Nurturing Seeds with the Power of Intention

“When your determination changes, everything will begin to move in the direction you desire.  The moment you resolve to be victorious, every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself toward your success.  On the other hand if you think “this will never work out,” then at that instant every cell in your being will be deflated and give up the fight. Everything then will move in the direction of failure.  I want you to understand the subtle workings of the mind.  How you orient your mind, the kind of attitude you have, greatly influences both yourself and your environment.”  

This quote is from Daisaku Ikeda, former president of Soka Gakkai International, the largest and most diverse lay organization of Buddhist practitioners in the world. And it has been on or by my desk for at least 10 years. And I’m pretty sure that I first scribbled it down over 20 years ago when I first moved to Seattle, Washington in 2005.  Now after 13 years of studying esoterics and metaphysics it still rings true it just has so many additional levels of meaning and truth.  

Forbes Magazine recently stated that – “intention is a critical factor in achieving success…It provides a purposeful and strategic approach to navigating life’s complexities and a guiding force propelling you toward a future of purpose, genuineness and success.” the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy shares that  Intention is “mental directedness towards objects, as if the mind were construed as a mental bow whose arrows could be properly aimed at different targets.” 

The key here that unlocks the Power of Intention is the alignment and purposeful direction of your thoughts and actions toward a desire that you really want to achieve in your life. A prerequisite then for this alignment is you must know for yourself what you desire. What do you really want for your life?  Where do your passions lie? What gives you a sense of true fulfillment? If you do not know what you want and desire in the heart of your hearts then it is really going to be hard to align your thoughts and actions to make that desire happen. And you never unlock the true power of intention.  

The definition of intentional according to Webster’s dictionary is “Done on purpose; deliberate.” Synonyms include “Conscious, Willed and Purposeful.”  

In my esoteric and Kabbalistic training we are taught that the Magickian or Alchemist uses their imagination to clearly identify and describe their specific desire, and then they must set their intention, concentration and will upon the appropriate object.  None of this saying “Walk around your life like a zombie doing whatever everyone else says you should do.”  In fact, it is specifically the opposite.  Intention is “thinking ahead and making choices based on personal beliefs, values, and goals.”  Not acting on impulse, but planning ahead to choose things that create a positive impact for your life and the things you value. 

Okay, okay, Angel, you might be saying.  Great, be more positive. Be more intentional.  Those are great buzzwords but how do I do that? But that’s just it.  I’m not telling you to BE MORE positive, or BE MORE Intentional.  That would be me “shoulding” on you.  Instead I’m giving you an equation that if you choose to follow it for yourself – your thoughts and actions will be the cause that results in the effect of an intentional life.  And that intentional life of thinking and doing on purpose with purpose will result in you achieving more of what you actually want, desire and desire, which will result in you feeling more fulfillment and joy and gratitude for what you have and have been able to accomplish.  Which will fuel more gratitude, and more ability to to be intentional.  It is a positive cycle of cause and effect which will in turn result in you becoming positive and living a more joyful life.  No shoulding needed. Because you will be doing it. And that is the most important thing. 

So let’s review the equation that allows you to unlock the Power of Intentional creation in your life. 

Step one and the foundational piece is that you need to get clear on what it is you want and desire in your life.  What do you really want for you? All studies and literature on this point to you identifying for you what brings you joy and passion. (not simply what brings you momentary pleasure) But what are your values, what gives you a sense of fulfillment?  What feels purposeful? 

Now if you are at this step (step one) and already stuck, don’t worry.  Start small. Identify a very short term clear achievable thing you would like in your life that you personally would feel good about if you accomplished.  This can be very selfish (or may feel selfish and that is ok, we have to start somewhere). So this could be taking a weekend trip to a place you want to see.  Or paying off a credit card. Balancing your budget. Cleaning your garage. Going to the gym two or three times a week. 

If you allow yourself to hear what you want to do for yourself the answer is there.  Feel out your desires, your intuition and higher self are telling you every day what you actually want.  Another technique to get there is to attend a meditation or listen to a meditation app.  This act of meditating is going to create space in your monkey mind as in it’s going to quiet the noise so you can actually hear what your higher self is saying.  But meditation aside – just ask yourself what do I actually want?  And be honest with yourself.  Stop denying your inner voice and desire.  Listen.  You know the answer.  

You must get past step one in order to harness the power of intention.  You have to have an appropriate and specific objective to focus on.  A place to point your mental bow and arrow.  And you really have to actually want it or else you will not be able to focus on it or determine to create it or achieve it without desire. 

Once you have step one.  The thing you desire to achieve then you can begin step two, which is the alignment of your thoughts toward the achievement of the objective.  If you go back to season one episode two or three I speak to this.  The 4 worlds.  1. Idea 2. Thought 3. plan  4. Action.  This is always the path to intentional creation.  In this case Idea = Your desired objective (identifying what you want, specifically). Thought = alignment of your thoughts.  “I am going to create this and I am committed to taking steps to do it.  I am determined and won’t give up.”  Then 3. Plan!  Yes, what are the microsteps and daily intentions you are going to take until you reach what it is you desire?  What is your daily routine going to be?  How are you going to prioritize your time and perhaps even block your time to ensure you have the time to do the things necessary.  Then finally Action = which equals action is alignment with your thoughts and doing the things you have planned to do such that it results in the thing you desire. 

