Usually when we talk about intention, it’s in the form of how we create an internal goal toward manifesting something we want to achieve.
Whether that goal is being more patient, attracting more love into our lives or achieving an inversion, where we place our focus guides a source of energy towards materializing these desires.
But, actually, intention is a two-way stream.
While the internal directive begins to generate our external reality so too does the external reveal the composition of our ideology by showing us what our deepest beliefs are when we are drawing conclusions about why things happen and who people are.
For example, what about the intense yoga teachers who speak extensively about the importance of discipline and alignment? Do you think they’re using this time to give a strong-armed sermon or are they just passionate about what they do?
What about the person who cuts in line in front of you? Do you think she is just being selfish or is it that she’s so distracted or confused about the terrible day she’s had that she’s just not present?
How we interpret another’s intention actually reveals more about ourselves than them.
Honestly, how many times have you taken a second to consider someone else’s intention?
We get what we believe.
When we constantly evaluate people’s motives as being corrupt, immoral or deliberately ignorant, that truth comes to us because, most of the time, we’re projecting an assumption.
These conclusions, the stories we fabricate of what we’re observing, can be subtle but rampant.
Without proper communication, it’s rare that we truly understand what has happened in someone’s decision making process and until we know that, we operate on pure speculation for who they are and why they do what they do.
We spend so much time focusing on setting our own good intentions, that we can actually thwart our best efforts towards reaching a higher self by unconsciously following these unexplored guesses that usually result in quick, lashing judgments that are negative and superficial.
It’s the ego-mind that drives this determination to be right and that concludes it has the power to predict a sense of certainty, this knowing of exactly what we are witnessing.
We can use svadhyaya (self-study) to pause, examine our samskaras (imprints) and assess if they are really supporting a desire to create a more compassionate and kinder space for ourselves and others to exist in.
If the aim is to practice more patience, shouldn’t we take the time to get to know someone before guessing who they are?
If we’re calling for greater love, then shouldn’t we allow for everyone to express their authenticity however they choose?
No one wants to be a hypocrite.
In this way, intention is one of the most powerful tools we have to both transform and inform our inner world in order to keep our higher selves in check.
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Author: Jenn Kashiwa
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Va Sfak/Pixoto
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