Personal Growth - Intention : The cosmic force of creation
by Jasmine Bharathan
A mindfull approachUnhealthy goal:
Here are two very subtle things to be mindful of that in the long run cause trouble as they are very cleverly disguised!
• To become something
ATTENTION-INTENTIONDr Chopra is the author of more than 50 books translated into over 35 languages, is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a senior scientist with The Gallup Organisation. An excerpt from
THE POWER OF INTENTIONPsychologist Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., author of over 30 self-empowerment books, describes a new approach to fulfilment in his latest book, The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your
THE INTENTION EXPERIMENTLynne McTaggart is the award-winning author of five books, including the international best-selling sensations, The Field and The Intention Experiment.
The Intention Experiment is the
During his college days, Suresh Padmanabhan, author and facilitator of The Money Workshop would walk the streets of Mumbai in search of good books, and intend that one day his books would also be available on these same streets. Today, his book, I Love Money, is not just available in bookshops, but frayed copies can be found on the very pavements he once pounded.
Several years ago, my mother had a stroke leaving her one side paralyzed, unable to speak and partially blind. The doctors told me there wasn’t any hope but with intense speech therapy, there may be some improvement in speech over time. I had an intention – a visual - of her walking around at home, and nagging me to eat my food and clean my room as she always did! I did it just once and let it go. All I did thereafter was look after her. She walked on the tenth day, she was able to speak fairly well within three months and her vision was back to normal!
So… what is an intention?
When we choose to direct our mind towards achieving a desirable outcome, we are forming an intention. We can state this in a simple short sentence. For example, Nissar’s wife was frantically searching for her identity card as she needed it for a meeting at her head office. Nissar was busy doing something else; he paused for a few seconds, mentally said, “ID card has been found”, he let it go and continued his work. In a minute, his wife came to give him a hug, having found the card. I am sure we have all had similar experiences.
Many factors stop intentions from manifesting bang on target. One of the most common is that often we have a fuzzy idea of what we want; we may think we want one thing but that is often a front for another need or want. We may say, I intend to be a great author, but not acknowledge that we are really seeking fame and fortune. Or we may say, I want to be a movie star and not realise that we have a dire need to be acknowledged or admired. Secondly, we often state our intentions negatively for usually we have a clear idea of what we don’t want; I don’t want this pain; I don’t want to suffer; I don’t want to work so hard. In these instances, what we do want is perhaps I want to be healthy; I want to experience joy; I want ease.
So the first step, even before formulating an intention, is to do a little introspection and clear up the fuzziness. There are many experts who advise that we should be very specific and articulate very precisely all that we want and even visualise it in detail and try to experience it in our imagination. Maybe this works for some. However, there is a serious downside with this approach. We become very “attached” to the outcome, and we build up a lot of expectations. Not being able to remain detached from the final stated outcome, we become anxious, fearful and stressed. We may also become so focussed and blinded by it that we do not realise if we are stepping over other people and causing unpleasantness around us in the process.
Dilip has a natural talent to teach art in unique and creative ways. Everyone encouraged him to set up a learning centre. He spent days articulating precisely what he wanted the centre to look like, what he would do there, how he would feel when the centre is bustling with students, by which year this is happening, and so on. He then visualised it all as if it had already happened and then let it go.
Very soon, things began happening. People walked into his life who helped him find possible locations for his centre; he launched his website, and started promoting his centre wherever he went. But, there was no centre, yet! Now, he became anxious and stressed. His relationships at home suffered. His only focus was to find the funds to build the centre. If someone seemed non co-operative, it angered him. If his friends were not helping with funds, he got angry. He experienced jealousy and resentment towards others who had their own learning centres.
When we are so focussed on outcome, some of the energy shifts from the present into the future instead of remaining intent and active in the Now. The focus on the future outcome makes us impatient, and even brings in self-doubt and misgivings.
