Intention is described in the dictionary as, ‘An intention is an idea that you plan (or intend) to carry out. If you mean something, it’s an intention.’
The word intention has come across my path several times lately, and I have been pondering over why that might be. I see it as such a useful awareness, something that can bring powerful positive change. I have been working with more focus on intention with the horses, in a way that is asking for their cooperation with kindness and respect, ensuring that I’m not demanding it physically or with mixed unconscious messages and confusing them. This can be observed when people work with horses in equine assisted therapy and monitoring how the horses are behaving and checking out how the client is feeling. Horses and animals can pick up on intention that we may or may not be aware of ourselves. This can influence how much they trust us. Whilst that may sound to have a contradiction, our unconscious awareness is very much alive and a part of us.
I realised that it is really important to be able to engage in the conscious awareness for many reasons. Intention can carry emotion and actions.
So how can an awareness of intention help us? People who have compulsive actions can learn to take a different sort of control back with ‘intention’. With conscious intention and mindfulness of the new action, there is less compulsion to repeat it because the action is remembered in a new way. The mindfulness helps lower the anxiety levels. When our anxiety is less, we can think through the whole situation in a more rational way and challenge negative beliefs. With forgetfulness we can use intention in a really useful way too. How many times have I gone back to check that gate ‘ just to check I put the bolt across?’ I know that this depends on how my energy levels are and if I am quite tired, then I may do this, and I listen to this message, and make sure that some relaxation and rest is right around the corner. But if I do it in a mindful way with conscious intention, then I feel I ‘know’ I have bolted the gate, in a sort of ‘that task is completed’ way.
If we convey kindness in our intention, it is more likely to be ‘felt’ by others because the energy of the offering is richer. If we are mindful of the emotion behind our intention, the ‘exchange’ becomes more alive, and if offering love, and compassion, can be nurturing and has a more healing energy.
Self-compassion is really important for a balanced healthy lifestyle. So think about the emotion you are offering yourself, and with gentle, kind intention and watch out for a bit about self-compassion too!