Living An Intentional Life

How Your Head and Heart Function in Relation to Your Intention and Realizing Your Future Self

Photo by Jash Chhabria on Unsplash

Well, who’s not heard of intention? Yep, we’ve all heard the phrase, the power of intention, probably even read books about it; I know I have.

Yet, what does it really mean to live an intentional life; and, where does our intention come from, and how can we get more of it?

Good questions. Let’s first take a look at the definition of intention, shall we? Excellent. Here we go.

intention

noun/ɪnˈtɛnʃn/ [countable, uncountable] 

What you intend or plan to do; your aim

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries

Well, that’s pretty straightforward, yes? Good.

Now, I want to look at intention five ways. Here they are.

  1. The Head
  2. The Heart
  3. The Head and Heart
  4. The Field of Experience
  5. Creative Beings

Ready? Good. Here we go.

The Head

When I use the term, or concept, head, I am referring to our intellect. The way we think about ourselves and the world. How we think about ourselves and the world has a direct impact on our intention.

For instance, if we believe we are incapable, and the world is a scary place full of bad people, our intention will follow. However, if we believe we are limitless, and that, generally, the world is full of good people, our intention will follow.

Why does this matter?

Because we are the creators of all of our experiences. And, how we think matters in relation to creating the life we want to live. If we are overcome by negative thoughts patterns, we will continue to live in a world full of those negative thoughts.

Meaning, that we will continue to get back very similar looking experiences to how we think about who we are as a human being.

We can actually say that in the head is where it all starts. Yet, it’s not where it all ends.

Photo by Omer Salom on Unsplash

The Heart

When I use the term, or concept, heart, I am referring to our intuition. It’s that “gut feeling” we get about ourselves and the world.

Unfortunately, in the United States, intuition is not regarded as important as the intellect, which, in my estimation, is a thinking error. It is a thinking error, because many scientific experiments, breakthroughs in theory, and research, are made through intuition, even if the researcher or scientist is unaware or in denial about this truth.

Factually, human beings feel their way through much of their lives. Feeling through that inner-knowing, which guides us through our experiences, both wonderful, and difficult.

Therefore, our intuition is a big part of how we create and set our intentions. How we feel about our personal and professional lives matter. As does how we feel about the future self we want to create.

The Head and Heart

When we have alignment between our head and our heart, our intellect and intuition will blossom. Many people have a direct conflict between their head and heart. Some are aware about this truth, and some are not.

When we are aware, we can make changes, creating alignment between the two. When we are out of alignment between our head and our heart, we are in a sort of perplexed state.

Have you ever wanted to try something new, and your intellect felt confident, yet your intuition told you a different story? Sure. It happens to us all.

However, if your daily experience, like mine once was, is like this, constantly struggling to make decisions, unsure and worried about the future, it may be because your head and heart are misaligned. It’s not a problem if this is the case, it happens.

What’s important is finding out why there is misalignment, and working towards realignment.

Alright, now that we’ve talked about the head and the heart, and alignment between the two, let’s talk about the field of experience, and setting our intention.

Field of Experience

What does the field of experience mean? Good question. In this discussion, it means all the information we take in and give back out within the contexts we navigate.

Here is a simple picture of how I view the field of experience. Yes, yes, I know, I’m not an artist. Well, not that kind of artist. You know, writing is an art. Anyway, I digress, here we go.

Corvallis, Oregon 2021

Now, let’s take each of these concepts one at a time and unpack them a little. Here we go.

Incoming Information

As we can see in the above example, we have a field that we experience. That which is in front of us. And, within this field of experience, we are always receiving information. The information we receive comes in many forms, mostly in terms of verbal and nonverbal information.

We take in all of this information, whether we are aware of it or not, and assimilate it into schemas about our lives. The information that fits, makes it into these schemas, or narratives, and what doesn’t, well, we sort of block it out. This blocking is also known as a blind spot.

Now, when we are aware that we function in this way, we can work to ameliorate these blind spots. How? By being open to new experiences and new information, which we don’t quite understand, until, yep, we understand it, and can assimilate it.

And, just as we have new information coming in, we are always creating new information and sending it back out into the world, or, in this example, our field of experience.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Outgoing Information

As was aforementioned, as we take information in we also give information out. We give information out in the form of verbal and nonverbal communication. And, as we already discussed, when we have a self-view or worldview that is cynical, let’s say, we give that back out to everyone we come into contact with.

