a blog by Ellen Davies

Set an intention that’s bigger than yourself

Set an intention that’s bigger than yourself

Two years ago I wrote a blog post on setting an intention for your yoga practice. You can read it here

In the post, I wrote about using a positive thought, word, or image for your intention. I suggested that you take your intention off the mat and into the world by following the idea of segment intending as discussed in The Law of Attraction by Ester and Jerry Hicks

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Today I want to propose something different. 

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What if your intention was more than a positive thought, word, or image?

What if your intention served the world, instead of only serving your yoga practice? 

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This is the idea behind setting an intention that is bigger than yourself. 

The idea is to reach beyond the question “What do I want to get out of my yoga practice today,” to “How can I serve?” 

In the earlier post, I wrote that my intention was to listen. If I am listening, then it includes all kinds of listening — I’m listening to my body, to my inner wisdom, to my intuition, and, most importantly, to others. That’s how the intention becomes bigger than myself. I listen to others, fully. When my intention serves others in this way, then I am thinking bigger. 

My teacher, Alanna Kaivalya, says that when our intention serves others, then it serves us as well. She says that when we think about bigger things, then our other, smaller, concerns take care of themselves. 

This reminds me of what the bible says about taking care of the little things. 

In the Gospel of Luke, we read: One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much.… (Luke 16:10). 

This connects beautifully with our intention being bigger than our small selves. 

Stay with me… 

For example, lately my intention is to lift up others. Those are the words I say, and they can mean many things. Lifting up others can include saying nice things, performing small acts of kindness, and loving someone. 

I see these things as little things. It doesn’t cost me anything to smile and say thank you. It isn’t hard to let a car pass me or merge into the lane in front of me. I can freely give compliments, gratitude, and prayers. 

Thus when I mind the little things, then the big things take care of themselves. 

For me, the “big thing” is feeling happy. I’m happy when I look beyond myself and lift up someone else. 

And in the process, I spread love. Imagine what the world would be like if we all did this. If we all concentrated on lifting each other up? 

So much of our society is focused on tearing each other down. It doesn’t serve us. 

For today, let your intention be bigger than yourself. Lift up others. 

Let me know how it goes. 



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