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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Toler

Intention Setting & The Life of Your Dreams

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Intention Setting is a POWERFUL practice that has helped me to reimagine and re-create my life so that it fits with the unique way I'm made ~ my soul's blueprint. This has allowed more clarity, ease, grace, abundance, and purpose to flow into my life. I more deeply understand myself and what I came here to do.

Today, I'm going to share the details of my practice with you and invite you to join me on December 18th to experience it for yourself. [Click here to join me for a FREE Women’s Intention Setting Circle online December 18th at 6pm ET / 3pm PT.]

Intention Setting is a Yin practice that helps you to align with and create the life of your dreams.

Contrary to New Year’s Resolutions, which are focused on “resolving” something, we realize there is nothing to resolve, only shifts to be made.

There is no swimming upstream or pushing hard to get what you want. There is simply an unfolding that occurs as your path is laid out before you. You release the old, outdated versions of yourself as you step forward on your path with inspired action.

When I began my intention setting practice 15 years ago, I would do this at every new moon, when new seeds are planted. Nature’s symbolism resonates with me and the lunar cycle kept me checking in with myself on a regular basis.

Now that I feel a deeper sense of soul-alignment, I use this practice only when I’m seeking clarity and also at the new year, as a way to harness the collective energy of change. Winter is a great time to reflect, get clear, and make your list.

This is a potent practice and making space to get clear on this now will pay dividends later.

How To Set Intentions…

Set aside some time to consider all areas of your life: physical and mental health, home cooking, home environment, exercise/movement, career and finances, relationships and social life, self-development, creativity, hobbies and free time, spirituality, and the cultivation of joy.

Then ask yourself questions like:

  • What shifts need to happen in each of these areas for me to step into the most empowered and aligned version of myself?

  • What would it take for me to feel deep satisfaction in life?

  • What do I want my life to look like? To feel like?

  • What energies do I need to cultivate for a greater sense of wholeness?

This practice aligns our consciousness toward a sense of wholeness, so we can move our lives in that direction.

Then, brainstorm and write down anything that comes to you. I usually keep a list on my phone or a piece of paper and add to it as ideas come in, which can take me a week or more! Let this process take the time that it needs.

When you feel complete, take your list and refine it. Group similar statements and look for elevated themes, then write your intentions. I’m usually able to distill all my brainstorming into a list of 10-15 powerful intention statements.

These statements are not the same as goals. Goals are tactical in nature; intentions focus on the desired outcome, as opposed to details about the “how”. But goals can serve as a starting point to understand the bigger picture of what a sense of wholeness would look like for you. So rather than saying something like “I’m going to go to the gym every day”, the bigger intention may be to live the lifestyle of someone who is active, fit, energized, and full of vitality.

Once we can feel into and really articulate what we want, we naturally begin to take aligned action and embody the the life we're dreaming of.

Here are a few examples from my 2023 Intentions…

  • I am present and show up to motherhood and family life with love, patience, compassion, acceptance, and nurturing energy. It is healing and restorative for all of us.

  • I trust, surrender, and allow Spirit to work through me. I allow purpose and divine alignment to unfold before me as my offering to the world.

  • I step even more into my power to embody my potential. I keep a bird’s eye view while consistently taking bold and potent action, in business and life.

  • I materialize the financial security and abundance that I need to live as my most confident, empowered, authentic, whole-self so that I can always afford to serve humanity by doing what I love.

  • I consistently take aligned action through diet and lifestyle choices to cultivate more vitality with my physical health.

  • I cultivate joy regularly through connection with others, adventure, a sense of curiosity, and wonderment about the world.

Then I usually tag on a little note at the bottom like,

“All of this or something better, with ease and grace.

Aho! May it be so. And so it is.”

You can use these examples to model your own intentions if you need help, but ultimately they need to come from a space deep within yourself to truly manifest. When I contemplate what I’ve written above, the embodied experience of living in the energies of this list makes me feel free, secure, stable, inspired, deeply fulfilled, strong, grounded, successful, internally peaceful and confident in who I am and what I have to offer the world. These are the types of feelings we are looking to cultivate when visioning our future. It’s okay to dream big here, and there’s no need to feel guilty about it – this is YOUR life! Live it!

Once my list is complete, I like to do a little practice to energize it. Below are my favorite ways to energize my list. You can start with these, but I encourage you to find your own way. Maybe you'll turn yours into affirmations that you repeat on your morning runs, or write a song and share it. We all have our own unique ways of expressing ourselves in the world.

Personalized Ritual… I clear a personal space with sage or palo santo, do some breathwork or centering practice, review the list, and then meditate on the experience I’d be having of life if I were embodying the outcome of these intentions, one-by-one. What do I feel like? What do I look like? How am I spending my time? Then I say a prayer or blessing over it. I end with gratitude and then tuck the list away in my wallet until I’m complete with the list.

With Yoga… I place my list in front of my mat and then have an energized yoga practice, or even just a few rounds of sun salutations as I consciously send my desires out into the universe with all the love, excitement, heat, and energy I'm generating. Then I keep the list in my yoga space until I feel complete.

Through Art… I paint my list onto a canvas and then paint over it. In the past I’ve painted full moon gardens to symbolize the fruition of these intentions, or a self-portrait depicting my joy at embodying the outcome of these intentions. I put my painting somewhere I’ll see it often to serve as a subconscious reminder to stay on track. Check out my short beginner painting course: Paint Your Dreams & Watch Them Grow, where we paint a full moon garden together, just $11.

In Circle… Sometimes I’ll call up my friends to join me in circle where we share, meditate, and feel into our visions together. Using our voices to share our dreams and connect with other women in a safe circle is very powerful.

Curious to experience the incredible power of Intention Setting?

Warmly, Stephanie

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