Intention—Our Portal to Creation
by Elena Greco
January 3, 2016
Typical reading time: 3 minutes
It’s the time of year when people are talking about their New Year’s Resolutions. The word “resolution” has the root “resolve,” so we might think that resolutions would be strong predictors of the future. Unfortunately, we would be wrong. What most people mean by “New Year’s Resolution” is more wishful thinking than resolve, and not many of these “resolutions” will bear fruit.
I recommend strongly that you consider creating New Year’s Intentions, rather than New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s why.
First, what is an intention? Put very simply, it’s a goal fueled by our desire, but with the strength of our will and commitment behind it. An intention is a focused, specific goal to which we commit ourselves. “Commit” means to give yourself to, to give your word to yourself, or to make a personal investment in. A goal is an achievement we desire to complete. In forming an intention, we are directing our essential creative power and commitment into a specific goal, and we are holding ourselves accountable in this commitment. We are using the creative power that is always at our disposal.
How is an intention different from a New Year’s resolution? Most New Year’s resolutions resemble a wish list: “My resolution is to lose 10 pounds” or “My resolution is to stop smoking.” These “resolutions” often lack the important elements of resolve and commitment, and they are usually framed negatively. These things make this type of “resolution” highly unlikely to succeed.
Language is powerful. The words we speak, not only to others, but to ourselves, shape and ultimately create our life experiences. This is particularly evident in our intentions. Since our life is essentially guided by, and unfolds as a result of, our intentions, it is a very good thing to be attentive to the wording of our intentions, even to those we speak only to ourselves.
Another important thing to remember is that the mind does not understand negatives. If you repeatedly tell yourself, for example, “I am NOT going to smoke,” the mind hears only “smoke.” You will almost certainly end up smoking again, despite your wish not to do it. A more powerful way to word that intention would be something like this: “My intention is to have a healthy body and continuously practice healthy actions to maintain it.” If you write this as one of your New Year’s Intentions, you would perhaps follow up by listing healthy actions you could perform to maintain a healthy body, as well as any negatives you currently have. For each negative, you could write positive steps to take in overcoming it, possibly adding target dates for those steps and any support you might need for them.
Then remind yourself often of the thought that governs all of these actions, “My intention is to have a healthy body and continuously practice healthy actions to maintain it.” Why? Because by focusing on that intention, rather than solely on the steps we have determined to be involved in pursuing it, we are allowing the wonderful unpredictability of the world to assist us in our intention. While carrying that intention alive within us, we might unexpectedly run into people who have information that can assist us in ways we would not have foreseen. Events might occur that open our eyes to factors that contribute to keeping the negative in place, that we then have the opportunity to examine and overcome.
And since we’re really committing in a big way here, and since anything is possible when we fuel our intentions with our commitment, why not go for the gold? So many New Year’s Resolutions seem so small. Why not dig deep and make your life exactly what you want it to be, while you’re at it?
So to recap: 1) Make your intention broad enough to allow for the unpredictable and unexpected; 2) pay close attention to the wording of your intention as this will determine its effectiveness; 3) keep it positive; and 4) go for your dreams!
Periodically throughout the year, at least once a month, I look at my New Year’s Intentions to remind myself of them. At the end of each year, I take stock of what in those intentions I have manifested and what I have not. If any of them did not come to fruition, I ask myself why, and see if it might be because I did not frame the intention well enough (because language is everything when it comes to intentions!), or if I might have been thinking more of what I “should” be doing, rather than what I was really committed to. Intentions really have to come from your essence, not your mind, in order to work powerfully.
Now that I have written my New Year’s Intentions for this year, I feel energized! That is what happens when we use our innate creative power to govern our lives. It becomes exciting! Which is as it should be, since life is an active adventure … not a task list.
I invite you to create your New Year’s Intentions with the ideas above in mind. May your Intentions take you on a beautiful adventure!
Elena Greco is a writer, singer, producer/director and integrative counselor. Her specialties as a counselor are trauma and communication; she has a degree in Counseling Psychology / Human Development. As a writer, she maintains a personal blog and has been published in national publications, including Psychology Today and Classical Singer; she has two books coming out on Kindle soon, one about vocal collaborators and one about trauma. She writes about the creative arts, psychology, communication, persuasion, health, social issues, culture and politics. She is founder, producer and director of EGMP, a company which offers a different kind of entertainment, one which actively and uniquely engages both performers and audience, presenting projects that entertain, educate and enliven. EGMP fosters transformation and the expansion of creative energy in both performers and audience, through music, visual art, technology and other creative expressions that expand the senses. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on the web at www.elenagreco.com.