Pollyanna-ism

I’m still reading the book called The Intention Experiment and am interested in it, not only for the information it contains but because of the thinking it has inspired me to do. Today I was reading about how to prepare myself to send my healing intentions out to a person or situation. There is a list of 9 points.

• Enter your intention space.
• Power up through meditation.
• Move into peak focus through mindful awareness of the present.
• Get onto the same wavelength by focusing on compassion and making a meaningful connection.
• State your intention and make it specific.
• Mentally rehearse every moment of it with all your senses.
• Visualize, in vivid detail, your intention as established fact.
• Time it right – check what the sun is doing, and choose days when you feel happy and well.
• Move aside – surrender to the power of the universe and let go of the outcome.

I was drawn to the fourth point which is designed to encourage a sense of universal compassion. It starts with focusing your attention on your heart and ends with directing your loving thoughts to the object of your intention. The author spends some time discussing monks, yogis and healers and making observations about how they prepare to meditate and what they can do from such a state of being.

Having done healing work myself, I have had some first-hand experience of what this feels like. I can’t say that I am the best mediator in the world but I do know what it feels like to focus on the person to whom I am sending healing, or on whom I am placing my hands. Many of the healers talk about ‘getting out of the way’ so that the healing energy can pass through them, using them as a channel.

To me, this goes hand in hand with opening my heart and entering the place where I feel love for the person who needs healing. In fact, I can honestly say that most of the time this is true with any client with whom I work, whether the person is a therapy client, a coaching client, looking to have a reading, or in a workshop setting.

While I am working with that person, a change takes place inside me and I shift into a neutral and accepting place. It is quite simply the best place, the most effective place, from which to work. I can’t say that I do this intentionally; it seems to be a by-product of the work. I think that it happens when I set my intention at the beginning of a session or workshop.

For as long as I can remember, I have been an optimistic person. One of my bosses once commented, in some exasperation, “Are you always so happy?” Although he was referring in part to my being cheerful, he was also commenting on the fact that I would look for the best in situations. The answer to his question was: not always, but most of the time.

I have on occasion been told that I am Pollyanna-ish. It isn’t usually said as a compliment and the term came to mind today as I was considering the state of positive expectation that I often feel when I am working. It has been a long time since I heard the story so I looked it up on the internet. I haven’t read the book called Pollyanna but I did see the Walt Disney film when I was a child.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the book’s influence:

The novel’s success brought the term “pollyanna” (along with the adjective “pollyannaish” and the noun “Pollyannaism”) into the language to describe someone who is cheerfully optimistic and who always maintains a generous attitude toward the motives of other people. It also became, by extension – and contrary to the spirit of the book – a derogatory term for a naïve optimist who always expects people to act decently, despite strong evidence to the contrary.

Pollyanna was an orphan who went to live with a bitter and angry aunt who gave her an attic bedroom, with nothing to give it any comfort. She was strict, cold and withholding, as I recall, and yet Pollyanna found things to be happy about. She called it the ‘Glad Game’ and taught everyone around her how to look for something positive in every situation. When she had an accident and lost the use of her legs, the town gathered around to support her because what she had taught them was so valuable.

I liked the story and could relate to it, not because I was always so much like the heroine, I surely did my share of moaning and moping as a child, but because I liked the idea that someone could influence the world for the better. I remember being surprised when I was teased for liking the film and subsequently I have kept my opinion to myself, even to this day. Well, in this blog I am ‘outing’ myself as a person of optimism. Maybe it’s the first step towards healing the world.

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