The power of intention – holding the long view

Recently I had occasion to reflect on an intention that I set 7 years ago in 2010. I attended an international spiritual conference in Umbria in Italy. I had attended the same conference the year before for the first time in St Albans in the UK and would go on to attend it in Denmark in 2011 and for subsequent years in different parts of the world.

However in coming to Umbria in 2010 something happened which had nothing to do with the main conference. The conference was held at a centre in Umbria that was the home of a very significant spiritual community that struck a deep resonance with my soul. Suffice to say it’s not a typical spiritual community. During my time at the conference I set a clear intention that I would not only come back to the community, but that I would somehow also find a way to know more about it and become part of it. Seven years later, I am an active member and come here regularly to participate in various spiritual activities.

In reflecting on the past 7 years in this context I realised a number of things about the power of setting intentions. Firstly, although my active willpower and strategising set a number of ‘plans’ in motion to enable me to explore how I might become more closely aligned with a community where everything is in Italian and I speak no Italian, the reality of how I come to be an active member looks very different to those original plans – not least of which it took far longer to get things mobilised than I imagined.

Secondly, whatever I thought or constructed in my mind about the purpose of connecting more closely with the community, the real purpose was something that only my soul really knew and understood and that has been revealed to me slowly over the past 7 years. And thirdly, although undoubtedly willpower has a lot to do with intention on one level, being flexible, open to intuition and willing to go beyond the personality interpretation of motives and outcomes, plays a big part in enabling the real intention to be revealed to us.

Having clear and ethical intentions is something I consider to be a cornerstone of leadership – being committed to doing our best for the greater good. Setting clear intentions is equally vital when it comes to manifesting outcomes. Trusting that our soul or higher wisdom knows more about our intentions than we do requires us to stay focused and purposeful but unattached to the specifics of how those intentions will come to pass and indeed how long they may take.

Lorraine Flower