Power of Intention

Keep Your Feet Moving

I’d hoped to have two large Spring cleaning tasks accomplished by the new moon on April 3rd. The most pressing of these was to complete our personal income tax prep which is a bit complicated in having several small businesses. Two days in a row the power went out within ten minutes of having started the task. The second time it went out all day until about 10 PM…

David and I have a name for these forces that get in the way when you’re all powered up and full steam ahead–the interrupters.

Well, I don’t roll over and play dead for the interrupters. What did I do? I took on task #2:

  • Part A. Cleaning out the filing cabinets.
  • Part B. Filing the last quarter of 2010.
  • Part C. Removing the 2010 files for storage.
  • Part D. Filing the 1st quarter of 2011.

It was 48 degrees without the benefit of heat in my office (no power/no heat). I dug in and went through every folder. It was time. I have cleaned the file cabinets yearly, but hadn’t done a deep clean in a number of years. I had files going back to teaching adult ed in Portsmouth, NH. We had files for Buell’s Granite employees. We haven’t had employees for well over the time the government requires one to keep these records.

I pulled files for a day and a half and spent another day filing. I’d hoped to have a bonfire to burn the laundry basket full of the paperwork of our past life, immediately. The weather either wasn’t cooperative or we were too tired at night to go back out and do it. Finally, this past Sunday morning seemed ideal. It was warm and there was no wind when we started.

David had to rebuild the fire, as it had been set earlier for this job and was damp. David helped my feed the fire by the handful. It took us about an hour. I’d felt the weight of the past in cleaning out the files and it was still very evident while we patiently fed the fire as much as it could eat at a time.

David reached the bottom of the burn basket. I started stripping off my clothing. David asked, “What are you doing, are you going to burn your clothes?” As sick as I was of wearing my shabby winter uniform, that wasn’t it. When he figured it out, he pleaded fearfully, “Don’t do it, please don’t do it!”

Fire & Ice

I walked to the edge of the quarry, paused for a moment and jumped in. I was so focused on getting out that I honestly can’t tell you that it was cold though I know that it was. I also cannot express adequately how good it felt! I felt so free–clear of those ties to the past that had been purified in the fire.

So, how’s it going with your Spring cleaning tasks?

I can’t encourage you enough to:

  • 1. Identify what needs to released, or organized or completed.
  • 2. Do it!
  • 3. Celebrate!

You never know what jewel will turn up as a result of Spring cleaning. I found a copy of an email from Harriet Winograd from 1998.  Hurricane George was bearing down on Florida. Harriet shared the Buddhist story below. Though I’d set it aside on my desk to share in a post, it had ended up in the quarry. I spotted it while on a walk and fished it out. Oh, was I surprised and grateful to turn it over and see it was the one piece I thought I’d saved!

 

Keep Your Feet Moving

Once every 100 years, a person could reach enlightenment by entering the room of 1000 demons, crossing the length of the large room and opening the door to the outside.  It wasn’t however, that simple.

All of the demons that a person experiences were in that room. For example, if someone were afraid of heights, it would seem as though she were crossing the room on a tightrope high above the ground.  And there were 1000 of these demons.

The goal was to enter the room, where that doorway would disappear only allowing the door across the room for exiting. There were 2 important things to remember 1.  It’s all an illusion and 2.  Just keep your feet moving and you will get to the other side.  Unfortunately, some people got so paralyzed by the their fears that they could never leave the room.

So it’s a choice.  Either wait a number lifetimes before you reach enlightenment or go for it–enter the room and keep those feet moving real fast!

Here in 2011, entering this room is no longer a choice. If you haven’t found yourself in this room yet, facing your greatest fears, know that you will, soon enough. Do you really want to have to carry the heaviness of the past or what you’ve left undone across the tightrope with you? Don’t allow your tasks to paralyze you! Do your Spring cleaning no matter how large or seemingly insignificant!  And when the interrupters show up? Crush ‘em!

What’s your Spring Cleaning challenge or have you already accomplished it? Thanks for sharing below in the comment box.

 

P.S. Here’s something about interruptions  by Jackie Smith that she so graciously agreed to share with me and readers after I made this post.

