Thoughts are things. Thoughts have energy and the power to change your world. When you focus your thoughts like a laser beam upon what you want to create in your life, you unleash the incredible power of your mind combined with the infinite creative power of the Universe. This is how goals are achieved and dreams come true.
Focusing your thought on what you want to create is called intention. Marilyn Schlitz, VP of Research and Education at the Institute of Noetic Sciences defines intention as “the projection of awareness, with purpose and efficacy, toward some object or outcome.” Intention is a powerful force that you can use to guide and direct your life. People have been using the power of intention for thousands of years to change their lives. Scientists are beginning to accumulate empirical evidence that supports the idea that intention has the power to change your body, other people, and the world around you.
From Muhammad Ali to Tiger Woods, successful athletes have been using the power of intention for years to improve their performance. Studies have shown that intention produces the same reaction in the brain as action. In other words, if you mentally rehearse speed walking, your brain will send signals to the muscles involved in speed walking – just like if would if you were really speed walking! In fact, studies have shown that people can actually increase the strength of their muscles by simply imagining that they are working out.
Intention not only influences your performance, but it can also influence your health. There is a plethora of evidence that indicates that intention can change heart rate, blood pressure, immune function, pain level, blood loss during surgery, and many other body functions. In addition, there is a growing body of evidence to support the idea that other people’s intentions can influence your body and your health.
Researchers have been investigating the influence of intention on one’s environment. Some of the most compelling evidence has come from The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory at Princeton University. The scientists at PEAR have run millions of trials and the results indicate that people can influence the output of machines known as random-event generators (REGs). REGs are essentially a computerized version of the coin toss (output is 50% “heads” and 50% “tails”). The results from PEAR and other labs show that subjects can influence these REG machines to produce output slanted in the intended direction. Their thoughts are influencing the function and output of the machines!
Another example of intention affecting the environment comes from the studies of the Maharishi Effect. The Maharishi Effect suggests that if 1 percent of a particular area practices TM, the rate of crime, drug abuse, and traffic accidents will decline. Studies are confirming the Maharishi Effect and have shown that cities with the requisite number of TM meditators (1% of population) have a 22-24% reduction in the crime rate.
The bottom line is that intention is a powerful force that can be used to influence your health, your performance, and the world around you. Start by setting your intention for simple things that don’t mean a lot to you (like parking spaces). Practicing in these simple ways is easier because you are not so attached to the outcome. The more attached you are to the outcome, the harder it is to use intention successfully. Fortunately, research has shown that there are certain ways to increase your ability to use intention successfully.
The following 8 steps will help you tap into the power of intention to begin to create the life you want.
1. Create a Sacred Space – Creating a sacred space helps to boost the power of your intention. Research shows that when a particular place is used repeatedly for intention exercises, the intentions begin to “condition” the place. The space begins to hold a “positive energy” and gives a boost to your intentions. You can create a sacred space in a room in your house, a corner of a room, or even a space in your mind’s eye. The important part is to use this space regularly. Fill your sacred space with meaningful items (memorabilia from a vacation, photos, religious items, etc), candles, and music. Remember it is a special place for you, so use your imagination and create it in a way that feels good to you.
2. Create your Intention – When you create your intentions it is important to follow some simple guidelines to create the best results. You want to state your intention in a positive way, stating what you want and using the present tense. For example, rather than saying “I will stop eating sweet foods,” you would say, “I choose healthy foods that nourish my body.” The problem with the first example is that in order to think about stopping the sweet treats, you must first think about the sweets. In other words, you keep your mind focused on the very thing you want to stop. In the second example, your mind will be focused on healthy foods and this will lead to success.
3. Get Centered - Centering is the practice of quieting the mind and relaxing the body to create a sense of peace and acceptance. It is a process of clearing away the mental clutter so that you can access your own inner resources and power. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a simple way to get centered. Place one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen and breathe naturally. Notice which hand moves more as you breathe. It is likely that the hand on your chest moves up and down more than the one on your abdomen. This indicates shallow chest breathing. It is easy to retrain your body to breathe deeply. Imagine a balloon in your stomach. As you inhale, imagine filling this balloon up with air – your abdomen will rise. Then imagine letting the air out of this balloon as you exhale – your abdomen will fall. Try breathing in this deep way for several minutes at a time. Research has shown that breathing in this manner will produce the relaxation response. This will also help to focus and quiet your mind. As you are centering, you will likely find that your mind wanders occasionally. That is perfectly natural. Simply bring your awareness gently back to the quiet peaceful feeling.
4. Field of infinite possibilities – Once you are centered, bring your intention into your awareness. Imagine placing this intention in the field of infinite possibilities – also known as God, the Universe, Allah, Spirit, etc. This field of infinite possibilities is the source of creative forces. It is where life begins and ends. It is the source of mystery, magic, and miracles.
5. Mental Rehearsal – Mental rehearsal is a powerful tool to tap into the power of intention. This process requires you to engage all of your senses to create a vivid experience in your mind’s eye. Imagine yourself already having what you want to create. Mental rehearsal brings together the power of your mind with the creative power of the Universe to help you achieve your goals.
6. Banish Doubt– Once you have put forth your intention into the field of infinite possibilities, it is important to shift into a state of detached trusting. This means that you banish all doubt about whether or not you will be able to create your goals. Trust that you will know the right steps to take and be led to the right people and opportunities to help you create this dream. Trust that the field of infinite possibilities has unlimited organizing and creative power. Trust the power of intention.
7. Detach from the outcome - You must also detach from the outcome and let go of the need to control the process. It will unfold in the right time and in the perfect way. When you plant seeds in your garden, you take the appropriate actions to give your seeds the best chance to grow (watering, appropriate lighting, etc). Then you must allow them to grow in their own timing. You can’t pull the little baby sprouts up to make them grow faster – nor can you rush an intention. It will unfold in it’s own time and in it’s own perfect way.
8. Present Moment Focus – Even though you are working on changing your future, it is important to keep your attention in the present moment. In other words, your intention is in the future and your attention is in the present. It is important to accept and appreciate your current life circumstances. Developing this attitude of gratitude will help you connect with the field of infinite possibilities and increase the power of your intention.
These 8 steps will help you use the power of intention to create the life you want. Start with some simple and easy things and then work your way up to bigger more challenging desires. As you practice using intention, be willing to see coincidences as meaningful occurrences. It is important to be open and ready for opportunities and possibilities. Let your actions be guided by your intuition and hunches. Mastering the power of intention while detaching from the outcome is the key to creating greater health, happiness, and success in your life.
Remember that your thoughts have great power and can change your world!