Setting An Intention – Part 2
I want to continue the conversation about how I work with people by describing a little more about intention setting and how that helps you take action on your own behalf. If you missed my first post on establishing an intention, please check it out.
We Want To Feel Better
Often a client will start a session with a symptom-driven desire like “I want to sleep better” or “I want to feel less frightened.” Of course, I understand deeply the desire to feel better in some way. However, I invite you to go further than wanting symptom relief. Why?
Relieving symptoms is essential for all of us. No one likes sleepless nights or frequent headaches. However, once we set an intention, I have no idea in any session exactly where it will lead, so if I accept an intention with a client that focuses on such a specific outcome as relieving a specific symptom, I’ve done two things. First, I have agreed that I can somehow ensure that outcome for someone. That’s a setup for disappointment because I can never ensure an outcome for anyone. Second, I have taken the position that I am going to do something for you, a position which subverts your ability to take action on your own behalf. While your first desire may be symptom relief of some kind, I will take you through a process to see what deeper intention may lie underneath it.
One of my core values as a practitioner is to support your “sense of agency,” meaning your ability to take action on your own behalf to create something you want or prevent something you don’t want. I’m a facilitator. By taking this position, I align with the part of you that knows you have options and choices available in any situation.
The Intention Reframe
If a client wants to sleep better, for example, then I help the client reframe the intention into something achievable in a one hour session. In this example the intention might become “I want to explore what’s in the way of me sleeping better.” That I can get behind. It becomes an exploration of what the symptom wants to communicate to you, acknowledging that something deeper is happening that you don’t yet know about.
What If You Don’t Know What You Want
Take a moment to consider what you want for yourself right now. Some people have a clear vision and for others it’s a more vague sense of what they most want. Maybe your initial impulse
of what you want leads to lots of thoughts about why that’s impossible to have. Sometimes I might spend an entire session or more with a client exploring what he or she wants. That might be a really unfamiliar place and that’s okay. Consider this for a
moment. Do you really give yourself permission to wholeheartedly desire what you most want? I can help you with that if you feel puzzled or you know something is in the way.
After we set an intention, the next step is exploration. Check out for that conversation.