Tag: choice

INTENTION – What Will You Create?

INTENTION – What Will You Create?

 

“Every journey begins with the first step of articulating the intention, 

and then becoming the intention.” 

Bryant McGill, author of Voice of Reason

 

Intention is like going into a grocery store. Every time we step through the door we are greeted with shelves full of opportunity for enhanced health. And, just as many opportunities for the reverse await us as well.  We may carry good intentions through the door, but where we place our attention begets the results. Intention. We can have the best of it, but whether or not we harness and direct its power remains one of our greatest challenges.

When we walk into a grocery store we don’t often think of our intentions as having a life of their own. But they do, if we engage them properly. If you’re like me, you tend to let the power of intention slip right through your fingers. I’m distractable.  I love new shiny things. Especially ideas and new packaging on old items! They launch me forward without effort, because they excite me. But, when it comes time for knuckle skinning work, I easily let go of the power of intention. Whoosh. It vanishes.

Sustaining intention takes work.  It requires a whole new intention to feed the intention!  creating intentionsWhen we become conscious of  how the energy an intended plan works, we can use it to assist us. We can garner the forces of the universe not only to create a plan, but to bring it into reality.  Intentions must be intentionally nurtured!

STEP ONE: Harness your dream with a clear stated intention. Write it down. Understand that the clearer you envision your intention, the more energy becomes available to carry it into reality.  Use every ounce of your creativity to bring it to life both in your mind and in some form in concrete reality.

STEP TWO: Avoid leaving intentions hanging in the air. Lifeless intentions that still hang around in some form are not harmless. They have the power to suck the life out of us. So, get rid of them!

The next time you half-heartedly hope, dream or wish for something, stop. Take a breath. Put space between this thought and the future and ask yourself, “do I really want this to become a reality”? If so, form an intention. Write it down. Put it on your refrigerator or over your desk where you will see it every day. If not, let it go. Completely. Say out loud, “No, I do not want to place my energy there right now. I want to use my energy elsewhere.” Watch the notion evaporate. Let it go. Visualize it going back into the Universe for safekeeping.

STEP THREE: Just like you make a grocery list, put your intention on paper. Bring it to life in every way you can. Draw a picture. Create a dream board with all the visual details.  Research and learn everything you need to know about your intention. Keep it alive by living in the middle of the idea, not around its edges. If you want to eat strawberries instead of ice cream, live in the fresh fruit section, not the frozen food department.

When we write down what we hope to create, it doesn’t get lost in muddy mind chatter of our day to day activities.

STEP FOUR: Live in the intention and do everything you can to feed it, and let go of the outcome. Deepak Chopra reminds us to “Relinquish your rigid attachment to a specific result and live in the wisdom of uncertainty”.  Allow the power of the Universe to help you bring your dreams into reality, and the wisdom of the Universe to provide you with something different if that is what is best for you.

Have you seen the power of intention at work in your life?

 

COMING SOON: DO YOU KNOW WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?

“This is how to avoid re-creating painful situations: Take the time to discover your real intention before you act. If it is to change someone or the world so that you will feel safe or better about yourself, don’t act on it, because it is an intention of fear and can create only painful consequences.”  ~ Gary Zukav

NEXT STEP WORKSHOPS

 

MOTHER OF THE GROOM

MOTHER OF THE GROOM

mother of the groom cartoonA year ago May, the opportunity arose for me to step into the shoes of the “mother of the groom”. Up until the day I started shopping, I assumed I was too young to play that role! When I began searching for something suitable to wear, I was stymied. Nothing I saw reflected me! They styles were all too old fashioned, too “mother of the bride”, too something my mother would wear!

Clearly I was out of touch with reality.  I was, in fact, ten years older than the bride’s parents! I was the right age for a mother of the groom, and in some cases the grandmother of the groom!  Still, shopping for a dress stirred up a hornet’s nest of conflict. Who was I? Suddenly, a fun and exciting process was morphing into a nightmare of epic proportions, and it was all going on inside of me! (Well, except the part the spilled out on my husband, poor man. I am so blessed.)

