No.8 - On intention

I was saving this theme for a little later, when I thought I would have it figured out. When I thought I would have more experience, more practice. I had thought to push it to the back corners of my mind. to my mental equivalent of the place where you put things you dont quite know how to deal with yet - like the strange insert for the dryer and the egg holder that comes with a new refrigerator - for retrieval at a later date. However, intention has been cleverly and persistently inching its way to my front of mind this week. refusing to be relegated to 'later' any longer. With this week's inspiration I share what's come forward with the intention that by starting conversation, we can create an intentionality movement and that can only lead toward a kinder, more compassionate world.


Is there anything easier than running through life on autopilot? However, when autopilot leads you down the 'wrong' path and you have to backtrack, it is no longer easier. I have come to realize that autopilot is where we are without intention, even in the smallest things. Sitting for meditation on autopilot, the mind will wander without intention to watch the breath or focus on sensation. Drive on autopilot and we often take a wrong turn. Work on autopilot and we 'get things done' but are they the right things, do we even know what the right things are? Consider the effects of taking a moment to set your intention for quiet meditation, a series of errands, a workday, or family time. What would that look like? Instead of leading in the wrong direction, might it lead us to a more fulfilling moments and open doors to joy and a deeper sense of accomplishment and enjoyment? Starting small with this practice of intention-setting can be as simple as deciding to remain present and observant while making a cup of tea. Then, we notice the sounds and the aromas as we pour and how it relaxes the muscles in the neck and shoulders when we take our first sip. Intention has the power to take us from action to experience.


"Uninterrupted flow of attention dissolves the split between the object seen and the seer who sees it Consciousness appears to have ceased, and to have reached a state of silence. It is devoid of 'l', and merges into the core of the being in a profound state of serenity. In samadhi, awareness of place vanishes and one ceases to experience space and time." - Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, B.K.S. lyengar

Through intention and perseverance we have the capacity to put our focus on, our work in and get to a state of flow. This is not possible with out intention.


Why is it so easy to neglect the single most important investment we can make - our body? Full disclosure: I am absolutely guilty of slipping into a lack of intention setting with respect to my body. I think it is all too easy to take advantage of this shockingly adaptive and resilient entity that is my body and mind. Even when we make healthful choices around movement and nutrition, sleep and mindbenefiting activities, we can easily neglect to set an intention for what those choices are intended to accomplish. Is it to live longer? Is it to be able to play on the floor with grandchildren? Is it to win gold at the next championship? Intention is like goal setting except that it is more foundational. Its the choice of which seeding to plant before the tea bush starts to grow. It is the intent to grow a giant tea tree slowly over hundreds of years rather than a more vulnerable but quick-producing plant. Only intention puts us on the path to well-being with a hope of getting where we actually want to go. Where do you want to go?

One more thing...

"Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten"

- Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield

Until next time,

Steep Calm.


No.8 - On intention
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.