Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal
December 2000 – January 2001, Issue 15
Five Inspirational Short Articles
by M. Tamar
Living with Intention
There’s an interesting thing that happens in our lives when we decide on goals. We feel crisper and sharper. Our sense are honed. We begin to measure the world by a different barometer.
Most of us are accustomed to mundane goals and how to measure them: Lose weight; get on a scale. Start a new business and grow a clientele. And we’re also familiar with the flip side of intention: Forget this whole idea; it’s too much work.
The fact is, living with intention is hard to do. Too often we interpret it as unreasonable quantities of patience and denial. And it seems especially hard if our goals are more intangible: clarity, poise, goodness, enlightenment. Grace is hard to find, and even harder to extend to ourselves.
We tend to think of intention as focused will. As having the right stuff, the self-control to mold our actions to some, usually delayed, goal. The truth is that sometimes focused will is simply not enough. Not merely because we are filled with desires, but because we tend to operate using only a small part of our energies.
We’re so used to acting on the surface of our lives, so used to coping with the myriad demands of work, family, chores, that we too often forget to knock on the doors of our stronger powers and say: hey, wake up, I need some help.
The whole point of having some guide system, be it meditation, therapy, spiritual practice, is that you have support, so that you don’t have to rely on sheer will-power to keep you on track. If you boost your emotional, spiritual, and psychic helpers, you can take the load off self-discipline as an organizing principle.
Truly living with intention involves engaging all of your energies and strengths. It means activating your inner helpers, however you get them out of bed. It means both affirming what you want and being satisfied with being on the journey. It means honoring your intention, even if you have not yet reached your goal.
Living with intention means pushing your comfort zone, but it also means appreciating every nuance of your life, and yourself for being conscious as you live it. It means recognizing that the act of envisioning counts as much as the more visible actions that you take.
Make a change in how you relate to this process. Instead of merely measuring the outer barometers, focus on your inner ones.
Commit regular time with yourself evaluating the more subtle contexts of your life. Look through the window of your spirit and give yourself a regular psychic report card, and a pat on the back, even if you haven’t yet reached your final destination. Stop muttering to yourself, or chastising yourself for lapses. Close your eyes, envision yourself at your goal, and take a few deep breaths of success. Put your energy into reinforcing your trust that you truly want to evolve.
Keep reminding yourself that each time you commit to the process, you are clearing your soul of fears and shaking the cobwebs from those psychic muscles that affirm your unique and powerful sprit.
Don’t just wish you would live with intention. Take the first step and trust where you will lead yourself.
Moment by Moment
Patience is something we tend to learn the hard way. In the short run there’s lots of foot tapping and steering wheel clenching. There are the hours, days, and weeks of waiting for an answer, or the months and years until we’re just old enough. But no matter how or what we’re measuring, patience always comes down to the same element: some seemingly unsurvivable gap of time between what we want and a very long now.
There are, in fact, all kinds of waiting, in situations from the benign to the more legitimately anxious.
We tend to know we’ll survive the simple ones, like the slowpoke line at the supermarket or our turn for the shower before a big date. We’re a little less sure about how we’ll do waiting for an important event, in those days before a major shift in our lives like a new job or home. But in those times we think we know what’s coming. We have an idea, perhaps an illusion but one that’s comforting, that life is, if not predictable, at worst in a snarly but temporary ebb of its normally predictible rhythm.
But what about the harder challenges of patience, when we don’t pretend to know what’s coming at us?
What about those times in a medical waiting room or in the days before important test results? Imagine those long stretches between applying and getting accepted (or rejected) for a job, school, or promotion, or that vast gulf of time and space that opens when we start a new phase of life somewhere far from our current home. Even if we really want to be where we’re headed, when we’re waiting to see how it will pan out, sometimes our equanimity is stretched far beyond the limits of our comfort zone. And if we let our fears take control of the helm, it is not only a long but unhappy time.
The truth is we prefer our path to be lined with scenic viewpoints, not blocked by boulders or shared with fearsome critters. We’re generally willing to accept temporary inconveniences, but only if we can see when (and how) they will safely end.
But impediments to progress we think we can’t control often push our patience past its limits.
