Updated: May 1, 2022
“Intention is one with cause and effect.“ ~ Gary Zukav
Gary Zukav, author of Seat of the Soul, teaches a lot about Intention and Authenticity. He describes Intention as the ‘why’ beneath the ‘what’ of anything we do, and says it is the intention behind our actions, moreso than the actions themselves, that determines the results. When we are motivated by things such as Compassion, Gratitude, Acceptance, Appreciation, Generosity, Benevolence, Collaboration and Cooperation, we are in touch with our Authentic Self, our true nature; our actions contribute to peace and ultimately bring positive results for ourselves and others. In contrast, when our underlying (and often unconscious) motivation is based in feeling superior or inferior, needing to prove ourselves, judging or rejecting, resisting, resenting or seeking revenge, we are operating from our lower self, or ego; our actions ultimately lead to division, separation, and suffering for ourselves and others - no matter what short term benefits might be gained. Take a moment to read those lists of qualities again, and really FEEL them... notice how your body feels... Your body is always giving you authentic and honest feedback, moment to moment. Notice the expansive feeling of the Authentic Self... and the closing down, contracting feeling when we are in Ego. These qualities, or intentions, of the Authentic Self and Ego could be boiled down to one word each: Love and Fear. When we operate from our Authentic Self, our actions are motivated by Love, by positive intentions- they bring positive results with the power to unify and uplift ourselves and others. On the other hand, when our deepest underlying intention is rooted in fear, we contribute an energy that leads to negative results and more division and separation between ourselves and others. When what we’re doing inwardly (our “why”) is aligned with our Authentic Self, our outer actions (our “what”) are most effective and benefit all. Self-Care Suggestion: First, remember the intention behind your self-care practice itself. Set your intention to treat yourself with kindness, so you can be a force for kindness in the world. Next, with great acceptance and compassion for yourself, start to recognize the deeper underlying intentions beneath your choices and actions. Ask yourself, “Am I being motivated by Love, or Fear?” Check in with your body- does it feel open and expansive, or closed and contracted? Being human isn’t easy, and living from Love 24/7 is a tall order. Don’t be hard on yourself (more ego) when you notice yourself contracting. Sometimes just to notice and honor our limitations, without added resistance, is all it takes for a little more softening and opening to occur, and little by little we can be a positive force for Love in the world.