By Noelle Sterne

I used to think that the word intention was weak. Unlike affirmation, it didn’t seem to carry a strong and definitive declaration. To say “I intend to . . .” felt like a metaphysical world away from “I am . . . .” 

Surprisingly, though, I discovered that intention stems from the Latin action noun intendere and means, literally, “a stretching out” and more colloquially “to turn one’s attention to.” 

I was even more surprised to read Wayne Dyer’s definition in his wonderful book The Power of Intention. To pair intention with power sends a message all its own, as in his subtitle: Learning to Co-Create Your World Your Way. 

Who says intention is weak? 

Dyer offers a new, much expanded definition of intention that dispels the notion that it is paltry and limited. He credits Carlos Castenada (The Active Side of Infinity) with opening his figurative eyes to the power of intention. Castenada writes, “Intent is a force that exists in the universe.” Dyer adds: “Imagine that intention is not something you do, but rather a force that exists in the universe as an invisible field of energy!” (p. 4). 

This is indeed a greater concept of intention than I’d ever thought of. Dyer devotes his book to exploring the many faces (his word) and power of intention, with chapters instructing us for just about every part of our lives. For example, “It Is My Intention to: Feel Successful and Attract Abundance into My Life”; “It Is My Intention to: Attract Ideal People and Divine Relationships.”

With such a larger, more encompassing concept of intention, how can we sharpen and enlarge our own understanding and application? 

Identify Your Intentions

The first step, if you haven’t already taken it, is to identify your intention. What is it you most want to turn your attention to, your most motivating, passion-making desire? What do you want to do that you’ve been avoiding, not giving enough time to, or excusing? With the universe’s Energetic Force at your elbow, what do you want to stretch toward?

For example, if you want to clarify your intention for your purpose, go back to childhood or adolescence (the good part). What most fascinated you? What did you seek out and ask for on your birthday, at Christmas, in books, DVDs, games, puzzles? What school subject couldn’t you wait to get into? What did you explore on your own? Let yourself dream back and replay those scenes. You probably know the answers already. 

Wherever you are now in your life, whatever you’re judging yourself as having done or not done, chosen or not chosen, succeeded or failed at, throw it all out. Those judgments are only getting in your way and blocking your intention and the Force that manifests it. 

If your reminiscences aren’t yielding much, here’s another method. Deepak Chopra says in The Seven Laws of Success that Stillness is the first requirement for discovering our intentions. So, if you need help, become quiet and affirm: 

  • My most delicious intention is revealed to me now. 
  • I yield and listen for my greatest and most passionate intention. 

If more than one passion is revealed, fine too. List them all. 

You are entitled to your intentions and desires. You deserve your intentions. You can strengthen your intentions by thinking of them as reflections of the universal Force. 

Are you not as committed as you’d like to be? A little scared? Fine. Accept the feelings. You’re in charge. 

Apply Your Intentions

You may not have realized it, but Intention is a law. In the Seven Laws, Chopra devotes an entire chapter to “The Law of Intention and Desire.” This law is based on “the fact that energy and information exist everywhere in nature” (p. 67). Chopra explains that our nervous systems become aware of the fields of energy and information through our thoughts, feelings, emotions, and beliefs. And, most startling, our bodies are not separate from “the body of the universe . . . [T]he universe . . . is [our] extended body” (p. 69). So, with our mind and thoughts we can “consciously change the informational content” of our world (p. 70) and manifest it physically. 

You don’t have to master all of this heady stuff (or understand it) to apply your intentions. Just know that we are made perfect and whole, and we have all access to the universe of nonmatter that we experience as we apply our desires. 

If this is still too much, know that where we place our thoughts and attention (turn our attention to) produces our intentions and desires. You may know the sayings, “Energy flows where attention goes” and, just as effectively, “Where attention goes, energy flows.” Our intentions carry our intent to realize a goal, objective, aim. Remind yourself too, as Chopra and many other spiritual teachers tell us, that if you have the desire and intention for something, you inherently possess the means for its fulfillment. 

Affirmations for Intention 

Apply your intentions through mental images and affirmations that really do reflect your desires. Sometimes I imagine a line drawing of the desired goal. I tell myself that as I focus on it the Source manifests it by simply coloring it in (Source = God or any other term you like where you can easily feel the Infinite.) A friend says she creates and “directs” a movie of her desire and intention and plays it several times a day.

Affirmations are very powerful. You can use them for your intentions about anything in your life—your body, mind, emotions, relationships, possessions, actions, events, outcomes. Here are several examples.

First, four affirmations setting my intentions on my writing (apply them to your own creative endeavors):

1. I intend to allow Source to fully come through me in all my writing.

2.  I intend to reach readers’ hearts and minds and souls through the writing that comes through me.

3. I intend to devote my fullest passion, attention, interest, and energy to the writing that comes through me.

4. I intend to remain open to Source for all ideas and directions that come through me. 

And here are four affirmations setting intentions a generous colleague shared on her primary relationship: 

  1. I intend to see him constantly whole.

2. I intend to let him be fully himself, as I intend to be fully myself.

  1. I intend to give up my judging and accept our differences and celebrate them.
  2. I intend to know that we are each a unique reflection and manifestation of Source.

If these affirmations feel right to you, use them. Or draw on them as models, substituting your own words, subjects, and details.

Intentions in Advance

A great variation (with thanks to Dr. Dominique Chlup): Set your intention beforehand for how you will feel after the action or event. Again, here are examples for my writing:

  1. After this session I will feel wonderful, satisfied.
  2. After this session, I will know I listened to my Divine Muse.
  3. After this session, I will know I used my gifts.

You can set your intentions in advance for anything—an important meeting or call, a class, a test, a dinner, a party, a trip . . . .

* * * * * *

Your intentions are your strength. Feel their fervor and fire. Know and trust their rightness, and practice them. They are grounded in the universal Force and cannot fail. You have decided. You have intended. You now express your perfect intentions and they appear in your life.  

© 2022 Noelle Sterne