That’s not to say there isn’t something stimulating about a mixture of anticipation and fear, but we all want to hold some omen that enables us to embrace our hopefulness. We’ll agree to be patient, because we have no choice. But secretly we’re hoping to cut a deal, willing to be good, wait our turn, if only we have the assurance that it will all turn out okay, if only we have some chit that says waiting will be worthwhile, that we won’t fall into some nasty undercurrent of failure or unanticipated crisis.
So how can we use that time, how can we take the gap between where we are and where we want to be and make it benefit us? How can we take each of those moments and not just survive them, but use them to grow?
First, admit that waiting is not easy. And give yourself credit for trying to create or coping with change.
Second, try to remember that the process is as valuable as the goal. Though we tend to fixate on outcomes, sometimes the anticipation can be the best part of an experience, so being in a rush doesn’t always benefit us.
Try to hold some parts of your consciousness aside to watch, to pay attention to your process, to witness yourself. What do you really expect to change if you get what you want? Which pieces of you will be more satisfied? Are there other ways to realize these goals? If it happened, but more slowly, how would you feel?
And, most importantly, keep reminding yourself that life, in all its delicate and tangled complexity, is meant to be savored moment by moment. You are here not only for the past or for the future, but for now.
So Where’s the Edge?
A not uncommon lament. We’re all looking for that scent of danger, the utter vitality than comes from feeling completely alive. Not that we walk around waiting to face off lions or tigers, or even that most of us really want to know first-hand if the parachute will reliably open. But often we crave, secretly or not, that intensity and zeal that comes when we are fully focused. And we tend to be most focused when we take risks.
A more transitional, or socially acceptable, response to risk is to leave a safe distance between us and the edge. Some secure financial safety margin. A few extra feet of space if the drop seems high. Enough love left unspoken to feel safe if we’re afraid we’re going to get hurt.
But what happens if we push the envelope a little? If we take the essentially risk-averse parts of our nature, the ones that usually run the show, and muzzle them for a while. If we allow ourselves the flights of fantasy, the visions of what we think we’d create, would become, would be if only.
And the key is the ‘if only.’
Because if all we do is dream and then tuck those disruptive little thoughts away, or smile indulgently and then go back to the adult table, to sit in the comfortable chairs of our predictable lives, we’re doing ourselves a great disservice.
That’s not to say that today is the day to quit your job and start a dot-com, or to proclaim your adoration to a secret crush. But it might be the day to remember how to dream. To leave some space for an edge to appear, and then not to run from it.
Take some time to think about what it means to fly. Because that’s what an edge is really all about. It’s what happens when we go over the side and trust that our wings will carry us.
Most of us have been trained to parakeets. Too few were encouraged to become eagles. No one ever said: You can learn to fly. The ‘If only’s’ are the doubts that weight your wings, the words that keep us on the ground, safe in our cages.
How can we allow ourselves to take risks? And how can we know which are merely exciting diversions, great for a sunny afternoon or a sultry Saturday night, but not what we’re really all here for. How can we figure out which risks we should take?
The answer: trust spirit. If you can learn to listen you will let yourself over the edge more often. You will probably make some ‘mistakes,’ but they won’t harm you more than you can bear. Though you may end up with a few tattered feathers, you will also learn how to fly. And if you do it often enough, with a proper sense of joy and exploration, if you practice doing it with fewer and fewer ‘if only’s’ weighting your wings, flying will begin to feel as effortless as swinging out of bed in the morning.
Risks don’t have to be big or scary to give you the benefits you desire. You don’t have to throw yourself over a steep edge to feel the rush of pure air. You just have to want to take them badly enough to banish doubt from your mind, and then learn to channel that energy into the life you want to create.
Go for your dream, whatever it is. And if you aren’t sure, clear some space in your life for it to show up. When it does, fly with it.
Winding Your Spiritual Clock
As we evolve our consciousness, we also evolve a special gift. We become closer to the mysteries. We’re more in touch with the elemental flow, with the sacred and hidden pulse that makes life happen, with the synchronicities that make the wheel spin.
Too often we forget this about ourselves. We get so caught up in our roles as strivers and providers, as nurturers and caretakers, and as attorneys, bakers, bankers, designers, and entrepreneurs, that we sometimes forget to recharge our psychic batteries.
We need to keep affirming our individual and collective ability to find the seed of consciousness that helps connect us with the divine.