However, when we are aware of how our thinking and feeling affects the information we give out, we can create a space of personal and professional transformation. Why?

Because we have now created a space where we have a choice about how we transmit our thinking and feeling. The concept I am alluding to here is emotional intelligence, which is powerful and transformative.

Once we understand how incoming and outgoing information affects our field of experience, we can better understand how the concepts past, present, and future, also affect our field of experience.

Past Present Future

I’ve written about the concepts of past, present, and future many times. They are important to this discussion because when we are facing the past, we are recreating the past in our present moments. And, when we recreate the past in our present moments, we are recreating the past in all of our future moments too. Yep. This is the truth.

However, when we let go of those previous experiences, meaning, that we are present in our current reality, and are creating our lives and our field of experience from the present moment, we are creating a future reality that is not bound by the past.

These concepts are actually quite simple, and yet, can also be confusing sometimes if you’ve never thought about your life experiences this way.

Remember, we create our future from today, from this moment; and, when the present moment is infused with confusion, worry, or shame, for example, about our past, we are then going to recreate those same thoughts and feelings in our present moment.

And, yes, they will then go out to our field of experience, which means they’ll also come back to us just the same.

However, as I’ve mentioned, when we create ourselves anew in each moment, we are creating new realities that are not bound by thoughts and feelings from the past.

And, what happens when what we think and feel is just right? Good question.

Photo by Artem Maltsev on Unsplash

What Thinks and Feels Right

When what we think and feel is in alignment, and just feels right, we are ready to set our intention to create ourselves anew in each moment.

It doesn’t mean, however, that we won’t at times have misalignment. It happens.

What it does mean is that more often than not, how we think and feel is aligned. Meaning, that we’ve freed ourselves from our previous worries, anxieties, and frustrations, which may impede our most creative moments.

Because, remember, if we are worried, anxious, and frustrated, we will only create more worried, anxious, and frustrated thoughts and feelings.

Again, at times we will have these thoughts and feelings. Yet, they will not dominate our present moments, because we are aware of how they function, can work through them, and let them go. Important.

Setting Your Intention

For me, creating and setting your intention simply means doing what we’ve already discussed. Now, we’ve covered a lot of information, so let’s recap real quick, so we can see how all of these concepts work together.

  • The Head (Intellect) – our thoughts contribute to our experience.
  • The Heart (Intuition) – our feelings contribute to our experience.
  • Head and Heart Alignment – creating alignment between our thinking and feeling is important.
  • Incoming Information – we receive verbal and nonverbal information all day, and we assimilate, or block, this information into our current worldview.
  • Outgoing Information – we are always creating and sending out information, both verbal and nonverbal.
  • Past Present Future – when we allow our previous experiences to shape our thoughts and feelings, we are creating more of our previous experiences in the present moment. However, when we work through and let go of our previous experiences, we are creating our present reality and future realities based on today, not yesterday.
  • What Thinks and Feels Right – when we have alignment between our head and our heart, it will just feel right. Meaning, that we’ll be creating our present moments and future moments from today, not our past.
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Now we can see how important these concepts are to our intention. For instance, when we are living in the past, allowing our old thoughts and feelings to dictate our current and future realities, our intentions are set exactly so.

Meaning, we will get back all of our old experience. Yes, thoughts, feelings, and actions; and, we will see those things, such as anxiety, worry, doubt, and fear everywhere.

However, when we work through our previous experiences, including our thoughts and feelings, we are creating a reality free from those old patterns, or habits. And?

Our intention follows. We create and set our intention from our present moment, free from our past, facing toward the future we want to create.

Intention, whether we are aware or not, is a powerful force. An example? Sure. Here we go.

Think for a moment about a time when you’ve been upset and really frustrated. Maybe, you’ve been overwhelmed, and it’s lasted at least a few hours, if not an entire day, or a couple of days even. What did you experience in those moments, hours, and days? Yep. More of the same, yes? Of course. That’s how it works.

Similarly, think about a time when you were feeling really good, and that lasted for a couple of hours, or days. What did you experience in those hours and or days? Yes, exactly. More of the same.

