Wanting to Make Change: It All Starts Here

When it comes down to it life is driven by our intentions.

Read over the following progression from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook a couple of times:

1.         Intention shapes our thoughts and words.

2.         Thoughts and words mold our actions.

3.         Thoughts, words, and actions shape our behaviors.

4.         Behaviors sculpt our bodily expressions.

5.         Bodily expressions fashion our character.

6.         Our character hardens into what we look like.

There’s simply so much truth to this. There’s a reason the Dalai Lama looks happy. However, most of the time we live unintentionally and that’s when we look back many years later and say, “Where did it all go.” It’s time to live as if it mattered.

We can think of mindfulness, the act of paying attention, on purpose and without judgment as a kind of mental training to be more intentional with our lives.

Think about how the act of priming works:

If the morning starts out with worries about all the work to do that day and the mind keeps practicing worrying, when you get to work everything you see will be looked at through an anxious lens.

If you get some bad news and feel bummed out and practice rehearsing the difficulties of your situation, those are the glasses of perception that you wear.

I’m not judging this process of perception as good or bad, but just pointing out the reality of how this works.

If we intentionally set time aside to bring more mindfulness into our lives, we’ll start priming our minds to see from a greater place of balance, flexibility, and compassion. This is of course, if you’re practicing mindfulness without any hidden agenda of going along with a trend to look good in other’s eyes.

Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” That starts with intention.

Consider in this moment, how do you want to be in this world? How might you remind yourself to be more intentional about that?

You might practice, “Breathing in I open to my intention, Breathing out I let it be.”

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

One Response to “Wanting to Make Change: It All Starts Here”

  1. Dzung Vo says:

    I find this to be quite true generally.

    But also, intentions can be a double-edged sword, and can sometimes cause increased suffering if not used skillfully. Intentions can sometimes cause (self-)judgement, can sometimes pull us away from the present moment, can sometimes make it more difficult to accept what is here and now, can sometimes cause disappointment if there is a certain type of attachment to an intention or a goal.

    As with everything else, I find that this practice needs to be applied skillfully and with compassion.