I find intention to be one of those fuzzy concepts that we all think we understand, but don’t quite really. It should be simple. We set about wanting to do something or wanting something to happen and yet, the result and reaction fall short of our expectations. But why, especially when we devote so much energy or hard work towards something?
Reflecting on my own past travails, I had to question the deeper egoic intentions behind my own actions. Was I doing certain things in order to be liked? To be the center of attention? To appear to be the smartest person in the room? These were difficult questions to confront, but they led me to the same place of living in a mindset where I was seeking external validation.
We are all conditioned to do it. I was so struck by the “I Take Responsibility” video that was released by a number of white actors in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. Watching it made me terribly uncomfortable because it felt inauthentic. These are people who work in an industry that has woefully underrepresented the voices and stories of people of color. They have undoubtedly benefited from that omission and yet now, here they were with this overly produced performative public service announcement proclaiming they finally noticed something that has been in existence for centuries.
Their surface intention was obviously to show solidarity with a movement whose momentum was growing exponentially. In reality, it felt like nothing more than them trying to fulfill a need to center themselves in the space and gain approval–a pat on the back. In the end, it was deemed a cringe-worthy endeavor and appeared to quickly vanish into the ether where other bad ideas go to die.
Intention setting does not always have to have a shadow side. In the context of my mombbatical, I suffered from a lack of a clear intention as opposed to attempting to set some noble cause. I remember when I was setting up my blog and the best that I could come up with for a tagline was, “What happens on the journey from Mom to me. . .” I genuinely had no idea what I was in for. Looking back at the unpredictable and often aimless journey that was my year, I realize only now that those words set my intention. They declared the openness and surrender that I had felt as I walked into this phase of my life.
Intention is powerful and we must treat it as such. So whether you are staking your claim to an afternoon off from the kids and partner or facing an empty nest or simply taking a moment to meditate on your day, be unafraid of examining and setting your intentions for your emotional and spiritual well-being.
In this week’s mombattical mindset conversation, we will reflect on the following questions:
- What is your understanding of the word intention?
- Where in your life do you feel as though you have set powerful intentions and seen impact?
- Can you think of a time when you realized that your true intention differed from your surface intention?
- Reflecting on what we have been through as a global community–a pandemic, social unrest–how have these things inspired new intentions in you regarding your own emotional and spiritual well-being?
- With these new intentions in mind, what do you want to feel more of in your daily life?
- What healing or impact can you have on the world to facilitate that feeling?
If you’d like to join the conversation, we’ll be meeting on Sunday, June 28th at 2pm EST/11am PST/8 pm CET. For details to sign up, just click here.