What would you do if you observed a fork in your life? Not silverware, but rather a metaphorical split in the road that showed you two separate paths. Different directions the course of your life would take from that point on based on your choices and actions. If you don’t know where you want to go, then it won’t matter which road you take. But, what if you took the time to figure out an ideal destination or outcome, then the means in which you reach the ends matters a whole lot. And, you’d be able to reach that destination in the most effective, satisfying way. Choices like which school to attend, which person to marry, where to live, what job offer to take, how to react to a given situation, all stem from one’s goals and intentions. If an individual commits to their intentions, it may positively effect their choices: feel more satisfied with outcomes, follow through, reach a desired goal. An intention is an overall aim or plan of a person, “a thing intended”. Understanding your own intentions is difficult, it requires focus, reflection, and action. The ability to form an intention and commit to it is vital in the decision making process. Both the movement arts: Tango and Yoga are great ways to learn more about your intentions. Through these physical expressions, one can practice identifying their internal intentions and how it feels to follow through with committed actions. However, there are other useful way to harness the power of your intentions, that may be reinforced by Yoga philosophies and Tango lessons.
1. Consider your goals and plan steps to achieve them.
Writing down goals on paper is a great way to consider intentions. Making a wish list is also helpful to bringing attention to what you consider meaningful and important in your life. When you see the list of dreams or desires in front of you, it forces you to be conscious of them. Example: I want a new car. Do you need to put money aside and start saving, how much? What type of car? Should you pick up more shifts at work? What smaller, reachable goals can you set for yourself using the power of your intention? Maybe your sights are set on a more long term goal. Example: I wish to contribute positive change in the global community. What positive changes do you think are necessary? What are effective ways to initiate those changes? Can you find some like-minded individuals to help you? How would you contact/communicate with them? In order to achieve your goals or dreams, whatever they may be, begins with setting the intention to achieve them. But first, you have to know what your goals are and consider how you will accomplish them. Second, you have to break down the main goal into smaller, achievable, or “digestible” goals that you can take in portions to carefully and effectively fulfill your wishes.
2. Learn to trust your choices and practice following through.
Doubt is something everybody deals with. The trick is not to get down on yourself and give up! Treat yourself with compassion when the going gets tough. Trust yourself! When a friend feels doubtful and worried about a decision they made, what is something you would say to reassure them that they are on the right path? Learn to say some of those things to yourself every now and then! Most humans definitely tend to suffer from “The Grass is Greener on the Other Side” Syndrome. Doubts will sneak into your mind and it is up to you to combat them with hope, positivity, and self-love. Reflection is good, but don’t drive yourself crazy with hurtful criticism or self-deprecation. When you follow through with a goal or plan, the satisfaction will positively reinforce commitment to your intentions leaving you feeling an accomplished self-advocate! Take responsibility in nurturing your goals by following through with your intentions. This can lead to greater senses of empowerment, empathy for others, and respect for yourself.
3. Harnessing the power of your intentions is a skill to be learned.
Practice makes progress, by getting in touch with your desires and goals, one can learn to identify and act on their intentions. Perhaps some are good, some are bad. Some are harmful, some are helpful. It is difficult to know where are intentions fall on a subjective spectrum of morality, but I am a believer in “gut feelings” or instincts to navigate the grayer areas. Practice anything that helps you improve your abilities to concentrate and focus. For me, Yoga and Tango are wonderful examples of this. When leading in Tango, you must commit to your steps in order to make your intention clear to your partner and to yourself. Connections to self, partner, floor, music, and community are completely lost when you move with a big question mark over your head. Yoga gives me the time to reflect internally, practice focus with deep breathing and shifting of awareness to different areas of the body, and challenge myself mentally and physically. Considering my goals for the moment, hour, day, week, month, year, or more, has helped me shape an identity that is cohesive with my dreams. It seems like that’s something basically everyone wants: to conceive, achieve, and experience their dreams grow from an internal idea to external reality.
Learn your dreams by asking yourself: “What do I want?”. Explore possible steps you can take to achieve your goals. Learn to trust your choices and follow through with your commitments in order to feel responsible for your successes and your mistakes. Remember: Harnessing the power of intention is a skill to be learned, so engage in activities or ways of thinking that help you practice concentration, focus, and commitment. When you strengthen the mind-body connection, thoughts (choices) and actions (behavior) become more cohesive and consistent with an overall purpose that makes your life meaningful. Harnessing the power of your intentions may allow you to feel more empowered as an agent of your own life and identity. Also remember to leave room for surprises! There is no fool-proof plan to accomplish your dreams, but understanding your intentions and the role they play in your choices will be a good start. Embrace your mistakes and learn from them. Trust yourself to figure things out and make good choices at the next fork in the road. Explore your desires and form intentions to make them a reality. Making decisions is challenging, but if you identify your intentions and commit to accomplishing goals, the outcomes can be extremely rewarding. The ability to make your dreams come true is inside of you! Harness the power to build a life around you that you love. Harness the power of intention.