Intention is a powerful thought form, an energy that guides my behavior. Please note that I said “guides” rather than “controls.” When I was younger, others instructed me to control my thoughts and my behavior. I wanted to be a good person so I set out to control myself. Generally speaking, it did not work very well. In fact, it created an inner atmosphere of resentment because I felt judged by the voices in my head and by those around me. I desperately wanted to be free to just be me. Lack of life experience and tools to know myself made that freedom impossible. In my late twenties, a loving pastor listened as I talked and wept in frustration. As I wound down, he looked into my eyes and quietly said, “Catherine, there are some things you just can’t understand until you have lived long enough to understand them. Let it be okay to just be where you are.” The door to personal freedom began to open.
As I awoke this morning, a mere forty years later, I lay with eyes still closed and slowly became aware of leaving a deep sleep to emerge into a new day. I let the process unfold and felt each moment bring me into this current reality. Some mornings I awake wondering where I was during the night because I feel a shadow of remembrance, a conscious awareness of something other than here. This morning I was grateful for a deep and restorative sleep. Moving has disrupted my sleep patterns so feeling rested is a true gift. I snuggled down and let myself be, appreciating this gentle emerging and the growing sense of this whole new day. As my mind became more awake, another dear mentor’s words came to mind, “Catherine, remember the importance of setting clear intentions each day (Richard Miller).”
For me, this means renewing my life intention which is to live mindfully from a place of love and compassion for myself and others. It also means taking a few minutes, before I leave my bed, to feel and visualize what I want this day to look and feel like. I picture myself moving through the day, accomplishing necessary tasks, interacting with others, and allowing my True Self to manifest through it all.
When I remember to begin my day in this way, I notice that the day unfolds with a clarity and gentleness that nurtures my soul and allows me to be present in each moment, whether the moment is fun and easy or challenging and difficult. For me, this is the true power of intention. Whatever the day holds, I desire to be in peace when I lay down at night. I want to look back over the day and know that I was present and mindful and that I “let it be okay to just be me.” And yes, that means to lovingly accept myself when I let the 8-year-old within take over and I act silly or thoughtlessly. My inner voice jumps in to remind me that even this is an opportunity to express love and compassion toward myself and others. Welcome to the human race, Catherine Ann. Welcome to the process of learning to manifest your divine self while in human form.
On a different level, developing this practice of clear intention and mindful presence has also caused physical, material needs to be met more easily and with much less fear and anxiety. I feel more relaxed in my life because I am more aware of who I am. It is easy to love myself and others because there is no standard of perfection haunting me. Relationships are clearer and more fulfilling as I let others be who they are, honoring their process as I have learned to honor my own. Life is so much more peaceful and loving.
As I typed the last paragraph, I turned my head to look out the window and there on the wall sits a dove. It sat, turning its head side to side to see me more clearly. I stopped typing and returned the compliment, softly looking back and acknowledging its presence. It felt as thought this lovely bird had been quietly waiting for me to notice it. Several minutes passed as we interacted before I returned to the keyboard. As I continue to write, I now hear it cooing from a nearby tree.
I love the synchronicity of these small things in life! I am writing about ending my day in peace and a dove alights nearby to affirm my intention. Sweet.
Aum shanti shanti shanti. Aum peace peace peace.