Intention is magic.
Real, actual magic. When you do anything with intention, the result of your efforts will be so much more than you would have imagined. I love the story about Mr. Rogers’ mother telling him to “look for the helpers” when bad things were happening. Because when bad things happen, there are always people around who are trying to help. Do you look for the helpers? Or are you transfixed by all the terrible stuff? Most of us are totally focused on the bad stuff, most of the time. It’s called Negativity Bias. We’re not born with it, but learn it along the way, like any other bias. It’s well-researched. But, we’re not going to talk about that here. This is about redirecting your attention.
Because the thing about your attention? It’s energy in motion
So whatever you give your attention to, whatever you’re focused on gets more energy – and it gets stronger. The TV news with all the gloom and doom? Focus on that and it grows. Pretty soon, that’s the only thing you’ll see. This mammoth mess of a situation that seems impossible. It’s a total contraction of energy. Worry, fear, anger, frustration, despair…all these emotions have a very contracted energy. Thinking about these things you can feel your chest and shoulders slump inward, right?
What happens though, when you look for the helpers? When you look for something good in an otherwise unhappy – or totally crappy – situation? Expansion. When you focus on what’s good, your chest opens and your chin lifts. Look for the helpers. Look for the good. Feel that? That’s some seriously positive energy! And the world definitely needs more of that!
Intention comes in many forms
Some people would call it focused attention or enthusiasm, and that would also be correct. Think about any project you might take on…if you’re excited about it and want it to be great, it will be! But, if you’re dreading it and doing it because “it has to be done” then the outcome is likely going to be adequate, but not stellar. Intention with an emotional investment is super magical!
So when you feel like the world is lobbing crap-bombs at you, how do you flip that Negativity Bias? Take a walk outside. Notice birds and flowers, scents or the freshness of the air. Turn your radio dial away from the news and listen to music. Turn the TV off. Just off. Same with Twitter. Ditch the news notifications on your phone. Or, at least change them so you only see funny memes on Reddit (or wherever). Watch funny movies.
No ostriches here!
The idea isn’t to ignore the world and all the terrible things that are going on. You’re not sticking your head in the sand! Acknowledge the devastation, but don’t focus on it. Spend 5-10 minutes a day looking at all the gloom and doom, so you’ll know if something is truly worth panicking about. But then re-focus and direct your intention to finding the good stuff. The happy things, the fun things, the funny things and the loving intention of others. Then pass them on so they grow bigger.
Share uplifting stories. Look for the helpers and thank them. Better yet, BE a helper! Make it your intention to bring someone a smile. Share kindness and compassion. Because your intention will magically do the rest. That magic energy will be set loose!
And it will do more good than you can possibly imagine.
For you…your family…and the world.