Catrien Ross on Stretching Your Potential Through the Real Power of Intention to Direct Your Energy Flow

Saturday, March 27th, 2010 - 55 Comments

In my last blog post on reviving your passion and purpose in spring vibrations from Japan, several readers expressed their appreciation of the thought:

Where intention goes, energy flows.

In a future post I will expand this idea within the context of Oriental Medicine’s 5,000 years of applied knowledge about the body’s energy cycles.

But today I offer a simple exercise that demonstrates the link connecting your mind, your real power of intention, and your energy flow.

Have fun with what I call Stretching Your Potential:

Stretching Your Potential

  • Stand or sit comfortably.
  • Look at the palms of your hands.
  • At the bottom of your palm, where your hand joins the wrist, is a horizontal line that resembles a baseline, as it were, of your palm.
  • Place your hands together in prayer position, exactly mirroring the position of this baseline, one palm against the other.
  • Look at your fingers.
  • You will see that either your left or right hand is slightly shorter than the other.
  • Separate your hands.
  • Focus your attention totally on your shorter hand.
  • Say, either within your mind or aloud, “My fingers are longer, my fingers are longer.”
  • Mentally direct your power of intention into your shorter hand.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth.
  • Repeat the words, “My fingers are longer, my fingers are longer.”
  • Now place your palms together again as you did before, exactly mirroring the baseline.
  • Look at your fingers.

What do you find?

Are you surprised?

Focusing your attention stimulates the real power of your intention to direct your own energy.

What holds true for this simple exercise is equally true for the more difficult tasks you set yourself.

You already have within you all the power you need to manifest your intentions.

It is that straightforward.

It is that authentic.

You can direct your energy flow exactly as you want, at any moment in your life.

Whether your goal is immediate or long-term, stretching your potential is powerfully and relevantly possible.

How do you feel about this simple exercise?

Do you notice anything different about yourself afterwards?

And knowing your intention is a real power already within you, how else will you stretch your potential from now?

I welcome your reactions, so please join the discussion with your comments.

Have a wonderful day stretching your potential!

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55 Responses to “Catrien Ross on Stretching Your Potential Through the Real Power of Intention to Direct Your Energy Flow”

  1. Lance says:

    Hi Catrien,
    What is interesting is that those fingers on the shorter hand stretched much closer to the longer fingers. And…without my even trying! What a great (and real) example of just how powerful intention can be! The other thing I notice is that I believe these shorter fingers are longer. It’s like they are all standing just a bit taller! And that’s pretty awesome!!

  2. Catrien Ross says:

    Lance, thank you for trying this exercise, and welcome to my blog.

    It sounds as if you had fun – I also enjoy this. The underlying lesson is that energy flow truly does follow where our intention goes. We have the natural power within ourselves to direct how we perceive, respond, and connect, at all levels of our lives. And as you point out in your comment, “that’s pretty awesome!”

    Please stop by again.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Hello…popped by and such synchrony of this post for me! As yesterday I had a day where I put the intention out to be reminded of positive manifestation…of abundance…of the possiblility of exploring potential…that I stated before I went to the Arctic that I ‘wanted to expand’…I wanted an experience of community and a good film to watch for a treat! I went into my local charity shop and was able to help out in many many ways I served behind the counter which included giving psychic reading to a lady whose dog was lost, fashion advice to a recent out Trans G, giving a hand with the till and left meeting a 80’s pop icon who had saught solice/comfort/calm in the shop and a handful of films that will keep me going for a long while….and i am taking a rest quiet day from the hectic challlenging healing day!

  4. Kim says:

    Hello Catrien,

    Following this exercise, I notice the power of Belief and how results prove our beliefs.

    Before I began this exercise, my thought was, ‘my hands are equal in length; however, I know my right hand is greater in strength to my left.’ Results have proven this belief through writing, lifting, and dexterity in playing piano. This proves your point about the power of intention.

    I have been stretching my potential as I marry my work with the online world. I use the power of intention to make tasks in this work as ‘easy, simple, and effortless’ as possible. There are hiccups on occasion, but my intention is to handle them with ease and grace. Having a supportive community helps 😉

    Take care.

  5. Catrien Ross says:

    Elizabeth, thank you for visiting again, and especially for sharing the colorful details of your hectic healing day. Expansion, indeed – and at so many levels, in so many ways. Was the lost dog found? And what film attracts you most right now? The universe is expanding!

