What was your intention when you woke up today? Did you even have an intention? If you’re like most people, then your initial thoughts or self talk probably included a “have to.” “I have to get up,” I have to get a shower,” “I have to go to the gym,” “I have to get the kid’s lunches ready,” or “I have to get that report on my boss’s desk before lunch.” Although possibly true, relevant and even important, these examples are not intentions. They are simply a list of expectations and activities that you have decided are important to complete. Intentions however, are not demands and are free from internal or external pressure. Intentions are more than just plans or goals. Intentions determine the overarching energy and attitude that accompanies all of these daily tasks. So even though you may have all these things that have to be done, you can do them with the intention of being happy, present, grateful, non-reactive, etc.. In other words, your intention is setting the tone for your entire day. If your day was a ship, then intention would be the captain, directing your course to avoid the dangerous waters and storms that could sink your ship.
So begin by altering that early morning self-talk by determining how you want your day to unfold. “I intend to breathe deeply as I rise from bed and go about my day,” or “I intend to be mindful and present while I take my shower and complete all my other daily tasks.”
You may need to frequently remind yourself of your daily intentions. Do that reminding with kindness and compassion. As your practice strengthens you will be able to apply intentions to more than just the day at hand.
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