that people can use to clear themselves of aspects of their past that no longer serve them. For example, there is EFT, Access Consciousness, energy work, Core Energetics, and the list goes on. If you want to create a different baseline for yourself, it’s helpful to find a method that you can use to continually reinforce your new way of being.
To clear your history, try on a few methods that you sense would be a good fit. Then keep an open mind while you see if they’re effective for you. It takes a little while to clear your past from your present, so give this process some time. As you do this your awareness will increase and old feelings might come to the surface. When in a relationship, sometimes it’s helpful to let the other person know when something from your past has been activated and communicate what you need when this happens.
Nothing makes a relationship stronger than integrity. The biggest gift you can give yourself is know and own your contributions to your relationships – both in the positive and in the negative. When things get difficult in a relationship, look for the ways that you’ve contributed to the problem. Simply ask yourself: “Is there anything that I would have done better or differently if I had remained in full integrity?” If the answer is yes, then do your best to make right on what you know you could have done better.
When we’re unclear about how our own issues influence our relationships we’re likely to do unintentional damage. When we’re unconscious of our unresolved feelings about our past, we’re more likely to blame, shame and guilt others when those unresolved feelings are triggered. It’s only when we’re aware of our contributions to the state of our relationships and able to stay in our integrity that we can create environments in which our relationships can thrive.
Regardless of how hard we try, life can intrude upon our best laid plans and we can lose our grasp on the activities that help keep us healthy and happy. Once off track, it becomes even easier to get more off track as each infraction depletes us until we no longer feel very good. Remembering what to do when we start to get off track to take care of ourselves is so important. Being able to discern between what might just feel good (self-indulgence) and what will truly get us back on track (self-care) is key.
There is a sneaky underbelly to self-care. Sometimes what we call self-care is actually self-indulgence, sabotage, or avoidance. How do we tell the difference between what honors and takes care of us and what might just be another reason we are not where we want to be.
Self-care is an activity that strengthens, nourishes, or develops who we are at our core. It supports us in the full expression of our essence. Self-indulgence is something that feels really good but does not have additional benefits beyond feeling good. It is an activity that gives us momentary pleasure but does not move us in the direction of our full expression.
It does not so much matter what it is that we are doing as much as the effect that it is having on us. One person’s self-care might be another person’s self-indulgence. A self-care act one day might turn into self-indulgence if used too often.
To be able to tell the difference, we need to develop our capacity to feel the difference. Just as we can taste the difference in food that has a high nutrient content and food that is relatively empty, we can begin to tell the difference between the activities that truly are self-care and those that are just nice distractions. As we practice acts of self-care we become more and more attune to what it really is and more adept at choosing what is in service of what we really want.
If you are uncertain about whether your actions are self-care actions, you can gain clarity by asking yourself the question: Am I getting closer to feeling the way that I want to feel or reaching the goals that I am trying to reach? If you can answer yes you are likely taking self-care actions. If your answer is maybe or no, then you are likely caught up in some kind of self-indulgence.
If you want to return to your self-care after a time of self-indulgence, connect in with the core of who you are and ask yourself what activities will strengthen, nourish or develop this essence. Take the next step and learn more!
Self care may be a buzzword today, but it hasn’t always been. Even concepts of “the self” are relatively young to public understanding. So how do we capitalize on today’s understanding of the self and practice self care in a way that will have the greatest impact?
According to author Caroline Myss, “the self” that we talk about today is an idea that emerged in the nuclear age. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that psychology and psychoanalysis became commonplace ways of thinking about people and their behavior. In turn, the rich inner-life that we all experience became just as real as our outer-world.
This new way of thinking about “the self” ushered in the birth of self-care. Until the 1950’s people didn’t talk about self-care. They didn’t think about balancing their everyday life demands with things that foster their well-being. Fast forward to today, and self-care is a multi-billion dollar industry and an everyday conversation.
I think that the conversation about self-care leaves out one major thing: and that’s inspiration. Inspiration is more than just happening upon a clever idea. It expresses our creativity and forges a path to real change in ourselves and in our world. When you’re inspired, you feel alive!
So how do we move beyond the self care suggestions to eat healthier and exercise more (good suggestions!) and learn more inspired ways to feed our spirit and nurture our soul? Get creative, and get in touch with YOU.
Feeding your soul is self-care. Self-care is all about honoring and caring for yourself in ways that matter most. When you’re able to practice inspired self-care your life becomes less of one huge to-do list and more of a field of abundant meaning and joy.
So take a look at the ways that you feel most enriched, and then put some real time and creative energy into creating some inspired self care practices for yourself. To get you started, here are 4 easy, rich, and deep ways YOU can bring more inspired self-care into your life.
Inspiration is within reach most of the time. So, cozy up to your inner-bard and write a poem about your partner, your child, or a good friend. See if you can capture what you love about them in this expressive form. If you brainstorm adjectives, qualities, or feelings you associate with this person, you’ll quickly create phrases that inspire you.
Say you’re sitting at home or taking a walk through your neighborhood. Look around you, and free associate with what you see. For example, if you see thin blades of long grass growing by a wall, maybe they remind you of a time when you saw a piece of beautiful graffiti on a wall with grass just like that. Perhaps the grass near the wall reminds you of the eerie beauty and loneliness of neglected things. Let yourself wander into your thoughts. You’ll be amazed where you wind up!
