Sometimes life becomes so routine and “normal” that it’s easy to find myself stuck on autopilot. And sure, autopilot can be great when it comes to getting lunches packed, coffee made, and the taters started on breakfast before I can join them. But some days I feel that I missed an entire day. I try to write in my journal and it’s just a list of things I did, robotic and unattached. There wasn’t any living, it was just doing.
Recently, I’ve found myself at odds with this in terms of my spiritual path. I’ve found myself doing things because others do them that way. Like I read in a book that I’m supposed to do X then Y then Z because that’s what the author does. I watched a video and was instructed to this thing this certain way because that’s how they do it. But I’m not them.
This has been my biggest challenge since starting on my solitary spiritual path. Being solitary works really well for me, but its hard to feel any sliver of confidence because I’m so new to this whole thing. So much that I’ve spent an incredibly long time in the “research” phase of this path. Constantly pushing off actually doing something because I need to read 4 more things that support or deny it. I need to wait for the right time or I jump into a new subject because it’s easier for me to read and research than find the courage to act on what I know.
I have many theories in my head, many reasons for using this herb or this lunar phase or why its important to some to work in a circle and why others don’t care. Sure, but that’s paper and thoughts. That’s not actions.
I want to share the one thing that I have noticed works really well for me. Setting an Intention. Whenever I pull tarot cards, I try to sit for a moment and set an intention before I even touch my deck. Sometimes I write this in my tarot journal, but if I’m short on time then I just say it to myself.
Setting an intention is like lighting a candle. It provides a focused amount of light to help guide the activity, be it tarot draws, meditation, even a spell. For me, it helps provide focus, which helps me better connect to the activity. Sometimes I make them very specific, sometimes broad and open statements. It just depends on the day and action at hand. I have noticed that I am more receptive to understanding a message when I have an intention than if I pull a card just to pull.
Intentions can also help kick me out of autopilot. Instead of just reaching to my cards, shuffling, and picking one, I have something to think about, puzzle through, and gnaw on as I study the card or cards. Is it guiding or leading me to certain interpretations, certainly; however, I feel that I glean more from the cards this way than just looking at them blind. Not only will intentions help provide nudges and directions, they also help get me more in-tune with what I’m doing.
Intentions can be set for anything, even outside of the land of the spiritual realm. I sometimes set them for myself when I have to run errands with the kiddos, when I make dinner, even at the start of my day.
They can be pages upon pages in a journal. They can be a few words. They can even be an image. It’s up to you. They can have their own pomp and ceremony or just be conceived between breaths. Whatever feels right. Sometimes I get carried away with them in my journal, but sometimes I just envision myself smiling contently after doing some action. They don’t have to be fancy, recorded, or even remembered after the action. But they are super helpful in guiding the action. A simple phrase such as “I am strong” can do amazing things for you, despite its small size.
I’ve found many websites that offer “powerful” or “inspiriting” intentions for you to borrow. Borrow them if you need to, but never forget that you are capable of creating just as powerful or inspiring intentions yourself.
For me, action without an intention leaves room for anxiety. Am I doing this right? I don’t feel anything. Did I miss a step? Am I even close to doing this right? What did I do wrong? Thoughts like that flood through my head. But with an intention, I don’t have to look so far and wide to feel something or see something. It doesn’t skew my vision much either because sometimes I have a plan that goes this certain way, and then the actions take me another way either because the way I want isn’t the best way or the way I want isn’t the only way.
I can talk up a storm about this topic. I need to remember to put this into practice when I do my actions. Not only will they lend clarity, but they will also build confidence. Something I feel that I really need in order to ever start doing all of the things I’ve read about.
Do you set intentions? When and why? Any favorites?