Monday, April 9, 2007

In the Beginning was Intention - or was it just really showing up?

Warning: This post contains likely mis-use of navigational references. I hale from the middle of the land sea of North America's great fly-over zone. I profess no expertise with sailing. However I do know wind. So, treat me generously when I use the sailing metaphor. I think you'll get my drift!

"All change rests on the full, albeit temporary acceptance of the status quo."
Virginia Satir

The beginning of every engagement, so I often teach, is intention. Some authors call it source energy. Lately it's all over the news as The Secret. Most often, for me, it starts as a vague sense of a change in direction usually noted in the area of my solar plexus.

But is this really the beginning?

Here is a chicken and egg question: what comes first, our Intention or our Presence?

Intention without Presence seems like a wind with no sail. Presence without Intention seems like a sail without a breeze.

Humberto Maturana, the noted Chilean biologist, postulates that the two things that make humans different from all other biological entities and living systems are the two things that allow us to effect deliberate change in our environment.
  1. The ability to accept things exactly as they are - radical acceptance/love (what I call Presence - with a capital P).
  2. The ability to form and hold an Intention for things to be different than they currently are.
Too often, we focus on intention without really considering the importance of genuine Presence. We wish, we hope, we intend. But we don't notice that we're trying to move without unfurling our sails. Or we're trying to sail in the exact opposite direction of the prevailing air currents without adjusting to the real situation (often cursing the damn wind, the stupid boat, the clueless captain, or the limiting water). Or we just aren't 'there' enough to turn the tiller or adjust the sail or even notice that faint breeze that could take us out of the doldrums onto the next leg of our adventure.

As I start this new beginning, I am announcing my Presence - feeling more tentative lower-case p than proudly unfurled upper-case P. Regardless, my full (uncomfortable) awareness of this tentative sense probably shouts loudly PRESENCE. So, I'm guessing that this constitutes a radical acceptance of how it is. Damn!

So I announce my Intention, to share what I'm learning and what I've learned about making a difference. And this is the beginning. Such as it is.

Maybe someone will find this interesting. Maybe it will make a difference. Maybe I'm simply sailing to my next port of call.

Anyway, it's my adventure. Join me?

No comments: