- a thing intended; an aim or plan.
“she was full of good intentions”
2. MEDICINE; the healing process of a wound.
I have realized that the power of intention can have a dynamic impact on your life, but never more so than in these last couple months. I have experienced a tremendous shift of energy in my life purely due to my intentions. Over the course of the next month I will share how setting an intention daily has opened me to new experiences and opportunity as well as how intention can help you shift, not only your perspective, but your life.
Now a little about the first definition of intention and in the next blog post we will take a look at the concept of intention as medicine and it’s healing effects.
Merriam-Webster defines intention as a determination to act in a certain way; what one intends to do or bring about; and the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered. I am sure most are familiar with the concept of setting an intention but how does it work?
Manifesting intention has to do with the power of thought. Our thoughts are energy. Every thought we have puts energy out into the world gently influencing the nature of existence and our view of reality.
Here is a simple example. We have all woken up grumpy at some point and decided it would be a miserable day, everything that can go wrong does go wrong kinda day…. that is intention in action. Our first thoughts in the morning sets the tone for the entire day.
I am far from a morning person. Yet, I recognize that if I am grumpy every morning because I have to get up earlier that I would like to, in order to get to work on time, it will be a miserable life. Grumpy mornings lead to grumpy commutes, grumpy work days which turn into weeks, turn into years. Is that really how I want my life to be? Complaints every day because I have to wake up at 5:15?
So what to do? We make a CONSCIOUS CHOICE to be grateful every morning. If we wake up, AWESOME, that means we are still alive! YAY! BE GRATEFUL! That simple.
Waking up grateful does not ensure a perfectly happy day but it is a first step in realizing we can INTEND how our day will go. Try it for a week. As soon as you wake up, before you get out of bed, be grateful for something. Actually say “I am grateful for _________.”
Want a simple suggestion to start with? Try “I am grateful for my breath.” Notice if this allows you to be more mindful of your breath during the day. Do you find yourself breathing more deeply, more diaphragmatic breathing?
Take note of any subtle shift in awareness that may occur.
…and I’ll be back to see how you did and tell you how setting an intention in the morning change my life in 1 short month! Until then…..
Today we will take some time to think about “the fool’s” journey through life. This theme is represented in literature with works such as “the Epic of Gilgamesh” and ”Alice in Wonderland” among many others. Joseph Campbell, American writer and professor, described it as the archetypal hero story.
These themes are prevalent in our own lives as we grow from child to adolescent to adult, gaining insight and experience along the way. We begin our journey as the uneducated novice, (infant) bound in pure awareness, with no sense of self – hence, the fool.
Our modern language has negative connotations associated with the word FOOL, however, when looked at through the eyes of experience we see that the fool is unencumbered by societal trappings and norms. It is the fool who experiences life in all its splendor, tasting experience for what it is. There is no shame, no guilt – only pure being.
As babies, we have no sense of self (as in self-consciousness), purely instinctual beings. Our whole experience is based upon survival- cry to be fed, changed, consoled. All our energy is concentrated in the root chakra. As we grow, we develop a sense of separation, of otherness. It is at this point our energy moves into the sacral chakra. We experience the separation based upon sex and slowly become aware of the power sex and sexual identification has in our lives.
Like the fool/hero on the journey, we must come to understand that power is limited, controlling and lacking Love.
If our karma in this life allows, we move the into the third chakra, some of us developing a stable sense of self, or we become lost in the anxiety of tring to fit in. Most people are living through the energy of the lower 3 Chakras.
Progress moving the energy upwards becomes difficult due to our physical plane of existence which is constantly telling us we need more to be happy, to be loved, to fit in. Beings stuck here are trapped by instant gratification-always seeking outside of themselves.
The fool/hero, however is able, after some time, to move beyond the physical plane of power. This can happen gradually or some trauma can rend open the heart instantly allowing the experience of the power of unconditional love. This subtle energy allows us to bridge the gap between the lower and upper chakras.
This love can then assist us further on our foolish yet heroic journey through life. It allows us to see the world for what is in in pure love. It invites compassionate speech, action and opens our intuition allow a depth of understanding: everything is exactly as it should be in every moment.
This is the most difficult pill to swallow. War, greed, suffering are all intrinsic parts of human existence. They are the opposite side of the coin of love, compassion, and empathy.
At a point in history we began to see everything as duality (Eve eating the apple/Gilgamesh and Enkidu) and we lost the pure taste of awareness.
Those of us whose karma is ripening for awakening feels the “something not quite right” in how we are told to experience life.
The fool’s/hero’s journey is never straight. It is a crooked path with many missteps and falls along the way.
Take time to look at your life from the perspective of story telling. Can you identify points in early life where energy became stagnant in the lower chakras?
In working with these ideas we must remember that we are most likely not fully awakening in this go-round. We are the fool – just beginning to open our eyes to the light of truth. This is a journey of many lifetimes, unpredictable and long.
It is with this realization ( which cannot be intellectuallized) that we begin to see the face of god in everyone we meet. No one better than us, no one less than us. All god, all one. All beings moving toward the light in their own way, in their own time.
The person that cut you off on the highway is god, the megalomaniac, hell-bent on persecuting other beings is also god. It is all energy in form. All one.
As Ram Dass says “ it is all grist for the mill.”
Everything we meet is the path.
