DO YOU HAVE ANY DAILY INTENTIONS?
"An intention is a soul goal, not a head goal." – Cheryl Richardson
Each day you have the opportunity to focus ahead of time what you desire to see happen, but do you really do this? Do you go about your schedule and just see what happens? Do you feel you have any control over what does occur?
We have our “to-do” lists, our mental outline of what we wish to accomplish for ourselves. However, you do hold the power to pre-set what you’d like to see occur. This is key to getting what we want daily. How do you do this? The best and easiest method to employ is to set your intentions before you do anything. It means giving yourself a few quiet moments to visualize in your mind’s eye what you wish to see happen. It could be done when you first arise out of bed, while in the shower or even at your breakfast table. For some it could be in the form of a morning ritual prayer or calming meditation.
From the book, The Law of Attraction, The Basic Teachings of Abraham by Esther and Jerry Hicks, the very concept of what is termed segment intention is thoroughly explored in much greater detail. The basic premise is that by learning to set your intentions in advance of your day you have “prepaved” your future. It is a process by which your present thoughts bring you toward what you most want and desire. You are employing one of the powerful laws of attraction by intentionally creating results for your own benefit. Every thought about your future (meaning what hasn’t happened yet because you are in the present moment) that you have influences what is manifested. The authors’ state: “Every thought you think that is directed toward what you want for your future is of great benefit to you. Every thought that you are thinking about your future that you do not want is a disadvantage to you.”
Furthermore, if you do not choose to set your daily intentions, you are living a life by default. It’s as if you’re subjecting yourself to whatever occurs which may not be advantageous to your current status. You change the outcome by first establishing clearlywhat you want and by deliberately intending what you expect as a result. The best way to segment your intentions is to “pause” several times a day and ask yourself:
Is this in my highest and best interest and for those around me?
Another mental habit to try is to actively catch yourself in a segmented moment of your day and stop to ask yourself:
What do I most want right now in this situation?
The value of segmenting your intentions is that you will be able to learn from your life experiences what it is that you truly want and expect. If you are able to be very clear and focused, you will then be better able to go about your day knowing
you have prepaved your future by attracting into your life what you most want.
As a suggestion, a simple prayer to send out to the universe is:
'If this is in the highest and best interest for me and those around me, then please allow it to happen.'
I invite your thoughts or comments.
AGED TO PERFECTION?
There exists a Japanese philosophical concept called “Wabi Sabi.” It refers to the acknowledgment that everything has some imperfections. This way of thinking actually celebrates what’s natural in life, with all it’s flaws and imperfections. This Asian appreciation of what has been used, worn, or even chipped is indeed a novel approach to Western thought. As an example, a bronze sculpture is prized because it has developed a patina by aging naturally. The mere fact that we get excited to get something new is commonplace in our American society. Often, we desire to acquire things that are new, shiny, fresh “out-of-the-box” and expect them to stay that way. This creates a strong yearning and a subsequent struggle. When we use our possessions they do get nicks, dents, scratched and even soiled. For the Asian culture, they believe something well worn is better than something brand new. They have a deep respect and reverence for what has aged gracefully. They value age for the wisdom inherent in the aging process. In reality, newness only lasts a limited amount of time before it ages too. An example of this is a new car just purchased and driven off the dealership lot. It has just automatically depreciated!
Life itself is far from perfect. We as human beings strive to hopefully become the best version of ourselves. Therefore, “Wabi Sabi” does pertain to people as well as objects. Each of us develops character and personality, as we grow older. Taking this concept one step further, the significant others in our relationships need to be accepted for who they are – flaws and all. Although, we may strive to be virtuous, we may be imperfect in our daily thoughts, deeds and actions. In truth, aren’t we all worn? Aren’t we all works in progress? That is how we continually learn to conduct ourselves to create and achieve the results we desire in our lives.
There exists a natural pure magnificence in all things and in us in spite of the apparent imperfections alluded to in Wabi Sabi. Perhaps we would benefit by focusing more on valuing the intrinsic beauty of things well worn, like others, our possessions and ourselves. They really are aged to perfection.
Asking others for help is seen by many people as a sign of weakness. Is this logic correct? Does it serve us? Perhaps you are the type of person who is strong and independent and can take care of your needs by with out assistance. Perhaps you were raised to do for you and learned to be resourceful. When life “happens” and you find yourself presented with a situation where some outside assistance would be beneficial to your well-being, do you grunt it out alone, or do you feel you are able to ask someone for help?