EXCITEMENT TURNED TUMULTUOUS

I was blissfully happy and over the top excited about the wedding until the day arrived when I had to decide what to wear, and  I was not loving the unresolved issue  I was facing.  After several tumultuous and agonizing weeks, I began to wake up to the unresolved issues beneath this simple decision. It was not about the choice of a dress at all. (I know you know that!)

Unable to step back from the situation, I could not love the questions and embrace the process of discovery. Instead, I went to war with myself. Precipitated by a family gathering, old conflicts brought my tribal insecurities to the surface. I didn’t like it one bit, but it was exactly what I needed. My goal was to show up as my authentic self, and this is what was required.

So I began to slow things down.  I took time to breathe and meditate, and to live with the unanswered questions.  I let go of my need to know the answers before I even knew the questions. The cause of my conflict slowly rose to the surface.

EXPECTATIONS OF THE MOTHER OF THE GROOM

I was not looking for a dress, I was looking for an expression of my authentic self.  Conflict arose because I was unconsciously trying to live up to the expectations of my childhood tribe. And, they were in conflict with who I am now.  The intensity caught me off guard, but it was a new opportunity for growth and self-actualization.  Even though I believed these issues were resolved, another layer was about to be peeled away.

Choosing a dress for my son’s wedding was a much bigger decision than I understood at first. The decision was a symbolic one, an act of self-expression and an excellent opportunity for me to bring forth another piece of myself.  In order to show up as myself, it was necessary to dispense with any concern I had, both conscious and unconscious, of what I believed others expected of me.  This included, most especially, my big sister and my deceased mother! That’s where the real healing needed to take place.

REDUCE RESISTANCE

Mother of the Groom
Much ado about nothing. . . on the outside!

As I reduced my resistance, the details of the conflict became clearer and my choice of a dress was then a breeze! I knew exactly what I wanted, I just had to let go of all the history that was keeping me locked in indecision. What I chose was not what either my mother or sister would have chosen. It was not what I had perceived initially as appropriate attire for the “mother of the groom”.   What I chose, however, was exactly what I wanted to wear. Poof. The conflict vanished!

I walked out of the store giggling with self-satisfaction, dress slung over my shoulder. I truly did not care what anyone thought of my decision. To me this was proof positive that I had made the right decision and had chosen from the very center of me. It was a lovely feeling and one that continues to bear fruit. Resolving conflicts such as the one that still lived in me prior to this time, doesn’t just make a dress buying decision easier, it gives us back a piece of ourselves. And, it’s ours to keep.

Each time we make a choice from our authentic self we take a step toward inner peace. It is not the absence of problems, but the growing ability to trust the process and our inner guidance with each challenge we face.  Being patient with the process of self-discovery is essential when traveling the path of authentic living. We will never resolve all of our issues, but what we can learn to love the questions and trust the process a little more each day.

Dorothy Sander © 2016

 

COME HOME TO YOUR SOUL SELF

COME HOME TO YOUR SOUL SELF

soul self
Night of the Mystic by Freydoon Rassouli, an Iranian-Born, American abstract surrealist and visionary artist and author.

When the world knocks you about and you feel as though you’re living in a foreign land, come home to your soul self.  It is always there, waiting for you.  You will recognize it as the place inside of you that is safe, familiar, and always sane. We all have this place . . . the core, essential, authentic place in our being.

Painful, difficult, mind-boggling events happen in our world every day.  We are shocked, dismayed, angry, disoriented confused, and afraid.  What happened to the world we once knew? we say to ourselves. Innocence lost. We do not know where or how to ground ourselves. This experience is trauma. An experience that our mind can not make sense of throws our psyche into disarray. This is the definition of trauma.

OPPORTUNITY AWAITS US

The events we experience in life, no matter how confusing or alarming, always offer us an opportunity. They elicit powerful questions when we dare to listen for them. The question that most often arises is “why is this happening to me”.  This is a trick question to divert our attention from the harder questions. It is one that has no answer but will waste our time and drive ourselves crazy as we struggle to answer it.

