This may honestly be one of the most important episodes that I will ever launch because it’s about one of the most essential ingredients in life; intention.
Well, at least in my opinion anyway.
In today’s post we’re diving deep into our intention, and for fun we’ll explore where science and the woo collide.
So, my last episode titled, Mind-Body Integration - Reconnecting with Your Meat Suit & Rocking Your Wellness Like a Boss, essentially discussed the basics of how to reconnect with your body by learning how to listen to it and understand what it’s asking of you. Being able to communicate with your body, and feeling connected with it is pretty crucial when it comes to taking care of yourself.
But communication is a two-way street, right? While it’s great getting to know your body’s language, you also have to know how to talk to it. Well, my friend, the way we communicate with our body is through acts of self care. And if we’re going to be clear communicators, we’re gonna need focus on INTENTION.
So, intention is your motive, your objective, or the purpose behind WHY you do the things you do. And it’s important that you back your actions with reasons that resonate with you and your needs. But despite this being true, a lot of us are actually living on autopilot and doing an awful lot of living without a lot of thinking, or evaluating.
And here’s the problem with that.
If we’re not taking the time to stop and let our inner inquisitive four-year-old self ask a bunch of questions (specifically, ‘why’ questions), we’re going to potentially miss out on a more fulfilling, energizing, and (dare I say it) healthy life. Not only that, but we’re not accessing the full benefits of one of our greatest self care tools, the power of the conscious mind.
So, let’s discuss a couple of things before we find out where science and the woo collide…because I know that’s why we’re all here.
Alright, so, let’s first talk about using intention as a compass that can help you find direction in your life. Direction, by the way is the third third key to creating Self Care Independence.
The human is a multi-faceted organism that has several “selves”. And we can break these selves into six different categories being the social, practical, mental, emotional, physical, and the spiritual self.
I have an episode all about identifying the selves, and how we can nurture each one, and I’ll link that below, but just to recap, the social self is how you identify in all of the different roles you have in life, like, with your friends, among strangers, with your significant other, co-workers, family, your community, society, and even when you’re rolling solo.
Your practical self is the part of you that manages the nuts and bolts of your life. You know, things like your schedule, your budget, chores, and any other responsibilities you might have.
The mental self is essentially your conscious self. It’s the part of you that’s able to think critically, to rationalize, problem solve, and to make deliberate thoughts and decisions.
The emotional self is the bit of you that experiences, processes, and manages your feelings.
From stem to stern, in and out, hair, skin, blood, bones, organs, and that amazing brain of yours, every gorgeous ounce of you is your physical self.
And finally, the spiritual self is that bit of you that is your shiniest, truest, most authentic self. And it lives from a heart-centered place, and it’s the YOU before you were programmed to judge yourself.
So, why do we need to know the differences between the selves when we’re talking about intention?
Well, the problem with self care is that it’s so freaking general. I’m willing to bet that if I were to ask 100 different people what self care meant to them, I’d get 100 different answers (by the way, I’m excited to tell you that I’ve been compiling a list of folks to interview for future episodes to discuss this very thing…it’s quite exciting). Anyway, you, me, each and every one of us is a whole living organism. We are the big picture. But each one of us is a very different picture, right?
Each one of us is whole, because every one of us has a physical, emotional, mental, practical, social, and spiritual self. But each one of us is going to identify with these selves differently.
That means our self care routines are not going to be the same.
Let me tell you a short story about pain.
So, as a massage therapist, my job is to facilitate healing and functionality in the body. I’ve literally worked with 100s of people, so I’ve seen a lot of different issues come to the table.
Each client explains their pain or tension or dysfunction a little differently. When we stroll through their history, I learn that the reasons for their discomfort also vary (and sometimes an issue hasn’t manifested from a physical problem, but rather, an emotional one). When I start palpating, and applying different techniques, I notice each person has unique holding patterns, points of tenderness, range of motion, and responds differently to pressure, speed, and application.
Where you are, what you’re experiencing, and how you got here is not going to be the same as anybody else. So that means the intention behind your self care is going to be as unique and as wonder as you.
If I have nutrition concerns, my diet isn’t going to be the same as someone who has diabetes, Crohn’s disease, or a history of anorexia.
If I’m working on organizing my life, how I go about it is going to be different than someone who has OCD, ADHD, or an issue with hoarding.
The intention we put into our self care depends on our needs. But it also depends how we identify as each of our selves.
I want to quickly talk about my personal experience with insomnia.
Now, for most of my life I was really good at sleeping. In fact, I preferred sleeping to actively living (I wasn’t very happy). Anyway, there came a point in my life when all of a sudden I just could’t sleep anymore. My brain was over active and my body was antsy.