  6. Catrien Ross says:

    Kim, thank you for bringing your insights here again – I enjoyed your perceptions about this exercise in the power of intention. And thanks for sharing how you stretch your potential in integrating work activities. You are right, having a supportive community really reminds us of what is important, and that moving with ease and grace means moving naturally and effortlessly, attuned to our own abilities and energy flow.

  7. Catrien: Great post and the exercise really drives your point home. It really made me understand the real power of intention…you just have to believe and put it to work. It is often easier to do with the little challenges and things that come our way, but once we are able to really put it to use in all we do, I think we have discovered one of the greatest things in the world. Thanks for the illustration.

  8. Catrien Ross says:

    Sibyl, thank you again for adding your welcome insights. Starting small – as you say, “with the little challenges and things that come our way,” is a non-threatening approach to deepening our self-confidence, one step after another. And as we grow in this deeper awareness of who we truly are, yes, as you say, “we have discovered one of the greatest things in the world.” Thank you for stopping by, and have a wonderful week. It is snowing again here in the mountains today.

  9. Evelyn Lim says:

    Love the pictures of the clasped hands. My favorite quote too on “where attention goes, energy flows”!

  10. Catrien Ross says:

    Evelyn, and I love seeing you here again. Thank you for your comment – such pictures would be difficult to take today – snow is falling as I write this and the hills are already white.

  11. Farouk says:

    hey Catrien,
    that feels good 🙂 something changed in my emotions when i did that exercise

    i believe that a great one to start the day with 🙂

  12. Catrien Ross says:

    Farouk, hello again. Thanks for the idea about starting the day with this exercise – like stretching into your new day’s potential. Hope your good feelings continue to inspire you all week!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Catrien, I watched Avatar…I was curious to see mainstream Hollywood’s take on more sub-cultural beliefs. The baddies were bad and the good guys good ~ ofcourse! However I was pleasantly surprised to see strong female characters.
    The other film was ‘An Education’ set in the early 60’s England with a strong female leed ~ exploring pre feminism. More European character led in style film. Not v indepth characters but pretty good.
    And I haven’t been back to the Charity Shop to find out if the dog has been found. I can only ‘take’ that Shop in small doses ~ for understandible reasons!
    Oh and I ‘twinkle’ Evelyn beautiful pictures of the hands.

    • Catrien Ross says:

      Elizabeth, thank you for responding with your additional information about the movies you are enjoying. I enjoyed these glimpses you shared. And in terms of staging images, thanks for twinkling Evelyn’s enjoyment of the hands – my hands are stretching upwards to the trees and sky while my body is kneeling on the ground, bracing myself against a stone wall – physically as well as mystically connecting heaven and earth!

  14. Baker says:

    This is a wonderful excersise. The power of our intentions can really change things in our outer physical world. I am glad to see posts like these that continue to resonate well with ideas that I am begining to remember once again. Nicely done here.

    • Catrien Ross says:

      Baker, thank you for stopping by again with your enthusiastic support and your understanding about our perception of reality. Out of the centuries of applied knowledge about energy flow as well as training in martial arts in this part of the world have come many such exercises. You are right, they remind us to remember.

  15. Robin Easton says:

    Dear Catrien, this is AMAZING!! I made sure to do it very accurately so as not to “cheat” LOL! 🙂 And I was SHOCK! My right hand was a bit shorter, but after I did it – and made sure to really line it up – and yet both hands were now equal. That is wild.

    This is so important for me right now because I am in very intense crunch time with my book, long long days, little sleep, to meet book related deadlines and it just hit me the other day that I have to actively use my intention to ask for what I need, and “to put out there” what I need for help, rest, ideas, clarity, etc. and know without doubt that it is coming into my life right now. The Universe is so astounding, because the very next morning a woman emailed asking if she could do a guest post on my blog. LOL!! And there were other things that eased some of the intensity of my days.

    Oh this is so timely for me, Catrien. Our potential is to create our world. You are so beautiful and amazing because showing us this exercise ensures that we won’t forget the lesson. That is so wonderful!!

    Thank you so much dear soul. You are unique and soothing and filled with grace. Much love from warm spring in New Mexico, USA. You are in my thoughts and I am grateful. Robin.

  16. Catrien Ross says:

    Dear Robin – Radiant Robin, how I am delighting in your honestly expressed delight!

