Dwelling on Intention

I know I'm behind the times-- I haven't read The Secret yet. But from what folks tell me, the big idea in the book is one I already practice, one that is a commonly held belief among my "clan." It's the idea that we give our energy to the things we dwell on.

The belief is that we want to, therefore, direct our energy to the DESIRED OUTCOME or process, so that our energy-- our intention-- moves toward it. Dwelling on our fears, or the thing we want NOT to happen simply puts our energy toward those fears and that thing, regardless of phrasing.

For example, "I want to arrive safely at my destination." is more likely to get the results you want than "I don't want another car crash." Because in the second case, you'd be dwelling on "another car crash..." and the true intention is ARRIVING SAFELY.

It's harder (and more gradual-yet-quick-resultsy) than it sounds. Often, our best method of connecting to the casual acquaintances in our lives is by commiserating and talking about our concerns with each other. If you don't dwell on what sux in your life, what will you talk about with them?? And, last Friday night with a lot of drunk drivers on the road, it was easy for me to dwell on "avoid the drunk drivers" and harder to think "My drive home will be uneventful. I will arrive safely at my destination..." while dodging that ink-blue minivan that was driving-- mostly-- in the middle lane.

We have to come up with a way to define/describe the positive outcome we desire. We also have to catch ourselves thinking in negatives or about all the things we do NOT want to have happen in our lives, and make the choice to re-focus on that positive outcome-- every time.

The mental reinforcement of a mantra or a goal statement, whether at work or in your personal life-- whether in the next five minutes or the next five years-- is a much-used tool. It works. With our minds focusing on "I want this in my life" we are more likely to notice the opportunities that might assist us toward our goal. We are more likely to see ourselves making progress toward that goal or outcome (instead of focusing on what's not the way we want it), and thus have more energy to continue moving in that desired direction. As we focus on that desired outcome, we are more likely to tell people about our hopes, dreams, and positive experiences-- and give them an opportunity to contribute to our triumph rather than to our misery.

For example, I'm moving into a new office this week. I'm VERY excited about this, and see it as a positive change. Sure, it's hard to come up with office rent for a whole month-worth of hours just now, but soon I'll have a huge successful business made of wonderful and repeat clients, and my ability to make a positive difference in their lives. My schedule will be full, I will have the energy to do the work for many clients that I do for a few just now, and as a result, I will also achieve financial success. Enough, and then some. (Quote from Your Money or Your Life, by Jo Dominguez and Vicki Robin, wherein they talk about quality over quantity, and how intentional living bridges that gap.)

Dwelling on "success is coming" sure does keep my energy up!! And instead of saying "shit, I have no chairs for my clients," I decided to use my dining chairs as an interim measure. And with excitement lighting my features, I told my new officemates of the great temporary solutions I'd found to several little challenges like this.

It was a wonderful surprise to then learn that one of my officemates currently has two comfortable chairs sitting in her garage, for wont of a home. She's going to bring them in for me, and she's happy to have someplace else to put them. What a great solution to the challenge that I refused to see as a negative thing! No windows in my new office turned out to be a great opportunity to paint the walls a really bright color, and exercise my muraling skills here and there over top of the new paint color. I'm seeing so many great opportunities, simply because I know this is a great situation in which to work, and success is coming.

Telling myself that this is so opens the door to possibility, just by announcing --repeatedly and confidently-- that possibility exists. It focuses my energy on doing good work and succeeding, and draws similar energy to my life and my office. I'm looking for ways to succeed. I'm looking forward with excitement to a successful life. And excitement, like yawning, is contagious.

I invite you to examine the words, images, and expectations/desires that you dwell on every day. Are you hoping not to be late to soccer practice, or are you hoping to arrive safely and on-time? Are you expecting the copier to jam again and the meeting to run late, or are you intending to get through your day with efficiency and grace? Are you looking for reasons to enjoy getting out of bed? ...or still grumpy and frustrated because you have to go to work, and don't really get to sit around and enjoy the breakfast your spouse made for you this morning?

Now, what does that tell you about your intentions every day? About the places you choose to spend your energy? Try to redefine those concerns that now dissatisfy you in such a way that you will dwell on a positive outcome. Shift your intention. Shift your energy and your focus. Shift your life.

Believe it or not, that's why I love my work so much. Why I am willing to work with my clients' budgets and schedules. Each time I meet with a client who is focused on improving their life in some way, we are putting their intention into action. I get to go to work each day, and help someone focus and shift their energy in a way that will change their life for the better. Eventually, I'd like to build this practice into a wellness retreat. A green-built custom retreat community with a variety of workshops, work spaces, living situations, community-building activities, and healing services such as Massage and quality elder-care. Someday, I will.

What are your life goals? What's the next action you can take to direct your energy toward that end? Maybe it's sitting down with a paper and pen to map out the values that make your big toes wiggle, and decide on some goals or steps you might explore with those values in mind. Maybe it's scheduling half an hour a week into your life for you. Maybe it's time to decide that your goals are just as important to you as everybody else's. Maybe it's time to open the door to possibility, and shout out an invitation.

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