Monday, September 10, 2012

The power of intention

Have you ever noticed that your day goes as well as you intend?  Your intention is your determination to act in a certain way.  Your brain is a barmoneter that can be set for any time period (an hour, a day, a week, a month) to be data specific sensitive.  The time period your brain may choose to focus on a particular data set is infinite in either direction.  That time period can be a fleeting moment when you barely notice something in your day or it can become ruminative and last a lifetime.   Data specific sensitivity can be established for any data set you wish to collect throughout your day or your life.  The data you wish to collect and measure may be related to pain.  How many times have I been in pain today, how bad was each episode for each body part and how does that compare to every day this week or month or year?  Or you may wish to focus on data about the weather.  How cloudy was it today, was the storm worse than yesterday's, was the temperature too hot or too cold compared to last month?  So what is it in your day that you want to be a fleeting thought and what is it you choose to ruminate on?  There is no right or wrong answer when considering this question.  Every element of every day is an opportunity to assign more or less importance.  That's a whole lot of opportunity!

Think about what you are currently attending to at this moment.  Are you thinking about a new recipe you want to try on the new grill you just purchased, something funny a friend said, your loyal dog at your side, or where your body hurts?  Are you thinking about bills that need to be paid, your physical limitations, or the friend you are meeting for lunch?  What thoughts do you have about your day and how does that fit with your brain's intention barometer?  What did you intend your day to be when you got out of bed this morning?  So many questions!

Your brain is a powerful tool that has control over how well or how poorly your day goes each and every day.  There is no right or wrong intention, but your intention has everything to do with how you decide to live your life.  Is fibromyalgia the focus of your day or are the symptoms something you manage in the background, while something you deem more important is taking center stage?  Your center stage is whatever you choose it to be.  That can be some very difficult news for people that choose to focus their day or life on a Greek tragedy.  There may be some tough things to manage or address in your day, but it doesn't have to be the focus.  Those things can be assigned less importance and end up being a mere blip on your day's radar screen.  You and your brain are in complete control.

You and your brain are in complete control.  That is worth repeating, because this concept is critical in determining whether your life path moves in the overall direction you choose or if your life path becomes a series of mazes that lead to deadends and disappointments.  Resetting your focus throughout each day on the intention you have established for that day, or for your life, will help you stay on track and bring you greater happiness and satisfaction.  When I wake up in the morning and I start to perform the head-to-toe body pain assessment or think negative thoughts I know it is time to get out of bed and it doesn't matter what time of day or night it is.  People with fibromyalgia pain have a nagging distraction that can interfere with the day's intention . . . or the night's intention for that matter!  Dealing with that level of distraction can derail your day's intetion so heightening your mindfulness throughout the day is even more critical.  The most effective way to squash negative ruminations is to change your immediate environment:  get out of bed, go outside, or take a walk.  It is also beneficial to leave the house for a day trip shopping or getting together with friends; whatever places you in a different environment so you can get a different perspective.  Another strategy is to work on a hobby that you enjoy.  Gardening is one of my hobbies.  I love to go outside and see what's happening in the garden.  The last two evenings when I have gone out to the back couryard there has been a little frog floating in the dog's and cats' shallow water bowl holding on the edge with both legs extended and his toes spread as if he was hanging out in his own personal swimming pool.  This little frog was happy as a clam and I felt delighted to see him in this mini "pond".  It's those little things I look for to make my day better.  My girlfriend, Lori, is an amazing woman that inspires me every day.  Her positive energy radiates from my computer when I open an e-mail message from her.  Lori faces seemingly impossible obstacles every day due to fibromyalgia and other complications.  Inspite of these unpredictable obstacles, she remains mindful of every good moment and she always tries to make my day better.  Lori's intention is always set at lofty heights and no matter what, her day is always a good one.  Her positive energy and determined resolve are truly inspirational.

So what if you just want to have a whiney, complaining kind of day?  Maybe you're just plain tired of fighting the fight every day and your intention for the day becomes a pity party?  That's okay.  It's your choice and you make the rules.  Sometimes a day wallowing in your own self pity feels good.  You may decide to have a good cry and just lay around on the sofa.  That's okay.  You're in charge.  You may not want to stay in that space for long, because that would end up being counterproductive.  But what the heck, go ahead and indulge yourself!

The intentions that you establish for the day are very powerful; be cautious about identifying yourself as a victim or blaming others for events throughout the day.  Remember you are in charge of yourself and when you are the one in charge you also must be completely accountable and responsible for yourself and your response to events.  That can be tough stuff!  But those concepts alone will set you free and the intentions you choose for your day will remain in a positive realm if you embrace those concepts.

We humans are complex beings and our brains are sophisticated and mysterious.  When we learn to use even a fraction of that power we are able to overcome even the most monumental obstacle!  That knowledge gives me hope for the future and a determination to move forward no matter what my day may bring . . . because I have the power of intention.  Blessings to you today and every day!! 

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