Deepak Chopra came to Kingston in June, and it was exciting! The thing he said that stuck the most for me was “Intention is subtle action”. Those of you who know me well have heard me talk at great lengths about how yoga is about “skillful action” (as Stephen Mitchell so elegantly put it in his translation of the Bhagavad Gita).
A few months ago the newsletter talked about the importance of intention in manifestation; manifestation meaning the creation of the life we want to live. My meditation teacher Larry has often said that Intention is the root of all spiritual practice, which really highlights the importance of intention!
So, yoga is about skillful action, and action begins with intention. Now i’m thinking that a more accurate description of yoga practice is skillful intention. And if we consider that every single action we take comes from a desire (or resistance) that is infused with intention – well, intention is everywhere and connects to everything.
All of this leads me to ask; do i know what my intentions are? Here’s the million dollar question. And to add to that, what if i suggested that there are multiple layers of intention for each action. Eek!
I noticed a few months back that a lot of what I did (actions) came from a place of FOG. FOG is an acronym for “Fear, Obligation, Guilt” (thank you Laurel – this acronym rocks!). Many of my actions came from either being afraid (which is choosing fear over love), from feeling like i “have to” (obligation – Says who? Aren’t I a grown up who can make my own choices based on how I feel and think?), or from guilt (or a perception of guilt, guilt being a sense of responsiblity that is not always justified by reality).
It’s interesting to see our patterns… the grooves of the mind (samskaras) run deep sometimes. If i make a choice once a shallow groove is created in my mind. If I repeat that choice/action, the groove gets deeper, increasing the likelihood that i will make that choice again in the future. The more repetitions, the deeper the grooves in the mind. This is why we are such creatures of habit!
I sat with this for a while and realized, well… frankly – i’m better than this. I think i can do better than to act from places of fear, obligation or guilt. My preference is to act from a place of love, dedication, inspiration, creation, exploration, fun, and awe… It’s time to fill those old mind grooves, and dig new more conscious mind grooves. And so the shifting begins anew – all of it very groovy! (yep, i went there. I’m a cheese ball.)
Sometimes i still act from FOG, yet now I’m getting better (more skillful) at recognizing that this is what I’m doing. However once I see it, I tend to choose those paths of action less and less. I challenge myself to find the win-win-win situations more and more – to be more creative with my perceptions of choice and action (hence why the creation of space from last month is so important). It’s a fascinating ride… Far more interesting that the FOG!
And so I ask you – why do you do what you do? What is the intention behind your actions? Is that intention in line with your path – your journey towards wholeness and authenticity? If not, how can you change your choices, views and perceptions?
Om Shantih and Prema (universal peace and divine love),
Mona L. Warner, ERYT500 & RYS500