E M P O W E R E D C H A N G E
Focusing On Possibility
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt
One of the keys to empowered change, beyond knowing what it is that we want, is "intention." I have a little note card on my desk that reads: "My success depends upon what my intention is." It is a daily reminder that whether one is dealing with issues such as relationship, career, finances, or even the little day-to-day circumstances we often find ourselves struggling with, intention is the key. It is the vehicle for manifesting our desires on this earth plane.
Intention is more than a goal or something to be achieved. Being intentional is not something you do, though consistent action is essential to manifesting your intention. Intentionality is a quality - a way of being. Intention is the background against which we create our lives. It is the congruence of what we say, what we do, and what we believe is possible. When all of our energy, along with the attention of mind, body and spirit is focused on what it is we say we want, without attachment to the particular form of the outcome, the world begins to shape itself to our vision.
Just as it is important to know what it is that is at the root of our desires (see article #3), it is equally important to see and acknowledge what it is that's behind our intention. What fuels it? What gives it life? What is the purpose, the belief, the incentive that motivates us to move forward with focused intention? It is extremely important to be rigorously honest with ourselves here. If we are moving forward with a desire to please others, gain prestige, or in any way achieve our objective for something outside of ourselves, we may actually succeed; but just as our wants and desires in and of themselves will not necessarily bring us the satisfaction we are looking for, so it is with intention that is driven by outside forces. We may indeed manifest our desire, but the satisfaction we were looking for may not be forthcoming: we may not receive the praise, prestige, or recognition that was the driving force for our intention and even if we do, there is often a sense of disappointment or the feeling that there is still something missing.
When both our desire and the intention to manifest that desire come from within, it is easier to move forward with non-attachment, that is, not being attached or bound to a particular outcome. While on the surface it may appear that we are working toward only one goal, it is important at all times to remain open to all possibilities. The realm of possibility is endless and our ability to be open to myriad forms of manifestation, while focusing our energy on that which we desire, greatly increases our capacity to create.
For instance, many years ago, before I was a published writer, I was complaining to a friend about my job. "All I want to do," I told her, "is write. I want to be a writer." My youngest son, who was then 11 years old, was sitting within earshot and after he had heard this lamentation a number of times, he looked at me with exasperation and said, "So, write!"
His words, so simple yet so profound, made an impact on me and I began a regimen of daily "freewriting" and self-imposed writing assignments. I joined a writer's group. I did all those things that helped me to focus my attention on "being" a writer. I rarely showed my work to anyone and hadn't yet formed an intention to be published. I was doing that which I loved - writing - and that was enough for the time. I wasn't trying to prove myself to anybody, not striving for recognition. My intention came solely from within and the actions I took arose from and forwarded the intention. My belief in myself as a writer, however, was yet to come.
Without belief, the power of intention is weakened. The good news is, our disbelief does not have to be conquered fully or permanently, but it must be suspended - given up completely - in the moment. A few years later, when I stated an intention to be a great writer, my belief had grown (at least in that moment!) to a place of truth within me, and when I took immediate action, things really started to happen. And herein lies the key: a statement of intention, made with true belief in oneีs ability to manifest, MUST be followed by action that arises from and is consistent with the stated intention, all the while remaining open to the endless possibilities within the realm of manifestation. In other words, give all your attention to the intended outcome without being attached to the particular form that actually manifests.
When I stated my intention to be a great writer, with total belief in that moment, I saw that one of the aspects of what I considered a "great writer" was publication, so that was to be the focus of action toward my intention. Not knowing the protocol of the publishing business, I picked up the phone and called the publishers of a local magazine and said, "I'm a freelance writer and I'm calling to see if you have any work available at the moment." Had I known then what I know now I probably would not have made that call, but I was what Alan Cohen calls "blissfully ignorant" of the formalities and customs of the publishing world. I was also, at that moment, standing powerfully within my intention.
"As a matter of fact," a woman (who turned out to be the editor) said to me, "I'm on deadline right now and there is one piece that I was going to write myself. The piece has not even been started and I was just telling my partner that I wished I had given the assignment to a freelance writer. And here you are! Have you ever written an advertorial?" I had to confess that I didn't even know what an advertorial was (though I could guess). She explained to me what needed to be done (interviewing the dentist who had commissioned the ad), and what the focus of the piece would be (advertising written in the form of an article). Even though she had never seen my work, she was willing to follow her own intuition and give me a chance.
As for me, the concept of writing a promotional piece about a dentist was not particularly appealing; this was definitely not the "form" I had envisioned! But standing in my intention to be published, I agreed to write the piece and have it to her by the end of the week. I interviewed the dentist, wrote the article and turned it in on time. The publishers as well as the advertiser (the dentist) were very pleased with my work. The editor told me that the article went beyond her expectations and that she would surely call on me again for future assignments. About a month later she called me, asking me to write the cover story for the next issue!
Not being attached to a particular outcome, while continuing to take action consistent with my stated intention, has led to wonderful opportunities not just as a writer, but also as an editor, publisher, workshop facilitator and mentor for others in these same fields - opportunities I could not have imagined when I stated my original intention to write.
ACTION: If you haven't yet clarified the qualities or values that are hidden behind your wants and desires, please read article #3 and complete the ACTION section.
Once your wants and desires are clarified, pick one and write a brief statement of intent concerning that desire. ("I want a new car" is a desire. "I will have a new car this year" is a statement of intent.) Read the statement aloud a couple of times. How does it sound to you? What kinds of feelings or emotion does it bring up when you repeat your intention out loud? Now, being totally honest with yourself, write down all the reasons you wish to manifest this particular desire. What is driving the intention? If you find the intention is being fueled by forces outside of yourself, choose a different desire, write a new statement of intention and start the process over again.
When you are certain that you have an intention that is fueled from within, make a list of possible actions that might be taken to forward that intention. Which action could be taken RIGHT NOW? DO IT!! When I stated my intention to be a writer, one of the things I could do immediately was "write" - and I did so, without fail, even if for only a few minutes a day. In the early stages it is more important to give some time (no matter how little) to your intention every day, rather than large blocks of time only once in a while. Five minutes a day, everyday, is better than five hours every other Saturday.
While you are in the beginning stages of action, notice when any doubts or fears creep into your consciousness. Acknowledge them, allow them to be, but don't let them stop you from focusing on your intention. By focusing on the intention rather than on the fear, you give strength to that intention and nourish your belief in yourself.
Continue to revise your list of actions to be taken and be sure that your actions arise from your intention. Action in and of itself, without the power of intention behind it, is just a lot of "doing." Remain focused, believe in yourself, stay in action, and above all, don't be attached to a particular outcome - be open to all possibilities.
Writer and Editor
© Linda Maree 2001