Issue #2: Acknowledging your deepest intention
Intention: the motivation, the reason, the purpose. Intention is the unnoticed energy that is imbued in our words and actions. With an illustrious career in television, not to mention her oft-reported net worth, Oprah Winfrey is someone many of us look to as a self-made woman. So it is interesting to learn that Oprah (because, let’s face it, part of her success is that she only needs her first name) declared intention as the principle by which she rules her company and every aspect of her life. Each day, each meeting and each show in the OWN universe is started with, and guided by, intention.
Intention is cause and effect, even if we don’t always acknowledge it. Our intentions permeate through every aspect of our lives—our relationships, our finances, our wellness and our professional environment. When we take the time to understand our intention, we create self-awareness. We learn that sometimes our actions or words are borne from fear and ego or generosity and love—the former are not always owned and the latter not exercised enough. Once we are conscious of our deepest intention, we realise that we have the power to choose the source of our energy and our power.
This clarity of intention frees us of the need to please or to act out of obligation because we have chosen the most authentic motivation to act. We won’t always be free to choose exactly how we spend our days (we don’t have Oprah money, yet), but intention can guide our greater motivation.
Our intention for The Thread, is to create a digital community that celebrates and inspires women, and we hope our intention connects with you and aligns with your intentions.
Navigating a relationship with intention can feel somewhat exploitative, if not downright manipulative. After all, regarding a friend or significant other with specific intent could feel like you’re treating them as a means to an end, rather than an end, to create a meaningful and authentic connection. Afterall, where’s the connection, the spark, the so-called va-va voom, when you’re approaching a relationship with a specific intent? But being aware of your deepest intention in a relationship allows us to approach that relationship with authenticity and give more truthfully of ourselves to establish a deeper connection.
Approaching your finances with intention seems easy enough: create a goal, plan and save and plan towards it. There are even apps that help you save towards your financial goals, complete with clever graphic counters. But life, as we all know so well, happens and distracts us from that goal. We may need our saved money for an emergency, or setting aside the required amount is more difficult given all our other expenses. Having a deeper appreciation of our intention with our money can help us understand our relationship with money and what motivates us to spend or save, so that we can move more clearly towards our bigger financial goals.
Summer bodies! We all want one, all year round. As winter approaches, our intentions will be guided by that summer body goal through diet and exercise, or getting as close to it as possible in anticipation of warmer weather. Yet, what if we applied that sort of drive to every aspect of our health? What if our intention wasn’t about creating a summer body, but building a healthier self all year around? Having a clear, holistic intention about our health means that we’re able rid ourselves of the guilt of missing our goals. It also energises us toward a long-term approach to our overall health and well-being—a summer body will be a year-round bonus.
We’ve all been in a working environment that feels more like an instalment of The Hunger Games, rather than a space of learning and development. Work environments can feel stifling and disempowering, and sometimes it feels like our contractual reward is not a true reflection of the tiresome hours we plough into it, ticking things off an infinite to-do list, without necessarily feeling a sense of accomplishment. Perhaps we need to rethink our approach to work. Being aware of our greater intention at work helps us see the bigger picture and guides our actions. When work can serve a bigger purpose within us, it isn’t about the paycheque or climbing the corporate ladder, but about creating something more for yourself.
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