So long as they are Dreams, they will stay in the realm of fantasy, yearning, whining.
Once you state them as Intentions, you orient and commit to them.
Most people dare not commit themselves because they don’t know HOW.
It turns out that How is far less important than What.
If you are perfectly clear about the What, and you decide to start it Now, you will find the How.
(FYI It’s not impossible.)
Starting: You don’t need to be able to see the whole strategy or process, you only need to identify the very first step from where you are in the direction of What you want.
Usually that’s got to do with research or information.
After completing the work of the first step, you will notice that the entire landscape has changed. With this information in hand, you can now see the next step clearly. The landscape has also changed because you have begun the journey.
Don’t waste (or let others waste your) energy with speculation and criticism. Just train. Training means focusing your attention and energy. Consider that athletes achieve mastery through thousands of repetitions. Coaches and athletes don’t stop to criticize every movement, nor do they expect linear progress. Changing your life and developing new skills and habits does not mean that every day is a rousing success. It means that you show up every day with faith in the cumulative results of focused effort.
There are times to surrender: yoga, and intuition. And there are times to use all deliberate force: manifesting your intentions.
• • •
Some of my friends confide to me that they don’t know what they want. Without desire, it’s hard to solve any problem, let alone formulate intentions. I feel sad that they haven’t been encouraged to develop a relationship with themselves that reveals desire. If you aren’t crystal clear about your desire and intentions I recommend two things:
- The Desire Map, a workbook from the only life coach I recommend, Danielle LaPorte.
- Daily contemplation. I do this with my morning coffees and before any distracting input (no news, no mail, no devices) … I also demote any distracting chores or tasks to a to-do list at my side. In front of me is a nice pen and a big blank notebook devoted to ideas, fragments, wishes, that I will shape into desire, intentions, and action. My notebooks built TangoForge under my feet and got me to Europe.
As contemplation has demonstrated its value to me, I find more time for it. Later in the day, contemplation mini-retreats focus on my work or something that has happened. I step away from where I’m stuck, get some green tea (or another coffee), and reboot my desire. Finding my desire for how I want to resolve the project brings a creative solution and the power to enact it.
Contemplation does not need to be meditation. It’s definitely helped by some kind of ritual that changes the physical environment. But it doesn’t need to be sitting still. Some people do mid-day retreats by walking, biking, or other exercise. If something has drained me, I find that standing in the shower is a good place to recover and contemplate. You can move, but the activity needs to be something that leaves your mind somewhat unfocused so that you can float away from and wander around the event or problem at hand without needing to attend to safety, procedure, etc. So it shouldn’t involve reading, calculating a recipe, making lists, driving, writing messages … Some very familiar recipes or repetitive kitchen tasks could leave the mind clear, as would I suppose lawn mowing or somesuch, if that’s your thing.
• • •
It’s good to have an idea where you want to go. Know too that the universe may have bigger plans for you. Your intentions may not yet be in sync with your talent. Especially in painful parts of your life, you could dream too small.
We cannot know what awaits us, but we must trust our intentions as if they are the icy guideropes in a blinding storm.
If you observe very carefully, you can already see the force of your intentions. You can see that you already chose. You took certain risks. You checked out. You stepped back. You prioritized. Observing this might be painful. You very well may not have felt powerful at that time, but still you chose, and your choice had consequences. You are where you are because you chose.
Next time … soon … this year … 2021 … buckle up and do it with conscious power.