memory, like a
whisper of times forgotten,
behold, this moment.
memory, like a
memory, like a
whisper of times forgotten,
behold, this moment.
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.
What you intend or plan to do; your aimOxford Learner’s Dictionaries
Well, that’s pretty straightforward, yes? Good.
Now, I want to look at intention five ways. Here they are.
Ready? Good. Here we go.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now, let’s take each of these concepts one at a time and unpack them a little. Here we go.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve been thinking a lot about limit and limitlessness this week; and, I’ve been thinking about the connection between knowing we are unlimited, and confusion and clarity.
Where do you suppose confusion comes from? Or, lack of clarity? And, how do you suppose limited thinking is connected to confusion? Lastly, how does having clarity reduce confusion, and our own limited thinking? Hm. Not sure. Well, let’s take a look.
Here’s what we’ll cover.
Here we go.
A lot of confusion comes from over active minds. In some ways, human beings are programmed to think and think and think. Think about the past, think about the future, yet not so much the present. The issue?
When we are thinking about the past or the future, we are not present. In these moments we are literally living in the past or the future. And, when we are not present, we are confused about our current reality.
We cannot see our current reality, right there in front of us, when we are thinking about what we should or could have done yesterday, or when we are thinking about what we are going to do tomorrow, next week, or next month. Impossible.
In a sense, we are confused and don’t even know it. How can this be? We are too busy thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, as we act today. When this happens we are living in yesterday or tomorrow.
When this happens we also have less clarity. Simply because the mind is so busy thinking about other things, worrying about something that was said or not said, or something that was done or not done. When your mind is that active, you cannot have clarity. There is no space for it.
Clarity comes when we are able to leave the past in the past and the future in the future. Simple. Well, not really. Takes lots of practice. And, yet it is possible, and is quite amazing to have the space for more clarity. With more clarity, of course, comes more insight. Fun.
When we are confused because we are focused on the past or future, we are also limiting our thinking. We are concentrating on events that are not in the here and now. Because we are not focused on the here and now, we are limiting the possibilities that live in the present moment. Limited.
Think about a time that someone asked you a question about a topic or event, and you, instead of being present to the conversation, started to think about how something similar didn’t work last time, or how the result will need to be this way or that way.
We have, in effect, created limitation. Important to note here that the limitation being created is not created intentionally. It just happens. That is why noticing when we are focusing on anything other than the present moment is important.
Limited thinking, then, is connected to confusion in that when we are confused we limit our thinking. Meaning that all the things that are possible in any given situation or event are limited. They are limited because we are paying attention to the past or the future instead of what is right in front of us.
As we’ve discussed, when there is less confusion there is more clarity. When we are focused on the present moment, we have more space for insight, and for all possibilities that might present themselves in that moment.
Therefore, clarity is created by focusing on the present moment, and letting go of thoughts about the past and future. Again, I know it sounds simple, and in language it is. In practice it is more difficult. Why?
As was aforementioned, we are in some ways programmed to focus on the past and the future. As I’ve written about in other posts, humans are meaning-makers. Which means that we are always creating meaning about what we are doing, and we are also always relating it to what we know.
Additionally, we are socialized, especially in the U.S. to focus on results. When we are focused on a result, we are now focused on the future, not on the present.
Both focusing on the past and the future detract us from the present. What can we do to increase clarity and reduce confusion? Let’s take a look at 5 simple steps you can take to begin to increase your clarity.
When you notice that you are thinking about past events, whether it is something you wish you wouldn’t have done, or something that you wish you would have done, shift your thinking to the present. It takes practice.
Notice without judgement. Once you are more aware of your thoughts, you may get frustrated when you catch yourself focusing on the past or the future.
When we get frustrated, we can actually create more confusion. Think about it. If you are focused on the past and you notice, and then get frustrated, you have now filled your mind with both the past and frustration in the present moment. More confusion.
If you get frustrated, notice that, and let it go. Again, it takes practice. Here are the steps again.
It works the same for future events. Same process, same steps.
Remember, we don’t create confusion and lack of clarity for ourselves intentionally. It just happens. However, there are steps you can take to increase clarity and reduce confusion. How to begin? One step at a time.
And, when you get frustrated, which will invariably happen, remember that frustration will only attract more confusion. Take it slow. Breathe. Practice. And, please give yourself the grace you deserve.