Our intention is powerful, and will manifest before us that which we think and feel most passionately about. Even if that is worry, doubt, frustration, and anxiety. Thus, we must take care of our intention, and feed it positivity, hope, love, compassion, empathy, and patience.

Creative Beings

Ultimately, we are creative beings. It’s been said and written many times, creativity is our highest calling. For me, this simply means that we are the active agents in our lives. We create our present reality, which informs our future reality.

And, we do so through the power of intention. Through the ways in which we think and feel about ourselves and the world. We create our present and future realities from this space.

Meaning that we need to take care of the space between our thoughts and feelings, between the information we take in, and the information we give out.

These spaces are dear to us, so use them well, take your time with them, and create and set your intention from this moment, facing towards the future you want to manifest.

#creatingintention, #creatingthefuture, #fieldofexperience, #future, #headandheart, #intellect, #intuition, #leadershipdevelopment, #lettinggoofthepast, #past, #personaldevelopment, #present, #professionaldevelopment, #selfdevelopment, #thepowerofintention

A Blogger’s Diary 11/29/30: On Writing, Extreme Risk, and Our Head and Heart

Photo by Jane Palash on Unsplash

As I reflect back upon this week, it occurs to me that, yes, it too was a busy week, as, at work, we prepared to publish and send out our fourth completely remote digital schedule of classes. Wow.

In some ways, it’s hard to believe that we’ve now been creating and delivering completely remote classes and training for 10 months. Phew.

And, in other ways, not so hard to believe. Because, some days it feels like we’ve been living inside of this pandemic a lot longer. Keep breathing everyone. Really.

Writing? Sure. Here we go.

Writing

More writing this week, which was a blast. Here’s what that looked like in case you haven’t seen them all yet.

Another wow. Lots of writing this week. Fun! And, next week?

Hm. I’m a little more unsure about my writing next week than usual. I know, I know, I actually write that quite often, or something like that, maybe in a different way. Why?

Because I am truly unsure how it will go. Much of that has to do with how much time I’ll have to write. It’s different every week. And?

Well, here’s the plan anyway.

More poetry? Oh, yes, of course! I am having such a great time writing poetry. I am working on several pieces right now! Much fun.

I will also be working on the Leadership Series this week, on installment, well, 2.5, which is the other half of the second installment on developing the self. More fun!

I’m sure I’ll also have a reflection series post this week, though last week that did not occur. We will see. And, you know, for me, that’s part of the fun.

Seeing what comes. What insights happen throughout the week, and how they, sometimes, turn into poetry or another post. The creative process is quite beautiful. Wouldn’t you agree?

Photo by Kyle Ryan on Unsplash

Extreme Risk

In last week’s entry, I wrote a little about the 2-week freeze the Governor put Oregon under, which expires, I think, this coming Wednesday.

Yet, not really. Why?

Well, it turns out the county I live in, and the county I work in have been classified as extreme risk. Meaning?

Continued restrictions. Difficult. And, yet totally understandable.

Last week, my oldest son told me that University sent everyone home over the Thanksgiving break, and told them not to return until winter term, which starts in early January.

Like I’ve written, it is hard right now, for everyone, everywhere. Hang in there.

Photo by Langa Hlatshwayo on Unsplash

Head and Heart

The Monday message I scheduled to go out to the team this week was created specifically because of how hard it is living inside of the pandemic right now. Has been hard, and is still hard. That is our current reality.

And, inside of that reality, it is important for each of us, all of you, yes, and me, to remember to take care of our head and our heart. Really important.

I’ve written a lot about how I take care of my head and heart, so will simply write here that however you do that matters less, than doing it. Taking care of yourself. Being with yourself. Caring for yourself. Important.

When we care for ourselves, we can care for everyone else that much more. It works that way.

Please remember to take care during this terribly stressful time.

And, lastly, I wanted to share a couple of quotes that are also part of the Monday message scheduled for tomorrow. Why?

Well, because I think they are inspirational, just like each of you. Here we go.

