Elsa Asher

Modus Operandi #1: Intention

When you form an intention, everything organizes around it. It guides and supports the entire process. If you forget why you here and what you are doing, remember your intention.


New Moon

This is the beginning. The time before you begin creating. The space where everything comes from. The source of ideas, inspiration, insight, vision. Art and bodies come from the same place. Everyone has an intention for their life. Even if you forgot what it is, it is still there, guiding you. Your intention for your life is part of the vital force of your aliveness, it organizes your life, it draws your energy and work into a form to fulfill this intention. 

When you set an intention for your life, in the very beginning of your consciousness, how this experience was for you made an imprint on this phase of the 5 part process. What do you know about your conception? Did your parents long for years to conceive you? Were you a surprise? Were they unsure if they were ready to be parents? Did you have one parent, or several, or birth parents who were different from the parents who raised you? How did your parent(s) receive your intention for your life? Was it honored, respected and explicitly supported? Was it denied or hidden or unsupported? Was there even room for you to form an intention for yourself? How your parent(s) received your intention imprinted your experience of setting an intention.

You are made from the meeting of an egg and sperm.

Sperm meeting egg. Photo: Lennart Nilsson

Sperm meeting egg. Photo: Lennart Nilsson

Egg receiving the sperm.ย Photo:ย Lennart Nilsson

Egg receiving the sperm. Photo: Lennart Nilsson


"Let there be light, and there was light ื™ึฐื”ึดื™ ืื•ึนืจ ื•ึทื™ึฐื”ึดื™ ืื•ึนืจ" โ€” Bereishit/Genesis 1:3

When the egg and sperm come together to form a body, there is a flash of light.


"Dance is breath made visible." โ€” Anna Halprin

Somatic Exercise: explore preconception & conception

Implicit memories are memories created before verbal capacity was developed so the memories are stored in body sensations and emotions rather than words and images. Notice how you felt as you explored the preconception and conception material. Reflect on what you know about the time before and when you were conceived, especially in the 3 months before your conception. There may be clues for your process.

elsa asher modus creativity healing

Move your body. Don't plan how you will move, get settled inside yourself and then follow the movements your body wants to make, let yourself be danced by the movements arising. Experiment with moving your body in a circular motion. How does it feel to move from standing or being large to curling up on the floor or being smaller? Notice how you felt when you watched the movement in the Intention film clip. Play with deciding to do something and notice what sensations arise. Set your mind to move towards another person, and notice what emotions you feel.

Notice the moon, notice the season 

The intention phase is associated with the new moon and with late winter. It is a time of rest. A time of allowing for the clear vision and desire to arise for what comes next. You might not always be in the new moon or late winter every time you are in the intention phase. This is okay.  You may be in a shorter or longer process, one which spans a week, a month, a year, 5 years, your whole life.

Check in with your body

Where are you in your hormone cycle? Track your cycle. Notice how you feel. Honor this. Cultivate tenderness for your body and it's cycles. This is a radical rebellion that counters capitalism which denies the earth's cycles for system of never-ending expansion at all costs. The more we work with our body, the more productive we are. This is true productivity, in concert with your body, your relationships, the earth.

Creative Exercise: create your intention statement

Write for 5-10 minutes. If writing isn't your thing, sketch, draw, paint, move, or whatever form is the most productive for discovering your intention. What do you want to create? Why do you want to make it? Identify your desire. After you're done, distill it into one clear sentence. Make it as clear and concise as possible. This is your organizing axis. Write it on a piece of paper and put it up in a place where you can see it.

Try setting your intention during the new moon. Try setting your intention during menstruation, or midway between testosterone shots, or when you take estrogen, or during the winter time. 

Make a Plan: Resourcing Exercise

This is the time of rest and renewal. For trusting your gut. For setting your sight on what is next. For letting yourself know deeply what you want. For trusting you already have everything within you that you need to make it real.

What do you need to support you in fully experiencing the intention phase with ease? Write a list of internal and external resources to support you in this part of the process. A resource is anything that helps you connect with yourself. An internal resource might be a part of your body that feels good or a happy memory, and an external resource might be walking outside with a friend, or playing with an animal. Some resources are internal and some are external. Here is a list of some examples of each. Write your own list and put it somewhere visible in your home space to reference for ideas when you need to reconnect with yourself.

Internal Resources

Feeling the sensation of your feet on the floor, experiencing your breath, feeling the strength of your spine or legs or arms, meditating, remembering a time when you experienced joy or connection, writing, singing, making music, dancing or other movement, physical contact with yourself.

External Resources

Talking with a friend, physical contact with other people, spending time in nature, spending time with animals, looking at things of beauty, telling a story and being listened to, receiving bodywork or another kind of healing modality.