So here I am, more than 9 weeks into The Power of Intention, and ummm… well…. I haven’t exactly been a standout spokesperson for the concept, considering that I’m only on Chapter 4. Theoretically (in my mind, that is), I should be well on my way and telling you all about the amazing results I’m seeing. I’d love to do that, but the one thing that I’ve gained through this haphazard and stumbling journey so far is a commitment, if not yet to Intention, to honesty. And so I sit here hoping that there are still folks out there listening, pulling for me to take the next step.
I shouldn’t have waited so long to begin this chapter, because it’s right up my alley. Wayne titled this one “The Obstacles to Connecting to Intention”. It’s a subject I can speak to – I know a thing or two about obstacles, having both overcome some and inadvertently creating others (no outsourcing needed!) for myself.
I’ll admit, I got a bit distracted from the start of it when, to show how we are disconnected from Intention, Wayne brought up a an old game show called “The Match Game”. He then then proceeded to describe not the classic Gene Rayburn show featuring luminaries like Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly, but rather a distorted version of what’s more like The Newlywed Game, even through that comparison wasn’t exactly accurate, either. But I got the point—Wayne was going to talk about what has become a mainstay of so many self-help tomes.
Acting as if. “Matching” what we want to how we think and what we do.
Surely we’ve all heard the philosophy by now. Think and behave as though what we desire has already been attained. We focus on our inner speech and say/do things from the perspective of the finish line. So rather than, “I am fat and lazy,” we are instructed to tell ourselves, “I am shaping my body and mind to achieve optimal health and energy.” That second statement is how we confront the negativity and “match up” (thus the show analogy) with Intention; and then, well, the world realigns to make it so.
My cynicism climbed a notch—I’ll admit it. If there’s one thing about getting older it’s that there are fewer things you haven’t tried. I’ve been aboard this boat before, and watched as we set set sail, excited about the river and where it might take me. I’ve even had it work – I once “intended” a job in writing, and 6 months later I was in my first gig at a newspaper. But overall the track record wasn’t so great. I’d spent more time struggling than achieving, and seemed to often find myself starting over from scratch. And yet, the fact that I still remember and even honor that one instance tells me it was important. Perhaps, in the timeline of my life, it was there to be a kind of beacon; no matter how rough the waters, there was that knowledge that I had successfully navigated them once and could again.
The Match Game continued, taking on what we tell ourselves about the circumstances of our lives, what has always been (“I’ve always been poor,” “I’ve always thought this way”), and even how we get waylaid by what others expect or want from us. I’ve gotten caught up in this last one, especially in my writing, telling myself that a certain memory can never be told, or that it could bring rejection. To counteract that, I remind myself of author Anne Lamott’s wise words to writers. “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
Not quite Wayne Dyer’s style of egoless-ness, perhaps, but worth remembering as I strive to be more true to myself and my story.
Most of the rest of the chapter talks about energy, otherwise known as my nemesis. I may be behind on my reading, but at this point, I’ve written enough posts that I don’t recall if I’ve brought up my … let’s just say my sometimes questionable level of get-up-and-go. More often than not, I can be found looking for a spot to sit and rest. Park benches, empty spots on the subway—they are like little oases in a world that too often seems to be holding a giant Standing Room Only sign. It suddenly occurs to me that this could be part of my ongoing problem. I’ve been trying to keep hold of the trolley strap while remaining seated.
Wayne says that all around me (in materials, sound, and light) are the waves of energy that make up our world, and that lower energy is converted when confronted by a higher one. Darkness, for example, disappears when a match is introduced, and becomes light. Moving up the scale are the energies of our thoughts—when running at higher and faster levels, our minds can move beyond what seems possible and into that next sphere where intention takes over. I assume this is what athletes experience as they train and get stronger. On the other end of the spectrum are the negative thoughts. My history with them is much deeper and I can easily recall having bad days that turned worse because I refused to let go to of feelings and fears that held me down. In fact, there have been times when I almost embraced them, if only because their familiarity kept me feeling safe.
“You project onto the world what you see inside and you fail to project into the world what you fail to see inside.” This explains those people that seem to radiate from someplace deep under their skin. The ones who, like the match, can brighten a room just by entering it. The thing I love about Wayne is his insistence that this capability is in ALL of us. That we can CHOOSE this way of being at any time. So I—Paula—who has failed to reach so many goals, who has given up time and again, I still have the spark, just waiting for the go ahead to ignite.
On a scale of one to 10, I’d say my life has faced challenges that are about a 6. I was born with a disability (I can hear my friend Sandy saying, “Who wasn’t?”) that made things that should have been fun stressful. Things like kickball and ballet, where my limitations seemed to me to be proclaimed by an invisible neon sign. I was never picked on, but the quiet anguish found a spot inside me and could be counted upon to reinforce my feelings of inadequacy. I’ve already talked about my mom in a previous post—I won’t go into it all again, suffice it to say that watching her fall and not be able to get back up confirmed to a younger me that the one truth in life was that happy endings are not guaranteed. The insecurity these experiences left me with led to some monstrously poor decisions. I will be forever grateful that despite everything I did and felt, no one has been permanently harmed in the making of this thing I call my life.
This Chapter 4 is a long, long one. In the next part, there are suggestions for removing barriers and syncing with Intention – everything from meditation and eating right to being conscious of the music, people, and activities that surround us. I’m not necessarily on board with Wayne’s choice to abstain completely from foods and drink that may lower energy. If I can’t look forward to a glass of wine or a scone every so often, it’s gonna be rough. There has to be a line in the sand somewhere—mine, I’m afraid, is dessert. The advice moves up a notch though—I can certainly place the recommended affirmations around the house and work on forgiveness in order to rid myself of the energies that don’t serve me.
Finally (or almost finally), there is advice for letting go of ego-driven ideas of self-importance. Being offended, needing to win (winning? What’s winning??), needing to be right and needing to have more are all there. My favorite is “Let go of your reputation”. Not THAT reputation, but the desire to control how others see you. It’s amazing, the censoring that goes on as I try to craft my image – don’t risk this, or say that goofy thing, what will they think? How much of our lives do we spend (waste) worrying about the reaction of others? Time to stop doing that.
We end, as always, with suggestions for putting the Chapter’s ideas into action. Monitor the inner dialogue, practice shifting it to match Intention. Bring light to moments of doubt and depression—be aware of low energy and work to replace it with a higher vibration. View obstacles as opportunities and be sure to tell the ego to get out of the way when it tries to take control.
At this moment, though I still feel weird about the lapse between posts, I choose gratitude for finding the page over disappointment in getting to it late. Intention has yet not taken deep enough hold to keep me on schedule, but it has become entrenched enough to not let me give up completely. I bid all readers adieu, with a promise to keep moving and reporting from along the path. May all of our journeys be fruitful and help us to fulfill our destinies.