Weeding the Woo Woo Out of Setting Intentions

If you’ve ever perused the self-help titles at your local bookstore, you know there are 7 ways, 10 ways, even the top 20 ways to set intentions to achieve your heart’s desire. The authors guarantee the universe is ready and waiting to deliver your every wish if you follow their recommended rituals. Assume the full lotus position under a new moon, encircle yourself in rare gemstones and chant in Gurmukhi. Voila! Your wish is the universe’s command. And wouldn’t that be lovely?

Or, you could plant a simple salad garden. Setting an intention does not have to be more complicated than preparing a small plot of good dirt, picking up a few packets of seeds at the garden center and committing to regular care. The process is essentially the same.

Prep Time is Easy

First, you prepare your garden plot. It’s spring. Easy-to-assemble raised beds and bags of good soil are stacked as high at the garden center as our hopes and dreams are stacked in our imagination. Start small whether planning your first garden or taking charge of your hopes and dreams. Sure, you’d like world peace, but what if a peaceful hour once a week would refresh your mind and as much as a fresh salad nourishes your body? It’s a good start.

Get Clear on What You Want

Second, decide what you are going to grow.  You’ll find hundreds of packets of seeds at the garden center.  Resist the urge to buy one of everything. Spinach, kale and arugula make a delightful salad.  Add some chives for a little zing and call it good. They are all easy to grow. Hopes and dreams are equally plentiful. Yet, if you’re new to setting intentions, focus on one ideal activity that would bring you peace once a week.

You Can’t Buy Patience at the Garden Center

The third and final step in setting intentions is the tricky one. A good gardener practices patient care while dreaming confidently of the delicious harvest. While watering and weeding, the gardener imagines only the satisfaction of serving a yard to table salad. No gardener would start digging around in the dirt after a week, wondering what went wrong with the arugula. The same is true of intentions. Practice patient care of your intention. Dream only of the peace you’ll find in that new activity. This is where the intention experts say the magic happens. A flyer promoting that ideal new activity will just “happen” to flutter to your feet as you leave the dry cleaners. But is it magic? Or are you just paying more attention to your intention?