If you are willing to seek assistance, you are being incredibly brave because you are acknowledging upfront that you can’t do it all. The good news is that it is okay to ask for help. It is a “gift” to someone else who may desire to ease your discomfort when you are faced with navigating through a tough time. Unless you ask, how will someone know what you need? It is not shameful to admit to yourself that you don’t have the means, energy or know how to accomplish whatever it is that you may need help with. If you aren’t good at doing something in particular, find someone who is. You can always hire an individual to fulfill that need. Generally, people want to try to help others. By not asking, you reinforce your own helplessness which leads to more stress and frustration. Ask your friends, family or co-workers, people who care about you to come to your aid. Be specific about what your needs are (i.e. childcare, transportation, errands, grocery shopping, etc.)
Be mindful, that those that care about you are receiving the “gift” of being needed and the personal connection to you. Therefore, the next time you find yourself in a quandary, don’t struggle needlessly. Call and seek assistance. Do not stand on your pride or ego. It really is okay to need aid. We all do and you will be asked to do the same someday soon. Have a generous heart, be kind and pay it forward.
Remember, the only way to get anything you want in life, is to ask for it.
“People can’t give you what they don’t have to give.”
A life lesson that can be a very difficult “pill to swallow” is to accept and understand that others can’t give you what they lack. What do I mean by this guiding principle? If you expect someone to give what you think you may emotionally need and they don’t possess that quality, you will most likely feel disappointed. As an example, perhaps you feel you want another person to sympathize with you regarding something that maybe a current troublesome issue or event. You may hold certain expectations that they “should” be able to fully commiserate with you. To empathize is the ability to participate or share in another’s feelings or emotions. To be able to feel what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes for the moment. Whenever someone is incapable of being supportive in that way means they lack those skills. One cannot give what one may have never received. They may have never had that behavior modeled for them when they were growing up. They didn’t learn how from watching their parents or significant others as role models. Sadly, they may have never learned to operate better from their own dysfunctional upbringing. We all learn from what we live. In addition, another contributing factor is that the individual could be self serving and self absorbed to the point that they can not engage meaningfully to be of support. They might not be willing to be compassionate in your time of need. It could be out of their innate incapacity to viscerally feel and experience someone else’s pain or discomfort.
Giving and receiving unconditional love is another prime example. If someone was raised in a loveless home environment they maybe incapable of giving love freely. For this person to be able to deeply care for another, the love given maybe with “strings attached.” Love is offered but one must meet certain criteria or even performance standards that are based on achievement levels. This hidden agenda sends a powerful and potentially harmful message that one is only loved by what someone does for them in serving their selfish needs. One ought to be loved just by the virtue of who they are. Thus, if you are expecting love from someone and they lack the intrinsic desire to give these feelings in return, the result is hurtful and the relationship will suffer.
Therefore, the next time you find yourself expecting someone to respond with love or empathy (as above examples) and you don’t receive it – it’s highly likely that the other person cannot give what they don’t have to give. It’s hard to acknowledge this in life. However, you can decide to go on knowing that is who they are. It is not a reflection on your character or integrity.
ARE YOU IN “SELF” CONTROL?
Who’s really in control?
You have the power, through your choices and free will to create your future path. Sounds simple but is it? You can direct your life by making “free” choices about what you’d like to see unfold. How you conduct yourself determines the outcomes more than you realize and are willing to pay attention to. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, clearly stated:
“Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built with love or from fear.”
By trying to have an open heart and mind, you can embrace life. We are better equipped to see what “shows up.” Essentially, we have allowed life to teach us. As famously quoted by the late John Lennon, “Life happens when you are busy making other plans.” As a student in the life classroom, we learn and grow from our collection of experiences. We hope to evolve as human beings. If life’s circumstances have taught us well and we have passed our tests, we become more astute and wiser pupils of life. We become more empowered and develop a higher level of consciousness. When we act from a lower level of consciousness we act out of fear and consequently some of our choices will not serve us well. We then fail the lessons that we were presented. We end up struggling and perhaps repeating the same scenario over and over again. There is replication of bad behavior patterns that don’t yield the results we really want.
