Monday, September 24, 2007

Step Three: Setting Intentions

Several years ago I had the thought that setting goals was not getting me where I needed to be. I spoke this out loud to a friend I admire and she agreed. I decided I needed to listen to what has been referred to as an inner sense of knowing. I did not realize I had just begun a learning curve process.

In Hebrew wisdom the word kavanah means intention and is given much power by the sages. They taught that setting an intention created reality, what we want to happen. Intention has become important in my life. I have been testing to see if when I set an intention it really does happen. In the documentary 'What the Bleep Do We Know' Dr. Joe, one of the physicians talks about setting intentions and then checking at the end of the day to see if it happens. It is way of checking to see if I am in the rhythm of my life.

I set intentions by listening to the voice of my heart and my body. Some may say intuition. The goals I set come from the head. Intentions come from within me where if I go directly to goals first they are often externally driven. Of course that may be too general a statement. I have been practicing setting intentions first and then see the ease in which the goals evolve. Most often intentions are not measurable and the mind needs completion, checking off lists or getting an external validation.

When I take the time to be still and listen deeply I draw on information that energizes and move me forward. When I take the time to be introspective and look at my life from a distance I can begin to see my life reflecting what is important to me already. I just have to pay attention to my life.

Protecting the Heart

It is written twice in the Bible to 'circumcise your heart'. The first time it is a command, the second time it is written that the Divine will remove the covering of your heart. I wonder 'why two times?' Perhaps, many of us walk around bandaged up in order to protect our heart and to keep us emotionally safe. Some Mussar teachers say circumcising the heart is the beginning of a spiritual initiation.

When I protect my heart I am not able to access the wisdom of the heart and make decisions for my life that could make the world the better place. I are not relying on my true self that rests in a higher good place. I am not as creative, spontaneous or lovable.

Recently I have read Jerry and Esther Hicks, Steve Siebold, Rosamond and Benjamin Zander and Appreciative Inquiry have written about this with different words; yet all refer to the power of emotions and its relationship to words creating worlds. Beliefs and values are the key drivers for getting work done. Intentions set by knowing our beliefs and values can only bring me to a higher purpose.

When I set goals without intention I do this from the mind who is cut off from the heart. I am not paying attention to the body, the feelings and the wisdom that tell me what is important. I am also not using my whole brain, just the right side that makes analytical decisions. To have a mochin de'gadlute, a big mind, broaden consciousness and be more inclusive being mindful of al the elements is useful.

Why am I here? What is purpose in coming to work? I come to work for many reasons; to get a paycheck, I like what we do, I am learning and the camaraderie of the workplace gives a place of connecting with community. I come to have fun. I want to be energized. I want to play cooperatively with you. I want to be stimulated. I want my life to have meaning.

Goals are set and completed in the physical world of doing. Intentions are set and carried out through being aware of the emotional world and world of thought and Spirit.

to be continued

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