Welcome to Tuesdays with Chel.
Each week Chel Micheline of Gingerblue will offer her perspectives on our Bliss Habits. Please enjoy the wisdom and clarity she offers.
When I chose to take a time-out from my busy daily schedule, focused my intention, and gave my expressions free reign, it was like a massive release valve, a deep, profound sigh. ‘Finally,’ said my spirit. This voice was my divine spark, getting frisky. For the first time in twenty-six years, I was listening, allowing her to speak out loud, and I guess she had a lot to say. As the process evolved and as the conversation between us deepened, I realized that I was, in my own way—and probably for the first time—really praying.
– Sera J. Beak
Welcome to Week Thirteen- the final week of Exploring Intention!
When I first started this project, I had two somewhat opposing ideas about intention. From all my reading and research, I *knew* that intention was a key element to well-being, but I also felt like the whole idea of “intention” had been stretched and skewed so much in popular media that it had become this blanket term that somehow conjured up images of magic wands which brought upon instant manifestation.
I wanted to get to the root of it. I wanted to figure out how intention worked, and how I could apply it to my daily life. I wanted to make it part of my well-being “toolbox”, but in the same way that I utilize prayer, meditation, and gratitude- I wanted to make intention a genuine, from-the-heart process.
I quickly realized that intention isn’t about stating a goal and then walking away from it. Instead, setting an intention is a bit like navigating a map. I’ve used the analogy of the GPS system in all of my posts, and I still believe that setting an intention is almost identical to using a GPS system in a car. I truly believe every single one of us is born with our OWN GPS system, which I have called our “inner sense of intention”, and it’s always powered on, waiting for us to consult it.
There are just a few basics to the process. But the bottom line is this:
Intention is about getting quiet and focused.
Intention is about getting brutally honest with yourself.
Intention is ultimately about learning how to trust yourself.
When I started this, I was a little put off by the forcefulness of intention. It almost seemed like it was a kind of demand as opposed to a gentle request. Something to be proclaimed, something to be loudly announced and boisterously approached.
But intention, at least for me, has become less of a declaration and more of an excavation. It’s inward and not outward.
I’ve realized that the key to intention, at least for me, is about getting still and quiet. It’s about focusing in on the truth of my situation and my life on a daily basis. It’s about asking myself these questions:
*How* are you, really?
What needs to change?
Are you on the right course?
And then answering them as truthfully as possible. If I’m not okay, I’m *not* okay. I explore that. If I’m feeling pretty good, I explore that, too. Asking these questions and answering them honestly, to the best of my ability, opens up SO many possibilities.
But, don’t get me wrong, this whole brutal honesty exchange can be intensely difficult at times. The fact is that if you truly want to make some changes, it ultimately necessary. Just remember that this is all very private- while declaring an intention can be a loud proclamation that you want everyone to know about so they can support you on your path, *defining* an intention can be as deeply private and personal as you really need it to be.
And this little dialogue that you have with yourself to figure out your intention doesn’t have to be probing and uncomfortable, it can start out very simple. And the answers can be simple, as well. Just admitting to yourself “I’m not okay” is a *big* deal. You can explore that when you are ready. Just creating that dialogue with yourself, you’ve done *so* much. You’ve opened a door you can go through when you are ready.
After you figure out where you’re starting from, you can begin to figure out where you want to go. If you were to travel somewhere in your car, before you chose your destination, you’d likely take stock of a few different things- how much time do you have? How much gas does your car have? Do you really have the energy to make a big trip or do you want to start small and local? Etc.
Hopefully you see where I’m getting at- before you set an intention, tune INTO yourself. Take stock. Be honest. Be fair. Know your own limits.
Everyday I ask new questions, redefine my goals, adjust my intentions.
And then I wait. Another key to this process is waiting for answers from deep inside, or even from the world around me. Sometimes the answers come fast, and they are crystal clear. “Finish up that project…” or “spend more time with your family” or even “take a break, and be kind to yourself before you explode!” And sometimes the answers take a little more time. Sometimes they come from a little suggestion that sort of bubbles up from deep within, and sometimes an opportunity will present itself in the world that will help me move forward on the path to my goal.
I think intention is about priming your brain to be alert and ready for all these things, and then finding the trust and courage to move forward, to make progress. It’s about asking the scary and real questions, and then letting the answers come the way they will.
This whole process of self-discovery, of digging deep, is actually the true magic of intention. By asking yourself these questions, by taking the time to find the truth, by getting still and quiet and patient and waiting for the answers from your own soul, you are opening a tremendously powerful dialogue with yourself. You are allowing yourself to begin *trusting* your own self. You are listening to a deep voice within that knows a lot more than you have given her credit for.
My conclusion after these three months? Intention is a process of discovery. It’s a process of truth and trust. And it’s powerful, but that power doesn’t stem from some hazy unknown source somewhere in the universe, that power stems from inside *you*.
Tap into it.