To be open to effecting change for our own benefit and gain control one must be aware whether the ego (mind) or the intuition (heart) is foremost in a given situation. For example, when you are more controlled by your ego you are dominated by fear, anxiety, judgment, anger, impatience and doubt. All these emotions disconnect you from your intuitive voice. When you connect with your inner self and listen to that little voice in your head, you are hearing your heart. When a difficult decision or choice needs to be made, there must be a balance between your composed mind and your heart’s message. They can co-exist. Whenever you are fully aligned with your authentic self, you will be better “in tune” to make positive choices that impact your future. Utilizing your intuition to guide you and not let your ego rule and or dominate will lead you to feel better about whatever you decide. You base your decisions on what is in your best and highest interests. You will be fully in control. Become more mindful that all decisions, actions, inactions, and reactions are the result of what you alone have chosen. You can decide to have the loci of control. One can feel and become empowered knowing that you do have “self” control over what happens to you. Therefore, be your own best advocate. You actually do have a say in what occurs in your future.
ARE YOU A BLAMER?
“If you blame others, you miss the lesson.” – Oprah
Do you often blame others for your misfortunes? Do you focus more on what didn’t go your way? Are you playng the role of the victim? Let’s examine this concept.
Be honest and take ownership of your actions. When you have a tendency to blame other people for their behavior (which you may have already labeled as bad or dishonest) you are not looking at your own responsibility for the situation. You may have faulty expectations about how others “should” have acted. Thus, you become disappointed and disillusioned. The other people also have their own expectations and perhaps you didn’t meet their standards of conduct as well. What to do?
An important principle to be mindful of is that one either contributes or contaminates any given interaction. You may have to step back for a moment and evaluate from both a subjective and objective point of view on how the situation unfolded. You may have contributed a higher percentage of discomfort than you initially realized and subsequently you reacted harshly or quickly with blame.
The next time you are ready to blame someone, ask yourself these questions:
· What have I done to make matters worse?
· How did I contribute to this problem?
· Am I really being honest?
· Am I telling the truth or am I lying to protect myself?
· Am I blaming others when I may be at fault?
· How may I have contaminated the situation?
The consequence – either you own up to your own actions which resulted in a cause and effect outcome or your actions will ultimately own you. When you choose to blame, you essentially miss what the experience is attempting to teach you. What is the lesson here? How can I do and act better the next time I am faced with a similar circumstance? Marianne Williamson said once in a podcast “You keep telling life what it means rather than having life tell you what it means.” Therefore, instead of looking outwardly to blame or target others peer inwardly to see what life is ready to teach you. It’s a valuable lesson to learn.
I invite your comments.
It’s the beginning of the New Year and with it you may have expectations for what you’d like to see happen. Have you challenged yourself to make any significant changes in your life? Have you made any conscious decisions about what you really want to do differently this year? Usually, it is best to look backwards and review what your issues of dissatisfaction are. What is within your power to manifest change and what is better to leave alone. If you have some solid ideas to improve your current situation, congratulate yourself! You have already gained momentum.
The next step is to move past the concept stage. Make a plan, set goals and commit to act upon them. The difference between a having a goal and having a dream are two key factors: accountability and a timeline. All the wishing and hoping will not create tangible results. The old expression “Talk is cheap” fits well here. A true commitment to effect change and a plan of action steps insures you greater chances of success. How will you hold yourself accountable? How will you be able to measure your results? What do you need to do to set yourself up to accomplish your intended goals? How will you plan to reward yourself?
It’s 2011. Now is the time to assess your personal challenges. Seize the moment to invest the necessary energy into yourself. Change whatever it is that hasn’t worked well for you in the past. Be more pro-active and aspire to do whatever you want for your own benefit this year. Visualize and create a list of things you wish to accomplish in the next month, next 90 days and by this time next year. Make an action plan with steps for each of your goals. Post this list where you will be able to review it as needed. Allow it to be a constant reminder to follow through and not slack off or quit altogether. If a goal has become unattainable, too difficult or unrealistic, then re-evaluate it to better fit your expectations. You can always add another goal and raise your aim higher, once you have accomplished the preceding ones. We must learn to walk before we are able to run. It’s very important to always reward yourself for your efforts. Both big and little steps bring you that much closer to attain your personal goals. Don’t give up easily – you are worth it! Next year at this time, you’ll feel pride for what you did for yourself. You matter. Make this your best year yet!
I invite your comments.
“If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
On our path through our lives we often get “stuck.” A situation presents itself that we would rather not have to deal with. You may want to wish it away or just ignore it altogether. The challenge is for you to decide what you are able and willing to do about it. It is, what it is, right? You will help yourself navigate your life much better when you do go with the flow of the universe rather than trying to go against the currents.
