The Art of Intention
“Follow your bliss … If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
— Joseph Campbell
The beginning of everything is a need or a desire, and the seed that sets fulfilling that need or desire is an intention. Having an intention is the first step in the conscious manifestation of a thing you want to happen. In the classic literature of India, a book called The Upanishads states:
“You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
Are you engaged and living fully each day or just going through the motions? Do you ever stop and dream about the life you want? Take the time to look at that, to evaluate what makes you happy, what fills your soul. Ask yourself is there enough of that in my life? And if not, take a look at your life and set some new intentions. A working definition for intention is: “to have in mind a purpose or plan, to direct the mind, to aim.” Lacking intention, we sometimes stray without meaning or direction. But with it, all the forces of the universe can align to make even the most impossible, possible. We have to know where we are so we can design the appropriate strategy for getting to where we want to be.
The second thing to realize is that if you want to find your bliss, you are going to have to discover it yourself. The answer to who you are and what you love is not contained in any book. The answers to what fires your imagination and makes your heart beat faster are found inside of you.
The third thing to realize is in order to find it, you will have to go on a journey of self-discovery to live that one wild and precious life we are all granted.
Whether you are in school, working or retired — it is never too late to figure out what you love to do and to create a life around living your dreams.
When should you set an intention?
An intention sets out a path, a plan something to focus on and work toward. It can be specific and about something in particular or more like a quality, such as to be more relaxed or involved with life. It can shape the person we hope to be, giving and kind. Or it can involve our purpose and push us toward larger goals and big plans. You can set an intention to redefine what it means to be serious about your wildest dreams.
Four Intentional Steps:
Get clear about something you want and write it down.
Share your intention with someone in a way that will supportively hold you accountable to taking action.
Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to your intention.
Acknowledge that you did what you said you would, and then take the next step.
Purpose has to do with the sacred, spiritual nature of our lives. It is a source of vitality and vision. Purpose matters because it is an essential key to wholeness and well-being. Purpose can sustain us. So from time to time, it is important to evaluate what is truly important to you in your life, in your family, in your community and see if there is a way you can contribute to making it stronger or more stable, or offering some sort of growth opportunities to your community.
What have you wanted to explore or study during the course of your life? What have you learned that you’d like to share with others? Finding purpose is taking the leap of faith to pursue such passions no matter what our age.
By setting an intention, you make it clear to yourself and others just what you plan to do. The intention is set and then we take ACTION. Your re-defining moment doesn’t happen just one time in your life; it happens every time you make a decision to follow your bliss, again, and again, and again. There are new doors awaiting your arrival. The big question, as Joseph Campbell puts it, is “whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
This article was originally published by Costa Rica's favorite lifestyle magazine, Costa Pacifica Living.