Cultivating an Intention

I’ve talked about the importance of intention and how powerful it can be. It is only powerful when you cultivate it. If you keep it on the shelf in your refrigerator, it’s completely useless. Think about what it means to cultivate intention. My advice is to make it as big as possible. Have a strong, clear, big intention for yourself. In strategic planning terms, have a big hairy goal. Be visionary.

After you’ve got an idea of what your intention is, don’t hold it too tightly, because your intention is going to evolve. It WILL evolve, if you work it. That’s good.

To cultivate your intention, sit someplace comfortable, relax your body, and then take your attention into your heart and state your intention. State it with conviction. Your heart is going to say back to you something like “No way.” You can expect the ego to give you every kind of lame excuse, rejection or wimpy acquiescence there is. All of these demonstrate resistance to the intention that lives within you. Everybody has it. Don’t feel bad about it. It’s just the way we are.

State your intention, and whatever the response, take a breath, relax again, and state your intention again with conviction. Keep doing that. Relax, try to feel yourself go deeper and say it again, until you feel that the intention has reached the bottom of you. You want it to go as deeply into you as it can go. When you have reached the bottom, you heart will be open and the statement of your intention with conviction will be a source of tremendous joy to you. You’ll feel “Yes! That’s right! This is it!”

When you have reached that depth of contact with yourself and clarity about your conviction, you will find that it is not difficult to express this conviction in the world. It does take work. Everything takes work, but it’s not hard. It’s not suffering. It’s a work that is permeated with joy and that tends to express itself in elegant ways.