I have contemplated writing this piece off and on ever since I received Sreejit’s invitation to write about what does walking with intention mean to me. I have hardly written anything for months and it is now October 27 and this invitation is for November… of this year… so what the hell, go for it!
I find delight in this question. I hear it as a reminder to come home to self, to presence. I use to think of intention as an action, something to do and now I find comfort in experiencing intention as a way of being. I love the title Walking with Intention as it affirms how setting an intention is like holding a compass that i can check in with and see where i am, in relation to how i want to be. Like a guide for realignment.
I set an intention for something that I want, that I long for, that gives meaning to my life. I pause, breathe into it, allow this life force to fill me, to expand within my whole being and then, for a precious moment I embody it. Marshall Rosenberg called this precious life force Needs. We all share them, they are common to all of us. What are these ‘needs’ that guide me like a compass and to which i set an intention? Presence, kindness, understanding, connection, care and the list goes on.
In the last few years I have traveled quite a bit and have lost track of how many airport security checks I have gone through. As I approach these zones something comes over me. I become very belligerent. There is a power structure that I feel extremely uncomfortable with. As long as we all behave and do exactly as we are told things go smoothly. Otherwise, if I opt out from going through the huge x-ray machine my life gets more complicated and I don’t like being patted down. Living in California with an ongoing drought I feel sad and disheartened when i see bottles of water being tossed in a garbage can. I pray the water is recycled, offered in some way to sustaining the planet. I understand the need for, and intention for safety and protection, and that security agents have a job and it is their livelihood. I want to see, to remember our shared humanity and sometimes I think there is a fine line between these security checks and police states, and this thought is a source of my discomfort.
And what does this have to do with intentions?
A couple of years ago as i approached the security zone and noticed me body tensing I paused, took a deep breath and a little voice that I recognize as coming from my beloved Amma asked me: How do you want to experience this moment? Even as I write this now I feel my body relax and there is sense of inner spaciousness. What I wanted was ease, kindness and presence. I allowed myself to fully experience these energies and set them as my intentions so I could be them as I walked towards the security agents. I remember looking at the first agent’s badge so I could address him by his name and have a sense of connection. I looked into his eyes, wished him a good day and then with ease I walked towards the his co-worker standing by the machine that checks the carry ons. I felt so calm and peaceful. I still didn’t enjoy unpacking laptop, phone, little bottles…. and yet I was completely at peace. Afterwards, as I was putting my shoes back on I paused to celebrate that not only was I able to do this, but that I was willing to choose to do it. And this is another intention… To celebrate whenever I have a moment of changing a pattern and choosing to act in a way that is life serving and opens my heart.
As often as I can remember I walk with intentions by taking small steps. It is like a reminder of the quality of life that I want to have. One of my goals is to go through my day walking from one intention to the next. I can set an intention about how I want to be as I drive to the store, or stand in line at the check out counter. Patient, kind, accepting, present. I can set an intention for humor, joy, and fun, and move away from judgment and blame.
In times when i am facing what i think is going to be a difficult conversation with someone my habitual pattern is to run a future dialogue through my brain over and over again. I call this trouble shooting the future. I see myself now sometimes being able to shift and choose to focus on what I want my intention to be for the conversation. Without fail I come up with presence, listening and understanding among others. So I breathe into these needs and let them fill me and guide me through the upcoming conversation. I can’t plan the dialogue ahead of time as if it were a script I am writing. What I am trusting more and more is that the intention I set for myself will guide and inspire the words I want to say, and my ability to hear the other person. The same applies to all aspects of my life.
I have several intentions in writing this piece. To express my gratitude to Sreejit for how often I experience my needs for creativity and community being met through his work, and his reaching out to all of us bloggers and non bloggers. To experience my creativity and to celebrate the work that I do.
This dance is about wanting to live fearlessly, valuing and celebrating who I am. I imagine that my life’s journey might touch or inspire others, as I at times feel touched seeing myself reflected in someone else’s words.
Written for Walking With Intention. If you’d like to be a part of the challenge, find more info here: Walking With Intention. But first leave a comment and let Arati know how you feel about what she said, and be sure to visit her over at Dancing to the Words when you’re done.
Featured image via http://www.hdwallpapers.cat