Nurture Your Intentions

You have set your New Year’s intention, now how about some tools to help give your Heart’s Desire wings to fly into reality?

I like to use a garden metaphor because your dreams and intentions are like seeds that need to be planted, nourished, and taken care of until you harvest them. Follow these tips and techniques for intention gardening to nurture your seeds and help them grow into your wildest dreams.

Prepare your soil by building your energy. The first thing you do when you’re ready to plant a garden is to create a place with fertile soil. In intention gardening, you are the soil and your energy is the fertilizer, the creative force that will grow your seeds. Fortunately, there are many ways to increase your energy and vitality.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Smile. It opens you to all good things.
  • MOVE everyday. Get outside in the sunshine and fresh air as much as possible.
  • Nutrients need to be added to the soil, so eat a rainbow of colors each day. Eat organic non-GMO live foods whenever possible.Hang out with animals Chew your food and eat slowly.
  • Drink lots of purified water, let your intention flow into it as you consume.
  • Rest. Sleep at least eight hours, meditate or do one-minute meditations throughout your day.
  • Hang out with animals and like-minded friends.
  • Pay attention to your thoughts. Give yourself plenty of positive affirmations.
  • Stop being offended.
  • Give and receive hugs and praise.
  • End every day with something GREAT you did that day. Sometimes, “I washed my face really well!” is enough. Celebrate your small successes.
  • Kill your television.

Make contact with what has heart and meaning for you. Just as a seed has a clear purpose, take time to connect to your heart and find out what you truly love—what brings tears of joy to your eyes.

One way to do this is to find a quiet spot to sit and reflect on what is important in your life and what you want more of. Do not get distracted by what you may think is expected of you, what society says, or what your parents, children, or partners would say. Then be sure to write down your deepest desires and intentions. This allows the conscious mind to clearly envision what you want to create.

Understand that a clear focus is the mind’s magic. Get clear about what you want to plant in your intention garden and how you’re going to plant it. This is the time to decide how you want your garden to look, where things will go, and when they will bloom. Prioritize what has heart and meaning for you, and give attention to that portion of your garden every day. You can be really specific, but be sure to leave room for the unanticipated. As David White says, “What you can plan is too small for you to live.” I think the same is true with intentions, so I always leave room for unexpected greatness.

Take baby steps. Once you have your soil ready and your imagination is on board, it is time to start planting. Instead of a huge five-acre garden, consider starting with a small window garden, something that is realistic and doable. Try starting with something you believe to be true, instead of a huge goal. For example, instead of taking on the intention to run a marathon when you don’t run, try, “I am vibrant and healthy and I intend to move more because it makes me happy.”

Keep in mind that you cannot create in another person’s garden. This is very important because we want so badly for others to be okay, and we think we know what is best for our family and society. But remember that you must put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then assist others. So intend to bring joy, light, and love to all creatures, while still allowing everyone to create their own intention gardens.

Tend your garden.Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” – Rumi. When you set your intention, you will start to feel a pull in that direction, and you will feel inspired to act on behalf of yourself. In other words, once you have your garden planted, you will want to water it, weed it, and say nice things to it. Let yourself go there. If your intention is to be happy, start tending to your garden by doing or thinking one small thing in a more joyful direction. Once you indulge in these types of feel-good feelings, for even just ten seconds, they will attract another feel-good feeling, and you will be well on your way to building happy molecules. A simple rule to live by: Do one action every day to support your intention.

I will keep an open mind and an open heart.

Get rid of weeds. As an athlete, I learned that you had to stay on top of your mental game and learn how to flip the switch from negative, defeating thoughts, to positive thoughts. Pull the weeds of worry, fear, resentment, and control—as well as any other limiting belief you may have about yourself—out of your garden. At the same time, fertilize your soil with positive thoughts. Try positive affirmations and visualizations to help you stay in tune with your garden, and to help you to not go down the rabbit hole of stress, fear and worry.