If your version of self-care is to take a bath, a walk in the woods, or get a massage, then it’s time to take it up a notch. Make a decadent, fantastic, and — yes — inspired experience for YOURSELF. Try new things. Mix and match your experience. Take a bubble bath with candlelight, wine, chocolate, the smell of jasmine, and opera music. Or, walk in the woods bundled in soft fabrics singing a song to yourself and noticing how the light hits things.
Tap into your inspiration and find something – or make something – that will let another person know how special they are to you. When you think about bringing pleasure to someone else’s life, you naturally think creatively and playfully about what’s in the world and how to use it. And even better, when you give a gift your heart opens up and you feel satisfied on a deeper level.
It’s too easy to let days slip by while we’re distracted from what matters most. So challenge yourself to spend an hour each week doing one of these activities. It won’t take long before you’ll feel more inspired and your spirit will feel more nourished. Help remind yourself by printing out this list of ideas!
Self-care helps me succeed and bring my best self to my work with you. I love what I do and all the lives I touch, but there is no denying that my job can sometimes be intense and draining. I put large portions of my self into my clients, my business, and my loved ones, which, if I’m not careful, leaves little time for me. After years of working without adding self care to my life mix, I realized that if I didn’t take care of myself one of two things would happen: either I was going to compromise my health or I was going to compromise my results in my business.
Self-care became my battle cry and I am now a steadfast devotee. Through practice, I’ve come to understand that, although practicing self-care can sometimes be difficult to fit into a busy day-to-day schedule, it’s merits are undeniable and necessary. When I made my practice of self-care a priority, both my health and my ability to get better results in my business increased. This was a win-win for my life. My strongest suggestion to help you be your personal best is: Self Care, Self Care, Self Care! Let yourself succeed. Self Care is an investment in your personal resources. Whether the achievement of your goals requires a lot or a little of your resources, you need to take care of your most important tool – yourself. Here is a list of 10 self care techniques you can use to be your personal best.
Movement and nutrition are essential to self care. Learn to lovingly and joyfully move your body. Dance, do yoga, stretch, walk or engage in more vigorous exercise. Feed yourself everything your body needs to be healthy. If you’re not sure what this is, start by drinking more water and eating more greens.
Both of these experiences have a positive effect on our overall wellbeing. They help us de-stress and relax. Animal’s playful and loving ways do wonders for our moods. And taking a walk in the woods can help us feel connected to the larger world. If you can’t get outside, get a plant, or two or three.
We’re wired 24/7 these days. We wake up and almost immediately look at our smartphone or TV. If you haven’t already put yourself on a technology diet, I’d suggest doing so. Limiting the amount of time you spend looking at screens can have a fabulous effect on your quality of life.
It takes two to tango. If you’re in a negative mindset, then chances are the people around you are too. Take some time to work on your mindset first. Bring more positivity into the way you think and speak. Then choose to be around people who reflect your new mindset, whether they are new acquaintances or not.
Nothing pulls your well-being down more than un-cleared anger and resentment towards others. The only person suffering from your negative thinking is you. People can be short-sighted and can sometimes make mistakes. Yet, holding onto the mistakes of others is the biggest mistake of all.
Spending time with people you love and doing fun things with them – especially things that include lots of laughter – is a wonderful way to relax and connect two important aspects of self care.
Obsessive thinking and worry are so commonplace that people think it’s normal to act and feel these ways. While common for sure, these are not healthy patterns. Learn to stop yourself when your worry or catastrophic thinking gets the better of you. Simply say stop and focus your mind on something more pleasant or productive.
Being of service is a powerful way to bring good feeling and wellbeing into your life. Service to others gives us a sense of purpose in the world. So, take a weekend to volunteer at a food bank, community garden or your local Habitat for Humanity. You’ll put some good juju in the world.
Sometimes you just need to tend to your emotional backlog. If you have a lot of built up emotion or if you’ve been dealing with a lot of stress, the best self care might actually be to throw a fit. Lie down on your bed and kick and hit the mattress with your arms and legs. Scream if it feels right. You’ll feel like a million bucks afterwards.
Nothing changes your attitude like gratitude. Take a moment every day to write or state at least three things that you’re grateful for. So many of us have so much to be thankful for. Remember this is a form of self care.
Download or print out this handy list and tack it somewhere you will see on the daily!
After years of working my tail off, I realized that if I didn’t take care of myself one of two things was going to happen. Either I was going to compromise my health or I was going to compromise my results.
Self care became my battle cry. Over time, I learned the undeniable merits of self-care. I also came to understand that practicing self-care can sometimes be difficult to fit into a busy day-to-day schedule. When I made my practice of self-care a priority, both my health and my ability to get better results increased. This was a win-win for my life.
My strongest suggestion to help you be your personal best is: Self Care, Self Care, Self Care!
Self Care is an investment in your personal resources. Whether the achievement of your goals requires a lot or a little of your resources, you need to take care of your most important tool – your self.
Here is a list of 10 self care techniques you can use to be your personal best.
Give a Damn. Make a Difference.
Dr. Kate Siner