Intention is the willful act of asking for something, of intending something to happen. Often we intend without realizing, such as when we attend to our daily duties. Intention is an ongoing process, whether we are aware of it or not. Our primary intentions are driven by what we see currently, and what we have experienced in the past. Intention can be cultivated though, and by becoming aware that we are intending, we can learn to use it. When we learn to use it, we can intend what we want from life easily.
There are many forms of directing intention, the most prevalent and well understood is prayer. Praying is the willful act of asking for something to happen (intending). In most religions, the prayer is directed at that religion's God or other pious figure. Secular versions of intending include guided meditations and visualizations among other practices.
Intentions and affirmations are very similar. An affirmation is a statement that a certain thing exists or is true. When you affirm something, you are intending that statement to be true. Affirmations can be very strong causes of change in your life.
As an example of intending, try the following. After reading this instruction, close your eyes, take two deep breaths and tell yourself to relax. Feel your body become heavy where you are sitting. Now affirm that the rest of your day will be fantastic and that everything will go your way. Say in your mind: "I am very relaxed, very happy and the rest of my day is going to be fantastic. Everything will go my way." Relax for a moment and enjoy the feeling that this statement brings. Next, remember to accept that the affirmation is true.
Intention happens when we focus on something. When we are actively thinking about a topic, worrying about something or concentrating, we are intending. Some of what we inadvertently intend, we do NOT want to come into existence. These may be thoughts of how bad you are feeling , or how you may be lacking money. When we think these negative thoughts, we are actually intending that they occur, simply by giving that thought our attention. Our minds are intention engines, what ever we give our attention to, the intention engine starts to make it real - it begins the process of bringing our thoughts into reality.
This process works by us having the thought itself, even if we are thinking that we don't want it to occur, such as when we worry. Just by thinking the thought, the thought has existence, and with time, the thought will become a material existence as well. The idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy is exactly what is occurring here.
Understanding this shows us how to remove intention from that which we do not desire. We need to remove our attention from that topic; to stop thinking about it. Of course we cannot simply shut our thoughts off, but we can learn to be aware of what we are paying attention to. When you are aware that you are dwelling on a negative subject, tell yourself to stop, and replace that negative thought with something positive.
Because the mind is an intention engine, it needs something to act upon, so we must replace the negative thought with a positive one. By not focusing on negative thoughts, we begin the process of removing that negativity from our lives.