• Resilient Practice

Setting Clear Intentions

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

I have heard it said that intention is everything.

Consider an arrowhead as pure potential. It holds all off the possibilities. At its point is the moment of manifestation. The moment that the archer releases the potential, his attention is brought entirely to the point of the arrow and its target. Just like an acupuncturists focus is entirely on the point of the needle and the area intended for healing.

But before that moment he must have intention.

Without intention, the arrow has no direction and all of the energy in firing it will be absorbed somewhere in its aimless journey. What manifests has no precision. It may cause harm. It may pass unnoticed.

Once the archer knows his target, he can fire his arrow. He cannot, however. do this effectively without a good bow.

He must put this attention towards the quality and maintenance of his equipment. He must make sure, not just that it is fit for purpose, but that it is superbly crafted from the best materials and supremely designed by experts.

This will help to ensure the success of his quest. He must tune the bow, wax the string and check the riser. This is attention. It ensures manifestation of intention. Without intention, however all his attention to detail is wasted.

Think of a goal. Something you are aiming for. Ask yourself “What is my intention?”

Be very specific. Use simple language and word your intention thoughtfully. Be precise. This will improve its chances of coming to fruition. It will also ensure that the results will be exact.

You may wish to set yourself a time by which you intend to see results but remember that you may need to allow for external limitations over which you have no control.

Write down your response.

Look at your answer and ask yourself “Is this precisely what I want to happen?”

Set it aside.

Now ask yourself “What do I need to give my attention to?”

Make a list here of actions that you need to take to give your intention the best possible chance of becoming manifest.

Whether you have a time limit or not, visualise this intention as already written as manifest in the future pages of your diary.

See it as a certainty.

Emotionally detach from it. It is done.

Your task now is to turn to the list of things you must give your attention to in order to bring about the desired change. Give them your time.

A gardener does not dig up seeds to check on their progress. He pays attention to giving them water, warmth and protecting them form predators. Still he visualises how healthy and sturdy they will be on the day that they reach their full height.


Amanda works part-time as a teacher. She has concerns about the environment and the quality of the food that she buys from the supermarket. She worries about pesticides. She usually buys organic produce but this has become expensive. She wonders whether she could grow her own vegetables.

She has an ornamental garden which will not easily convert into a vegetable patch.

She has limited time during the week due to her work and social commitments.

She has very little horticultural knowledge and is not sure how to begin.

Without intention Amanda is unlikely to take action. She already has a busy schedule and little knowledge about the subject. Although she would like to grow food, her resistance to change is high. This leads to her becoming discouraged and putting it off until another time. Another time is unlikely to present itself since she has no plans to change her current situation.

After months of toying with the idea, Amanda decides that growing her own food really is a priority for her. She feels motivated.

She asks herself “What is my intention?”

“I intend to have begun growing my own vegetables within the next twelve months.”

She does not specify where or how so that she is not limited by her own circumstances. She does however give herself the time limit of a full year to allow for seasonal variety and so that its manifestation is no longer postponed. She has thoughtfully worded her intention.

Now she must address the attention she must give to the situation in order for her intention to become manifest.

She asks herself “What do I need to give my attention to?”

“I need to convert my garden or find an area of land for rent on which to grow vegetables.

I need to acquire the horticultural knowledge to begin cultivating soil and growing plants.

I need to purchase or borrow appropriate equipment.

I need to buy seeds and/or plants.

I need to find time in my busy week to water, feed and eventually harvest my produce.”

She begins to take action:

After deciding that she enjoys sitting in her ornamental garden on warm weekend afternoons, she decides to enquire at the local Parish Council about the availability of the allotments which are a short walk away from her house. She puts her name on the list and is soon able to take on a small plot to suit her needs.

She researches allotment keeping on the internet.

She examines her weekly schedule and makes small adjustments in order to free up time for gardening. Surprisingly, this does not involve much sacrificing of other activities as she is able to pick out slots in her week where her time was not being used effectively.

She joins the local gardening club in the village hall where she makes new friends who delight in sharing with her their secrets and tips on the growing of succulent, healthy vegetables.

Some of her friends use the same allotments as she does and offer to lend her their gardening equipment so that she can slowly begin to invest in her own.

She is given seeds and cuttings by her new friends. She also enjoys shopping around in the local garden centres for new and exciting varieties.

Amanda begins to see results quickly and within the year, she has become a member of the gardening community and successfully grown many varieties of vegetables.

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