Going beyond outcome
There is an alternative approach which many, including myself, have successfully tried. Though simple, it does require a lot of ‘unlearning’ of our previous habits. A lot more time is needed to be spent on introspection before actually formulating the intent and trying out various statements until we find the simplest and most basic statement, not the most specific or detailed. Let me offer an example to clarify this approach.
Vijay wants to be a published author through the best publishing house in the world; be known as the most influential writer ever and interviewed by the world media; all this by September 2011.
Now, let’s examine whether Vijay has done any introspection. Has he asked himself if his main passion is self-expression using the writing medium? Or, is he seeking fame and fortune? Has he asked himself: What is it that I really, really want most of all? Would I do this even if it did not bring me any monetary reward? Can I see myself doing this for a long time? Would I be willing to undergo hardship and even give up certain other things to do this? Would I encourage and support others to do this? Do I see some real value in this endeavour for others as well as for myself? And then, another important question: Having reached that state which I desire, what will I be doing from that point on? Can I name that activity?
Perhaps, Vijay then comes up with the statement: “I want to write”. Or: “I want to share these ideas or tell these stories”. Or, he tries a few other statements until he feels very comfortable that he has caught the essence. Now, he takes a deep breath and speaks it out loud and clear. After that, he lets go of that thought; he has sent it out to the Universe.
He realises that the main activity, the writing, is available to him right now. He can now focus on Being, on Doing in the Now focused on the Present Moment. And he can now get away from the idea and the mode of Becoming. Vijay does need to do one more thing. He needs to trust the Universal Creative Energy that has an inbuilt mechanism to find and pull together the unlimited resources that can make things happen. Our mind, however wonderful its capabilities, cannot match this force.
How it works
Maybe, another simple example will serve to illustrate this point. Think of a game of cricket being played. The batsman has just hit a ball up in the air and there is a lone fielder in that region. The fielder looks up at the ball, forms the intention of catching it, and then the process of logical thinking stops. With his mind he cannot factor in the force with which the ball was hit, the trajectory of the moving object, the force and direction of the wind that day, his own running speed and so on. All those factors get into the act and he finds himself at the right spot at the right time to receive the falling ball. Of course, he has to be a fielder who is passionate about his game; of course, he needs to be in shape and practised at his craft. But he could not have used his logic and mind to work out a solution.
There are so many variables at work here; the force with which the ball is struck, the angle at which it rises up, the force of any wind that day. The speed at which the fielder takes off, the distance he has to judge and so on. If any of these variables changes during the effort, the fielder’s body has to adjust and accommodate those changes. Most of this occurs automatically without any conscious control on his part. In fact his attempt to consciously correct the changes would impede the process. So there is a built-in corrective mechanism which works like a servo mechanism in physics.
Needless to say, it may not work perfectly on every occasion. This may be due to various factors including the fact that conscious efforts to control the outcome on the part of the fielder may hamper the process. I believe that there are some things we can do to help or hamper this process. Any top athlete will tell you that after a certain stage has been achieved by physical training and practice, it is always the mental process that gives him an edge. But here is the catch: it is not necessarily more mental effort; in fact less effort may work better. It is about understanding the quality of the mental energy that is required.
Remember Nissar’s experience with his wife’s ID card?
It is not about the intensity of the intention effort; it is about affirming a simple, direct intention and then stepping back, letting go, staying detached from the outcome, and letting the creative principle take over.
Some cricket coaches and players have told me that this method has helped them take their game to a different level.
Santhkumar had an intention at the beginning of a five-day retreat he attended along with his wife. “I am experiencing deeper connection with my wife”. At the end of the retreat, his wife went out shopping and returned with a stack of the books he was most longing to read, although he had not mentioned their names to her. For him, there couldn’t have been a more significant proof of the new connection between them.
Reframe your goals
Many individuals have difficulty in distinguishing the affirming of an intention from the statement of their goals.
