Living, Breathing Intention


Author: Jen Snider

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For the month of January 2017 we will be “Bringing Intention to Life” in our mindful wellness online community. Click here to learn more about practicing with us (new topics every month). 

How do we bring new intentions to life?

“Ow!” The stinging twinge is familiar – one spot, now another across my shoulders. I pull my sweaty green t-shirt off my skin with muddy hands, groping gingerly for the culprit. I’m aware both of my intention not to harm the little one, and also to attend to my own pain. A brush of my hand eventually gathers the offending ant, clinging to my finger, perhaps not altogether unharmed. It rolls to the ground and wanders on. 

I sit back to inspect the ground, feel for any other tiny visitors about. Seeing none, the sounds of the humid late morning visit my ears. My intention shifts now, this time to a moment of pause to notice the moment of this day. Perhaps rest in the pause.

Intention is like this. It moves around, responds, reacts. Intention is a living potential in any moment. 

living, bringing intention

The sun is high as I look at the half-planted row of tomato seedlings. The drooping wilt in the plants is resonant for me. I had hoped to be done by now.

I notice my thirst with some urgency, and feel an intimacy with the thirst of the plants. The smell of the tomato leaves is strong in the air and on my hands. The pressure of packed mud pushing against my fingernails gets my attention a bit, a feeling less unpleasant than my lingering memory of the stiff gloves. 

I rise from the garden bed with a new intention: to answer our shared thirst. As I walk over to the hose, the blue heron catches my eye overhead – the one that commutes to the pond across the road every day, flying languidly home along the same route each evening. I wonder if the heron notices me each day in the same way. A fellow traveler. I wave and say hello – just in case. 

As I drink long from my mug of water, every signal of my mouth, inner body and outer body hums yes. I imagine the tomato plants and soil organisms can feel this yes, perhaps already welcoming the drink they know is coming. Why wouldn’t they? They must know my care for them. The hose is set and the water starts to flow.

Finally my intention returns to the task at hand – finish this row. My hand moves soil. I place a plant in the ground. Repeat. Repeat.

One small move at a time, the intention of tomato plants in the ground comes alive. 

Experiences like these are great teachers.

As we feel the urge toward new intentions in life, perhaps leading us toward long desired aims or fresh goals, the lessons can carry through helpfully. 

Remember the aliveness of intention, truly a moment-by-moment opportunity to show up for your life. I don’t know if I succeeded or failed in my intention of non-harm to the little ant. Life is like this – complex, multifactorial, coming at us, and with unpredictable outcomes. And yet, we know when our intention is lived.   

Realize the power of a quiet moment in which we may notice the wise openings in which to live our intentions. Perhaps thirst could have been ignored longer. Of course. But what a gift to connect deeply with thirst, intention, connection and quenching. 

Experience a sense of connection. What the value of experiencing connection with the plants in the ground? What does it mean to see that heron each day? What intentions for my life and those around me are more easily present and enlivened by such connections? 

Dance with the changing nature of everything. An ant bite leads to an effort of love leads to a moment of respite leads to a pause and recognition leads to quenched thirst. Everything is like this, one moment flowing into the next. We can tune into the dynamism of the dance at any moment. 

Come Practice With Us

Our Mindful Wellness Online Community provides an opportunity to explore the practice of topics like the living, breathing power of intentions day by day with others.

Feel free to join us in practicing the art of growing well, together.

To learn more about these practices and other ways to get support for what you’re up to in life, set up a free consultation with Jen, Grow Well founder, psychotherapist and coach or check our our upcoming community offerings

If you’d like to explore the power of online community to support your everyday wellbeing, join our free Mindful Wellness Practice Community on Facebook.

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