What Is It That I Like About Being By Myself

I can really look at nature -uninterrupted
I can focus on how I feel -uninterrupted
I can wander about -uninterrupted
I can write in my journal -uninterrupted
I can eat, bathe, &  sleep -uninterrupted
I can zone -uninterrupted
I can create -uninterrupted.
I can be an uninterrupted being.

What I like best is freedom
from interruption!

Jackie Smith,  9/13/2009

 

I want to be an uninterrupted being too! Thank you very much Jackie for sharing and blessings for your moments of freedom! Joanna

 


 

 

 

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The Season of Mother and Child

Imagine this. It’s been six weeks since the birth of the Christ child and Mary’s unpaid maternity leave is up. The Christ Child is separated from his source, his sustenance, as he knows it. Mary’s heart is broken with having to abandon her child.  And the boss man believes this is as it should be. Mary is after all, his employee.

I just did a quick search on maternity leave in other countries and came across a brief over view with the headline that Great Britain was extending their maternity leave from 9 months to 12 months (with varied pay).

 

Blue Madonna by Beth Lambert

If Poland can support 16 to 18 weeks maternity with full pay, why can’t we?  If we can

  • fuel two entire wars and feed the Middle East conflict through the financial support of Israel…
  • have life-long, mega health care coverage for our senators and representatives…
  • subsidize industry and agribusiness…
  • continue to print more money and more money and more money for God only knows whose pockets…

Then why can’t we invest in the single most important resource we have world-wide, our children, our future?   We can’t because…

  1. More people believe we can’t, then believe we can.
  2. Those with the force— money, know how to apply their force and those with the power– Love, don’t recognize how all-powerful they are.

Why don’t we recognize our innate God-given power of Love? We’ve sold out to materialism. It’s not our fault. The barrage of brainwashing and fear mongering leading to manipulation has been going on for a long time and the technical vehicles for this continue to increase. Do you need some examples? You need look no further than your TV set and your child’s MP3 player. Not only do these vehicles increase the ease of manipulating our mind, the effect is that we tune out from nature and tune out to each other. Do you want to know what evil looks like? The face of evil is separation.

Gandhi lead a country of poor, illiterate people to overturn an empire. He did this without the benefit of the internet. How did he do it? Through unity of high purpose.  People, we are living in an empire based upon greed, fueled by our own sell out to materialism. Isn’t it time, as Gandhi implored us,  to be the change in the world you wish to see?

This is not the post I’d initially sat down to write today. Before starting my draft, I read an email from my son, Nathan, father of Hunter Bryant. “They don’t even separate kittens  from their mothers at just six weeks old,” is what my son had to say, about facing the end of a six-week, unpaid maternity leave.

A new year is approaching. According to my personal calendar it arrives on December 21st, the Winter Solstice, the return of the Light. Dear friends, I ask you to please hold the vision of the Madonna and Child in your heart and allow it to illuminate the truth for you, that the gift of Love that Christ brought to this planet, is all-powerful.

 

Shine your light!

Joanna

 

Here’s the link for  FACTBOX – Maternity leave in other countries

Here’s the link for Beth Lambert’s, Heart Prints, Homemade Cards

What my Grandfather Said to Start Each Day

I lived with my grandparents for about six month’s time after high school. One of my most vivid memories is of how I awakened each morning to the sound of my grandfather, Ned, putting on his boots. Once they were on and laced up, I’d hear him sigh and pronounce, “Thank God for another day of living.” Hearing those words every morning upon awakening, evoked a great feeling of love and gratitude in me for my grandparents and for the life I experienced while under their roof. It set the tone for my day. Not only that, in looking back, I see this time as one in which I felt quite happy in my work and relationships.

That moment, when we’re first coming into consciousness upon awakening, is a powerful time for us to take advantage of. We’re in an alpha brain wave state, very receptive to mental input of any kind. This slower brain wave state is also creative, the state from which affirmations may manifest. Many spiritual teachers speak about this power point and encourage us to think positive thoughts upon our first conscious awareness, be this at 3:30 AM or 9 AM–whenever we begin to stir.

I just attempted to dowse on the question of how many people consciously use this power point and actively practice conscious awakening on a daily basis. I asked, how many in one hundred and went up to ten thousand and still hadn’t reached one in ten thousand.

The most powerful spiritual practices, are profoundly simple. They’re often overlooked for their subtlety; they lack glamour. Those that do take up a practice may find it surprisingly difficult to implement and stick to. Simple in this case does not equate to easy.

