My Declaration: Intention

The Declaration of You book tour is in full swing. If you haven't already checked out their press page, you should definitely head over there and be inspired. There are some truly awesome people making some truly awesome declarations. Today, it's my turn to discuss...

illustration by the lovely Jessica Swift.

I'm a very intentional person, if I do say so myself. I'm a hyper organized planner, goal setter, getter, and to-do list checker (not, as it turns out, the sexiest tagline for an online dating profile*). Two of the questions the lovely authors asked the book tour bloggers: "How often do you set intentions? How often do you determine what they need to be?" Following my Type-A logic thus far, I set all sorts of intentions all day long. I set intentions here, here, over here, over there, right here, not to mention the mountains of intention at work, and even my pet projects turn into part-time jobs because I take myself too damn seriously. I regularly and frequently determine what my intentions need to be and update accordingly. Then I re-color code it all, edit my hit list, and get back to work. This manner of intention has manifested an amazing career at a young age, incredible opportunities in my field with national consulting and speaking gigs, publications, home ownership, globetrotting, a graduate degree, on and on.

But guess what? And this has been an ironic lesson a long time in the making for me:  All of that intention...wasn't actually very intentional. I never associated all of my actions with the law of attraction. I was young and arrogant enough to assume that I was simply creating all of these opportunities and successes for myself. To a degree, that's true. To a greater degree, I was putting energy into the universe...and the universe was manifesting back to me exactly what I was asking for. The irony is that I didn't entirely realize and intend and decide upon and own what I was asking for. I didn't intend to ask for 60-hour work weeks. I didn't intend to ask for a sub-par romantic life because I couldn't be bothered with all those distractions. I didn't intend to ask for the airport shuttle driver to know me by name and be the friend I see most often. I didn't intend to ask for an administrative position that lacks the creativity I felt in previous roles. I was simply going going going fast on the path that young professionals "should" travel. The growing pains I'm experiencing now are due to the fact that I want to set new and different intentions for my life. Those new and different intentions are not (yet) familiar or comfortable for me. I'm figuring out how to build this plane while flying it.

As for my paradigm-shifting declaration of intention, two things have been washing over me like a giant tidal wave as of late:

Have enough trust in The Universe to set the intentions you really truly want to set. {tweet it}

These are the intentions that scare me. These are the intentions that I rarely share out loud. These are the intentions that I really truly want to set. These are the intentions into which I need to pour a whole lot of love and trust: I want to make photographs and write and travel. For a living. For real. Forever. I want to move to Denmark. I want to dabble in graphic design. I want to wake up next to a tall dark bearded feminist who wants in his life a smart and sassy partner to grow old with. I want to paint and be good at it and have people buy my paintings because they think they're pretty. I do not want to continue grinding out my days in committee meetings where we discuss the formation of committees.

Be more intentional with your intentions. Then get out of the way. {tweet it} 

I've finally, and with hesitant gratitude, hit a wall. I've left myself no choice but to give up on the idea that I'm somehow in total control of manifesting all these new intentions (an idea driven subconsciously by fear and ego, if you want the truth). I'm not in total control. I will never discount the value of doing my research and working hard, but I'm also settling into a new paradigm. I'm settling into a paradigm that finally, finally, finally realizes I need to get over myself and get out of my own way. I've believed in the take action part of intention my whole life, but I've never been good at believing The Universe will fill in the gaps. I've never been good at trusting that when I hand it over, it will eventually come back to me ten fold, or come back to me at all. I can understand the law of attraction intellectually. I know it spiritually. I've seen it happen to other people again and again. And yet letting all that fabulousness flow unobstructed through my own life scares the shit out of me. What if The Universe is on holiday and my intention memo bounces back with her out of office message? What if The Universe is busy with the far more interesting intentions of far more fabulous people all over the world? What if I've pissed off the universe by ignoring her offer to help me all these years? What if I actually get everything I want?

You know what Jen Sincero would say to all that nonsense? After she told me I'm a badass, then she would say:

Set your intention, work steadily in the direction you want to go, do all that you know how to do, believe it’s here and available to you, be diligent about how you speak, think and behave, have faith in yourself and The Universe, and then...drum roll please, this is the super important part...breathe, let it go, fuggetaboutit, give it some damn room to come in. 

Oh wait, she did say exactly that in a blog post earlier this week.

Dear Gail,  
Get out of my way. I got this.  
The Universe

The Fine Print: The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, giving readers the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, to discover how they and their gifts are unique, and to uncover what they are meant to do! 

Pre-order your copy now. Learn more by clicking here.

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* No, I have never used anything like that in an online dating profile. You're welcome, Men Of The Internet. You're welcome.

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