The First Thing

Last Saturday I taught a Yoga Nidra workshop. One of the participants shared with me how significant it was to connect with her intention. She had been ambivalent about the family situation. After the workshop she felt completely clear of what she wanted and how she would direct her action. Tears ran down her face as she murmured "it was so simple". We hugged. Time and again I find that much of what I need is already waiting for me. It is waiting for my attention. Without an inward attention there is no path to connect to the awaiting wisdom and abundance. An intent is the very first and most important step in my creative process.

At the workshop, I taught how to direct the attention inwardly and connect with specific words that represent either the essence of being or doing. Words and mental images learned while conscious become subconscious memories. I explained to the workshop attendees why the words they chose had to be true, necessary, and compassionate in order for the nervous system to relax. Relaxation is a receptive state that allows you to embrace being and doing. This is a flow state which expresses the inclusive condition of body-mind. It is dynamic and flexible. The opposite of inclusion is exclusion. The divisive state expresses through chronic intense emotion and muscle tension. It confines the intellect to focus on the immediate desire of relieving the physical discomfort and emotional discord, and disregard the big picture. The tension creates a wall of separation that is the root of fear and loneliness.

Intention transforms the subconscious which is the autonomous system that is the memory of all physical and psychological functioning. It shifts the nervous response from knee-jerk reactivity to personal responsibility and accountability. It empowers you to operate within the duality -- positive and negative, comfortable and painful, or easy and difficult, without being unhealthily attached or averse to either. Intention counterbalances the tendency to judge and blame. It places the responsibility squarely on you. An intention does not fulfill all life obligations or pleasures, nor does it remain unchanged and benign. It is simply the first thing that connects you to the most satisfying process within your present lived-in experience and beyond.