Sounds simple enough, right? Too simple perhaps? It can’t be that easy… Surely there is a trick to that piece of wisdom… And yet there isn’t or rather there is a way to ask…
I was chatting with a good friend of mine recently and as I was saying it was a good time to set intentions she looked confused… “I never ask for anything”, she replied. And yet she struggles with physical issues, financial issues, relationship issues…
Setting intentions for yourself is extremely important. First because it helps you clarify what you want and don’t want in your life. Second because for the Universe to manifest it, you have to express it.
When I used to be in the business world, I was quite a different manager than most. I spent lots of time with my team, in and out of the office. I have always been very interested in the complexity of human beings and as such always needed to understand the individuals in front of me. What makes them tick, where they struggle, what kind of blockages they might have. I strongly believe that it is only by knowing someone deeply that you can help them become the higher version of themselves. Most of them I got to know on a very personal level and I always used this connection to help them go beyond. Not that I have been trained as a coach, it is just that some aspects of coaching came very naturally to me because I was genuinely interested and I seemed to have a gift for sensing what they might need to develop for themselves.
Throughout the years I had developed my own phrases of wisdom and one of them was:
‘You are in control of the what, not of the when, how or who’.
In other words, you are the captain of your ship, but you do not control the wind, the tides and the under current.
Only you know what you want to have in your life, the ‘what’. Nobody else does. What you truly want, not what society tells you you should want. And this is where a lot of confusion comes from. You see, society tends to define objectives for your happiness: beauty, money, status, success and tends to put milestones and deadlines against them: when I am thirty, when I am married, when I buy a house. Not only it defines what happiness and success should look like, but it plots it against a strict timeframe. Sorry to say but this is bullshit…
‘What’ is not an objective it is a feeling, a state of being you want to reach…. Harmony, strength, fearlessness, joy, peace, fulfilment, contentment, love…
If you really think about it, you don’t want to be a manager by the end of the year, you want to feel fulfilled in your work, accomplished and recognised. If you really think about it, you don’t need to be married with three kids before the age of thirty, you want love, you want to feel appreciated, you want joy.
The problem is we tend to confuse the what with the how and we tend to be specific about the who and the when… And this what causes us pain and unhappiness.
Setting intentions for yourself means looking deep within your heart and defining the state of being you want to reach, in all areas that are important to you. What do you want to feel? Not what do you want to achieve… There is a difference: spiritual intentions versus societal objectives.
I always encourage people to take time for themselves and set those intentions in that specific way and write them down. Writing them down forces you to think and formulate it clearly. It also allows you to come back to it and compare what has happened with what you wrote… You would be surprised by the results.
At one stage in my career I was very unhappy: I felt I didn’t get the money and the position I deserved. Totally randomly one day I came across what I had written when I was looking for a job and what was my surprise when I read ‘money is not important, what I want is….’ There it was, in front of me! It was not something I had wished for and so it didn’t materialise for me. Quite simple really.
The beauty of setting intentions is: they are not written in stone. You are free to change them as you please… but not every day that would confuse the hell out of the universe! Every couple of years sounds more like it, because you evolve and your aspirations evolve as well.
So there you are. If you are unhappy with your life right now: ask and you shall receive. But don’t ask for the next promotion, or a specific salary, don’t ask for a tall, blond dude with a Porsche… That’s a ‘how’. The Universe is in control of the how, not you. Ask for a job that challenges you and where you are recognised, or on the contrary for a job where you feel comfortable and brings you financial security, whatever floats your boat. Ask for a man that loves you like a goddess and brings out the best in you, or a guy that will provide for your needs, it is up to you. But when you do, don’t start moaning about all the other things you feel are not ‘right’. You made a choice for a reason, stick to it. Or look back inside your heart and change your wish. But don’t ask for a set of contradictory things. Make up your mind.
You are in control of the what… But remember the how it will manifest, the when and the through whom is not in your control. That is the Universe’s turf not yours. And the Universe is incredibly surprising and magical when you let it express itself.
We confuse what and how but we also struggle with the when. We want it now, next month, definitely this year! Forgetting that some ‘whats’ need time to unravel… They need us to be ready for it. In setting intentions clarity and patience are crucial.
Spring and new moon phases are excellent periods to set intentions. Thinking of what you want to release and is not serving you right now, and what you would want to build for yourself. Do it. Look inside your heart and express what you want. What and not how, when and who. Be clear and be patient. For each area of your life think of the one, two, three things that are really important to you. Not the hundred things, the most important ones. By thinking about what really matters, it helps you put things into perspective and manage potential frustration. Is it more comfort or adventure you are after? Is it more fun or is it peace? Is it consistency or is it diversity and surprises?
There are no right or wrong answers. There are certainly no shameful intentions. If you want material comfort it is ok. If you want to be recognised it is ok. But don’t get stuck into what that actually means: a car, a house and all the white picket fences. 10,000 followers and 1,000 likes per post… Remember: spiritual intentions vs societal objectives.
The Universe cannot answer you if yourself you don’t know what happiness feels like. Not looks like but feels like.
But I will tell you this: the Universe is incredibly creative and reactive to you and your thoughts. It has much more options down its sleeves than the ones you can fathom. Take the time, set your intentions in full consciousness, answer the key question of ‘what is is that I want in my life’ truthfully with no shame. Don’t let life carry you right, left and centre, without defining where you want to go. Take control. Set your compass and let it unravel. It might be harder than you thought, it might take longer than you thought but it will take you exactly where you wished for. What do you have to loose?