Why I’m Setting Intentions and Not Resolutions for 2019

It’s that time of the year again – where we commit to changes that we probably committed to last year but got sidetracked by “life” or whatever. Jan is also when I start my new shaman classes and begin working the south wind again. We’ll be going through south wind for the next three months. The south wind archetype is the snake, which teaches us to shed the things not in our highest good like the snake sheds it skin. Like the serpent, we emerge a better version of ourselves. This previous blog post gets into the nitty gritty of the south wind archetype and how it can transform your life. You can also follow #southwind and #southwindchallenge on instagram.
This past year I made huge changes. I’m going to be making more in 2019. However, this year, instead of making resolutions or setting goals, I’m setting intentions. Here’s why:

Goals Reside Outside Our Control

As shaman, we learn to be unattached to outcomes and operate from a place of personal power. That means, we control the things WE can control and let go of the things that we can’t control. We can’t control what other people do. We CAN control whether or not we react to it and how we react to what that other person does. How does this relate to goal setting and resolutions? 
First, lets look at what a goal is. Ahhh…goals…that check list we gauge our productivity by! What happens when we reach that goal? We check it off the list and set another one! It’s a never ending list, isn’t it? Also, goals are black and white. You either did or you didn’t achieve them. Like that saying “Close enough only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”  What happens if we don’t reach that goal? We get down on ourselves for not trying hard enough to achieve it. But how much control did we REALLY have over whether or not that goal was achieved? Did it depend on other people or circumstances to line up? Did you really fail or just miss your mark? When you set a goal that depends on outside influences, you place the control over whether or not you succeed outside your self. You are not in total control over whether or not you achieve that goal. You can put in the effort but at the end of the day, it may not be completely within your power to achieve it.

Intentions Lie Within Our Control

Intentions, on the other hand, live within your Control. As shaman, we know that all things are connected energetically. Intention is energy directed toward achieving a specific outcome. We control where we direct that energy. Living with intention is a lifestyle, not a to do list. We wake up and work toward that end outcome every day. We direct our thoughts and actions in a positive manner that results in arriving at the intended destination. When we live with intention, we’re also leveraging the power of the Universe’s law of attraction by putting out the vibe “Hey, I am living my life as if this outcome has already been achieved.” The universe/higher self/spirit- whatever you choose to call it will line up exactly what you need to manifest that outcome. 
So how do you change a goal or resolution into an intention? Let’s use probably THE most popular New Year’s resolution: To lose weight. Goal setting experts will tell you to get real specific. How much do you want to lose and in what time? What are you going to do on a monthly/weekly/daily basis to reach that goal? You might say I want to lose 25 lbs in three months. You make a plan to go to the gym 5 days a week and eat a specific diet. You download apps to keep you accountable. You are all in and the pressure is on to do it so that in three months you can look at that scale and see it reads 25 lbs less. WOOO that’s a lot of work!
What if instead of all that, you just set the intention every day (when you start your day) to make healthy food choices for your body and to move it at least 30 minutes. Just for that day. Healthy choices can mean anything from eating paleo or keto to just cutting out sugar. Whatever – you consciously decide to be kind to your body, feed it what it needs and not consume the stuff that hurts it.  If you live with this intention, I guarantee you that you will lose weight. And you form a lifelong habit of caring for your physical body. 
And that’s what we’re going for with intentions vs goals: developing habits that result in improving our lives, whether that’s in our career, relationships or physical health. That’s why I’m setting intentions this year and not resolutions or goals. 
I’ve made a challenge for my students that you can join in, if you’d like. I’ve challenged them to pick ONE goal or resolution on their 2019 list and transform it into an intention. We’ll be posting to Instagram and facebook using #southwindchallenge #sacredjourneyhealing

South Wind Spiritual Transformation

If the sight of a snake gives you the shivers, I ask you to reconsider. The archetype of the serpent rules the south wind and there are many positive things “snake medicine” has to offer. The shamanic path works through the four winds — south, west, north and east, with south being the first wind. I’ll be spending three months writing about each wind as I go through them and I invite you to work through them with me.

About the South Wind and How I’m “Working It”

First, let me denote that there are several different shaman lineages one can study and each culture has it’s own interpretations and symbols (Peruvian vs Lakota, for instance). My particular path is Peruvian shamanism in the Andean tradition so the interpretations of the winds will follow the Peruvian teachings. My training started in the South Wind direction and you will see why that’s a natural place to start.

Staff of Caduceus

The South Wind is all about healing, transformation, shedding and renewing. Why do we need to shed? It’s simple. You can’t fill a vessel that’s already full. From a physics perspective, two things can not exist in the same space at the same time.Not physically, not emotionally and not mentally (that’s right, there is no effective way to multi-task). We must be willing to empty out all the people and things not benefitting us physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally so we can have room for the people and things that WILL benefit us. We shed that stuff like the snakes sheds it’s skin.
It’s where all healing starts. When you’re ready for some hard-core personal transformation, snake is the one you want to call on. Even today, the snake is recognized as symbolic of healing.