    Yes, it can feel wild – just what we need to reconnect with the wildness and power that purrs at the center of our innermost heart, poised to catapult us into deeper awareness at every level of our waking lives.

    I know exactly what you are talking about concerning your book’s crunch time, having experienced this several times in writing my own books. So I know that you can and do continually find exactly what you need, precisely when you need it. That intensity, that focused concentration necessary for completing a book is a wondrous thing, don’t you think? We tap into a magnificent source within ourselves, and it magnificently responds to and for us. And we become so aware and grateful of the support from others around us.

    Thank you for adding your inspiring words, “our potential is to create our world.” Yes, it is, Robin, and the world you share with others reminds us always of the grandeur, the connection, the humility, the grace, the wonder – the sheer excitement in being alive in this amazing web of life.

  17. thank you so much Catrien. How did I feel after my right hand ‘stretched’ to meet my left? Empowered. Reminded. I too, like Robin, am going through crunch time with a book – and finding time to write two blogs and… and… but I wanted to stop by here because you always inspire me. I’m not disappointed. Look at the reflections you’ve mingled in your energy pool, already! How many others have you inspired to move into their power of intention? Yes, we need to remind ourselves we are capable of ANYTHING WE CHOOSE.

    I did think those beautiful hands had to be yours and my left hemisphere went into overdrive trying to figure how you pressed the camera button!!!! kneeling in grass, feet pressed against stone wall. You sound like me!

    But then – as the Maya say – in la’kesh alakin
    I salute you – I am another form of you

    ps Snow here today, like you, mountains white – a temporary return to winter. However you have reminded me to focus on my intent. Thank you

  18. Catrien Ross says:

    Marian, how lovely, what a wonderful comment, and thank you so much for pausing in your book crunch time to stop by. Is your next book crunching along as you hope? You are such a prolific writer, and your blog posts are founts of wisdom and erudition, so clearly informed by your historian’s love.

    Thank you for your positive and very timely reminder that we are capable of “ANYTHING WE CHOOSE.” I am especially touched to receive these words at this moment.

    You can nudge your left brain out of overdrive now – I was not the one to press the camera button. That would have taken a power – not of intention – that I would perhaps have been unable to tap, kneeling in the particular position I took!

    Thank you for the beautiful and inspiring Mayan saying – a thought for each of us to remember with gratitude each day.

    The night here is cold, lighted by the full moon in a clear sky. A sudden drop in temperature again, but the snow has already melted. I appreciate your presence and your moment’s intention here, Marian. Thank you, too.

  19. janice says:

    This was so much fun! My son’s going to love trying this. He’s left handed, so it’ll be interesting to see if his left fingers are ‘shorter’ to begin with.

    • Catrien Ross says:

      Janice, thank you so much for expressing your delight – welcome to my blog. If you feel like it again, please return to share your son’s left-handed response – I am interested, too!

  20. Amazing!
    My left hand was “shorter” and then they stood tall together. I enjoyed this. I will try it again. First thing in the morning. Thanks.

    I love the statement “Energy flows where attention goes”

  21. Patricia says:

    This was just what I needed today – thank you. I am working on healing my body and letting go of all this weight that is stuck on me and yesterday was a “seed of doubt” day for sure. I kept focusing on the Naturopath saying, “You have all the weight to keep you grounded and remaining in this realm, it also protects you from others, but more now it is deciding about where to be”.

    I think today I am attempting to visualize what I might be doing in 5 or 10 years to get a focus for my intention to work toward.

    Good exercise.

  22. Hi Catrien,

    Found your post via Phil’s Less Ordinary Living. Like what you said about being so out-of-love with ourselves.

    Well, the “mind” stretching worked. Both hands now equal! Pretty cool. The mind is way more powerful than we give it credit for. Someone told me once we only use 95% of its power.

    Like the name of your blog. See you!


  23. Catrien Ross says:

    Christopher, hello again. It’s fun, isn’t it? Glad to hear you enjoyed this exercise so much – thank you for journeying over to comment.

  24. Catrien Ross says:

    Patricia, welcome to my blog – thank you for your comment and your interesting gravatar. Does the ladybird/ladybug have special significance for you?

    Do you find that weight is totally personal and unique to each of us? It’s always what you yourself both need and want at different stages of life. The body has its own wisdom, its own cycles, its own responses to our focus in the world.