So, like any other human, I tried drugs. I tried smoking weed and a few edibles, but marijuana bothers my allergies. So then I tried Benadryl to help with the allergies, but also in hopes that it would knock me out. I tried throwing back shots of Zquill, popping Advil PM, and snacking melatonin gummies like they were candy. Nothing worked. I tried bed-time yoga poses, downloaded meditation apps, drank warm turmeric milk before bed. I could not fucking sleep. It was making me crazy.
So, what was the problem?
The problem was that I just kept throwing random shit at my insomnia, and hoping that something would magically make me fall asleep.
That was it.
Intention played zero roles in “fixing” my insomnia.
Taking/doing/experiencing a thing so it will make me sleep wasn’t not so much an intention, as it was an expectation.
I never bothered to figure out WHY I wasn’t sleeping. I mean, I knew my brain and my body were squirmy, but why?
I had to work backwards and get specific, and get to the root of the problem. I had to investigate each one of my selves to see how they played a role in my sleeplessness. And then I had to address each issue with intentional action.
And wouldn’t you know, I sleep pretty great when I take care of the selves that need extra TLC. Crazy, right?
Intention is so much deeper than just the reason to do something, it’s the purpose for doing it.
Getting really clear about the purpose behind your thoughts and actions will help you figure out how to spend your time and energy.
Investigating your physical and emotional feelings will illuminate where there’s an imbalance in your life. Getting familiar with each one of your selves and their needs will help you figure out what your self care needs are.
Here are several circumstances to evaluate….
- The relationships you’re in.
- The friendships you have.
- The boundaries you set.
- How you spend your free time.
- How you spend your money.
- How you approach your work life.
- How you fuel your body.
- How you move your body.
- What you choose to read, watch, or listen to.
- How you organize your space.
- How you decorate your home.
- The way you walk.
- The way you talk.
- The language that you use.
- How you present yourself to the world.
- How you show up privately for yourself.
Everything we do in life is affected by our intention.
Okay, so, that’s one angle of intention I wanted to talk about. The other is getting back to that mind-body integration thing.
In my last episode we talked about the cerebrum, which is the part of the brain we have control of. Through the power of consciousness we have the ability to create deliberate thoughts and actions, which ultimately means we can highjack our stress response. And that means we can calm our central nervous system. It’s a pretty cool feature.
Anyway, with this bit of our brain we’re able to think critically, creatively, rationalize and imagine anything we want. If you wanted to conjure an image of a sparkly rainbow unicorn, you could. Go ahead, close your eyes, envision it….you know you want to.
Majestic beast…well done.
So, the fact that we have the power of imagination is pretty fucking rad. Within our head, we have the to power to imagine anything. The problem is, we seem to devote a lot of our imagination to things like worry, doubt, and shame. We like to come up with scripts about of ourselves (and others, if I’m honest) that are harmful or limiting. We like to amplify our short comings, fears, insecurities, and our pain.
We give so much conscious power to the shit that’s dragging us down that we don’t have a lot of energy left at the end of the day. That’s why self care is hard sometimes. All of this intentional power and energy that we have isn’t being invested in the things that regenerate us.
Have you ever watched a movie or read a book that made you experience very real physical or emotional responses? If you’ve ever cried, felt anxious, uncomfortable, aroused, or laughed, then yes. Yes, you have. Those movies and books are not real. But your brain perceives them to be. Your imagination makes it real enough for you to experience legit emotions and physiological responses. And these things happen because your brain has been stimulated and is sending signals throughout the rest of your body so it will respond in specific ways..
Anyway, where am I going with this?
Right, where science and the woo collide.
Science is pretty undeniable, right? The fact that you’re reading this on your fancy electronic gadget indicates that science is quite real. You, the complex organism that you are, are science. You can’t deny the fact that as you live and breathe, electrical impulses are choreographing every function of your body, a body that’s made of seven billion billion billion atoms. Yes, that’s a real number, I looked it up.
But what about all that weird shit that has little or no scientific basis? You know, spirituality, mysticism, and alternative medicine? Why does that stuff work?
I’m not 100% certain, but here’s my hunch…
Well, intention mixed with some science.
So, bear with me as we travel down a rabbit hole…
Everything in the natural world has its own intelligence, right? Like, we can all agree that nature just does whatever the hell it wants. I think one of the most simple, yet, profound examples of this is when you come across a sprig of life growing from a crack in pavement. It’s beautiful. It’s a sign of resilience, and it’s proof that despite what humans do, there’s something bigger than us. I don’t like getting wrapped up in God, the divine, or any of that. I honestly have very little use for labels. But it’s hard to contradict the massive force that keeps nature, our planet, our solar system, and beyond going. I think this is what some folks call call Universal Intelligence, but I could be wrong.
