Tag Archives: Intention

AWAKENING TO COMPASSIONATE COMMUNICATION

“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”  Arthur Schopenhauer

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What do you do when you are offended by what someone says to you?  How often do you stop and think about your response before speaking?  How can you create peace in a conflicted situation?

We can only see what we can see.  When I was four, my world consisted of the house where my parents and I lived, my great aunt’s and great grandmother’s house next door, my grandparents’ garage apartment and my grandfather’s carpentry shop below, and the yard in between.  It was a rich, loving world filled with cats, birds, a boxer dog, and a bureau full of books.

Life Experience Can Broaden Our Vision

Many years later, my world is quite different.  I have lived in urban environments in all four parts of the United States and spent several weeks studying in West Africa.  All those loving people who surrounded me at four have passed.  I am now surrounded by the mountains I love, but the world I know stretches far beyond this hollow.

The more I have been exposed to people who are different from me, the more I have grown in my understanding of human nature.  Part of this is related to my own curious mind.  I love learning about almost anything.  I have always been curious about views that are different from mine and I don’t feel threatened at all by being exposed to new ideas.  I read, explore, and if I feel the idea or practice may be useful, I work with it for a while to determine if it has value for me.

Communication Is The Key To Understanding

Because of my exposure to different cultures, I have become more aware that the way we communicate is the key to understanding each other.  There are many practices that relate to compassionate communication, but I want to look at one specific aspect of communication today.  What is our intention when we speak?

Having tended a number of discussion groups over the last few years, I have observed that there are some people who just want to let off steam.  Others want to prove they are right and turn any discussion into a debate.  Many people want to connect with others in a way that builds community and deep connections.  These are all very different ways of communicating.

Personally, I want to connect in a way that allows me to understand others and that they understand me, for understanding helps me respect the views with which I disagree.  I don’t have to agree with what another believes, but I need to respect it and be compassionate because this can create peace where otherwise there may be conflict.  I want peace in the world and this is one way I can help create it.

Check Within Before We Speak

We can’t control how another person acts, but we can choose to take responsibility for ourselves.  Self-monitoring helps us become more conscious.  For example, a discussion becomes heated and we feel ourselves becoming offended by what is being said.  Before we speak, it is wise to check within.  Are we feeling defensive or angry?  Are we feeling disrespected?  Can we offer our perspective in a way that may calm tempers and shift the tone of the discussion?  When we speak, what is our intention?

Our Choices Reflect Our Intention

 Our intention is reflected in our choice of words.  It is amazing how powerful this choice is.  For example, consider the difference between chatter and rant used as words to describe a comment you’ve made.  Chatter is defined as trivial or idle talk.  Rant is defined as pompous or overblown speech.  Neither word is a compliment.  So, it is important to be mindful enough to choose words that will not insult the other person if what we want is a meaningful dialogue.

The Outer Reflects the Inner

Our choice of words is a reflection of our intention.  The outer expresses the inner and that is why we need to be willing to examine our intention and we need to be willing to listen carefully to the other person and observe their body language and tone of voice.  What they are expressing reflects their inner selves as well.  If we are compassionate, we will try to put aside our ego needs and listen with love.

If what the other person is expressing is negative, we need to remember that behind all negative attitudes, there is fear.  Where there is fear, there is pain.  Perhaps they cling to certain beliefs because their whole world would fall apart if they even considered an alternative. We all experience this, so the question is:  When we are listening to someone who is expressing a view we find irritating or offensive, can we remember that we are hearing their pain and can we also consider that our negative response may be coming from our pain.

Be Open To Learning

Schopenhauer portrait1

Schopenhauer portrait1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Schopenhauer said, “Truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second it is violently opposed; Third, it is accepted as self-evident.”  There was a time when mankind laughed at anyone who suggested the earth was round.  We all evolve and our understanding of life hopefully evolves too. When we find ourselves quickly dismissing another’s ideas, it may be a good idea to explore the possibility that a truth lies hidden beneath what we consider the chatter or the rant.

