top of page

Spiritual Topic for March 2023 - Attention and Intention

Updated: Mar 27




Attention and Intention


Overview

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 some 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....we can also challenge this premise.


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, there are some 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 as Maslow had theorized, 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. 


Discussion Questions


  1. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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?


A Deeper Dive Overview 


According to the Oxford Dictionary inspiration is “the process that takes place when somebody sees or hears something that causes them to have exciting new ideas or makes them want to create something, especially in art, music or literature.”


TheFreeDictionary.com defines it as, “the excitement of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity,” and “divine guidance or influence exerted directly on a human mind or soul.” We especially appreciate the latter definition. 


While inspiration is often thought of as related to music and the arts, it is connected to so much more—science, inventions, day-to-day living, and every aspect of one’s life.

Creativity is an expression of inspiration. Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, calls creativity a “spiritual experience.” She states, “there is a creative energy that wants to express itself through you,” which is an apt description of inspiration.


Inspiration is important because it drives creativity, but you can’t get inspiration on demand. It is an organic, natural, divine flow. Giacomo Puccini described this beautifully when he was asked about writing Madame Butterfly: “The music of this opera was dictated to me by God; I was merely instrumental in putting it on paper and communicating it to the public.”


When one feels truly inspired, it can be a real high, an adrenaline kick, a feeling of great joy or pure excitement. Inspiration is one of the best feelings, especially from a mental point of view. When we are inspired, we feel great passion, and often the desire to do something extraordinary.


Inspiration is deeply personal and it can look and feel different to each unique individual. It can take form in many different ways. A writer sits down to write, and words simply arrive and continue to flow faster than she can type. A painter touches his brush to the canvas and a stunning design takes shape without a single thought. Inspiration can be big or small. A new idea may arrive seemingly out of the blue or you may come across a book or article that has just the information you need. Sometimes inspiration happens when you least expect it, like when you are washing dishes, in the shower, driving, or taking a walk.


Inspiration can happen as a quick flash or it can come as a continual flow. Sometimes, all it takes is a flash of inspiration to trigger the mind to find a solution to one’s problem or to complete the task at hand.


Inspiration is where the magic is. It’s the fine line between God and ether, and energy and mental thoughts. It’s where you connect with the universe, with the field of unlimited possibilities.


Inspiration is often connected to dreaming. Ideas are dropped into the energy field and people with bigger antennae can pick it up, tapping into this same vast space.

Often times, people tap into this vast space at the same time. Case in point, there are many examples of people who invented the same thing at the same time in different places around the world. These are referred to as, ‘coincidental inventions.’ A few examples: In 1669, the principles of differential calculus was uncovered by Sir Isaac Newton in England and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in Germany around the same time.


Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray both registered a patent for the telephone in 1876. In 1903, Orville and Wilber Wright took their Flyer into the air for what became known as the first powered flight. This flight took place in the US in North Carolina. However, unbeknownst to them, around the same time, Gustave Whitehead (in US, Connecticut) and Richard Pearse (New Zealand) were also experimenting with flying machines


Most of us have had the experience of feeling totally and completely inspired, and most have had the opposite feeling as well. It is worth noting that traumatic experiences can generate inspiration.


Inspiration isn’t just about setting clear space and intentions, it’s also about being open and honest, and willing to determine what is blocking you. When one feels uninspired, it is discouraging and sometimes, it can be depressing too.


For authors, the feeling of being uninspired is referred to as writer’s block, although, this kind of blockage can happen to anyone. Writer’s block can be described as sitting down to write (or engaging in any creative activity) and nothing comes. No words, no thoughts, no creative ideas...nothing! Life isn’t always straightforward and clear. At times, we carve out time to do an activity and yet we are unable to complete it. What causes this, and what can one do about it?


Writer’s block, or any kind of obstacle or sense of being stuck, can occur when we have a problem, visible or not. Because creativity is a form of divine inspiration, internal issues significantly hinder creativity. “Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.”—Shakti Gawain


When one is notably out of synch with one’s Divine Self, it’s nearly impossible to be open to the natural flow of inspiration. Often when people address their internal issues (whether it’s a financial, relationship, mental, or any other issue,) creativity returns.

To get unblocked, look within... is anything stuck? Have you noticed patterns in your life? What is happening now? How do you feel? Address what arises, and let go of what no longer serves without judgment.


Chris’ note: As an author, I attended a series of workshops on overcoming Writer’s Block. Some of the noteworthy things I learned...First, the importance of addressing all issues—big or small. We had a Shaman available to assist with clearing personal issues, based on the awareness that internal issues can impede creativity and get in the way of one’s alignment with their Divine Self. Also, before any writing began, we set clear intentions for the writing session, including the intention to be in full alignment with our Divine Self.

Be really whole and all things will come to you.”—Lao-Tzu 


Deep Dive - Discussion Questions


  1. When was the last time you experienced real inspiration? What did it feel like?

  2. Has inspiration ever led you to feel driven to do or create something?

  3. Why do you think ‘coincidental inventions’ occur? What can we learn from this concept?

  4. Have you ever experienced Writer’s Block (or any other form of being stuck)? Were you able to overcome this and how?

  5. What do you think Lao-Tzu means by, “Be really whole and all things will come to you”?


Worksheet:

202303-MST-Worksheet
.pdf
Download PDF • 407KB

A Deep Dive: Inspiration

202303-MST-Deep Dive-Inspiration
.pdf
Download PDF • 187KB





69 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page