There is a lot to say about intentionality.
It is talked about by mindfulness, emotional intelligence, self-help leaders and in caring science.
I’m going to comment on how I use it. I use it as a simple tool, a stepping stone. I use it as a portal to my deeper self, my consciousness.
I use it to pull myself out of mindlessness—that world of automatic thoughts, feelings and behaviors— and into focused thoughts and purposeful actions.
There is magic in intentionality.
- It usually starts with a feeling in my gut that brings me into awareness. Sometimes it’s a sick feeling or anxiety, etc… it comes from the mind in our gut.
- Then I turn to my Self-talk for the source of that feeling. Self-talk is that incessant stream of thoughts and messages in our heads, usually negative (until you become friends with this self-talk). It’s based on memories, reactive patterns, emotions or defenses from our pasts. Interpreting your self-talk will reveal to you why you are feeling the way you do.
- Then I kick into intentionality. I first praise myself for being self-aware. Then I tap into my higher self. I ask myself, What do I want from this situation, this moment? What is the right thing here to think and do?
4. From my inner self, my consciousness, it becomes clear what my higher self wants to do next. Note- development of the higher self is an ongoing work in progress. The higher self is always growing.
5. The best course of action flows from there. The best is when my actions reveal my authentic self. And yes, sometimes when I’m not clear, it’s best to walk away and revisit later.
6. As I grow, my authentic self is growing, and my authenticity is increasingly more evident to myself and others. My authenticity comes to the surface more automatically, instead of my past inclinations. When I hit authenticity, I can feel that ‘sweet spot’ in the mind in my gut.
This trajectory arc for this process is ….
Mindlessness — Gut Grip — Self-Awareness — Intentionality — Authenticity
Intentionality does involve growing our consciousness.
Intentionality is the projection of awareness with purpose and efficacy, directed at a desired outcome. (Watson, 1999, p121).
Intentionality is drawn from within, through our consciousness and sends energy through our presence and actions.
This is different from intentions to control, manipulate and have power over. The consequences are different, felt in a different energy …. (Zukav, 1989; Watson, 1999)
Instead, Intentionality Pulls Us Into Our Authenticity.
Zukav G. The Seat of the Soul. New York: Simon and Schuster; 1989.
Watson J. Postmodern Nursing and Beyond. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 1999.
Boyatzis R, McKee A. Resonant Leadership- Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion. Boston: Harvard Business School Press; 2005.