It’s after 10 pm as I write this. One of the things I have learned about intention is the “holding” of this. What do I mean by this? Well, “holding” is a space where whatever intention we have, stays. It tends to disappear when things get overwhelming, uncomfortable, or frustrating. My intention was to write this piece today and despite having a busy day with tasks, meetings, groups, advising students and the like; it is now after 10 pm as I write this in the day. “Holding” this intention from Monday is what I mean by applying intention. What we want to do can be a great stress buster, when we stay focused on the intention and not all the distractions. Here are some suggestions with “holding”.
- Monday I provided a brief description of what intention is and how it looks. Let’s go back to what you came up with. I mentioned my intention was to eat healthier and that meant cooking at home and baking things I can enjoy (without the guilt of course). “Holding” this also means expanding this purpose. It’s not just an action here. My intention brings me a feeling of joy (which is positive), fulfillment, and confidence as I develop and build a skill and explore something I genuinely enjoy. Despite the day being “full” and providing limited opportunity to make something healthier, I continue to “hold” this intention knowing that there are going to be other opportunities. In fact, Sunday I go to a vegan potluck, so I’ll be making space in the upcoming days to try my hand at baking or cooking something.
- “Holding” means giving yourself reminders. It’s so easier to be seduced by comfort and most things that require “less effort”. I know it may sound corny to some; however, because I am a visual person, vision boards and images are great reminders for me. I keep some images in my residence, pictures in my office, on my phone, etc. I even bought a calendar to write in, because “seeing” these reminders also helps.
The second way others have applied intention is to create a ritual. Again, this may sound corny; however, think about things you regularly do: brush your teeth, drink coffee, eat breakfast. These are routine things with a purpose and rituals work in a similar way; however, they are a bit more sacred to the purpose. When your intention has meaning and value to you, it’s sacred. It’s important to honor that and a ritual of some sort can help. Simple is fine. If you meditate, maybe you incorporate an intention. If you pray, maybe you do the same. If you take a moment of silence in the car, perhaps you also honor your intention to yourself.
These are two ways to apply intention and of course, these are not the only ones. If you find yourself applying intention, let me know how you do this. National Stress Awareness Month is not just about being aware of stress, it’s about being aware of how to decrease the stress!
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