The Power of Intention

How often do you think about intention?  I’m guessing not very often.  Intention is very powerful and something that we should not neglect when working to make things happen in our lives.  First, the definition of intention as provided by the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary:

intention, n. 1. an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. 2. the end or object intended; purpose.

There are two very important words in this definition: ‘determining’ and ‘purpose.’  If a person is to reach a goal, they must focus their intention by determining their purpose.  Certainly, I can have a goal of writing a book and becoming published, but why?  What is my purpose in working toward this goal?  Without the why I will have no motivation and no drive.  This will be evident to any who encounter my writing and will not provide positive results.

There are many who believe in the power of intention itself.  The idea is that one can influence results in their lives simply by putting their intentions out into the universe.  For some this is prayer, for others magick, and can even be as simple as writing the intention on a postcard on the fridge.  One cannot take a backseat to their goals; intention is everything.

I want to say only a small amount about this concept because I know that it is best understood when experienced rather than read.  I would like all that read this post to try using intention to manifest something in their lives.  There are many ways to do this, some of which rely heavily on spiritual belief systems, but others can be completely secular.  Those that come to mind immediately: prayer, candle lighting, meditation, posting “intention reminders” throughout the house, telling another person your intention and asking them to hold you accountable to it, and journaling.  Sometimes, just saying something out loud can make it that much more real.  By verbalizing our thoughts and feelings we give them life.

Try something listed here or develop your own way of focusing your intention.  There is no limit to this exercise.  Let us know what happens!

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Anxiety and Fluffy Bunnies

I cannot think of any person that has ever reached a goal without some form of partnership along the way.  Partnership is an essential piece of everyday life and nothing would happen without it.  I grew up in a small, rural community on a cattle ranch and learned the value and necessity of partnership at a very young age.  My community would never have survived if it were not for the way that people would pitch in to make sure that their neighbors had what the needed.

Partnership is reciprocal and symbiotic.  It is not simply one person helping another, but each member of the partnership providing something beneficial to the other.

Now that we are through the fluffy bunny portion of my post, let’s get down to brass tacks.

Partnership is TOUGH.  Even the sweetest, most easy-going person in the world has odd little quirks and eccentricities that can get under a person’s skin.  The trick to a good partnership is being able to accept these quirks and eccentricities, while understanding that we have them too and working to improve on those that are detrimental to the process of partnership.

The main partnership in my life is that with my husband who is also the father of our child.  There is A LOT of give-and-take that happens in our partnership on a day-to-day basis, and we both realize this.  However, we both have aspects of our personality that clash, and they can clash hard.

My husband can be an anxious person.  I try to be sensitive to this, but sometimes my “pull-yourself-up-by-your-boostraps” self comes screaming to the surface and I am not as helpful or caring as I should be.  When he is having anxiety and having a hard time getting things done because of that, it can be very easy to fall into a space of, “I need you to be X,Y, or Z for me right now” rather than thinking of ways to alleviate his stress.  This is the point where any partnership will begin to suffer: it’s the “I-don’t-care-how-you-are-feeling-focus-on-me” point.

Everyone can benefit from learning to cultivate the skill that allows us to recognize when the other person needs more from us than we do from them.  Sure, my husband being anxious about something I feel is no big deal can be frustrating, but his emotional state is very real and can have long-term effects on his well-being.  Instead of viewing my husband’s anxiety as slowing down a plan I have made, I can consciously choose to view it as an opportunity for our partnership to grow.  Instead of becoming frustrated, I can ask, “what do you need from me?”

When faced with a problem in a partnership, the only person we can control is ourselves.  I cannot make my husband stop being anxious.  That is a skill he will have to learn and master for himself.  However, I can control my response to his behaviors.  If I am not the support he needs when he needs it most (and vice versa), we no longer having a functioning partnership.

Goals and dreams will remain unfulfilled if we do not have the support of others, but we also have to remember that our supports need us as well.

Do you have a frustration in a partnership that you are unsure how to handle?