Anyway, the fact that the natural world will continue to grow and evolve and heal all on its own is pretty miraculous. And here’s a wild truth, you and I, we are a part of this natural world. So that means we have the ability to grow, evolve, and heal naturally as well. The trouble is we put a lot of roadblocks in our own way, right?
Now, I want to make a side note here: I AM NOT telling you to kick modern medicine or therapies out the door. Nope. Not at all. That is science, and science can save our asses.
What I am saying is that the same intelligence that keeps the universe going is also keeping you going. The body is working like a mother-lover to constantly maintain a state called homeostasis. That’s relative stability, general wellness, balance, yada yada. And when we invest in things that support this intelligence, we increase our chances of healthier living.
So, what can we do to support our body’s efforts in achieving homeostasis?
Well, we create a healthy environment for that to happen.
We have so many internal and external variables that can affect our wellbeing. The boundaries we establish, the activities we engage in, the food we eat, the thoughts we think, everything plays a role in staging our environment. Sometimes it’s healthy and supportive, and sometimes not so much. And whether or not you have control of your circumstances, you do have control of your intention.
Enter the woo…
So, some of these crazy ‘new-age’ therapies that are out there, have actually been around for centuries. And as we evolve as humans and get to understand the brain and body a bit better, some these ancient practices evolve into more modern, alternative therapies.
But they all have one thing in common, they call on the power of intention.
Yoga, Reiki, Quantum Touch, sound therapy, Qigong, Tarot, Chakra balancing, crystal healing, holy moly, the world of woo is huge, and fascinating, and quite lovely, and super fun to explore if you’re open to it.
Energetically speaking, we are great lumps of atoms buzzing together, right? That’s our mass. And then our brains use electricity to puppeteer our body’s functions and actions. So, there’s a whole lot of energy going on (despite how exhausted you might feel).
The electricity that your brain is conducting changes depending on your circumstances, or stimulators. And as you recall, we can hijack our stress response with the power of our conscious mind, thus, giving us some control of our wellbeing.
Now, I’m not going to claim that I know much about quantum physics, but, I’ve read enough to know that where there’s matter, there is energy. And I’ve been working with bodies long enough to know that if we wrangle our intention we can shift that energy. We can increase it, change its vibration, or at the very least unblock it.
And when we do this, it’s easier for the body to achieve homeostasis.
But here’s the problem that SO MANY of us face. We are SO easily distracted. Our subconscious minds like to interfere with our focus, conjuring up all sorts of things to lure us away, like, checking our phone, dreaming out snacks, worrying about our job, the Jill Scott jingle from the Nation Wide commercial, my god, I can’t get it out of my head. Anyway, using the woo-woo self care tools gives us something to focus on.
Like, when you pull a Tarot card and read about its meaning, your naturally problem solving brain gets curious. It starts to think about how this card applies to your life. And before you know it, you’re processing the shit in your life and maybe even problem solving your self care concerns. It’s very cool. It’s kind of like a fancy journal prompt, right? It’s a way for you to practice self awareness, which is the second key to creating Self Care Independence.
When you learn about the seven energy centers in the body (also known as chakras), you find that there are uncanny connections between dysfunctions of the mind and body, and physiological or emotional blockages. There are several ways to release these blocks, and for some crazy reason, they seem to work if your intention is aligned with what you’re doing.
Practicing yoga can strengthen the body, and open up spaces that are tense and contracted. It also creates balance and alignment in your kinesthetic form. Consequently, when we create literal physical strength, balance and openness within the body, we become stronger, more balanced and open in your emotional and spiritual lives as well.
So, here’s my public service announcement.
Your brain is fucking powerful, but it’s also easily distracted, and quite possibly overwhelmed. If re-focusing your intention can help your body achieve homeostasis more easily, then I say do it. And if you’re feeling curious or need something to help you focus, why not try out some of the woo-woo tricks? You never know what’s going to end up resonating with you.
But here’s an important note. It’s just like with me and my insomnia. You can’t just do the woo and expect it to work. You have to get really clear about what it is you want to address in your life. And then you have to put your intention into it. And if you really want to maximize your experience, use that imagination of yours. Envision the healing, or the strength, or the joy, or whatever it is you’re trying to bring to your life. See it, feel it, believe it. Because it’s your mind that makes things true, right?
Okay, so, if you’re looking for an easy and practical way to set intentions for your wellness, I’ve created an Intention Setting Guide that will take you step by step through every aspect of your physical, emotional and soul-centered health, and it’s just $5. I’ll leave a link for that below in my show notes. And, of course, if you’re a Patreon Member you’ll receive this guide for free along with all of my other guides, kits and tutorials that I’ve made in the past, and forever in the future. You’ll also get some other fun perks.
And if you want to learn more about memberships and other products and services that I offer, I'll leave links for those below, too.
I love you.
I appreciate you.
Thank you so much for being here.
I’ll see you soon.