By Quiana LaRae. Photography By Deun Ivory.
“How in the hell did I get here?!”
It is a question, I believe, 95% of human beings ask themselves at some point in our very beautiful, nuanced, sacred, and very dynamic lives. You know the story without thinking about it. We get into the flow, grind, routine – pick your flavor – of our lives; and if, no when, we are not conscious to look up every now and then, we end up way down a path we didn’t necessary intend.
It was around 2012, I had landed my dream job as a Consultant for a “Big Four” consulting firm not too long after having my first baby and getting married. My then husband and I were planning on buying a home once I got into the groove of my position. My job required me to travel 100% of the time. I found myself away from my family and in a job that I thought was dream, miserable. I refused to say anything to anyone because by society’s standards I had it all. The guilt for not being happy began to weigh on me combined with the constant travel and not properly caring for myself. I found myself at home grounded and sick. Something had to give, I had no idea how I had gotten to this point. I remembered thinking at the time, “I just want to feel better”. I didn’t care what it would take. I was tired of living by default, following the outdated script society had written as “the only way” to achieve success or fulfillment. I wanted to be free. So, I set the intention to do just that – to feel and be free.
In the beginning, I didn’t really know what it meant. I didn’t come up with a grand plan or make any huge leaps. I honestly started to take little shifts when I could remember to do so. I would ask myself, “is this getting me closer to being free?” or “do I feel free in this moment?” and I made little adjustments depending on the answer. For example, I remember a friend asking me if I wanted to go on a girls’ trip. I really wanted to go, but before answering her, I checked myself against my “free meter” and the trip would have actually set me further back rather than getting me closer to being free. You see, I had eventually defined freedom as not having to worry about money, being able to move and flow without restriction, and being my true self. At the time, a trip out of town would have put me in a place where I would have been counting every penny in a restrictive way, not a way that was forward moving. Anyhoo, it had occurred to me that I was experiencing a new way of being. My movements were centered on how I intended to show up in the world – free; intentionally free.
So, what exactly are intentions, anyway?! Intentions are a way for us to get focused and can bring clarity into our lives - - and clarity brings confidence. Setting intentions ignites the power and magic already in us. Our intentions guide us to awareness and consciousness, in action and word. They call us to be mindful and aware.
When you hear intention, it is sometimes confused with goals. To be clear, your goals are set in the future and we often become deeply attached to them. However, intentions are deliberate yet fluid and focused on the present moment. Your intentions answer the question, “How do I desire to show up in the world”?
Your intentions are from the heart and created from your soul. To set powerful, authentic intentions, allow yourself to be honest, true, and without judgement of yourself. You can set intentions for your life or for the day or for the moment. Intentions help you to get focused and pay attention to what you're doing and why you’re doing it. Let’s try it.
To set powerfully, magical intentions:
1. Get Quiet. Find a time when you can be quiet and in the moment. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time, it can be a few minutes of quiet time in a place where you will not be distracted or interrupted.
2. Breathe. To get grounded, centered and focused, focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths to quiet yourself. I take a deep breath in through my nose and release through my nose 4xs focusing on my breathing. Then in through my nose and out through my mouth 4xs also focusing on my breathing.
3. Ask. Ask yourself, “What are my intentions?”
4. Journal. Write down the responses that come to mind, “It is my intention to [fill in the blank].” (Do not filter or judge or think too much about it; simply write what comes up)
Let me know how it goes for you!
Quiana LaRae is a writer, speaker, spiritual teacher and certified life coach living in Houston, TX with her two daughters, Anna and Abigail. Quiana creates sacred spaces for women to process, breathe and heal. Quiana’s life’s work and intention is to walk alongside women as a guide on their journey of personal transformation and healing. Quiana is also a certified reiki master. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @quianalarae. Her website can be found here.