Living with Clear Intention

A clear intention derived from a state of presence, combining both thought and feeling, has the power to be heard – it has the power to create movement and change in our lives.

Intention is how we set our creativity into motion; it is how we move towards the creation of our dreams. By stating a clear intention we put into action what we desire at the deepest level of our being.

We often confuse goals with intentions, yet they are very different. Goals are future-oriented and are based on what we want, believe we need, or what we feel is lacking in our lives. Intentions are present-oriented and are based on knowing what we deeply value. They are meaningful guidelines for how we want to live each day.

We can set goals to acquire or achieve material possessions, status, security, comfort, or pleasurable experiences, but intentions run much deeper. They are more expansive than goals because they consider a larger perspective: who we are, how we contribute, as well as who we will be as a result of living our intentions.

Intentions are the embodiment of our values – they are how we put our values into action each day. They are the expression of what matters most to us, and a commitment to how, in each moment, we will live.

Living with clear intention is an everyday practice that relies upon an awareness of the present moment. It is the practice of remembering how we want to be, while we are in the midst of living our life.

Living with clear intention requires that we ask ourselves two questions as we move through the activities of our day:

Am I being true to my deepest desire?
Am I staying aligned with my deepest values?

The reason why many of us find it difficult to manifest what we most desire, is because we often have unclear or conflicting intentions. We may want to feel safe and secure, yet at the same time we want to be open to whatever life brings. We may feel ready to transform our lives, but at the first sign of discomfort, we realize it is not what we really want.

Setting a clear intention is not always an easy task as our unconscious can reveal desires very different from that of our conscious mind. At a deeper level of our being our strongest desire may be to prevent any re-occurrence of the pain we have experienced in the past. Even if we have set a clear intention, it is possible that the deepest part of us is yearning for something different.

Through a practice of presence, we can learn to feel the difference between intentions that come from a place of knowing, or those derived from a place of lack, need, or fear. This subtle difference can be found in our emotions, our nervous system response, the fullness of our breath, and the way we carry tension in our body.

Through deep listening, we can discover where we hold trauma, and support our body to release it. We can feel and express our emotions to clear the pain of our past away. We can support our nervous system by exploring the thoughts and feelings that move us into fear. Though our healing process, a clear intention can become our strongest voice.

Photograph by Annie Spratt

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