Intention: Big dreams become reality with it, and virtually nothing can happen without it. And as the self-help guru, Deepak Chopra, says, "Everything that happens in the universe begins with intention." Some of us choose tangible goals, like planning the trip-of-a-lifetime. Loads of us focus on the abstract, like endowing ourselves with wealth and abundance. And some even covet power and prestige. In order to reap results, each of these intentions should clearly be top-of-mind every single day we live our lives. But remaining laser-beam focused on our intentions isn't always that easy. Here's how I learned to stay focused without allowing my hopes and dreams to completely derail.
I was introduced to intention-setting when I began practicing yoga. At the beginning of each class, the instructor would ask us to set an intention before taking the one-hour class, whether an overarching goal that we were working toward or something as simple as allowing ourselves those 60 minutes to unplug from the outside world and free our minds from external worries. I loved the fact that for a finite and feasible period of time, I could dedicate my energy to doing one simple thing. Instead of committing to correct a certain behavior over time, intention-setting allows us to draw a roadmap of where we'd like our lives to go.
A Quick Trip Did the Trick
A quick escape from quotidian life was just the thing I needed to help me reset, revisit the intention-setting drawing board, and outline a new life direction. So I hopped on a train for a three-day trip to Santa Barbara, which is just a few hours north of L.A.
The Hotel Californian—a sprawling seaside establishment boasting striking Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, tiled paseos, and views of the Pacific coastline and the Santa Ynez Mountains—was a welcome sojourn. The glorious getaway was the perfect environment to carve out some "me" time and set some intentions.
Aromatherapy and Numerology Set Me Straight
During my stay, I paid a visit to Majorelle, the hotel's luxe Moroccan-inspired spa, for a custom treatment. At the start of the session, the massage therapist walked me through a bespoke aromatherapy session based on my personal numerology.
Numerology is basically the belief that there is a mystical relationship between numbers and coinciding events: The therapist used my birthdate to determine that 2018 (the year I got the massage) was my "eight" year, and from there, she crafted a signature blend of essential oils to use. I was pleased to learn that the number eight is often associated with money and power. Yet, its meaning for the year ahead was more nuanced: It involved deepening my personal understanding of myself via studying or by taking up a new skill.
Try Short-Term Intention Setting
What the numerology practice revealed was very much in line with the intentions I decided to set. Just as setting intentions at the start of a one-hour yoga class is an effective way to make the most of that short time, intentions that are set for the short term can prove to be as powerful.
While much loftier goals and dreams might lie ahead, intending to take small steps to self-betterment through tangible acts (carving out time to read, making meditation a daily practice, or taking up a new skill) is just as effective in realizing larger goals.
Awake Restored, and Ready For The World
During the trip, my intentions were to invite calm during my alone-time and to give myself permission to unplug and take in the scenery. On a typical day in L.A., I constantly check my phone, feel crushing pressure to read emails, and repeatedly refresh my social media accounts. But just a few hours away, I was able to tap into my surroundings and escape from busy city life—and all the ridiculous demands that come with it.
For me, a quick trip to The Hotel Californian was a super-restorative getaway. The serenity and relaxed pace of Santa Barbara, too, enabled me to let go of real-world demands and find the clarity to set my intentions to evolve in the year ahead. So consider scheduling a trip to help you realize and set your intentions for a happy, healthy life—it certainly did wonders for my intention-setting mindset.