So, this is your equation to harness the power of intention.  Alignment and purposeful direction of your thoughts and actions toward a specific desired objective. 

Now, intentionality is a practice like any other skill. It will take practice before it is second nature and then it is never going to be autonomous programming/ habitual because it is specifically the opposite of automatic/without thought/habit/subconscious doing.  Because you are specifically choosing to be intentional and choosing a disciplined set of daily rituals to move your life in a positive direction and accomplish not only goals but personal development and progression.  

So, it is going to take the specific application of daily consistent effort, but it will be effort that brings you joy and satisfaction and stress reduction versus jogging on the hamster wheel of purposeless action.  

So, let me tell you about the power of intention. Once upon a time I was a very unhappy lawyer working in the corporate realm.  I believed in nothing woo woo like energy healing and I even thought things like power of intention or positive thinking were a pile of huey. I read the quote from Daisaku Ikeda (I was practicing buddhism at the time) and thought how nice it would be to have something to be determined about. I was stressed out, tired all the time and suffered from chronic anxiety and itching because I had a body wide candida infection and no idea.  The doctors I talked to were like “shrug. There is nothing wrong with you.  You must have chronic fatigue.”  I was 27 years old and tired of being tired. I had no purpose.  I had accomplished everything I was supposed to do in life (college, law school, a job in a law firm).  But as a reward I hated my job, was sick, bored and generally meh about the whole thing that was my life.  There was nothing I enjoyed doing besides drinking and listening to music with my friends – but that wasn’t making me happy or feeling any better. Then a friend introduced me to the practice I now do and teach in the Empower Thyself class & initiation.  And I completely ignored her for like 4 or more years.  Because I am a hard head stubbornly attached to my suffering like many logic and achievement driven attorneys I know.  But I eventually caved because I needed a change so badly.  And I saw a change in my friend who took the class.  So it couldn’t hurt right?  Well, it could.  I saw the loss of what I considered a crazy investment of money and time into some spiritual, mindful, wellness, blah, blah, blah, bullshit.  But I cringed and took the chance and invested my $ into the process.  And most of what I learned in that first weekend I dismissed as complete Fooey. How could daily affirmations and intentional statements and some meditations help anything I was facing?  I had medical problems and career problems and satisfaction problems.  But I did believe in testing things to see if they worked.  I paid for the class after all.  I might as well try what I paid for and put it to use.  So I started doing the daily rituals and asking for specific things to come into my life. 

And after a while (not overnight and not immediately, but over time) I started to see shifts, and started to be a little different.  One big change was that I started choosing to do things that I enjoyed for the sheer sake of doing them.  I really liked writing and traveling and food.  So I started a food and travel blog.  And I made an editorial calendar and I created content on that calendar.  I planned trips to create more content for the blog and because I wanted to travel.  My boyfriend/partner at the time thought I was being irresponsible and that Id turned crazy on him because I didn’t just stay home and drink wine and make him dinner anymore.  And eventually that relationship changed/ended because we became different people.  I chose then to move to a nicer big light filled house, and the toxic people in my life started falling away, and my health got better, and my boundaries got better, and I actually started being happy and finding purpose in working with people as a healer and as an attorney.  I started actually charging for my services in a way that brought me abundance so I could invest more in myself and in things I enjoyed and wanted to explore.  I started having opinions about areas I held expertise and I didn’t stress about it.  I stopped worrying about everything and what everyone thought I should do with my life.  Until eventually I intentionally decided to launch my own business and leave my corporate environment all together.  

But honestly the biggest shift was the daily investment in intentional choice.  I chose to do something every day and make small changes.  Then I grew the courage to start choosing things that I was passionate about instead of continuing on the path of SHOULD (what I thought other people wanted me to do, or what one should do to live a successful life).  Shoulding was killing me slowly.  Drinking and chronic purposelessness was causing me illness, not fulfillment.  So the biggest shift was the little shift in me identifying a passion and doing something that brought me joy.  Then taking baby steps to accomplish that.  Eventually all those microsteps led me to be able to make bigger choices about my life and find my actual purpose that keeps me going on a grander scale.  I can read Daisaku Ikeda’s words about determination today and understand hermetically with my actual life what he is talking about – because I am living purposefully and actualizing the Power of Intention in my life every day.  

But it all started with step one.  Me identifying something I desired and that I was passionate about.  So for our exercise this month that is your homework assignment.  What are you passionate about?  What brings you joy?  Not momentary pleasure. What is something that if you did it you would feel really fulfilled internally?  Not something you Should achieve.  But simply something that you want. You are going to delve into your heart of hearts and be honest with yourself.  You know what you desire.  Go inside and listen to yourself and figure it out.  Then write it down.  Articulate what you desire and specifically want for yourself and write it on a piece of paper.  Then bonus – do a vision board.  Make this desire visual so you are really clear what it looks like.  Because if you are really clear about it, and really want it, and are really passionate about it – you are going to have the motivation to align your thoughts to take action.  You will create a plan, even if that is baby steps you are going to take every day to achieve that thing.  You are going to focus your attention and will upon an appropriate object such to manifest it in your life.  And when you do you are going to celebrate it.  And maybe even tell me about it.  And if you are truly stuck – reach out! I can help with that!  Let’s get you on your path to purpose, joy and harnessing the power of intention. 

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