Rod of Asclepius

If, like me, you’re a fine purveyor of “useless” facts, right now you’re wondering why the medical staff is snake(s) on a stick. This article goes deep into that.  And this one goes into the origins of the one serpent staff vs the two serpent staff.

Back to the south wind– while working in the South Wind, I’m working with the intention of shedding on multiple levels. The essence of it involves intention as a lifestyle. Intention is non-tangible, but carried out, it manifests into the physical world. I don’t set goals. I live with intention. Why? Because a goal is a destination that resides outside myself and is dependant on moving parts that I may or may not be able to control. Read: I INTEND. Those two words bring that goal inside of me, where I can control the outcome. An intention is an ever-evolving lifestyle built around what I want to accomplish. I “intend” to go to the gym and workout. Manifesting it is the physical act of me getting in my car and driving to the gym then working out. While in the south wind, I am reinforcing and manifesting my intention through action via lifestyle changes. All these little changes will ultimately physically manifest through outward actions that allow me to complete my life’s purpose. A year-long transformation on all levels.

Update: I am re-writing this blog in Dec 2018. Since I initially wrote this blog post in mid-2016, I have lost 103 pounds, gained muscle, no longer have diabetes or sleep apnea. My life has improved a thousand percent. THIS, my friends, is the power of intention and the South Wind.

Emotionally and Mentally, I’m Intentionally Shedding

I’m letting go of limiting beliefs about what I think is possible. People, if you learn nothing else from my chronicles or my journey:

  And now I’m going to pull out my soap box. The universe has so much goodness, so much abundance, so many things for you to claim that you deserve — you just have to be open to accepting it without conditions! To make room for those things, you have to shed the bad things occupying that same space!

Do not limit yourself to the goodness the Universe has for you. When you become a control freak and specify EXACTLY how, what, when you want something, you are limiting yourself. How? Because if I said I want to win a million dollars from the lottery this weekend — I just condemned myself to ONLY a million dollars from ONLY the lottery that would be won JUST this weekend. What if God wanted to bless me with $100 million dollars in six months from a raffle ticket I bought?

See, you have to say it in a way that doesn’t limit you. Like “I want a million dollars or something better in six months or less in way that’s in the highest good of all involved,” (that last part is verrry important). Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen (as in don’t expect to win the lottery if you don’t buy the ticket), but it does tell your angels, teachers and spirit guides what you’d like to have happen and the universe will put things in your path that will lead to that outcome, whether it’s a business deal, a raffle ticket orrr…….a life insurance policy payout because your mom died (see what I’m saying about for the highest good of all involved). OK rant over! Onward Buttercup!

I am letting go of what I think is possible for me as a business owner, as a teacher, as a healer, as a communicator. I’m deciding to let my full potential play out through trusting Spirit will put just the right leadership, the right books, the right teachers, the right situations in my path to achieve my purpose of awakening as many lightworkers as possible. I am letting go of the limiting the belief that I will never be a household name like Oprah or Deepak or Ghandi. Why can’t I? Or for that matter, why can’t YOU?! They all started out as “commoners” and someone has to be the next Oprah, Deepak or Ghandi.

I’m shedding the limiting belief I have to achieve all this myself. I can delegate. I can network to expand my message. I’m emotionally shedding the things that drain me. Like the drama queens on facebook, the news (I still stay informed but don’t spend hours with it playing on the tv in the background), the soul-leechers (you know who they are — just being in their presence depresses you), the energy vampires (15 minutes around them and they’ve sucked the life-force right out of you), the tasks I hate (bookkeeping, house cleaning – I get the family involved, laundry folding)….basically anything and one that does not bring me joy or contentment, I avoid. Let it go, my friends! You don’t have to be all things to all people. You don’t have to do all things, either. Some things are better outsourced..like laundry. : )

I do all this with the intention of creating empty mental and emotional space to fill with things and people that are congruent with my life’s purpose. And that brings me JOY. Empty space is the key. Two things can not exist in the same space – whether it’s physical like a couch or ethereal like a thought. You have to get rid of one thing to make room for another. So if your life is consumed with drama and noise, there is no room for peace and quiet until you – like the serpent – shed the things not serving you so something new can emerge.

This week I challenge you to make a list of the people, situations and things that bring no benefit to your life. Shed them! It will take strength and courage to confront them. Hit me up on Instagram and tell me what it is you’re shedding using #southwindchallenge. You can find me on instagram @theamycarroll or @sacredjourneyhealing. Inspire me!

It may be painful but when you clear that space, you’ll have no time to feel the pain because all the good will come flooding in!

And if you need a little energetic clearing after you’ve tossed out all that useless gunk, I do offer shamanic energy clearing.