Dream Casting: An Intention Setting Practice for Changing Seasons

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This post is sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs.

Over the last few years I’ve developed a really satisfying, fun manifesting / intention-setting practice for the shift between seasons. I call this method Dream Casting. The idea is that you cast a very broad net (like a fishing net), exposing all of your dreams and goals through journaling, leaving nothing out. But, very importantly, there’s also time spent observing the emotions you carry alongside those dreams. And this whole process is followed by movement, both to work through those emotions and to root new intentions deep down into your body-mind. It’s simple, thorough and enlightening.

I love to do this practice during seasonal shift, as I feel it helps me clear out stuck energy and move forward with a fresh vision for the future. It’s also just fun to see how intentions and dreams shift (or don’t) throughout the year!

For this practice you’ll need: a pot of tea and your favorite mug, a few sheets of blank paper or a large unlined journal, a pen or colored pencils, comfy clothes for movement and a space big enough to dance and move. You’ll also need a few hours to work through the whole thing (1 hour minimum). Onward!

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Step 1. Make a Big Pot of Tea

Enough to last an hour of sipping at least. You want a tea that’s delicious, grounding and nourishing to support this practice. I love the loose leaf turmeric chai, vanilla rooibos, herbal coffee, classic chai and 5th Chakra teas from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Step 2. Sweep Out the Cobwebs

Crack open a large unlined journal and write out everything on your mind. The good, the bad, the ugly. Write down your to-do list. Write down your current fears and anxieties, joys and inspirations, frustrations and realizations. Feel free to be petty or childish — this practice is private and is not meant to be shared. No need to write in full sentences or use punctuation. Try to get three pages out of this. You’re welcome to burn these pages when all is said and done.

Step 3. Daily Dream Cast

Write down a list of everything you’d like to have in your life on an average but completely perfect day. The kind of food you’d like to eat, the community you’d like to have, the home you want to live in, the work you’d like to do. Nothing is too small or too grand. Be detailed.

Example: I want to… wake up at 8 am every day, eat avocado toast on crusty sourdough bread for breakfast, write and work on music and writing all day, eat a delicious plant based meal at 1pm and 6pm, spend time with my lover in the evening, read before bed. I’d like to live in a cottage by the sea overlooking the water, where the temperature is always 70F. I want wind chimes, a pet cat, time to paint and dance and do yoga, and weekly community gatherings.

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Step 4. Monthly Dream Cast

Write down a list of everything you want to experience and achieve in the next three months. Work quickly, and try not to second guess yourself. Focus on realistic goals but resist the urge to self-edit. Put it all out there. What do you really want?

Example: In the next few months I want to… write a novel, learn how to throw pottery, get a hair cut, finish a painting, take a Qi Gong class, make 3x more money, fly to Paris, participate in a craft fair, take time to rest, call my uncle and catch up….

Step 5. Big Picture Dream Cast

Write down a list of everything you want to experience and achieve in the next handful of years. Include both really realistic goals and your wildest dreams. Include dreams you don’t let yourself have because they’re “too out there” or “too impractical.” Have fun! Try not to take this too seriously.

Example: In the next few years I want to… publish a children’s book, live one month of the year in Brazil, start a thriving non-profit, own a few rental properties, be published in a major magazine, adopt a rescue animal, own a thriving business with a team of happy employees, learn how to hang glide, build my dream house, live entirely off grid, grow a thriving vegetable garden….

Step 6. Observe Emotions

Go through your lists and circle the desires that you feel most passionate and excited about. Write down any emotions associated with these desires (excitement, contentment, uneasiness, resistance, etc.). Which ones feel easy and totally in your wheelhouse? Which ones feels difficult, impossible or like you have no clue how to achieve them?

Try to pin point the feelings that are coming up, and see if you can find the location of these emotions in your body. You might feel contentment like a soft tingling on your skin, fear or anger like heat in your belly, or sadness like a pressure in your head. Emotions are deeply physical, and can manifest anywhere in the body.

Step 7. Move Through Feelings

Put on some music — (here’s the playlist I use for this practice). Lay on the floor and observe the feelings around these deeply desired goals. Stretch and move to the music, exploring movement for as long as feels good, observing what comes up for you as you move your body.

Its perfectly ok to feel awkward or out-of-sync, and you certainly don’t need to be dancerly. Although dancing in this way can be incredibly releasing and fun, you could simply lay with your legs up against the wall the whole time, or practice very gentle yoga.

Be as expressive or reserved as you need to in order to fully move through the emotions. Do your best to replace any negative scripts (“I’ll never have what I want”) with positives (“I can see myself having what I want.”). See if any insights pop up, or if you feel more affirmed about these goals after movement practice.

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Final thoughts

When I do intention setting with movement, usually I end up feeling very settled on the core intentions I’m working on moving forward. Sometimes it’s simply a good reminder that I have stuff I need to continue working on, like my feelings around worthiness and abundance. Other times I feel fired up about the life I’m making for myself and ready to take action to go after my dreams.

I find that this takes a chunk of time to do really thoroughly, so I will sometimes do all of the journaling and then head right to a yoga class, dance class or I’ll simply go on a run or walk. This whole shebang is also a great community activity, and something I do with friends once or twice a year. I love sitting with my friends after this practice and sharing insights together.

I feel like the older I get the more I appreciate intentional rituals like this to keep myself on track. Life can get so hectic, especially if you own your own business (like me). This Dream Casting practice really helps me to rest and refocus, which is the opposite of my day-to-day rushing around to keep all of the plates spinning. What do you think, would you do an intention setting practice with movement like this one?

This conversation is sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs, an ethical herbal business that provides sustainable herbs, spices, body care, tea, aromatherapy and home goods. MRH provides discounts on bulk to all customers, year round, no wholesale account required. And up to 60% off via they’re monthly specials here. All words and opinions in this post are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this site!

Photos in this post were shot by Sasha Swerdloff, edited by me. Thank you Sasha!