When we look beneath the why question, we come to the how and what questions, and the answers that will bring us home to our soul self.  For example, when we ask, “How am I to understand what is happening to me in a larger context?” or, “What can I learn about who I am and my place in the world from this experience?”, we are heading in the right direction.

Will I dwell in anger, or, live in fear? Or, will I look for the cosmic meaning and purpose for myself and the world? Will I give in to victimhood, or will I go inward and forward, by building trust and deeper, more honest connections? When we look for the choice point in this way, we are driven to ask more difficult and more important questions. Then, we offered a choice.

some home to your soul self

Each and every time we reach a choice point while taking time to listen to our inner guidance we have the opportunity to choose. Our choosing and acting upon our choice not only strengthens us but anchors us more profoundly in our soul self.  When we spend life skimming the surface, afraid to ask what we believe, instead only asking what we “think” we miss out on the vastness and the mystery that is awaiting us. It is only our fear that holds us hostage – our fear of emptiness, void, silence, nothingness, annihilation. Only… fear. Not reality. HOPE is always ours for the asking.


Overwhelm the World with Good – Wisdom Wednesday

Overwhelm the World with Good – Wisdom Wednesday

We think we are powerless to effect change, but can we not choose to overwhelm the world with good  and create an impact equal to or greater than that created by those who choose to overwhelm it with ill?  We all struggle to change the tiniest of habits in our own lives that we abhor. Why wouldn’t we believe it’s impossible to create change powerful enough to counter such a thing as terrorism, the most vicious kind of hate and indifference to human life? And yet, terrorism, like every other act of violence came about as a result of one human choice after another, one small act after another. We have that power as well. We have the same number of choices to overwhelm evil with good.

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Desmond Tutu 

The little bit of good that we do may go unnoticed, but it is no less powerful because it has not drawn attention. Our small kindnesses and acts of generosity may not reverberate in the media, or show up in a hashtag on Twitter, but they are no less able to have an impact.

[tweetthis]Peace is the only battle worth waging.” ~ Albert Camus[/tweetthis]

The war we choose to wage, such as a war waged to overwhelm the world with good is no less potent.  Our weapons may be silent, invisible weapons, such as the choice not to engage in the ongoing verbal rhetoric that creates animosity among the ego driven, or the choice to spend time in silent meditation reflecting on all that is good and right and true, or to offer a smile to a stranger, or hug a child. As we walk humbly, yet earnestly and with determination in the direction of all that is good, we can and will overwhelm the world with good.

Overwhelm the world with good

Let’s draw upon the strength of prayer, meditation, and silence and continue to turn our eyes, our attention, our energy toward that which inspires, creates and reveres life. Let’s continue in earnest to plant flowers, feed souls, nourish children, make music, dance joyfully, speak softly, shout with praise and gratitude for the gifts that we have been given. Each breath we take is a gift. Each choice we make is a prayer. Let’s pray with honesty, vulnerability, and grace, and set aside our greed, our obsession with all that feeds only our ego and set out instead to discover and cultivate our soul. This is how we overwhelm the world with good. This is how we win the war against violence and hate.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

 

 

Our Thoughts, Our Choice

Our Thoughts, Our Choice

Byron Katie - The Work“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James

It’s Monday, but it doesn’t feel like Monday. It feels like Tuesday or Wednesday. I lost a few days last week due to a stomach virus and worked over the weekend to catch up. I’m pretty sure it will take a few days and more than a few reminders to get me back on track. Although staying on track has never been my strong suit. Structure and pre-planned discipline are ever illusive. What discipline I have, and my husband tells me I have a ton of it, is deeply embedded in my subconscious.

Work is not really work for me. I love what I do, and mostly I don’t get paid so maybe I shouldn’t even call it work.  Or, at least what I do earn from doing what I do doesn’t cover the hours I spend doing it.  I keep trying to make enough to get by without compromising my beliefs and values and intent, also a never ending challenge. Money. It’s an issue for so many of us, as I discovered from the results of the survey I sent out yesterday. (If you haven’t taken it, and have the time, it’s not too late. I always appreciate any input you’re willing to share. I’m looking for feedback before I wander off in another direction. I want what I do here to work for you.) At any rate, I am going to get into the issues around money here, soon, in a big way. So if you’re interested, stay tuned.

