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INTENTION VS INTENT
As we welcome another new year, there is a ritual that many of us enjoy indulging in – New Year’s Resolutions. On the first day of the new year, we often commit to making long-awaited changes to our lives, to do so we must set our intentions or do I mean we set our intent? Working with both of these terms can bring success to our resolutions.
At first glance, “intention” and “intent” might seem like synonyms, but delving deeper reveals distinct layers in their meanings, especially relevant to the context of the system of Reiki and how we practice. I think there are ways our Reiki practice may help us better understand and practice this annual ritual of hope.
Intention is often our starting point. It’s the plan or purpose behind an action. In the system of Reiki, setting an intention is like planting a seed; it’s the conscious decision to direct our mind and therefore our energy for a specific purpose. Intentions are deliberate and thoughtful, reflecting our hopes and aspirations. There’s the intention – the purpose and hope – to make a change and be better in the coming year.
Intent, however, encompasses more. It’s not just the purpose, but also the determination to act. Intent speaks to the mindset and the strength behind our actions. In the Japanese system of Reiki, it’s the commitment and focus we maintain as we practice self-healing and supporting others. A perfect example is the act of Gassho: placing our hands together (in what some might call the prayer position) before and after practice. Gassho means “to unite”, so as we bring our hands together we mentally and physically unite ourselves to bring about a focussed practice. This is actualising our intention.
WHERE TO START
Start by creating some clear resolutions. As Reiki practitioners, our meditation practice is about focus. The foundational practice of Joshin Kokyu Ho, where Joshin is often translated as “focussing the mind” and can also mean “pure heart and mind ”, is a purification practice that gives us clarity to see and feel more truthfully. It helps us to find the “what” and “why” of our resolutions. This is our clear intention, the seed. Sitting in this practice, take some time for contemplation where you ask yourself some questions to help find resolutions that are both meaningful and attainable. Breathe into these questions…
What Matters Most to Me?
Reflect on what is truly important in your life. Is it health, family, career, personal growth, or something else?
What Did I Learn About Myself Last Year?
Consider the lessons from the past year. What strengths did you discover? What weaknesses would you like to address?
What Small Changes Could Make a Big Impact?
Think about small, manageable changes that could significantly improve your daily life or overall well-being.
What Achievements Am I Most Proud Of?
Reflecting on past successes can provide insights into what goals are meaningful and achievable for you.
What Habits Do I Want to Break or Develop?
Consider habits that affect your life negatively and what positive habits you could cultivate instead.
What Am I Willing to Commit To?
Assess your willingness and capacity to commit to a resolution. Is it something you can realistically see yourself doing?
How Do I Want to Feel at the End of This Year?
Visualise how you want to feel or what you want to have accomplished by the end of the year. This can help set a direction.
What Obstacles Did I Face in Achieving Past Resolutions?
Learning from past challenges can help you plan better and set more achievable goals.
Who Can Support Me in Achieving My Goals?
Think about whether you need support from friends, family, or professionals to achieve your goals.
Once you have a clearer idea of “what” and “why”, “how” do you remain on this path?
HOW TO ACTUALISE YOUR RESOLUTIONS
Intent is the fuel that keeps your intentions alive. Actualising these resolutions is where intent plays a critical role. The disciplined practice of the system of Reiki, with its emphasis on continuous self-awareness, nurtures a strong intent. Each time we practice we are training ourselves to commit and know success in our practice and our lives. This steady, purpose-driven mindset lets us into the “how” of our resolutions. It is what keeps us aligned with our intentions, preventing them from fading into the background as the year progresses. Regular Reiki practice acts as a constant reminder and energiser for our intentions, ensuring they remain active guiding forces in our daily lives. This might be practising alone or in a group (such as my regular online Coaching Groups).
The system of Reiki supports us in clearly finding achievable intentions and then fuelling them with the ever-important strength of pure intent. Be your own best motivator as you fulfil your resolutions this year.