Waking up to the next level (Part 2)

In an earlier post I promised myself to wake up as often as I can to the fact that I can make a difference when I align my true character (who I am) with my presence (how I show up). This one is about waking up to my intent.

I am zooming in on the first hurdle on my path to mastery. I labeled it ‘discovery‘.  My purpose is to gain precision of what it is I am capable of bringing to the world. I figured that this will determine my ability to attract the clients that appreciate my capabilities. More precisely, I concluded that :

“… it turns out to function like the basic mechanics of a radar. Radars don’t catch any signal unless they send out a signal in the first place. If I am not clear about the kind of practitioner I truly am in the first place it’s kind of hard to find customers that bounce back their footprint on my dimensions.”

Let’s unravel that for a moment… this means that my next step is to:

  1. find out about my own intent, and
  2. shape that into a signal.

In search of intent

Step one… I need to discover my intent. (note: Intent is a complete, concise, understandable, and compelling expression of the expectations for an initiative. A solid definition given to my by Daryl Conner.)

One would think this step is easy peasy, right?

Well… funny enough, after more than 40 years of living on this planet, having had plenty of time to think about what I want, plenty of people to talk this through and most of all: access to all the information I can dream of, I find myself completely lost when faced with this question.

The first reflex is to open up the internet-browser and surf for some more knowledge. Let’s resist that for a moment.

The next instinct is to find distraction in other things: Facebook, newspapers, running to the kitchen to grab something to eat, doing something else. Let’s resist that as well for a moment.

Let’s keep it simple and not run away from the abyss staring back at me.

  • What do I want?
  • What makes me complete?

I follow the advice of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke when he wrote to his fellow poet Franz Xaver Kappus on February 17th,  1904:

Therefore, my dear friend, I know of no other advice than this: Go within and scale the depths of your being from which your very life springs forth. At its source you will find the answer to the question, whether you must write. Accept it, however it sounds to you, without analyzing. Perhaps it will become apparent to you that you are indeed called to be a writer. Then accept that fate; bear its burden, and its grandeur, without asking for the reward, which might possibly come from without. For the creative artist must be a world of his own and must find everything within himself and in nature, to which he has betrothed himself.

(Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet – The 1st letter)

Looking inwards, this is what I observe. What matters to me is how I spend my time. I want to spend my time in the present, being aware of what is going on right here and right now. It makes myself available for what is possible this very moment. And this is how I can be in service of:

  • connecting people
  • directness and honesty
  • my creativity and the creativity of the people involved (stakeholders in every sense of the word)
  • balancing purpose and relationship, because purpose is what brings people together and relationship is what makes them belong

OK – so far so good. By slowing down and not distracting myself I have distilled 4 points that are true for me. This is my intent. The next step is to translate this intent into a signal that is valuable enough for the world around me to reflect back in order to get this radar mechanism going.

Shaping a signal

Step two… wrapping it all up into a a signal that I can beam out, because then and only then will I be able to receive anything on my radar. But then again, let’s not take things for granted in this second step either.

Slow down.

Look closer.

The reason I am standing still here is because I suspect that my radar – in other words: my processes of sending and receiving signals – is shaped by my intent. Here is why:

  • My intent builds my anticipation towards the people and the circumstances around me;
  • My anticipation shapes my perception: what I listen for, what I look for, what I am sensitive about;
  • Eventually, if I stay awake to my intent, this is what I will end up cultivating in myself and in my surroundings.

In other words: our perception shapes the world around us. Consider this thought of the philosopher Alan Watts:

Without our perception there is no universe around us.  It is our eyes that evoke light out of the universe, our ears that evoke noise out of the air, the softness of our skin that labels the experience of wood as hard. You, by being this organism, call into being the whole universe of light and color and hardness and heaviness and everything.

Slowing down and looking closer reveals that, in fact, my intent is the radar.

The opposite is also true. It is worth asking myself what I am listening for, looking for and sensitive about when I am not awake to my intent? The things I end up cultivating in myself and my surroundings in that case, are  dictated from outside of myself. And this may be the cause of distress and frustration that I am all too familiar with.

To summarize, I think I am starting to get the popular Ghandi quote on a deeper level:

Be the change you want to see in the world.

It is by waking up to my intent over and over again that I will start to see more of it in the world around me because my intent shapes my thinking, my actions and eventually my surroundings.

Here’s to waking up over and over again to my intent of connection, directness, creativity and balance!

Phew, I’m glad I got that one sorted out. Three more hurdles to articulate on my path to mastery.