Why seven intentions? I like the number seven. I also like three, but that wasn’t enough, and 21, but that was too many. It wasn’t easy to settle on seven, so I’ve kept them broad. So I can add sub-sets of intentions. Intentions of intentions. An intention architecture, if you will. Hey, I’m a librarian. I like a systemic approach to the infinite.
This idea has been lolling round in my mind for a few years.
Many years ago I read a wonderful book called The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler www.noelleoxenhandler.com. The author described growing up within a family who used worrying (about everything) as a method of warding off unexpected troubles. I mean, if you’ve already worried about something, turned it over and over and looked at the possibilities from every angle, it can’t catch you unawares, right? She wrote about being brought up to not be TOO positive, lest it encourage the powers that be to send some troubles to take you down a peg or two. Positive thinking, gratitude, and affirmations? Well that stuff was just ASKING for trouble. Not to mention a bit woo-woo.
I read her book and related so completely to this mindset, which I too had grown up with. Noelle begins the book in a somewhat devastated space having lost her partner and spiritual community (she’s a practising buddhist) in one fell swoop. She decides (on New Year’s Day, of course) to dedicate a year of her life to brazenly wishing without reservation. She sets three intentions: a house, a man, and her soul (which she feels was crushed after losing her spiritual community). She goes about investigating all kinds of ways of Putting It Out There. It’s fascinating to read. And do her wishes come true? Well, I need a spoiler alert here, but yes.
I have read many books about the power of positive thinking, of visualising intentions and desires, but this book affected me the most. I think because she did it all with a degree of skepticism and self-doubt, with a feeling that she was perhaps being naive and, well, wishful, but what the hell, she’d try it anyway. And then it worked.
Since reading Noelle’s book, it has stayed with me. I’m somewhat the dilettante when it comes to most things, I’ll dabble in just about everything, but commit to very little long term. But I also like to think I take the bits I like from philosophy, religion, new age spirituality, and different healing modalities and come up with what works for me. And what works for me is believing in the power of good. (AKA the power of love, but that sounds too much like a poxy love song, so I’ll stick with good). There’s plenty of evidence to the existence of it’s opposite; greed, fear, and evil. But the power of good is to me like the weeds that grow in the cracks of the pavement, you just can’t repress it no matter how hard you try, it will express itself.
I am loathe to sound all Pollyanna about this, but I feel I have experimented in both sides of the good/evil spectrum. I spent my late teens and early twenties in total nihilism and I managed to attract life experiences that confirmed my negative belief system. These days I figure if I live in the belief that I can manifest good things in my life, as opposed to life just randomly happening (negatively) to me, I empower myself in a way that seems to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have learned that worrying is fear-based thinking and is more likely to attract negativity than ward it off.
All this is just a really self-indulgent and long-winded (who me?) way of saying that I started this blog in a spirit of Putting It Out There. Last year I experimented with my first blog, about eating raw food and writing, One Hundred Percent Raw. It was my first attempt at writing publicly – as opposed to in the closet with a padlock on – and even though I wasn’t even sure what I was putting out where, if it meant being more healthy and being more creative, I thought, how could I go wrong? It was an amazing experience because the results were not at all what I expected.
This year, this new year, when it feels like the time is ripe to make resolutions, I decided to try really putting it out there, not just one or two things, but everything. All my heart’s desires.
It’s not easy to settle on a finite number of your heart’s desires. I started with the three Noelle used, a home, a spiritual community and love. I added writing, a my true heart’s passion for a career and revenue earner. Health. More money, friends and family, travel…
But I didn’t want to be restrictive, so I made these intentions broad and roomy, you know, so the universe gets to play with my desires, so they can be bigger than my limited mind.
So here’s what I came up with…
4. Vibrant health
I intend to blog my way through the experience of manifesting my seven intentions.