I use the word intention often in my work with clients. I stopped and asked myself, "what makes intention so important?" So I searched a few quotes and found these:
"Autopilot is the enemy of boldness because autopilot equals tunnel vision…when you get more intentional about the choices you make—no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential—the lens through which you view those choices begins to open up. The realm of what is possible widens, and you can see just how many more chances life offers to align to your preferences and values, through your discernment, to your deeper being."
~ Becky Vollmer, You Are Not Stuck: How Soul-Guided Choices Transform Fear into Freedom
"You cannot live with intent if you don't know what your own intentions are." ~Shawn Wells, The Energy Formula: Six life-changing ingredients to unleash your limitless potential
Next, I looked through my Sovereign Card deck (available at iamerinbrown.com).
I saw this message that I often share with clients when I want them to become more intentional:
"I can be present to what's real right now: We often find ourselves overwhelmed, as we rarely deal with the present moment. When faced with challenges, we tend to repeat all the stories from our past that relate to now. But we can only really handle one moment at a time. Give yourself the gift of being present to what's real right now so that you may face it head-on and in alignment with your values." ~Erin Brown
After reading these reflections and messages, I understand that we rely on autopilot too much. I get it, but when we are figuring out the tough stuff like relationships, feelings, and decision-making, being intentional is key. But we are so unaccustomed to thinking this way most of us don't even know how to be intentional. How can you start? Try the following…
Ask yourself… What's called for NOW?: As the "I can be present to what is real right now" message points out, work on fighting the urge to apply past solutions to current issues. Become aware of the problems now and notice the needs in the present and current situation ONLY. Don't know what it is called for now?
Check-in with your body: When I ask people, "what is called for NOW?" I am met with the answer "I don't know" about 90% of the time. However, I have ideas about the needs even if the client doesn't. How do you ask? They often report anxiety or depression symptoms (i.e., poor sleep, appetite, low energy, poor concentration, anxiety attacks, etc.) and physical symptoms (i.e.-stomach, body, headaches, etc.). The body never lies! Often when we live in ways that are not beneficial to us, our minds and bodies tell us that things are off. Pay attention! Are you still unsure of "what is called for NOW?"
Ask yourself the wish question: When people struggle to live authentically, I will ask them the wish question. The wish question is if I gave you a wish that within one week, your life would only be the way you wanted it, what would and would not be happening? What would you feel like? What would you be doing? What would you NOT be doing? I let them know money, time, illness, and NOTHING are barriers to the wish. They can have their life in whatever way they choose. Nothing and no one else matters. When I can get people to think about this and be honest with the answer, it becomes more apparent to them, "what is called for now." Too often, we don't know what to do at any given time because we do not allow ourselves to be honest and base much of what we want on someone or something outside of ourselves. A big part of me gets this, but the other part of me knows that this is not the way to live intentionally.
Although necessary for some lifestyles, living on autopilot can become a matter of contention. When living on autopilot, mundane tasks require this autopilot; for example, knowing when to take the trash to the curb, remembering the way to the grocery store, and being able to do things such as basic math, are perfect examples of living on autopilot. However, living on autopilot in all areas of life gets you stuck in a habit loop (Learn more about habit loops HERE). Habit loops are better than they may seem because good behaviors and mindsets can come from creating a positive habit loop. However, knowing when to lean into the question of "what's called for NOW" can help us become more mindful and live more intentionally, vs. behaving simply out of the habit loop and living your life without intention.
If you want to learn more about how to be more intentional, feel free to contact me.