ENERGY FOLLOWS INTENTION
And How You Can Master Both
We all have that one friend who constantly pauses for a “vibe check” or tries to warn you about your boyfriend having bad juju. While Tiffany might be taking things to a somewhat annoying extreme, she might be onto something when it comes to how energy affects us. The idea of setting intentions and repeating affirmations to influence how we feel (how positive or negative our energy is) has become wildly popular over the past few years. But what does it all mean? And does it really work?
In Chinese, ‘qi’ is the term for ‘energy’. In Eastern Medicine & TCM, it’s believed that energy flows within everything– humans, animals, plants, and even planets in our world. In order for things to work how they were meant to, it’s important that there’s a steady balance of energy. For example, letting every little thing your significant other nags you about piss you off is going to create an imbalance.
Whether we’re not taking care of our mental and emotional health or we’re in the midst of what seems like a never-ending streak of bad luck outside our control, the resulting energy imbalance is believed to be strong enough to cause serious issues. On the flip side, if we choose to work through those challenges with peace and positivity, we can create healing. This idea actually spreads beyond just physical health, though! What does your dream life look like? A promotion at work? A pay raise? More confidence? Energy follows our intentions.
This isn’t just some woo-woo mumbo jumbo your yoga teacher tells you to make you feel better about life, however. Western science is catching on to the power of intentional energy. In the 2007 book, The Intention Experiment, author Lynne McTaggart compiles the research of scientists around the world on the impact of intention. One of these researchers, professor emeritus William A. Tiller of Stanford University explains:
“For the last 400 years, an unstated assumption of science is that human intention cannot affect what we call ‘physical reality’. Our experimental research of the past decade shows that, for today’s world and under the right conditions, this assumption is no longer correct. We humans are much more than we think we are and Psychoenergetic Science continues to expand the proof of it.”
What Does Intention Really Mean?
Time for some mythbusting. One of the biggest misconceptions about setting intentions is that if you want something really badly and think about how much you want it, it will happen. I’m just as disappointed as you are that this isn’t the way it works. If all it took was thinking about what we want, I’d be lounging next to my mansion’s pool sipping on a pina colada while I manage my Kardashian-level empire right now. So what’s the difference between setting an intention and just wanting something?
Let’s bring it back to the basics. The definition of intention in the Cambridge Dictionary is, “something you want and plan to do or bring about”. That definition alone outlines the key element of intention. Not only do you have to want it, you need to have a plan to make it happen. Wishing and hoping without action doesn’t lead to change. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t visit and focus on those intentions daily, however.
Visualizing the success you seek each day can help you keep your eye on the prize and maintain a positive flow of energy towards those goals. The key is to get specific when setting your intentions. Rather than, “I am successful”, try “I am a successful Senior Sales Manager”. Or instead of “I am wealthy”, try “All my needs are taken care of”. When you zero in on the specifics of what you actually want and concentrate your positive energy towards those goals, you can more easily determine the steps needed to get there.
How Do Energy and Intention Work Together?
This is the part of the movie where the hero realizes she has superpowers! When we combine our specific intentions with our inner energetic forces, we are basically unleashing a superpower we all have within us. Imagine the TCM philosophy about meridians. The energy, or qi, within our bodies is said to flow along the meridian channels that run from our head to our toes. These channels dictate the path of energy, ensuring every organ and limb gets what it needs to function at the highest level.
In this same way, our intentions lay out the path, or channel, for the energy to flow into. When our energy has a direction and purpose, it works with us to accomplish incredible things. This means that if you’re feeling discouraged or out of balance, your energy is likely to be out-of-sorts resulting in a lower drive towards your goals. Or if your intentions are muddled and non-specific, you might find you have a ton of powerful energy being scattered about into activities and tasks you don’t really care about.
This is why it’s important to focus on your intentions daily while maintaining your holistic wellness so you have the energy to follow through. Not sold on it yet? William A. Tiller’s research has shown that repeating mantras and intentions create new energetic patterns within your consciousness. Research has shown that specific, directed intention by humans can literally kill bacteria at an increased rate of 30%, and adjust the pH of water in either direction by 1 point.
Three Steps to Mastering Intention Setting
Want in on the intention game but have no clue where to start? We got you, boo! All it takes is following three easy steps and following through with consistency. The steps are awareness, intention, and action.
Step 1: Awareness
Before you can set an intention, take the time to get in touch with your innermost self. What are your true desires out of life? What do you need more of in your days? What areas of your life do you wish to improve on? Be honest with yourself. Don’t rush yourself to an answer, either. This process might take a few days or weeks of mindfulness, and that’s okay.
Step 2: Intention
Step two is actually setting your intentions. Based on your desires and needs, craft very specific intentions as outlined above. Be sure to keep all your phrases in the present tense as “I am” or “I have” statements. You have to speak into your life the future you want. These intentions can relate to anything in your life; career, relationships, personal growth, health, and so on. Be sure to set aside time each day to meditate on these intentions. You should repeat the intention and visualize the future they represent.
Step 3: Action
Step three is all about taking strategic action. Write down each of your intentions on a piece of paper. Based on your visualizations of each, what will it take to get there? These action items might already be obvious to you or might require some research to figure out. Take that leather bound notebook you bought, but never use, and jot down both your intentions and a baby steps to get you there. Positive action sparks even more energy in our lives, so as you make progress towards the achievement of your intentions, you’ll likely find your inner confidence soars too.