Deepak Chopra: This is how to set your intentions

Intentions have an incredible ability to shape the way we live our lives. In fact, according to ancient Indian wisdom, our destinies are ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires.

To better understand their role and how they are formed, Deepak Chopra makes the beautiful analogy between how an intention comes into shape and how seeds can grow into thriving plants given the right conditions: “Only when you release your intentions into the fertile depths of your consciousness can they grow and flourish.”

In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Chopra lays out the spiritual recipe for harnessing the power of intention to create anything you desire.

1. Slip into the Gap: Most of the time our mind is caught up in thoughts, emotions, and memories. Beyond this noisy internal dialogue is a state of pure awareness that is sometimes referred to as “the gap.” One of the most effective tools we have for entering the gap is meditation, which is the ideal state in which to set your intentions.

2. Release Your Intentions and Desires: Once you’re established in a state of restful awareness, release your intentions and desires. The best time to plant your intentions is during the period after meditation, while your awareness remains centered in that state of restfulness. After you set an intention, let it go—simply stop thinking about it. Continue this process for a few minutes after your meditation period each day.

3. Remain Centered in a State of Restful Awareness: Intention is much more powerful when it comes from a place of contentment than if it arises from a sense of lack or need. Stay centered and refuse to be influenced by other people’s doubts or criticisms.

4. Detach from the Outcome: Relinquish your rigid attachment to a specific result and live in the wisdom of uncertainty. Instead of focusing on what the outcome might look like, intend for everything to work out as it should, then let go and allow opportunities and openings to come your way.

5. Let the Universe Handle the Details: Your focused intentions set the infinite organizing power of the universe in motion. Let things go their own way, and remind yourself that the outcome that you try so hard to force may not be as good for you as the one that comes naturally.

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