Smile So Hard Your Face Hurts

I’m feeling particularly joyful today and want to talk about successes.  There have been some small and large successes in my life lately and it has gotten me to thinking about how people celebrate successes.  Celebration of success is so very important, even when we are talking about little wins like saving a few bucks at the grocery store.  I believe that is it imperative that we find something to celebrate every day.

Now, I’m not talking an open-a-bottle-of-champagne celebration, but rather small celebrations like calling your best friend to share the news, having a sweet treat, or putting a post-it up on the fridge.  We have to feel comfortable congratulating ourselves on good things that happen in our lives if we are truly going to be successful.   Really big wins like landing a big promotion, graduating, getting married, opening a new business, and etcetera don’t happen every day.  Those things take years of planning, preparation, and hard work.  It will sometimes feel like the ultimate goal is so far off that you can’t even visualize what it will be like when you reach your destination.  By celebrating the small wins on the way to the big one, we can get a taste of what we will be feeling at the end.  It is part of our motivation and inspiration to keep plugging away so we can finally throw a big party and spend all day smiling so hard our faces hurt.

If you are having a hard time finding ways to celebrate your small wins, try celebrating another person’s win.  If your partner comes home and has had a great day at work, say , “congratulations!”  Or if your child scores well on a test at school, tack it up on the fridge.  This will start to help you see how to celebrate yourself and can start building a culture of celebration in your family.

Don’t be shy, share a win with us!  What are you celebrating today?

The Brighter Side of Dead Broccoli

Self-doubt seems to be a pretty common factor when it comes to people not living the lives they want to live.  I experience self-doubt from time-to-time.  My inner self-doubter sometimes says, “Who wants to listen to you?  You don’t have a perfect life.  You don’t have it all figured out.”  That’s when I have to stop, breathe, and remind myself of the following: no one has a perfect life, and no one has it all figured out.  Those two things are not the point of life coaching, and any life coach that portrays themselves as having it all figured out is probably a hack.  I am a normal, every day person just like everyone else.  I have goals and dreams.  I have obstacles to overcome and barriers to break down.  Some days I feel like Snow White singing while she cleans and all the woodland creatures are singing along.  Other days I am more like Ursula from The Little Mermaid when she puffs up really big and destroys everything in the sea.

A life coach must be committed to constantly building a better life for themselves as well as helping others to do so.  The tag line I have chosen for my business, Vision In Action, is: Co-creating the life you desire.  I was asked once if I am living the life I desire and I ecstatically responded, “Yes!”  Later in the day, I started to wonder if that were true.  After some thinking, I reminded myself that I was being ridiculous; of course its true.  I am living the life I desire, but there are aspects of it that I am always working to improve.  For instance, I envision having a year-round garden that literally pukes vegetables at my family.  Well, some years all of my broccoli dies and the slugs eat my cabbage.  My husband and I are constantly working together to find ways to improve the garden next year.  There are many missteps, but each trial brings us closer to our goal of year-round, homegrown nutrition.

Long story short, I did not begin life coaching because I believe that I am better at life than other people.  I began life coaching because I am skilled at helping others work through all the crap, that I have first-hand knowledge, life can throw at us.

Secrets, Steps, and Fool-Proof Programs

As I have embarked on this life coaching endeavour, I have joined various life coaching groups to network and gain knowledge.  One thing I have noticed is that there are A LOT of coaches that profess to have 4 Steps to the Most Amazing Fill-In-The-Blank!  Perhaps I am confused, but the idea of having a life coach is to help you navigate your UNIQUE life/situation.  You cannot follow a few steps and suddenly have everything all figured out.

It can certainly be comforting to have a predictable plan to follow.  I believe that your life coach should help you develop a unique plan to follow and not try to hand you three, four, or however many steps to your ultimate utopian future.

Creating your ideal life is not a cookie-cutter process and you are likely not going to reach perfection.  You will work toward creating your happiness within your unique set of circumstances.  I am always wary of any “Secret to Happiness” or “5 Step Program to Ultimate Time Management.”  As with any product being sold, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Reaching goals and realizing dreams takes hard work and determination.  It is not easy or fool-proof.  If it were, why would anyone ever need a life coach?