As this millennium shifts, we’re all paying a lot of attention to time, to the clock of the universe ticking down and winding back up. But it is important that we pay equal attention to our own internal clocks. Not the biological clock of aging, but rather the internal barometer that reminds us how our unique presence affects every moment of each day. How we help determine the rhythm not only of our own lives but the lives of those around us.
We need to remember to stop sometimes. To take a break from doing and reconnect with our own roots, with the parts of ourselves that guide us, not merely those that keep us going.
It’s hard to do. We’ve worked so hard acquiring responsibility that it may feel like a betrayal to ask for a break. To take time for ourselves. To admit that we need to get a drink of spiritual nourishment and to do so without blushing.
How can you turn this awareness into an asset?
One way is to remind yourself regularly of your values. Take a moment and meditate on the words that follow. Feel each of them in your heart. Make the time to take them in, to let them refresh you, to nurture you, to challenge you, and to inspire you.
Integrity ……..Courage …….. Intimacy …….. Insight …….. Knowing …….. Surrender…….. Healing …… Joy …….. Wholeness …….. Risk …….. Trust ……..Integration …….. Creativity ……. Freedom
Now promise yourself the gift of connecting regularly with your spirit, and know that you will emerge from this process not only more peaceful, but energized and vibrant, ready to tackle whatever goals you have set for yourself, in this moment and in the new millenium.
When’s the last time you were unpredictable? Daring? Silly? When’s the last time you were willing to take a step off an edge and trust that you could fly (metaphorically, that is). When you last felt confident, expectant, positive?
The answer for most of us is when we fell in love. That’s usually when we have that invulnerable feeling of being fully whole, when we feel the sun shining in every cell of our bodies, even during a blizzard.
But wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could create that feeling for yourself. And to be able to do so more often. If you could open a new dimension of your world, if you could sharpen your awareness, could feel more energized with every breath, and trust that you would not only survive the adventure but grow from it.
There are times in our lives when this is a goal, and other periods when it is the last thing we think we want. Sometimes life feels so turbulent all on its own that we long for some calm, some respite from crisis or commitments. But in other periods, when we think we have everything nicely set in order, what we really need to get our juices flowing is a heaping tablespoon of the unknown, one that we can swallow without an aftertaste of fear.
You can wait for fate to hand it to you, but you can learn to create it as well. Too often we forget we have an innate ability to make our lives more interesting. We think we need our opportunities spelled in large capital letters on billboards. What if you could teach yourself not merely to read these message but to write them for yourself?
Here’s the secret: Grab a paintbrush, pick a color, and splash a swath of vitality onto the palette of your life. Lay down a new melody and listen for the answering harmony. Leave space in your schedule for the unexpected, and don’t flinch when it finds you.
The key to surprising yourself is trust. Not so much trust in luck or fate, in the capricious winds of whatever spirits you invoke. But trust in yourself, in your own abilities, in your intuitive understanding of how to surf the energy that forms the context of your world.
We tend to want to avoid hard experiences, those that cause us discomfort, ache, or loss. But if you review your life you may find that those times have been greater, teachers for you than the easy ones. Almost any day we would prefer to fall in love than to be dumped, but both are gateways to a new phase of living, loving, and learning.
Don’t judge what life throws you. It is the challenge of the unexpected that helps you stretch, and the perspective of time that shows you its full value.
Try to let go of the idea that you have to control all the experiences that come into your life. Be more spontaneous. Take little risks if you need to practice. Start with an impromptu afternoon adventure instead of a rafting trip down Grand Canyon. But leave room for something unpremeditated to happen, and space for yourself to grow.
Walk somewhere you don’t usually go. Look around. You’ll be surprised and pleased with what you see.
©2000, M. Tamar. Printed in the December 2000 – January 2001 Issue of the Conscious Creation Journal. http://www.consciouscreation.com (Feel free to duplicate this article for personal use – please include this copyright notice.)
M. Tamar is the spiritual voice of TarotCycles, an internet service that helps individuals tap into their own inner strength. TarotCycles help subscribers with emotional relationships, career decisions, personal empowerment, expressing creativity, and healing. TarotCycles help create motivation, understanding, and resolve. Please visit http://www.tarotcycles.com