    I enjoyed hearing about your visualization exercise today – may your intention stretch in all the ways your deepest heart desires.

  25. Catrien Ross says:

    Giulietta, thank you and welcome to my blog – I like the name of your blog, too. It was good of you to follow my comments all the way here to the mountains in Japan.

    Thank you for adding your mind stretching information. I read something recently – our knowledge and perceptions about the brain are always changing – that it seems we use all of the brain. The key to this usage, however, is which active state of the brain we use. As we tap into different states of the brain the functioning of the brain is transformed as we travel along established neural pathways and also create new ones.

    What is now clear – an understanding which has always been intuitively known to muses and mystics – is that we can continually form neural pathways throughout our entire lives. And focus and intention can establish a new pathway in a very short time. How wonderful and exciting this is – that we can undertake our own journeys and actually forge our own paths! In every sense we are creators of our world.

  26. Lisa says:

    Positive thoughts, energy and action can create whatever is intended. Fascinating illustration of this with the hands. If only I could master this exercise in every task of every day. Well, at least many of them.

  27. Catrien Ross says:

    Lisa, thank you for your comment and welcome to my blog. You yourself point out that “positive thoughts, energy and action can create whatever is intended.” So what is there to prevent you from mastering this exercise in every task of every day? Energy flow in our lives is fascinating!

  28. Wow, I’d really have to see this work. 😉 Keep on spreading positive energy thru this blog…

  29. Catrien Ross says:

    Hello, What would you do in heaven – welcome to my blog in this little corner of the Earth.

    Thank you for your positive sharing.

  30. Sara says:


    I loved this exercise and it worked!!! I really concentrated on my right hand as that was the one that was shorter. When I finished the exercise, my fingers were even.

    I love the pictures on your site. I’m a great fan of flowers and plants.

    I can always tell something about a site from the comments other people leave. My word for your site is POSITIVE.

    You have very positive people commenting and enjoying your site, many of whom I recognize. Just reading their remarks makes me feel better. It just goes to show that positive plus positive creates positive:~)

    Thanks for the invitation to visit. I am very pleased I did and will be back!

    p.s. I didn’t see “A Positive Puff”, but the header pictures seemed to come and go. I had to refresh to get them back…so maybe it was there?

    • Catrien Ross says:

      Sara, welcome to my blog and thank you for trying the exercise for yourself.

      There is such abundance of green in Japan, with so many plants and flowers. Thank you for your positive response and yes, positive plus positive equals positive-positive!

      The positive puff dandelion seed head can be found in a previous blog post – to see it, click Blowing Out Your Negativity in a Puff of Positive Energy

      Please do come back to check again Sara – I look forward to seeing you here more.

  31. J.D. Meier says:

    Stretching your potential is a perfect metaphor and I like your simple, practical, and revealing exercise.

  32. Catrien Ross says:

    J.D. – thank you for stopping by – welcome to my blog. I appreciate your comment about this exercise. Thank you for the practical and inspirational insights you always share on your own fine blog. Please visit again – it’s lovely to see you here.

  33. Davina says:

    Hi Catrien.
    I love the pictures you’ve used for this post. I did the exercise and when I put my hands back together the fingers of the shorter hand did appear longer. But I realized I hadn’t lined up the bottom of the baseline of both hands. When I adjusted the position, I was back where I’d started. 🙂 Ready to go again. It was a cool experiment though working with my perception. My hands are all tingly now.

  34. Catrien Ross says:

    Davina, hello to you, and welcome to my blog. Thank you for your perceptive comment. Through the tingling of your hands, are your fingers now stretching?

    Hope to see you here again – please stop by when you have a moment.

  35. I notice this phenomenon also as I exercise. If I’m to point my toes, for example, and straighten my leg out to the side, I can do it methodically and get some benefit over time. But if I consciously feel my toes reaching to the far wall, my leg feels longer and reaches farther, and the benefit is far more energizing. Same movement, with different intentions…

    Interesting, isn’t it?

  36. Catrien Ross says:

    Barb, thank you for dropping by again with your aware observations.

    It is interesting, isn’t it?

    Your exercise of sensing your toes reaching to the far wall is similar to some ki/chi exercises here where you sense your arm stretching across the room, or your center line extending down to the core of the earth. You are energized, and rooted so strongly that you cannot easily be shifted from your position. Intention truly is significant.

