When we flip the calendar on a December it is often met with the feeling of freedom. The newness is like a breath of fresh possibility and there is power in the unknown. The excitement of what is to come is palpable. So much so that it often allows us to forget what has happened in the past. The history we have lived through to get us where we are right now feels foggy and blurred, like the waking from a dream you can’t quite remember. Eventually the newness, the unknown, becomes challenging and uncomfortable and we start to recall what has happened before and often repeat it again because, if we survived it then, surely, we can survive it now.
With an exciting announcement on the tips of our tongues, we stepped into 2021 cautiously optimistic about where the road ahead might lead and all we might observe, digest and learn along the way. And then, as life is known to do, we felt the shift and a desire to course correct, take a long collective breath together and pause for a moment to process.
By now you have no doubt received an email, probably closer to a dozen, from an employer, a school, an organization or business reaching out regarding the current events in America. In light of heaviness and unrest so many are feeling, we would be remiss to glaze over the fragile state of so many hearts right now.
In the midst of all the chaos there are many watchful eyes. Making note of how we react, our body language, the lines drawn on our faces. Listening to the words we chose to use, the tone, the diction. Trying to make sense of how their little lives will be shaped as a result of what they are taking in around them. The children, our children, who may not know that it is not supposed to be like this.
Regardless of what political views or religious beliefs we may have, our children are the future and we owe it to them to create an environment in which they not only survive, but thrive. Setting an intention to create a safe and peaceful world is the framework for an impactful conversation and that is a beautiful start.
The dictionary definition of the word intention reads; a thing intended; an aim or plan; “she was full of good intentions.” If you are a practitioner of yoga or meditation you may be familiar with the idea of setting an intention for your time on the mat or cushion. Something you aim to do or plan to accomplish. One might read this and be filled with hope but the other side of the coin reads, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Because of this negative connotation, a January blog about intention setting seemed a little off putting. Intending to do something is wonderful but the action is even more powerful. Intentions are the first step, the talking the talk, if you will. What we need is the follow through, the walking the walk.
What if we reframed this a bit? After years of studying the brain, the law of attraction, and the power of positive thinking, one thing is a parallel force through it all; thoughts become things. What we think we create, we attract. Sometimes we can see the clear-cut actions that have been taken to arrive at this current place in our lives, sometimes it seems less obvious and more mysterious. The intention of controlling our thoughts and having them be an anchor for safety and peace in our world could be the most impactful action we can take. Imagine the power of united thoughts for peace. Imagine the power of passing this practice on to our children.
Everything you have ever thought has brought to you where you are right now. Good, bad, ugly, indifferent. All thoughts manifest in the physical world. Many thinkers and spiritual leaders throughout history have also come to this conclusion. Gandhi’s powerful and well know words reflect this ideal as well:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
This also means that everything you will ever think in the future will bring you somewhere too. Where do you want your thoughts to take you? Where do you want your children’s thoughts to take them? Where do you want your thoughts to take the community in which you live? We are all connected, why not use the power for healing and peace. We can create a new normal, together.
Mindfulness can be the bridge that we chose to cross, allowing intentions to manifest into actions. When we are aware of what is happening right now, we are present and practicing mindfulness. We can make choices that we feel good about, we can create a life we aren’t seeking a vacation from, we can live peacefully with the well-being of ourselves and others in the forefront. Intention setting and mindfulness maybe seem simple enough, but it is not always easy, like all skills, it takes practice. Practice and your willingness to tune into your mind, cultivate thoughts of peace, imagine your arms wrapping the world up in a gentle hug and placing a ban-aid on its broken heart. You have the power to create intention toward a safe and peaceful world and model it for those who are watching. Much like the popular quote by Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
That is why intention is so important. That is why it matters so much. It is up to each of us to take a deep breath and begin thinking the thoughts to manifest change. Those thoughts create the reality. We know better, so let’s do better. Together.