Happy now beautiful souls! It is a crisp, cold morning here in upstate NY- the perfect kind of day to cozy up with a cup of tea, good book or get started on a new blog post! I do like to hibernate a bit more in the winter. My body and mind crave warmth, comfort and seclusion. I have learned over the years to pay deep attention to my body as the body mirrors the mind. This process of understanding the mind-body-spirit connection has been made clearer with Reiki.
So first let us take a look at what Reiki is and the science backed benefits it provides. REIKI, (pronounced Ray Key) is a stress reduction and relaxation technique where through the laying of hands, the practitioner channels Universal energy through the body to assist in removing emotional blockages, stress, and anxiety. REIKI energy balances & works on the four levels of existence: Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual. Reiki activates the parasympathetic nervous system allowing for deeper relaxation and renewal.
The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) regulates functions outside of voluntary control such as the cardiac muscles, digestion and relaxation. When we are able to activate or be in touch with the PNS we can reduce stress levels and in turn reduce heart rate, blood pressure and raise our levels of joy.
Let’s look at an example. We have all been in a situation where our sympathetic nervous system (AKA Flight or Fight response) is activated like when we get cut off in traffic. A flood of adrenaline ups our heart rate and breathing. Unfortunately, this system is in overdrive with our modern way of life. We tend to respond in traffic the way our ancestors would have responded to being chased by a tiger. These constant reactions create unregulated stress in our bodies. Long term, this can have serious health effects.
It has been scientifically shown that we can reduce the stress reaction by activating our PNS with various techniques such as Reiki. During a Reiki treatment with me, the client lays comfortably, clothed, on a massage table and is guided into a relaxed state with meditation. You will be asked to gently focus on the present using your breath to bring you back to the moment when your mind drifts. While you enjoy healing music such as solfeggio frequencies, I will first access your energy by placing my hands on your shoulders followed by hand placements at specific energetic points on the body. You may feel a subtle shift of consciousness, or release of emotion, warmth or tingling sensation as REIKI energy flows through your body. Once the treatment is complete you may feel relaxed, refreshed, or very tired. You will be advised to drink plenty of pure water to aid in detoxifying your energetic body.
I routinely perform self-treatments to assist in healing my own health issues or dis-ease. I have found that my state of mind greatly influences the levels of pain I experience, for our body is a reflection of mind. Our thoughts precede our actions and our physicality. Reiki has helped me to slow down, to find presence, to be instead of do(ing). Now when I experience pain, I know it is due to imbalance in my overall mind-body-spirit system. I am able to actively participate in my treatment and healing. Migraines and stomach upset frequently have less to do with physical dis-ease as they do mental dis-ease. Stress and trauma can cause flareups in my IBS, fibromyalgia and endometriosis. Being aware of my mental state gives me opportunity to see the patterns of cause and effect. This awareness take time to cultivate but offers one a chance to begin healing from within.
When we learn to cultivate practice for our mental well-being our physical body follows suit. Healing modalities such as Reiki, breath work, meditation, Qi Gong all can help us become in touch with our mind-body-spirit connection. We need to heal wholly, at each level of existence in order to live a balanced life. If you would like to know more or would like to begin on a path of healing, please contact me for a free 15-minute consultation.
We tend to float through our days in a haze of to do lists, errands, work responsibilities and other tasks that typically do not ignite a passion for life. These are all things most of us must do everyday. But are they? And can we perhaps change our perspective regarding the mundane?
The older I get the more I realize Alan Watts was on point when he said “The real secret of life- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
In our fast paced world we tend to see work as a burden, especially if our work has nothing to do with our talents and passions. So we then have a choice- change our view or change our job. For many of of changing careers isn’t that simple. Our jobs afford us a certain lifestyle that pursuing a field we are passionate about may not. For instance, if you are a chemical engineer but your passion is painting, you will not necessarily be able to maintain your standard of living if you suddenly quit your job to paint. Over time your skill can develop and perhaps you will earn more through your art, but upfront there are trade offs. So if we do not have the financial ability to quit our current job then we must change our perspective of work.
What if we simply start saying “I’m going to play today” instead of saying “I’m going to work today”? Sounds like fun doesn’t it? In all actuality everything we do is play (or practice). Every day we play being human but most of the time do not realize it. Being at play we lose ourselves in the moment. Do you remember playing as a child, lost in the summer sun, running though the woods? We didn’t think about deadlines or worry about what tomorrow would bring- we were fully engaged in the beauty of the moment, fully engaged in play, fully engaged in whatever our passion was at that moment. How did we lose this passion for life?
We started calling it work.
So lets change our perspective and reignite passionate living. We need to ask ourselves what we are passionate about, where do we lose ourselves completely in the moment?
If we are not passionate about our jobs, it doesn’t mean we need to quit, it means we need to view our jobs as means of pursuing our passions.
(I will mention if you are exhausted because you are working 12+ hour days and have time only for sleep etc.. then perhaps a job change is in order.)
A subtle shift in attitude towards work can have astounding impacts long term. When we no longer greet the morning with the frustration of getting up “just to go to work” and instead greet the day with awe for the adventure that awaits, we align ourselves more potently with our true nature. We are creative beings bursting with potentiality, but we have blinded ourselves with worry and fret. Each and every moment we are reborn, each and every moment we have a choice, each and every moment we can choose to let our awareness blossom and see the world anew.
When we see the world around us for what it is, we open ourselves to possibility and opportunity. It is truly amazing the doors that open to us when we stop looking for them so intently. Play, instead of work, allows us to live passionately in the moment. …And isn’t that what life is truly about?
Let Passion & Play fill your days.