  37. Jenn says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it worked! Perfect alignment and my right hand fingers were shorter! I am truly amazed! thanks for this exercise! hugs, Jenn

  38. Patricia says:

    The ladybug or lady bird is the Egyptian scarab symbol for woman recreating herself…and my IT person picked it for me.
    I find when people see a picture of me or I am in a room, I disappear from their awareness…students are put off …after I teach several sessions, there is a waiting list…I am having much grander success on my blog without putting up a current picture of myself! I am also on a mission for health.
    Thank you for your nice reply.

  39. Catrien Ross says:

    Jenn, thank you for your enthusiastic comment – welcome to my blog. Hope you have lots of continuing fun with this exercise. Please drop by again.

  40. Catrien Ross says:

    Patricia, thank you for returning to answer with your interesting information about the scarab symbol. Also for sharing some intriguing aspects of yourself – it makes me want to know more! May your mission for health be everything you intend.

  41. Bern says:

    Through a meditation such as this one, doors certainly open, allowing for the mind to expand, and for inspiration to flood within, changing and broadening one’s frequency and perceptions, where barriers dissolve, and new blocks are found, to yet again explore and dissolve by aligning and bringing together the yin and yang in a wondrous reunion where the polarization and static of a cloudy day opens up to receive the direct energy of the sun.

  42. Catrien Ross says:

    Bern, thank you so much for visiting again, bringing the beauty of your contemplation. I think of your walking in stillness – you must be somewhere along the Appalachian Trail.

    Your wonderful imagery perfectly describes the spring morning I enjoyed in megalopolis Tokyo today. The cloudy day did indeed open to receive the direct energy of the sun. And here in my mountain garden now the warm afternoon rays spill gloriously over the budding, blossoming, awakening land.

  43. Bern says:

    Hi Catrien,

    Yes, we are visiting some friends in Tennessee after having walked across the Smokie Mountains that line the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. We have walked about 500 miles from our starting point in Alabama.

    I feel so much more complete and whole these days as I interact more easily with people and my surroundings. Life Now has meaning in each moment where quality of life has come to me with my authentic expression of the feelings that I am creating and transmitting by honestly touching the world that surrounds me.

    I have a subtle smile upon me as I have fun entering new dimensions by letting go of fears and worries that once blocked me from coming to life. Many seeds have sprouted and I am growing higher into the sky.

  44. Catrien Ross says:

    Bern, deepest thanks again for such a gift of inspiration. Your beautiful words warm like the inner sun that will direct each of us into an expression of our authentic self.

    Thank you especially for, “Many seeds have sprouted and I am growing higher into the sky.”

    500 miles stretching into infinity!

  45. Hi Catrien, this was a nice way to illustrate your point. How exciting it is to see an instant, visible manifestation of the power that is waiting to be tapped within each of us. This is a fascinating subject and one I have had very little exposure to from the oriental perspective. Are those cherry blossoms in the bottom picture?

  46. Catrien Ross says:

    Jonathan, your presence here again is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your comment. Those are plum (ume) blossoms in the bottom picture. Not only are the flowers delicately beautiful, their fragrance wafts down the hillside, perfuming the air.

    The cherry trees are opening here in the mountains now, along with the bright yellow forsythia, and then will come the peach. Spring in Japan is such a splendid flowering that starts in the south and moves northwards. One after the other each region opens to the seasonal beauty as it stirs.

    I am glad you enjoyed the exercise!

  47. Catrien-san, I just popped in to see if you have any new posts since this last one.

    I was just blown away by the beauty of the photos by Kohdoh and the visual beauty of your website. Reminds me of your healing centre itself.

    Any of you readers who have the chance to go there to study, I recommend it strongly. 🙂

  48. Catrien Ross says:

    Rose-san, how splendid of you to let yourself be blown here to comment again.

    Thank you for your lovely words and huge-hearted support.

    Yes, if any readers would like to come here and study with us at our healing centre, please get in touch.

    You are deeply welcomed!

  49. Liara Covert says:

    I love how you invite readers to be more conscious of the natural energy flow. I also love the tingling sensations that grow increasingly more pronounced as one engages in energy healing. Sharing all you do invites each person to experience the indescribable directly and open the heart.

  50. Catrien Ross says:

    Liara, thank you. Being conscious of our natural energy flow is the heart of it all – in mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Thank you especially for your words: “experience the indescribable directly.” When this happens, the heart does indeed open. Catrien.

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