The mind is the forerunner of all things. The spirit we bring to the world determines what is returned to us.
Long term intention is the direction we set our hearts, devoting to live in a certain manner. It is your compass—your underlying direction—in spite of changing outer circumstances. Jack Kornfield says, “No matter how rough the storms, how difficult the terrain, even if we have to backtrack around obstacles, our direction is clear.” Let it carry you.
Short term intention is what we consider when we take a mindful pause. What is my highest goal? What is my best intention for them and for myself? What matters to me in this response? Do I want to be right, understand differently, or connect? Your short term intention may be to learn to play the piano, be successful in your career, develop self- compassion or plant a garden.
Your tone of voice changes with your intention. When you change the tone of your voice, the response you get is very different. Think about how the different tones used when saying, “What do you mean?” can change the meaning of the question.
DH Lawrence said, “Men are not free when they are doing just what they like. Men are only free when they are doing what the deepest self likes. And there is getting down to the deepest self! It takes some diving.”
Don’t see your intention as a task on your to do list, see it as the direction to go regardless of the circumstances. If your intention comes from your ego, it will be exhausting. If it comes from your heart, it will be energizing.
Jack Kornfield said, “It is in such small things that we fulfill the lessons of the heart. It is from our intentions that our life grows. It is in opening to one another that our path is made whole.”