In the late 80’s, when I discovered that I had the ability to read the energy of people and objects, I was concerned that I might mislead people. I didn’t want to say or do anything that would cause anyone any harm and so I was reluctant to use the gift that was emerging at that time. I wondered how I would know if what I picked up was valid.
One day at around that time, I was sitting in meditation and I asked the question that had been bothering me: How can I use my gift without causing harm? To my surprise, I received an immediate and very simple answer. A clear voice in my head told me to always set my intention to that effect – in other words, each time I worked I was to ask that my work with the person or group be for their and my highest good. I was advised not to under estimate the power of intent.
As soon as I heard the message I knew that I had a profound solution to more than just the question I was asking that day. It occurred to me that setting such an intention was a good idea for every aspect of life. From that time forwards, I have always set my intentions this way when I work.
Lately I have spent a lot of time pondering the world around me and especially the amount of unresolved conflict I see every day. My work is changing again, as it does periodically, but I can see that many people’s work is changing. Not knowing what is ahead for us is frightening and causes us stress. We can prepare to some degree for the things we can anticipate but what happens when we come to a place where we don’t know what’s ahead and can’t predict?
I’m still reading the book about the Intention Experiment (see the sidebar) and it has reminded me of my old solution about the power of intending something – anything. Webster’s Dictionary defines intention this way:
- Main Entry: in·ten·tion
- Pronunciation: \in-ˈten(t)-shən\
- Function: noun
- Date: 14th century
2: import, significance
3 a: what one intends to do or bring about b: the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
4: a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
5: concept; especially : a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge
6 plural : purpose with respect to marriage
I’ve always used it in the sense of the first and third definitions but when I looked the word up, it caused me to consider that the meaning could be broader than that. When I do healing work, I ask that the healing sources available to me be made available to the person who needs the healing. That is a prayer of sorts, although I wouldn’t say that I pray to any traditionally defined God. I believe service is offered in the same way. I have loved to be of service since I was very young and I think that when we are of service to a person or a group, our intentions are to be of assistance.
The fourth definition interested me as well: “a process or manner of healing of incised wounds”. I hadn’t thought of intention as being a healing word but here is the definition, in addition to my thoughts about setting my intention when I do healing work.
And then there is the final definition, regarding intentions as they relate to marriage. Marriage, as we see it, may be one of the most intention-defined actions of our lives. When we set out in matrimony with another human being, we are filled with good intentions. In fact, we consider them to be so important that we make them sacred and ask our nearest and dearest to bear witness. We might do well to repeat them to one another every night before we go to sleep – to remind ourselves of what we hoped for and intended for the daily outcome.
Finally, I remind myself that intention is a sort of mindfulness. A friend was talking about the ‘slow movement’ the other day and I am reminding myself as I write this to slow down and be more mindful of my intentions as they relate to how I treat myself, and not only those around me.
Today I intend:
- to do no harm to myself or the people and creatures with whom I share this planet
- to share positive and healing energy as I move about in the world
- to use my optimism and vision to create wonderful opportunities
- To help people to hear their own inner voices and to walk their chosen paths