Whatever the “it is” for you, this experience has manifested itself for you to learn something valuable from it. I have been reading an interesting book, titled Pocket Peace, by Allan Lokos that gives insight into practical effective practices for enlightened living. One of the suggestions he offered was really profound for me and I can relate to it and also for everyone else. It is: Consider how your discomfort with a particular situation might be eased by accepting things as they are.
The author believes that suffering usually results from wanting things to be different from the way they are. He recommends giving yourself some quiet time to reflect while opening your heart and mind to change your perspective. To remind yourself that even if a particular difficult situation you are now confronting seems insurmountable, it is not fixed or solid. It will change somehow, some way. Then, even after your contemplation you deem the situation to be unacceptable; you will be calmer in dealing with it and developing an improved, more grounded viewpoint. Therefore, the lesson here is a tough one to learn when you really want things to be different than they are in reality. You may not be able to change what has happened, but you do have the ability to begin the process of your acceptance of it. What one resists, does persist. Once you have begun to gracefully accept the problem, you will give then yourself the gift of perseverance and inner strength to impact and guide your future outcomes. Accept it for what it is, and then feel the tension and anxiety diminish inside you. Be at peace with yourself.
As always, I invite your comments.
ARE YOU SEEING THE BEAUTY OF TODAY?
All too often, we are busy with doing each day instead of being. While doing a task we are more focused on the outcome that we often fail to notice the present moment. We avoid the present moment to accomplish something. If we were to practice allowing ourselves to be present, or “practicing presence” as Eckhart Tolle has coined this terminology, we would be able to let go and not be excessively concerned with the past or the future. We would have the innate ability to embrace the place where we are and allow life to happen and unfold in the here and now.
A healthy perspective is a balance between honoring your past and your future while being present. Not allowing yourself to be tied down with past regrets, sorrows, guilt and mistakes frees you up to refocus on the present. It also gives you the freedom to look ahead for what you intend to manifest in your future. You can harness this great personal power for creating a better future by being in the now. The expression that is fitting for this mode of thinking is: Sorrow looks back; Worry looks around; Faith looks up.
“You create a good future by creating a good present.” – Eckhart Tolle
How can this be accomplished? By recognizing the goodness and pleasure already inherent in the present moment, even if you are in the midst of personal challenges. What serves you best is to observe what is here today. Seize the moment and see what you may be overlooking or taking for granted. The gentle breeze, the warm sunlight, the beaming smile from a stranger, the selfless act of kindness, the delicious food you are about to eat, of your breathing (with the natural in-and-out flow), the rhythmic music playing nearby, the comfort of the soft chair you are sitting upon – all are wonderful examples to fully appreciate. Try to amplify your senses and daily awareness. Are you truly taking in the beauty of today before it disappears? The present is a gift you give to yourself.
Be in gratitude for the current moment and see if you feel more alive and centered.
As always, I invite your comments.
WHAT’S YOUR PERCEPTION OF REALITY?
I thoroughly enjoy reading the Sunday paper each week. Recently, there was an article where the journalist had the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of the greatest minds in our current time, Stephen Hawking, a theoretical physicist. One question posed to him was about his analogy of what a goldfish and human beings have in common. The question was: “What can a goldfish teach us about the nature of reality?” I was so intrigued by this thought provoking question and its relevance to us. I was very curious as to how this great thinker would respond to such an inquiry. He replied that a goldfish lives in a round bowl of water and from their point of view it is in reality, a distorted one. An imprecise picture of the world is all the goldfish is capable of seeing. Therefore, the fish has a totally different perception of reality than a human being would have. Hawking then further challenges us with offering another perplexing question: “But how do we know we have the right picture?” Following that concept further, we might be seeing our world, our reality in some giant fish bowl. In essence, the goldfish’s vantage point and perspective is as valid as our own. Hawking feels that there is no “unique” picture of reality. Each of us has our own. As you conduct yourself in your life, how distorted or real is your perception of reality? Or for that matter, how willing and open are you to see another’s point of view? What can you learn from seeing things clearly? What could you gain from a 360 degree perspective?
Such an interesting paradox - that is so simple yet so complex in its impact that it truly resonated with me. It still does, how about you? Perhaps the next time you see a lonely goldfish in a fish bowl you’ll pause and think - Amazing!
As always, I invite your comments.