candlesWhat is it to live an intentional life? For me it means being mindful, purposeful, direct and clear about asking the Universe for what I want to manifest in my life. At a recent yoga class the instructor invited us to set an intention for the next 48 hours to focus on body/mind balance. What a great intention! An intention can be set on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. I have to admit I don’t set intentions every day. When I do set a daily intention, my day seems to unfold in a good, orderly direction. In her best selling book The Woman’s Retreat Book, Jennifer Louden shares her thoughts on intentions. She suggests stating the intention as a question rather than a statement.  ” A loving, questioning intention gives your inner knowing something precious to gaze on, the illuminated essence of your retreat. Your intention is a still point of purpose to refer back to when you feel lost, unmoored from your ordinary life, or anxious or selfish or guilty. It helps you to concentrate your time in a way that has heart and meaning. The word intention comes from the Latin root intendere, meaning to stretch toward something.

I was honored to lead a women’s retreat recently at Carondelet Center in St Paul. The women who attended the retreat were living intentionally by retreating from their everyday lives and carving out time for themselves to reflect, meditate and spend time in silence. Taking time to retreat helps one to gain perspective, new insights, information, and the ability to discern what is really important in one’s life.

What about you? How can you live more intentionally? What do you want to manifest in your life? Where do you need more clarity in your life? How can you practice mindfulness on a daily basis?

Living Intentionally
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8 thoughts on “Living Intentionally

  • February 26, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Nancy,

    Glad the retreat went well. I love the idea of setting an intention for each day. I finally got myself a copy of The Artist’s Way. Since then, I’ve seen several copies in thrift stores. I’ve even started doing some morning pages. I forget sometimes, but it’s a work in progress.

  • February 26, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Great reminder Nancy! Lately, I have been trying to state my intention even while doing the little things. It is something that I had heard about for some time but just never made it into a practice. But thanks to several reminders in various books I have been reading and now your post here, I am setting the intention to make this a regular habit. Thanks!

  • February 26, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks Elda. I set an intention to do yoga today by putting my yoga mat on the living room floor. The day is still young:)

  • February 26, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Good for you Amy! Glad to hear you picked up the Artist’s Way and have started writing morning pages. It’s a wonderful habit to cultivate.

  • February 26, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Oh how wonderful you lead another retreat – I’m sure it was great. I find it very very helpful to live intentionally, and try to incorporate that into my life as much as possible. For years I’ve met with a small circle of friends by phone each Monday morning and we set intentions for our week. It’s a wonderful fun practice.

  • February 26, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    The idea of a questioning intention is very intriguing. Could you give us some examples — maybe ways you’ve used questioning intentions in your own life? I’m curious!

  • February 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Thanks for your kind words Deborah. I like the idea of meeting with a friend/s on the phone each Monday to set an intention/s for the week.

  • February 26, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks for your comments Harmony. Here are a few examples from Jennifer Louden’s book “The Woman’s Retreat Book.” How can I trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment in my life? How can I learn to enjoy my own company? What can I do to make peace with my body. Here are a few that I have personally used. How can I recharge my creativity? How can I honor and thank my body for all the work it does? What is the message whispering in my ear today? Hope this is helpful.

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