Please pause a moment, if you haven’t done so already and think about what you do before you get out of bed in the morning. What you do after you arise counts, too…first things first. It is likely that you do have a routine, be it conscious or unconscious.  After defining your waking routine, ask yourself, what kind of programming am I giving myself for the kind of day I’ll experience? What are the feelings I’ve set into motion? Do you have pleasant anticipation for your day or dread or do you just feel flat? Now put yourself on a scale of one to ten. Let ten represent having a feeling of joy and gratitude, five represents a state of ho-hum, another day, another dollar and one represents a feeling of you don’t know how you’re going to make it through another day.

Self Awareness is the first step in creating positive change. Be honest and please don’t judge yourself if you find yourself at five or under. There are people with longstanding spiritual practices that do not partake in this simple act.  Their practice has to wait until they hit the meditation chair or until they do tai chi or yoga, or until something happens externally to bring forth a state of gratitude.  We’ve been so conditioned to strive and produce the goods in our culture. That there is power within simplicity and stillness, is a truth that we’re just beginning to grasp.

The Practice. (just in case you missed it in its simplicity)

  • 1. First you notice that you are beginning to awaken.
  • 2. Make a conscious choice to focus on an image or thought that evokes a feeling of happiness and gratitude. This might be a scene from nature, the face of someone you love, a spiritual leader you relate to. It could be something as mundane as feeling grateful for the enjoyment you’re going to get out the cup of coffee you hear percolating or that it’s Sunday morning and you can stay in bed as long as you like. It’s all about the feeling the subject of your thought evokes, not about the subject itself.
  • 3. Add an affirmation. Think about the quality you want to bring to your day and create a simple statement around it which includes gratitude.

That’s it, as simple as 1, 2, 3.

New Day Dawning at Light Heart Retreat

At first it may be helpful to use the same visualization and affirmation each day until you get the practice down. After a while you become conditioned to awakening into a state of gratitude and you can adjust your visualizations and affirmations to each day that lies ahead.

If you want to extend this practice, here’s a couple of suggestions. You might want to place your hands over your heart. Within the space you’ve created with your positive feelings, bring someone or a situation to mind who might need help or healing. Be mindful not to energize the challenge; instead affirm and visualize a positive outcome, or simply hold the thought of them with love and gratitude.  You can also imagine yourself at various points throughout your day feeling clear, calm and with a sense of happy anticipation.

A sense of happy anticipation, once instilled, is far better than an alarm clock. One can’t wait for the day to begin and it’s easy to wake up early. I am amazed at how well this practice works. And yet, “some days are diamonds, some days are stones” (Spiritual Guru, Neil Diamond). I make a conscious choice to awaken each day expecting a diamond. It’s the right side of the bed to get up on.

Whether you’re a newbie to daily spiritual practice or an old hat, I highly recommend reading, Deep and Simple by Bo Lozoff, available through the Human Kindness Foundation.  You’ll feel so good reading his words that you’ll have to run right out and

Shine your Light!

Joanna

P.S. Do you have a particular affirmation or visualization  you use upon awakening that you’d like to share? I’ve kept it very simple here. There are many beautiful and creative ways to utilize the power of our waking moment. Thanks for sharing yours in the comment section or by using the contact form below. Oh…and my first affirmation of the day? Praise be for another day living…!

The Importance of Practicing Intention and Cultivating Gratitude

The sun came out late on Saturday afternoon here at Light Heart Retreat, revealing a deep blue sky and puffy white clouds. It was just in time to show the retreat off at its best, to the group that had arrived for the evening potluck and showing of Raymon Grace’s DVD on how to energize water. The wind was a bit chill and strong. It didn’t deter any of us from appreciating the fresh air and beauty that surrounded us. We were all so grateful to be moving our bodies outside after a week of  Downeast Maine Gray and showers.

We shared an excellent meal after a period of David’s piano playing and getting to know one another. The creativity and variety expressed through the vehicle of the potluck was quite impressive! We had an oriental ginger stir fry with brown rice, haddock tacos, a platter of pickled organic vegetables, an Indian red lentil dish, black beans, cornbread and homemade salsa. Chicken and dumplings was perfect for taking the chill out of our bones. Tea and peanut butter cookies and butterscotch squares came later, when we’d let the meal settle a little. The food was great and the company was even better. It was difficult for us to put our conversations on hold to watch Raymon Grace Energizes Water and so we got to that intention a little later than scheduled. No problem!

