Artwork by Emmy White
Artwork by Emmy White

What does it mean to set an intention? The dictionary defines intention as a determination to act in a certain way, purpose, aim, objective. For me it means being mindful, purposeful, direct and clear about asking the Universe for what I want to manifest in my life. At yoga class this morning 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 will be leading the Artist’s Way Retreat in October at the ARC Retreat Center near Cambridge, MN. Not only will I set a my own intention for the retreat, I will also invite each of the women at the retreat to set a personal intention for themselves. A few examples of meaningful intentions for a women’s retreat might look like this. How can I be kinder to myself for the next 48 hours? How can I be more present in my primary relationship? How can I trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this moment in my life? What can I do to make peace with my body? How can I recharge my creativity? How can I listen to and honor my inner wisdom? How can I learn to enjoy my own company?

I invite you to step back from the busyness of your everyday life and join a group of enlightened, energetic, fun women at the Artist’s Way Retreat October 19 -21 at the ARC Retreat Center.

Setting An Intention
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6 thoughts on “Setting An Intention

  • September 9, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Love learning about the etymology of the word Nancy. Stretching towards something is a perfect way to think about intentions isn’t it? I work with them extensively and always invite my clients to as well. For me it feels like activating a focal point and a reminder to stay aligned.

  • September 10, 2014 at 6:18 am

    I don’t set an intention every day, but when I do , I notice a difference. Mind you when I do, it’s usually because I feel that I need one – when I’m feeling lost, unmoored, anxious, selfish or guilty… taking a minute to set an intention definitely pays off on those occasions, even if I didn’t have one beforehand.

  • September 10, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I don’t set an intention every day. I tend to set intentions for projects, and then just let the days flow around that. I’m curious, though: when you do choose to set a daily intention, how does that look for you? Could you share a few examples?

    I love the Artist’s Way and have done the course maybe six times. I’m sure your retreat will be amazing. What a wonderful opportunity for those nearby!

  • September 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Harmony, here are a few examples of daily intentions I have used. How can I be more loving and compassionate toward myself today? How can I go with the flow today? What is the next right thing for me today? Sometimes it is a reminder that comes to me in my Morning Pages, a mantra like all is well or walk in faith or live with courage. Hope this is helpful:)

  • September 10, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks for your comments Tat! Setting an intention for my day, my yoga practice, my upcoming retreat brings the focus to the positive, the affirmative. It centers and grounds me and my days seems to go better when I set an intention.

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