Intention. Awakening our spiritual attention. A few of you have asked questions on this site or on Facebook about Monday's post.  Trish writes: "Ok, please give me an example of focused intention. I'm trying to follow you." In my blog post, Jim Brannan, a pilot (who thankfully knows what it means to stay focused on the task of flying an aircraft rather than letting his mind drift to a zillion other things) says intention is a matter of "focusing our attention, sustaining our awareness, checking in with God when our blood pressure goes up, or our anxiety increases. It means being aware of our inner lives in the midst of distraction."

To do this, here is what I'm doing right now...

  1. I'm writing to you.
  2. I am no where else but here.
  3. I keep focusing on these words I'm putting on the page.
  4. I keep myself thinking about you and the desire you have to live intentionally.
  5. As thoughts come (as they inevitably do) about the emails that beg for my attention, or the meeting later today that will require some energy, or the painful experience that for one reason or another I still cling to, I keep returning with each distraction to this moment, and to the task right before me.

No matter what you do, this the key work you have to do. And it can revolutionize whatever you do: talking with a friend, balancing the checkbook, driving your car.

But intention does not mean perfection. It means that when my dog barks as he did just now wanting to go out, my attention shifts. I'm drawn away from the task. I get up, and open the door, and as I walk, my mind flits to a dozen other things. I recognize them, and invite myself back from the need to follow them. I sit back down and finish this little note.

I could do all this unintentionally, or I can focus my attention, direct my mind, concentrate my thoughts into the heart. Breathe. I can live with awareness and intention. And I'll be a lot happier.