Monthly Spiritual Topic: Attention and Intention
In our last Monthly Spiritual Topic, we focused on Zero Point, the place where we make our connection with our Divine Self / God / Source, where we draw grace, benevolence, love, and creation. In the Deep Dive, we further looked at our connection with the Divine by exploring our power as creators within the universe.
In this month’s topic, we continue to explore our power as creators through attention, intention, and inspiration. Attention and intention are covered in the overview, while inspiration is explored in the Deep Dive.
We first raised these concepts in the spiritual topic on ‘Intuition and Discernment’ where we wrote: Attention, intention and inspiration are all important when developing discernment. One needs to pay close attention to one’s own and other’s intentions, and discernment involves divine inspiration connected with one’s intuitive heart, mind, and gut.
There is a popular expression, ‘where your thoughts go, your energy flows.’ That’s an apt expression for the concept of ‘attention.’ We previously covered that the universe is made up of frequency (or vibration,) and that your thoughts, feelings, and actions attract like vibrations. When considering this, it is wise to be mindful of your attention. Do you spend time thinking about what you wish to manifest or do you find yourself often operating on autopilot?
In life there are times when we can plan our day-to-day affairs and there are times when we must cope with unexpected or challenging situations. The first is proactive while the second is reactive, and yet one can be mindful in both of these scenarios. In both situations, you can accept where you are and then focus your attention on where you want to go from there.
We can use intention to become more mindful of our attention. Merriam-Webster defines ‘intention’ as, “what one intends to do or bring about.”
To create our desired future, we need to have clear intentions. If we are sending messages in different directions or setting forth conflicting thoughts and desires, life can be confusing and complicated. But when one sets a clear intention, they create that pathway.
“Intention is the core of all conscious life. Conscious intention colors and moves everything.” —Chinese Monk, Hsing Yun
Affirmations can help us set clear intentions. An affirmation is a positive statement and a positive belief. Affirmations help us replace programming and negative beliefs with positive thoughts and beliefs. They are a great way to start the day and are helpful whenever one needs a boost of confidence. Research has shown the effectiveness of affirmations, including helping us build or maintain our self-esteem, even during difficult situations. You can find more information, examples, and a personal affirmation exercise in this month’s worksheet.
Many people have experienced times in their lives where they have set such a powerful intention that it cuts through every obstacle and it is achieved against all odds. Can you think of a time in your life when you had an intention that was so strong that it shaped your future?
We have established that we are creators of our own individual and collective worlds through our attention and intention. Our thoughts are like seeds we plant in a garden; they need attention and positive intention to grow. If we plant the seeds and lovingly tend to them, they will grow and flourish. However, if we just toss them in the dirt and ignore them, they may not have sufficient water, light, or nourishment to grow.
Jesus provides insight on this topic during the Sermon on the Mount. His parable reminds us of the importance of setting the foundation for whatever we intend to do so that it works well and is successful. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”—Bible, Matthew 7:24-27
While we are all creators, everyone’s starting point and where each of us are in this very moment differs.
Abraham Maslow is known for creating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a theory that suggests people are motivated by five categories of needs (presented in order): Physiological, Security, Social, Esteem, and Self-Actualization. The premise of his theory is that higher needs in the hierarchy begin to arise after people have satisfied needs at the lower levels.
There is credence to Maslow’s premise. If one is struggling to fulfill his or her need for food, water, shelter, and clothing, it may be difficult to at the same time focus on self-actualization and spiritual growth. And yet….
Sometimes one needs to hit rock bottom or experience their ‘dark night of the soul’ in order to receive the calling and have the desire to make significant life changes. When everything falls apart, one must rise like the Phoenix from the ashes, and it’s in this process where one experiences strength, wisdom and growth.
While most of us yearn to have our basic needs met, times of immense challenge can provide great lessons and evolution. When our basic needs are challenged, one can be pushed into a state where he or she must become more creative in order to problem solve.
On the other hand, we have proven historical examples of Maslow’s hierarchy. One such example comes from Victorian times in Britain. It was the gentlemen who had immense wealth—more than enough wealth to exceed their needs and wants for their entire lifetime—who pursued an intellectual passion and pushed the forefront of science. Their needs were fully met so they had the time to pursue their interests. Examples include Alexander Parkes, a British chemist and inventor noted for his development of various industrial processes and materials; and Charles Wheatstone, who along with William F. Cooke, created one of the first practical telegraphs. These individuals’ passion combined with readily available funding allowed them to make and contribute major discoveries.
The world developed in this manner, yet at the same time other individuals who didn’t always have what they needed were inspired, rose up, and also made great discoveries and contributions. Examples from the same Victorian era include British paleontologist Richard Owen who coined the word dinosaur; and John Couch Adams and Urbain-Jean-Joseph Leverrier who discovered the planet Neptune.
Individuals who have everything they need, up to and including the top level of Maslov’s hierarchy, may be more inclined to sit back and relax in their comfort. These individuals may be less likely to seek creativity, inspiration, and the desire to do and be more because their needs are already met.
It’s a balance between need and a desire to push through boundaries. If a village has run out of water and everything is dry, people will be inspired to find creative solutions to address this basic need. Today’s times offers another example. There are many problems in the world and it is a difficult time for many individuals who are struggling. Yet at the same time, this situation is motivating people with the desire to help. CC members from all continents are coming up with ways they want to improve the world and creating or getting involved with grass root efforts to do just that.
US President Donald Trump had everything he could have ever wanted and then some. He lived a luxurious life as a highly successful real-estate developer, head of The Trump Organization, and he even hosted his own TV show. Yet he gave up his easy lifestyle to become a US President because of his great desire to help humanity.
What makes some people rise up in service to others even when it would be easier and more comfortable to focus on their own path? Trump gives us some insight during his 15 November 2022 speech at Mar-a-Lago, “We do love our country. This is why we’re here. I didn’t need this. I had a very nice, easy life.” He went on to say that he loves his country and that we need to save America.
What do you think? Are people more likely to look for creative solutions when there is a greater need…or are they more likely to create and push through the boundaries when their needs and wants are met? Do you believe creativity, self-realization, and the intention to evolve is more likely to occur with individuals who have everything they need or does this come when one is at rock-bottom or facing a crisis? Do you do something because it’s a real need or because you are comfortable and you want to do more, learn more, and find fun challenges?
We’ve shared examples of people who have flourished at the top and bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Perhaps it’s not where one is with regard to their needs but instead shared characteristics of passion, faith, drive, optimism, confidence / belief in oneself, a genuine desire to serve others, and a close alignment with one’s Higher (Divine) Self.
Our Higher Self is continually guiding us toward thoughts, feelings, actions, and choices to move us toward manifesting our deepest desires. As powerful creators, we are co-creating with others to build the reality we desire, bringing Heaven to Earth.
- Can you think of a time in your life when you had a powerful intention? How did this shape your future? What became of it?
- Do you believe that creativity, self-realization, and the intention to evolve is more likely to occur with individuals who have everything they need or does this come when one is at a low point or boxed into a corner, and why?
- In thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, where were you when you made your biggest decisions? When you were the most creative? When you were the most inspired? Why do you think these specific outcomes occurred at those times?
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