Melissa, Al, Vickie, Sandra & Nicole, Some of Saturday's Guests

We made a list of healing intentions to be assisted by the energy process on the DVD. Water filled mason jars were lined up around the TV to be energized to take home to use for personal healing and/or specific water problems, for instance a high bacteria count in a well. We watched and learned about Raymon’s method for clearing and energizing water and heard many stories of how it had worked via radio shows and the DVD. At the end of the DVD were some personal testimonies, one by a carpenter who had cut his finger through on the vertical plane with a ban saw. He’d immediately treated it with some energized water he’d received at Raymon’s class. It had been two weeks time and the finger was totally healed without medical intervention.

When the DVD ended we talked about the ways we wanted to apply this energy technology in our day-to-day lives. The conversation came around to the subject of intention and gratitude. Our elegant, elder in the group, Sandra, shared that when she’d awakened that morning the guidance she’d heard was to set her intention for the day and cultivate gratitude and that she would receive more of what she’s grateful for. The men in our group expressed how in these difficult times, they are just so grateful for the kinds of things people may be taking for granted, like having good work to do. David shared how grateful we are to be able to hold space for this community. I was secretly grateful because I realized I had my blog topic for today and I knew I had it mostly written already!

It doesn’t matter how many supplements you take, how early you get up to go to the gym, how vigilant you are to avoid white flour and sugar if you don’t practice setting your intention and cultivate gratitude each day before and after arising. I don’t need to elaborate here on this, as in 1996 I wrote what’s to follow. It’s a true story, only the name has been changed. My aunt worked for the company referred to and I knew of Lucinda through her.

The Importance of Conscious Intention
By Joanne Pinney

In Conversations with God, Neale Donald Walsch writes that “your life proceeds out of your intentions for it.”  Would you get in your car in the morning and just go, without any intention of where you wanted to end up?  Many of us bound out of bed each day with hardly any conscious intention at all.  Then the day arrives when we cry out in anguish, “How did I get here, why did this happen to me?” We aren’t pleased with our destination, to say the least.  Sometimes we are terrified of the place we’ve arrived; we perceive catastrophe!  Then, we project blame onto family and friends, onto our employers, onto our government.  We perceive that life has dealt us an unfair blow, rather than take responsibility for the life we have created through our unconscious intentions or lack of intentions for it.

Intention is the energy which brings circumstances into manifestation.  Individually and collectively we have created every circumstance of our living situation.  We have accomplished this through our thoughts, words and actions.  For the most part, we have created without conscious intent and without taking responsibility.  If we do not witness our thoughts that proceed our actions, then our motivation is very likely to be fear-based.  On the surface it may look like we are operating out of best intentions, but if fear is the motivator, we will create just the circumstances we were afraid of.

Intention comes into play in all aspects of our life.  Let’s take a look at some underlying intentions in the work-world.

There is a prevailing intention in our choice of career to choose a job that has “good benefits”.  The group thought is that good benefits means a health insurance plan, paid vacation time and a retirement package.  This translates into a sense of security.   Think about it — does health insurance really insure good health?  Does paid vacation time guarantee a vacation like we see in the travel ads?  Does having a retirement package mean you’ll be problem-free and happy at retirement? Our security and satisfaction, truly do not derive from company benefits.

One could have a career that they love, that honors them and have all the fringe benefits, too. The danger here is for the many people who act according to the fearful intention that has security as its goal.  The soul longs to manifest its unique gifts in the world.  When we don’t honor that longing, when we don’t live our personal truth, we encounter stress, big time!  Our negative thinking will eventually create an opportunity to change our situation and choose a new intention. This opportunity may manifest as being fired, as an illness or as an accident.  Accident?  What follows is based upon a true event.

Lucinda hated her job with a passion!  Yet, she went to work early and stayed late every night to try to keep up with the additional work load that came out of her department having been downsized.  It was expected of her.  Her extra effort went unrecognized as much younger, more attractive workers got promoted over her.  She thought about leaving the company, but how could a middle-aged woman, like herself,  start all over?  She certainly didn’t want to lose her retirement, not after having waited and suffered for this long.