“One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right if the head is totally wrong. Only through the bringing together of head and heart-intelligence and goodness-shall man rise to a fulfillment of his true nature.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

AZ Quotes

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” -Nelson Mandela

AZ Quotes

“People with high levels of personal mastery…cannot afford to choose between reason and intuition, or head and heart, any more than they would choose to walk on one leg or see with one eye.” -Peter Senge

AZ Quotes

“Knowledge is a great gift, and the thirst to seek it even greater. Use what you know…Head and heart…You are not made to give greater weight to one than the other.” -Nora Roberts

AZ Quotes

Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses. -Laozi

AZ Quotes

Love those. Beautiful. Alright, that’s all for this week.

As I’ve already written, keep breathing, keep moving, keep loving, keep learning, and keep living.

You are needed. You are an inspiration.

Have a great week, and be well, my friends.


#bloggersdiary, #covid-19, #diary, #headandheart, #laozi, #life, #love, #martinlutherkingjr, #nelsonmandela, #noraroberts, #petersenge, #quotes, #writing

Creating and Maintaining Relationships 5: An Important Distinction About Attachment and Healthy Relationships

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

What’s the difference between an attachment and a healthy relationship? And, why does it matter? Well, it’s only been in the past year, really, that I can really make this distinction. What does that mean?

Well, I hold a degree, actually two of them, that stipulate that I know about this distinction. Yep. And, while those pieces of paper are in frames, and the person writing this article does have intellectual information about the theoretical differences between attachment and healthy relationships, that is not knowing.

Alright, you are doing very well, stay with me. One more distinction.

Holding intellectual information means that you have a grasp, even expertise, in understanding a particular topic or subject. This is a true statement. Does it then follow that because you have intellectual information about a subject or topic that you also know about that topic or subject? No. Why?

Because to know something, really know it, in your head and your heart, you must have lived through it. It is the only way. It must be experienced.

While many people can theorize about the difference between attachment and healthy relationships, they only really know the difference if they have lived through something that has shown them that difference. Which is why I have only recently learned, and now know, about this distinction. And, it is an important one.

Here is a good example.

intellectual
The adjective intellectual describes something related to or using the mind or intellect. Your creative pursuit of singing in a rock band is different from your intellectual interest in 16th-century drama.

Vocabulary.com

In the above example, singing in the rock bank is known because it is being done, lived, it is real. While the intellectual interest in 16-century drama is purely theoretical, made up of ideas. The person that has intellectual information of 16-century drama can never know what being in a 16-century drama is like. Phew. Okay, I think that covers it.

Now let’s create the distinction between attachment and healthy relationships. The distinction between the two is important because many people believe they are in a healthy relationship with someone, when they are actually only attached. They are not really in a healthy relationship.

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Attachment and Healthy Relationships

It is important to understand that we are all attached to people, things, and objects. Attachment is a deep feeling we have for someone or something. These attachments will correspondingly drive our behavior, whether we are aware of it or not.

Because our attachments will drive our behavior and reciprocally our emotional state, they can often be destructive, especially in adulthood.

And, especially in relationships that don’t work so well. Why?

Because when we have a deep emotional attachment to someone, we will continue to stay close to that person even when it is unhealthy for us to do so. Think about the relationships you’ve had, or may have right now.

Do you have any that don’t work so well, yet you continue to stay in relationship with that person? We’ve all been there. That is attachment at work.

Of course, you can love someone, also be attached, and still not be in a healthy relationship. Also important to understand. Often people also confound love, and the attachment that comes with that love, with a healthy relationship.

It is particularly difficult the longer you are with the person; and, can be extremely painful when you finally make the choice to leave the relationship.

In effect, attachment can cloud our decision and choice-making process on leaving relationships that we are better off leaving. Difficult.

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

What Can We Do?

You can notice how you feel, how you think. Do you have an inner knowing that your relationship is not working, yet you stay?

Remember, if your inner-knowing acknowledges the relationship as not working, it is not a demerit. It happens to everyone at some point in their life.

When you know, you have a choice. You can stay, and continue to feel and think one way, yet act in a different way. However, know that when we feel and think one way, and act out of accordance with this knowing, we will be out of balance. Leading us to have more anxiety and frustration.

And, of course, when we have more anxiety and frustration, we are not being healthy to ourselves, or our partner. Really.

Know also that you can love someone completely, and still know that leaving is needed.

#anxious, #attachment, #frustrated, #headandheart, #healthyrelationships, #inner-knowing, #inuition, #relationships, #toughchoices, #toughdecisions, #unhealthyrelationships