Several weeks ago, I began speaking on my podcast about the parallels between the rebuilding process after a disaster and Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs. The visual provided a strong image for the journey back from negative life events, as well as the revision of my office vision board.
The pyramid gave me a positive sense of direction as we move up the levels. When we begin at the base of the pyramid, we find ourselves in the emergency period of survival. Once we have addressed the most catastrophic elements, we are ready to provide more structure in our lives. This is accomplished by restoring or recreating new habits, the next level of the pyramid. The new structure helps us restore our will forces which get depleted by the constant demands placed upon them during a crisis. And surprisingly, we awaken one morning ready to think forward again. We turn a corner and find ourselves ready to live with Intention.
Intention is the coming together of an idea (vision), strong feelings (desire) and the will to act. All three components must be present or the idea remains little more than wishful thinking. We need to know why we want something and it must be a strong enough desire that we are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve our goals.
What I enjoy most about Intention is that once our intention is clear, we can begin to move forward toward our purpose, vision and goals even if we are only able to pursue one action per day. Ironically, according to anecdotal evidence, 95% of the world’s population have no idea what they want to do, be or have, let alone describe it in terms like purpose or dharma.
If you find yourself among this rather large group of people, but feel that something is speaking to you at this time as you face the challenge of rebuilding or creating your lifestyle, you may enjoy my recent episode on Rebuilding Your Life: Moving from Disaster to Prosperity. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/76b6Ya. Take a few minutes to listen and do the exercises.
Most coaches consider Intention and Purpose to be primary aspects of successfully moving forward after any kind of disaster. I believe that it’s more than just restoring what existed before. It’s also important to design your future by holding a bigger picture in your mind of what you want in the long term, in addition to the basics of survival.
My experience of this – and one I have seen surface for others as well – is that the very act of surviving changes us. In order to move forward, we have to examine these changes and respond to new desires to accomplish something different, perhaps something that provides meaning to recent events. For me, it re-ignited a dream I had carried with me for decades to teach others the ways to discover their dreams and pursue them. Others become coaches in the area of grief and loss, or they are motivated to make a difference in some way to others. They may be ready to change their life direction or make a push to accomplish the dreams and intentions they have already been pursuing.
This was of immense importance to Peter and I after the landslide. Sure, we wanted to get a home back and bring our family together. Our animals were spread out all over Los Angeles for a time. It was our focus for eighteen months. However, we held a bigger picture of what we wanted in the long term. Peter wanted a space where he could utilize his expertise in the Old West for movies and television. I wanted a place to produce content and build a teaching center. Knowing this bigger vision colored the choices we made even as we replaced the most basics aspects of day to day housing.
As you take steps toward your emerging goals, you will find yourself using your Inner Work (imagining, dreaming) in conjunction with your Outer Work (actions that move you toward your goal). With each completed step, you will experience a sense of accomplishment and that will go a long way toward moving to the next level on Maslow’s pyramid, gaining back some of the Self Esteem that may have been damaged by life events or during our response to the trauma or disaster we’ve been facing. With enhanced Self Esteem we gain better feelings of self-worth, joy and our overall sense of well-being.
If you are ready to Live with Intention, you are at a turning point in your life. You will be able to stop thinking of yourself as a victim of a negative experience, and begin to see the blessings you find within it. You are literally standing at the brink of creating something even better than you had before.
Don’t wait to begin. The time to start is right now…right where you are. Check out my recent episode on Rebuilding Your Life: Moving from Disaster to Prosperity. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/76b6Ya. Take a few minutes to listen and do the exercises. As the philosopher Goethe suggested, once you take a single step toward your desired outcome, the entire universe begins to move to make it possible.
Today is a good day to tell the Universe that you are ready to embrace your dreams. Take one single action that moves you toward the creation of what you desire and you will shift your dream from a vague possibility to a probability. You can do it!
With belief in your potential and a toast to Your Success,