Setting the intention to listen and speak compassionately primes us to be more mindful and respectful.  Who knows—maybe the next outrageous idea we hear, in six month’s time, will be the answer to a major dilemma in our lives.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                         ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Compassion Is Not Optional, Make Love Your Habit (Wayne Dyer), Compassion Is the Key (audio – Wayne Dyer), Living Peacefully

AWAKENING TO NEW INTENTIONS

“A good intention clothes itself with sudden power.”     Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Do you make New Year’s resolutions or set intentions for the following year?  Is there a difference in them and how does that affect your life?  Do you usually follow through with what you set or intend?

Resolutions or Intentions

I used to make New Year’s resolutions and I saw them as goals for the year.  Often I worked very hard to achieve them, but encountered many blocks along the way that delayed the achievement or made it impossible.  Then, when I was unable to meet the goal, I felt bad about myself.

A few years ago, I gave up making resolutions and started setting intentions.  For example, my intention was to publish my book by the end of 2011, but that didn’t happen.  Because I’d never published a book before, it took much longer to edit and prepare it than I anticipated.  I could have published it and met my goal, but the book wouldn’t have been as professional as I wanted it to be, and part of my intention was to make it as professional as possible.

Do You focus On An Aim Or Course Of Action?

The definitions of resolution and intention are interesting.  Resolution means a course of action decided upon or firm determination.  Intention means an aim that guides action or a course of action one intends to follow.  The difference is subtle.  A course of action sounds like a plan.  We know what we want to achieve and how to achieve it, but an aim that guides our action indicates an underlying reason for whatever we are going to do.

While it is true that intentions alone don’t lead us to accomplish what we wish, they are an important guide when combined with action.  My experience has been that the steps I need to take to a goal may change as I travel the path, so if I’m stuck on doing it a certain way, I may overlook a much better choice.  What keeps me on the path, though, is the intention.

Our Word Has Spiritual Power

Ernest Holmes, the author of Science of Mind and the founder of that philosophy, says, “Just what is meant by ‘your word?’ It means your conscious intention, your conscious direction, your conscious faith and acceptance that, because of what you’re doing, the Power of Spirit will flow through your word in the direction you give.”  So in creating an intention, we are setting “our word” in motion in the universal flow of energy.   Once we put it out there, it can draw to us what we need to accomplish our goal.

Intention

Intention (Photo credit: turahbird)

Combine Intention and Action For Results

This doesn’t mean we don’t take action.  It means we start taking the steps we know to take and stay open to what shows up. We stay focused on the intention.  For example, my intention in writing a blog post every week is to share what I know so that it may help others.  So that people know when to expect the post, I write it every Wednesday, but writing it on another day doesn’t affect the intention.  So there may be variations in the path to fulfill one intention.

One of the most typical New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape; yet, most people stop exercising in two months and gym memberships plummet by March.  I suspect many people set goals in this area expecting unrealistic progress.  Maybe focusing on an intention would work better.

After I stopped dancing, I walked regularly to stay healthy, but I was living in New Orleans where it rained often and I couldn’t walk outside.  Sometimes it was too hot.  Finally, I got sick of my own excuses about why I wasn’t walking, and I bought a treadmill so I would never have an excuse not to exercise.  This worked.  I also realized I need variety and get bored doing the same thing every day.  Some days I hike or walk outside.  Some days I walk on the treadmill and read while I exercise.  Some days I just walk rapidly in the house.  I have also taken yoga and tai chi and dance classes.  So my intention is to stay healthy and that requires that I get some kind of exercise at least 5 days a week.  Being open about it helps me to do it regularly.

Keep Good Energy Flowing

So if you’ve made resolutions or intentions, I wish you well with them.  Be devoted to what aim guides your action: better health, relating in a more loving way with others, developing new job skills.  Keep moving forward, but stay open to new possibilities, and know that staying positive about even the setbacks will keep the good energy flowing to assist you.

Happy New Year!  What are your intentions or resolutions for the year?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  I highly recommend that you set aside time to view this video: Wayne Dyer – The Power of Intention (video)Like Clouds Without Rain, Life Has A Crush on You, Spiritual Reading, Ernest Holmes (audio)