This requires some introspection and practice. In the beginning it may be helpful to turn to a mentor or counsellor for suggestions. I like to think of this part as reframing. For example, instead of stating the goal as “I want to be a millionaire by the end of December 2012”, one can reframe this as: “I experience abundance in my life” or “The abundant universe is available to me now”. This does a few dramatic things. It allows me to function in the Now. It opens up unlimited possibilities instead of setting limits. It helps me to acknowledge the abundance I already have; it helps me to focus on action in the present instead of hopes and plans for the “future”.
Let me turn to the example of Maya, a young lady presently employed as a schoolteacher, who deeply desires “to become a famous movie star”. After a period of reflection she realises that she is trying to fill an unfulfilled need to express her deepest emotions, to be acknowledged, respected, and admired. She then attempts to reframe her goal and says: “My deepest emotions are expressed harmoniously”. She sees the opportunity of having beautiful, young enthusiastic talent right in front of her. She gets together a group of students and teachers and puts on wonderful plays and concerts. She is able to find her own avenue of self-expression and also help others to find the same. She is on the way, instead of wishing and hoping and waiting to be “discovered”.
Here is one very subtle but important distinction about taking action in the present moment. Maya could have gone about looking for contacts that could lead her to directors or auditioners; thinking that she is taking action in the present moment. Look closer; wouldn’t that be taking action now for the future? Vijay could go looking for publishers for his book that he wishes to write, believing that he is taking action in the now. But that again, is taking action in the present moment for something focused on the future! Both Maya and Vijay will be taking action in the present moment when they just start doing what they say they wish to do; the rest is automatic.
Kiran Gulrajani, founder of CoEvolve & Enable and trainer of Tao of Facilitation, says that he writes down ‘I am so happy and grateful now that…' as if it has already happened and holds it lightly, honouring what is emerging. He adds: "I also sometimes request people to hold the intention for me; for there is power in co-creation; it really works wonderfully.”
Only a few years ago, I was considering doing workshops at corporate houses. My intention was to share what I was already doing, but in a different set-up. I decided to shift my daily schedule around in a way that freed up some time for me during the morning hours. This would have allowed me to meet Human Resource Personnel in order to offer my workshops. I took action in the present moment; that of re-arranging my day and freeing up some time. Within a week, a client came in for a consultation. He was the CEO of a company that offered training programmes to the corporate world. At the end of the consultation, he asked, “I have an entire team to take care of sales and marketing; would you be interested in facilitating corporate programmes?”!
So here is what I recommend. Begin by stating the goal or goals in whatever fashion they come up. Then spend as much time as needed to examine what lies under those thoughts and desires. Get in touch with your inner core self as honestly as possible. Identify the Core issue. Reframe it as accurately, concisely as possible. Try different statements till you hit on the one that feels most natural and true. Now, find a quiet time and say it out loud and clear. Then, leave it to the Universe. Turn your attention to the present moment, to your present life. Just be in a receptive mode and observe whatever happens and continue to act as opportunities arise. Stay detached from the outcome. If there is any resistance, anxiety, fear etc, use tools and methods that bring about a state of balance.
Take action in the present moment with what you have in the Now, allow the Universal Creative Energy to unfold its dynamics, detach from specific outcome, continue to take action doing what you enjoy doing, focussed only on the present moment.
Subject: Excellent article - 30 January 2010
Intention set out with clarity and with minimum ego works like magic. And the universe, or Buddha, or any name we might give, co-operates.
by: A reader
Subject: comments intention - 31 December 2009
A VERY GOOD ARTICLE. AND EXPERIENCED IT FIRST HAND LIKE TO RECOMMEND IT TO ALL MY FRIENDS.KUDOS LIFE POSITIVE FOR GIVING SUCH GOOD ARTICLES
by: vedala rajani
Subject: Intention: The Cosmic Force - 3 December 2009
This is nothing but more egotistical rubbish about how to make it. How many times can one pat oneself on the back because ones mother finally found her keys or ID card??!! Really, this stuff is old and worn. Yes, there are ignoramuses who have corporate budgets for this kind of how-to More...
by: Dana Gladstone
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