Fall is one of my favorite seasons. Always has been, always will be. I adore the crisp weather, the sound of leaves crunching underneath my feet, and of course the way that Central Park transforms into a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges & yellows.
There is something about autumn – maybe it’s the visual reminder of change or the excitement as kiddos around the neighborhood hop onto the bus for a new year at school – but this season usually has a way of creating magic in my own life. In fact, almost every major change or shift I’ve experienced professionally and personally has taken shape in the fall.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the naturally changing seasons are an opportunity to consider what you may want to manifest in your own life. Like many other yogis, I call this my intention practice.
Instead of creating a rigid To-Do List (and inevitably stressing yourself out), the idea is to set an overall intention for the season. Some people do this every month, some even weekly, but I’ve found that things work best when I do a check in with myself seasonally as Mother Nature signals a change is on the horizon.
Here’s how I set my own intentions each season and how I’ve learned to treat this time of year as a sacred, spiritual practice…
Create a Sacred Space
Before I begin dreaming and scheming, I always create a sacred space for this work. Why? Because manifesting dreams is truly one of the most sacred things you can do in this life.
For me, this looks like rolling out my mat, unfolding a blanket and creating a comfy seat with my meditation cushion or a bolster. I like to diffuse some essential oils, lay out a couple crystals, and perhaps even spend some time playing my harmonium.
Then, I meditate.
I begin by grounding into my body and connecting with my breath. Centering, focusing, inviting in stillness. Sometimes I meditate for 5 minutes before I set my intentions, sometimes I remain there for an hour; the most important thing is to let my heart take the wheel and allow what needs healing to surface.
Grab a Journal or Some Paper
I’ve found that plans, dreams & desires are infinitely more powerful when written down. Scientifically, there’s actually a pretty legitimate reason too – when we transform invisible thoughts into something tangible like words, new neural pathways are created.
So with that in mind, I choose to journal my seasonal intentions every 4 months or so.
Not only is this a practical way to invite in direction from the Universe, it is also pretty neat to look back on as time wears on.
I have a journal now that is filled with my intentions going as far back as my first few months out of the legal profession. Reading my innermost desires – my heart’s true song – during those times is precious. Watching the transformation season after season – from lawyer to part-time front desk gal to certified yoga teacher – is sacred. And it’s something I’ll have to treasure for years to come as even more intentions are manifested.
Once you have your tools collected, it’s time to get to the actual work of setting an intention. Don’t worry, it’s not too complicated!
Begin by placing one hand on your heart. Close your eyes, and ask yourself this one, simple question:
What does my heart crave most right this second?
Sometimes the answer to this question is tangible, like a new car or a promotion at work. Sometimes, it’s something a bit more abstract like an emotion or sensation (“joy” and “fulfillment” are two that come up for me again and again).
No matter what comes up, trust. Trust this gut reaction. Your initial instinct – the way that your heart answers this question – is almost always spot on.
Once you’ve figured out one or several things that you heart longs for, jot them down on paper. Journal for a bit, free-writing whatever comes up as you consider these goals. What surfaces? What emotions spill out? What would achieving or manifesting these intentions create in your life?
In no time at all, your intentions will begin to take shape. Sometimes everything comes out nice and neat on the first try, and sometimes we need to meditate or take some space to understand what we desire most. Trust me, it’s all perfectly natural and okay!
Memorialize Your Seasonal Intentions
After your heart song has made itself known to the world, the last step is memorializing or solidifying that desire into an intention.
I like to keep my intentions in the present tense – almost as if I’ve already achieved them – because that tends to invite in a little extra magic. So as an example:
Let’s say my heart was telling me that I was ready to invite a committed relationship into my life. My intention may be: I am in a loving partnership.
If I wanted to create a career change, my intention may be: I am a [your dream job]. (Spoiler: my intention for a long time as a lawyer was: I am a writer!)
If I wanted to stress less about money or finances, my intention may be: I am financially free.
You get the idea! Repeat this practice as many times as you need to create present tense intentions for everything you hope to experience during this season of life.
Once you’ve done that, write down the finished product in big ol’ letters in your journal, on a Sticky Note, even in lipstick on your mirror so you can reference them over the next few months.
My Own Fall Intentions
These are my own intentions, the dreams I’m manifesting and the person I’d like to become over the next few months:
Abundance flows to me and through me.
I inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.
I meditate every morning.
I listen more than I speak.
I make dinner several times per week.
I prioritize my own mental health and make space for healing.
I am physically healthy and vibrant.
I make time for movement in some form every day.
I treat myself to a yummy breakfast every day.
I hope this practice brings as much joy to your life as it has to mine over the years. If you would like to share some of your intentions, it is always a great joy to hear from you!