Get rid of the bugs and deer that eat your garden and get support. Make no mistake on this one, get rid of anything stealing your energy, depleting you or no longer serving you. Don’t waste your time with people that don’t see you for who you are. You are incredible. Seek out good friends who believe in you, as well as coaches, books, and audio programs that keep you aligned with your intentions.

Trust. Learn to let go and trust, knowing that your intentions have been heard and that your garden is growing. Don’t go out into your garden and pull up the carrots you just planted and say, “See, I knew it wouldn’t work!” When it’s hard to trust, close your eyes and say to yourself, “All I need is within me now.” Trust, believe, and know that your garden is growing, and that it is beautiful.

Appreciate the ecosystem. Every day, write down all the synchronicities or ways you are being helped. When you start noticing the miracles in your life, more miracles show up. Taking a little time to appreciate and be thankful goes a long way.

Be consistent. When you wake up in the morning and when you lay down at night, say your intention over in your mind. Pay attention to your intention. These are the wings of your desire.

Enjoy your garden. Use your intentions to help guide you to living the life of your dreams. Have fun, but don’t take your garden too seriously. If you keep pruning it, checking on it, and standing over it, it may get shy and refuse to grow. Set your intentions free!

“All that counts in life is intention.” – Andrea Bocelli. You are this amazing seed of potential, just waiting to be planted and to grow. You are also the farmer, the soil, the rain and the sun of your own garden of intentions. Your true nature wants to sprout up towards the light.

Believe in impossible things. Never underestimate the power of intention. Many years ago, I had an idea to put blessing pads or good intentions on the bottom of my running shoes to bless and thank the earth. Most days I did an eight mile trail run in the mountains around my house in Colorado. One day, the National Forest Service decided to do a prescribed burn in our area that ultimately got out of control. The fire burned a lot of acreage but it did not cross the tiny trail where I had set my love intention from the bottom of my running shoes. As a result, our home was never in jeopardy.

May you have an awesome harvest! Sow seeds of love, compassion and hope.

If you haven’t already shared your intentions for a chance to win an Athleta giftcard, there’s still time! Click here to enter by January 28th »

Join Colleen & Women’s Quest for the upcoming Costa Rica Surf & Yoga Retreat Feb 10-16 »

You might also like

  • Read more

    Meet Laura, Athleta PR & Partnerships Manager

    Laura doesn’t just work at Athleta, she lives and breathes the mission as a PR and Partnerships Manager and instructor at our in-office Fit Studio. She says she loves everything about working at Athleta, especially that “the work that we do is so inspiring and purposeful, that after a long day, I walk out of…


January 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

My intentions are to take care of myself and only allow mysellf to be surrounded by positive people and unconditional love.


January 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

This was great! Good bye weeds! Hello smiles! 🙂


January 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

Keep shining the Light Colleen!

Sandy C.

January 20, 2013 at 11:27 am

This new year I will not let my physical pain define me. It may knock me down, but I will always get up.

Ethos Adventurer

January 20, 2013 at 3:39 pm

This is all so true and a perfect time to remind us all. We especially like “take baby steps.” All to often good intentions get blown up into something unmanageable. For example it is incredibly difficult to start a new diet and a new exercise regimen at the same time. It creates more restriction than is sustainable from the get-go. Take baby steps by starting one and building it into your routine, then as your mind and body adapt you can successfully add in the other component. Thanks Colleen!

colleen cannon

January 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Hi Everyone,
I love all of your heart felt Intentions.. In fact they are so good that I get inspired when I read them and it makes me feel so good to know that there are so many women..intending all of this positive powerful change.. You guys are ALL making a difference!!!
Everyone has so much wisdom to share and I am thankful that we have the Chi site to connect.
Baby Steps all the way to GREATNESS!!
Have fun


January 21, 2013 at 3:10 am

I will not let the negativity in my life get me down anymore. I will have a better attitude and be thankful for what I have. I will let go of the past.

Leave a Reply