The Power of Setting Intentions for Chronic Pain Thrivers!

Hey there, gang!  It’s been awhile!

As my Facebook group Attitude of Gratitude with Chronic Pain (AoG) continues to grow (we’re at almost 4,000 chronic pain thrivers now!) and I continue writing the book, I’ve had less and less time to write blog posts.

My bad!

But I haven’t forgotten about you!

I hope if you’re not a member of the group that you’re a member of my Gratitude Addict Facebook page where I keep things a bit more updated than I do here on the power of GRATITUDE in our everyday lives.  If not, go join now!

What I’ve been meaning to talk about for awhile now is about the power of setting INTENTIONS for those of us with chronic conditions.  It has been a game changer for many of us in the group and I wanted to share with you why that is and why you should consider it too.

Every morning in AoG, those of us who wish to participate set our daily INTENTIONS.  This is something that we started about a year or so ago in the group and it’s popularity has grown and grown as more and more gratitude-seeking chronic illness thrivers find the benefits of what it does for our lives.

The INTENTIONS range anywhere from taking a shower (which is often a very big deal for many of us), making dinner, returning a phone call, going to a doctor’s appointment, or taking advantage of a “reboot day” (a term we have coined in the group for rest days….we like the sounds of it a whole lot better!)  Our intentions are stated as we feel them in our hearts at the beginning of our day, and we share them with each other as a guide for how we see our day going.

But why is this any different from setting GOALS?

Because those of us with chronic physical and/or emotional conditions have very fluid lives that change constantly depending on how we are feeling at any given moment.  We might start the day at a level of pain where our stated intention seems doable, but within 5 minutes of stating it….things can drastically change.

So….we aren’t able to fill our INTENTION (cue the Debbie Downer music.)

The thing is, though….it was only something that we INTENDED on doing. So it’s ok!

Setting GOALS are a very definite declaration with a very definite end result that we see in our minds.

Chronic pain/illness thrivers don’t necessarily have the luxury of being able to see set goals through.  So what ends up happening is that we can be hard on ourselves for not being able to reach these goals.  We feel like a failure and can often victimize ourselves.  The self-guilt can be brutal and can lead to increased emotional pain or depression-something that we don’t need to add to our already often-difficult lives.

We don’t need that!  It’s not helpful at all….

INTENTIONS are different.  We set them as we go about our day as a map for how we see things going.  We know what we feel in the present moment and we put out to the universe how we see things progressing based on how we feel RIGHT NOW.  But we also set them knowing that how we feel right now may very well be not how we feel in the future….and we’re ok with that.

It also helps us tremendously to have something to strive towards. We don’t state how we’re going to get there which is something that goal-setting does.  We put it out to the universe as a possibility that we think at the time is doable for us.

Our hearts and minds tell us….”I think I might be able to do this.”

Many chronic illness thrivers don’t bother having any intention or plan for our days because we think: “I’m not going to be able doing it anyway, so what’s the point?”  This isn’t a helpful attitude for us and having that negative mindset with a negative end-result envisioned in our minds can only lead to increased emotional debilitation-something that’s often more painful than the physical pain can be.

What IS helpful is having a little bit of a direction in mind as we start the day.  GOALS are possible regret and disappointment ready to happen for us.  INTENTIONS are just a simple guide for us and a super helpful tool.

INTENTIONS take that pressure off that goals may put on us!  We set them…we TRY to meet them…and if we do, that’s terrific.  But if we don’t….that’s okay too!

Later on in the day when we state our daily GRATITUDE in the group, we often share whether or not we were able to meet those daily INTENTIONS.  Then we celebrate ourselves and others if we do….and we equally celebrate those who don’t.

Yesterday, a member of our group stated that she wasn’t able to meet her daily INTENTION for the day and she also stated how okay she was with that fact.  I thought this was both amazing and refreshing!  Being able to be okay with ourselves and our bodies is not an easy task, for sure.  Being able to be okay with the fact that our day didn’t go the way we necessarily wanted it to is kind of a freakin’ miracle!  Yay us!

If you’re not a member of the group and live with some kind of chronic condition, consider writing down a daily INTENTION as you go about your day.  Having a flexible “map” of sorts is so helpful for us and you wouldn’t believe what a rock star you feel like if you’re able to meet your vision.

But just remember….you’re a rock star if you don’t too.

Peeps that live with what we do are queens and kings of badassery….I say that just about every day in the group.  I bow down to you all and highly respect what you do every day…it’s so hard at times.

Our bodies don’t cooperate and we cannot do much about that.  But what we CAN do is change the way we look at things….and the rock star in you is prepared for super stardom when an attitude of GRATITUDE can take the stage with you.

(cue the rock star music….)