Lucinda felt trapped.  She had no method for coping with her stress; she possessed no self-help tools.  Lucinda managed to keep a lid on her frustrations while she was at work, but from the moment she got in the car for the evening commute, she was raging.  All the angry words would spill forth as she banged her hands against her steering wheel.  Tears blurred her vision.  She exclaimed over and over again, “I can’t live like this any longer!”

I was driving to my office in Dover, NH one evening to facilitate a guided meditation.  It was a glorious twilight with pink and mauve clouds that hung on the horizon over the still river.  I felt grateful for the gifts of the sky and I felt honored to be headed to do the service that nourishes me.  I hadn’t traveled very far, when highway traffic came to a halt.  Police and ambulance soon screamed their way through the line of evening commuters.  I murmured a prayer for whomever it was that needed assistance.   The next day, I discovered that my prayer had been for Lucinda.  It was her final commute home.

This is a dramatic illustration of the results of intention lived from a place of fear, rather than from love. There are much subtler versions playing themselves out daily in our work world and in our home life. When we find ourselves in situations that are making us feel trapped, angry, and depressed, we need to examine our underlying intentions.   We might ask ourselves, what is my intention for staying in this job?  What is my intention for being in this relationship?  What is my intention for the manner in which I parent my children?  Are the answers to these questions about fear or do we hold loving intention?

If we discover that fear is the motivator behind our intention, we have a choice.  We can empower ourselves by creating a new intention from a place of truth and love. It means taking responsibility.   This means taking risks, inviting change into our lives. It does require COURAGE and PRACTICE!  The alternative route is to stay trapped in the role of victim and suffer the consequences of that choice.  I encourage you to cultivate the power of conscious and loving intention in your life.  Feel the the fear and do it anyway!   On my refrigerator hangs a reminder from Kobi Yamada, “Sometimes you just have to jump and build your wings on the way down!”

————————————-

How could it have been different for Lucinda? Well, it just happens that I have a perfect and timely example. Kate also worked at this company and experienced the same demands as Lucinda did upon her psyche and her time. Kate found her way into a Heart Light Reiki class and learned how to give herself and others Reiki treatments. Reiki is a great stress reliever and immune system builder. She made the time to honor herself as an artist while working full time and raising two young girls. Kate never let the work she did for this company identify who she was or to run her life. Kate had intention to stay at this company to help pay for college, when the time rolled around. Kate’s youngest enters college this coming fall. Friday was Kate’s last day at Lucinda’s company. Today is her first Monday free of the need to report there. I keep imagining how good that freedom must feel to Kate. Mission accomplished with grace, gratitude and intention! Congratulations Kate, and blessings for your new ventures putting Kate the artist and healer, front and center!

Are you having difficulty staying on track with your intentions? Is the life you’ve created so demanding and stressful that you rush out the door each day without having taken time to reflect on your intentions and express gratitude for whatever is working in your life? Do you see the rut you’re in and fall short of the will power to change it? If so, than your will’s energy is tied up where it doesn’t belong and much of this may be subconscious.

I listed the service, Transforming Detrimental Energy Patterns for Freedom first on The Dowsing Deva’s menu because I’ve experienced it to be the key piece in creating a vital, vibrant expression of your life, lived freely. It’s important to take the common sense steps in creating good health, too, but your efforts will fall short when your energy is plugged into detrimental energy patterns. You simply will not have enough impetus to create the change you desire. This creates frustration in the least, diminishes self esteem and even creates depression. Your life force expressing through your life purpose, wants to flow and create. Blocked creative energy leads to physical, mental and emotional symptoms and can create serious health challenges.

This Morning's Guests wore Feathers @ Light Heart Retreat

We always seem to come back around to the issue of self worth, don’t we? I encourage you to consider that your life purpose is worthy of being freed to express itself in the world. To put it bluntly, as Raymon Grace admonishes his students, “If you keep doin’ what you’re doin’, you’ll keep gettin’ what you’re gettin’.” Or to put it elegantly, as Sandra’s guidance spoke to her, “Each morning set your intention, cultivate gratitude and you’ll receive more of what you’re grateful for.”

Blessings for creating the intention for and taking the steps that empower you to

Shine your Light!

Joanna