Before I sat down to write this morning I impulsively pulled out our new vacuum cleaner, which actually was still poised for launch in the living room where I left it yesterday. In fact, since buying this new appliance I’ve vacuumed every room in the house, often more than once a day. My whole attitude toward vacuuming has changed in a flash. It’s not that I don’t like vacuuming before, it’s just that it seemed like a never ending process due to castoffs from the array of pets that too often rule the roost. Up until now, it’s been a very unsatisfactory endeavor. It’s not like the carpets sparkle and gleam like a freshly polished kitchen floor. They just look like they should, fur free. The carpet is too old to come back to life. However, our new vacuum has changed the whole experience for me….because…it has a little red light!

The little red light comes on when it finds dirt and turns to green when it’s all clean! The first time I used it I was instantaneously smitten. I vacuum with such focus and attention on that little red light that vacuuming is down right meditative. (Or, obsessive.) Either way, it works! I can’t wait to get back at it!

It got me thinking about the power of our thoughts to influence our feelings and behavior. As Byron Katie constantly reminds us, a thought arises. It just does.  When we can become aware of our thoughts, then we can choose what follows. When we are unaware of our thoughts, what follows are feelings and actions based upon beliefs we may no longer actually believe. They are based in past experiences.  When we take the time to stop and question our thoughts, we can begin to align our thinking with our true values and beliefs.

For instance, the thought arises “It’s not Monday”. Is that true? My thoughts tell me its probably Tuesday. An external source is telling me it’s Monday and so I double check my belief. Sure enough it’s Monday. Continuing to hold on to my belief that it’s Tuesday when the whole world, including my schedule, is operating as if it’s Monday can cause me major stress. 

How about the thought, “maybe I shouldn’t even call it work”? Is that true? Of course not, I can call it whatever I like. There’s no law against calling what I do work. Chances are good, however, there was a thought that preceded that thought that was totally unconscious; A thought that came from an archaic unquestioned belief that I still hold. You can probably see it. When I dig down I come up with a few belief-based thoughts that led to this statement: 1) anything pleasurable cannot be of monetary value; 2) work by its very nature is not enjoyable, work is hard and grueling and forced upon us, work is what we don’t want to do; 3) writing is fun and enjoyable, therefore it is not work, and therefore has no monetary value; 4) work is something that one takes seriously and requires physical and mental effort alone, not reflective, intuitive, feeling abilities. You get the picture?

When we take the time to go back and find the belief that led to a thought, we can begin to get straight with our true selves. I was raised by parents who believed all of the beliefs I still hold in my unconscious. They did not see value in the me I was born to be and they instilled in me their beliefs and desires as to who I should be. I have to work constantly to strengthened my own beliefs and put aside there’s. Here’s what is true for me: 1) I believe that if we do what we love, with the desire and the practiced intention of making money doing it, then we can make money doing it.  2) I believe that work can and should be enjoyable, and that when it is not, it is still only our thoughts that make us suffer. 3) I believe work is probably an antiquated word in this instance. a better choice would be “career” or “profession”, or used with another word such as “work on a project”, that takes the bite out of it for me. 4) I have come to appreciate and value “down” time that includes deep, reflective thought, meditation, research and quiet reading as an essential part of my profession.

Williams James said it very succinctly in his quote. When we slow things down, and break them down, to get to our truest, bottom line thought in a stressful situation, we can change our thought and remove the stress. The key is to tune in and to pay attention to what it is we are thinking. My thoughts around the little red light created a whole new feeling in me about vacuuming. I’m still thinking on that one!

What thoughts cause you stress? What beliefs are associated with those thoughts?

Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is, especially in the audio version, is a valuable tool for practicing this process. I purchased all of her audios through Audible and listened to each multiple times. She does live sessions with real people as they work the process together, or “do the work” as she calls it, and it’s very instructive. Incidentally, I find my membership with Audible both immensely valuable and affordable. I only purchase items I know I will listen to again and again. I use Kindle and pre-owned physical books for fiction or impulse purchases.