I am a believer in lists. But not in quite the same way that I used to believe in them.
I used to be a fanatical to-do list maker and achiever. I loved the feeling I got when I could check off one of my written items or strike it through with my pen, in one fell swoop, as I finished a task on my list. I confess, I would even add tasks to my list that I had already accomplished but that weren’t initially on my to-do list, just so I could feel the thrill of checking them off!
Activate Your Intentions
Now in all fairness, my past days of to-do lists worked very well for me at many points in my life. They gave me focus and got my butt into gear. As I made my get-away out of the corporate world and into the unknown world of firefighting, I made lists of what I wanted to accomplish, and lists of what I believed needed to be done before I would be able to be a firefighter.
A few years later, when I finally found myself proudly wearing a shiny badge, fire gear in hand, I stumbled upon the worn and faded lists. I looked them over and incredulously realized that I had achieved every one of those stepping stone tasks I had written down long ago. In that moment, I realized the power of writing all those intermediate steps down onto paper.
Making a list is an active process–an activation process–of clarifying the swirling thoughts and ideas in our heads, the feelings in our hearts, and making them real. It is a deliberate way of setting our intentions and then watching them unfold.
The items on your list begin as feelings in your heart which travel through your brain as thoughts, and lastly sojourn through every cell and fiber of your body as you use your physical capabilities (like writing) to propel them into form (like a list). In this process they become intimately part of you and activated. When we physically put our pen to paper or click away on the keyboard, translating the ruminations of our hearts and minds through the pathways of our amazing physical bodies, magic happens.
The Universe is Your Ally
The magic that accompanies lists and intentions is something I’ve discovered over time. In the past, I believed that I was the doer, the achiever, the one who needed to be in control. I had set my goals, written them down, and now it was my job to make them happen.
What I’ve learned, quite by accident, is that the Universe is my greatest ally. Once my intentions are set and activated, I trust, watch, and allow as she conspires in her infinite and boundless wisdom to bring me the perfect circumstances, events and people into my life to help me get where I want to go. In fact, many times I’ve found that I could never have come up with a plan as interesting and fruitful as the Universe!
As I found myself writing out my goals toward becoming a firefighter, I remember that, shortly thereafter, things came to me seemingly out of the blue. I connected with people who wanted to train hard. The perfect classes and experiences I needed seemed to appear effortlessly in my path. I believe that in this experience, because I was so new and green to the path of becoming a firefighter, I unknowingly put my trust into what the Universe placed in my lap, once I had clear and sincere intentions.
So what intentions will you activate tonight, in this New Year, in this Winter Solstice, or in any new moment in your life? Let us take some time today and activate intentions for ourselves in all areas of our lives. Know that when you take the time to intend things for yourself, it is a calling to the Universe. Writing lists isn’t the hard part. It is just a matter of staying aware to the opportunities that the limitless Universe brings you, once you have put forth your intentions. And you can trust her–your ally–as you watch the adventure unfold.
Here’s one last thought. Making a list is only one way of setting your intentions. There are actually many ways we can activate our intentions. Maybe you choose to speak your intentions aloud to yourself or a friend. You can sing your intentions to your cat and even throw back some champagne and kibble in celebration. Decide what ritual feels best for you and activate your intentions! What’s important is to take the time for yourself, activate your dreams, and know that the Universe is on your side.
Here’s to new and happy beginnings!