One of my voice teachers, Gerry Trentham, once said in class: "Look forward, and what you'll see is your past. Your future is the one that's behind you."
Why did he say this?
Because we know the story that brought us to where we are right now, and we probably talk about that story a lot. We can relive our pasts with certainty – repeating the same patterns over and over again. Walking into our pasts is easy. It's walking backwards that's hard. When we walk 'back' into our future, no matter how cautiously we proceed, we're probably going to trip a few times, and we'll definitely run into some couches and walls.
Get the metaphor?
Now onto the real topic of this post: Setting an intention.
First off, what is an intention? As far as I understand it, when we set an intention we're making a decision about what we want our lives to look and feel like in the future. We set an intention in the present, hoping that it will manifest into the acquisition of a goal in the future. The 'how' is the tricky part, because without the ability to see the future, we can't actually read the middle sections of our life script. All that we can do is trust. And then move forward based on that trust.
We have to trust that we won't always be broke.
We have to trust that at some point we will fall in love.
We have to trust that all the hours spent practicing will eventually amount to something worthwhile.
We have to trust that we'll laugh again.
We have to trust that we can, and will, get what we want out of our lives.
And then, once all the trusting is out of the way, we have to start doing/seeing things differently.
Or rather, we have to start practicing a different way of 'being'.
What does it mean to practice? A classmate and I looked up the word 'practice' in the OED (it was originally spelled 'practise'), and came to the following conclusion: that true practice is based on a belief that something is true. We then practice to synch up that belief with our reality.
In my own life, I have a belief that I can perform on some of the biggest stages in the world, and so when I practice I'm searching for the person inside of me that would fit into such a setting. This means that I have to treat every practice session as an opportunity to learn/discover/acquire something new. Practice cannot be done on auto pilot or with the false confidence of 'knowing.'
True practice can only be done in a state of curiosity and surrender; in a state of 'not having the slightest clue what will happen next.'
If we want our lives to change and move forward, I think setting an intention is probably the first step towards manifesting/attracting/building that change.
“Don't talk yourself out of wanting something just because you haven't figured our how to get it.”
This is one of my favourite quotes from Abraham Hicks, and I think about it whenever I'm afraid that I'm dreaming too big, and that the goal at the end of my intention is too unrealistic.
Just because we don't know where we're going, doesn't mean we have to play it safe. We just have to remember to breathe big with our goals, and maybe take our intentions firmly in hand as we move backwards with abandon.
An intentioned life will not be without it's failures... and I'll talk about that more in the next post in this series.
Christine is an actor, writer, and blogger originally from the Maritimes and now living in Vancouver, BC. In her blog The Positivity Project she explores the human side to growth (the part that has nothing to do with following a list). She also shares interviews and stories by creatives in her artist mastermind: Creative Life Blog. You can follow her on Instagram @ChristineMarthe or on Twitter @CMBissonnette.