Intention matters. As a therapist, having intention and being intentional is necessary to being ethically congruent. As a mother and family member, it means presence. As an animal and land steward, it speaks to care.
However, since Covid has hit our world, intentionality seems to be getting mixed up with hyper vigilance.
These days every single thing we do has to be intentional. The days of spontaneity and frivolity seem far away.
What used to be normal, is no longer met with ease. Some of the ingrained and basic ways we used to communicate have been, irrevocably, shifted.
So, we have needed to shift our ways of relating and engaging.
And it is exhausting. Facing a new unknown each day, fueled our adrenaline and drained our nervous systems.
For a long time, we were all walking around in a state of hyper vigilance. We were constantly scanning for threats. And our brains were so keyed up to recognize threats that we started seeing them everywhere. The threats became so big, that we started persecuting each other.
“Can you believe she wears a mask everywhere!?”
“Can you believe he doesn’t?!”
“They vaccinated their children! How could they? What’s even in it?”
“They won’t get vaccinated, this is why we can’t get through this.”
It goes on. And on. And on. And even though Covid has shifted, its effects linger.
Just typing this up, makes my jaw tight. And my head hurt. It makes me angry and unsure.
(And as I name it to tame it, I breathe)
And throughout this adrenaline fueled crusading that our brains were doing, we were limited in our easy friendly connections. Our world view got smaller and smaller, as we insulated in a desire to protect ourselves. Our perspectives were shrinking and becoming more and more narrow. Causing us to believe our opinions more and more.
And, causing our flexibility to become more and more rigid. And while our connections diminished and shrunk, our access to information increased. This created a huge disruption in the balance of our systems.
As a result, we are still inundated with opinions, facts and information- and yet, we are still starving for touch, co-regulation and spontaneity.
The definition of intention is; a thing intended; an aim or plan. That lands. Almost all things these days take a plan of some kind…
But it also means; the healing process of a wound.
How beautiful is that? The healing process of a wound. So, maybe we can look at our need to be intentional as a healing process.
Let us use our intentionality to be aware of and breathe into our hyper vigilance.
Let us relax our vigilance, intentionally.
Let us create intentional spaces and in those spaces we can have spontaneity and frivolity.
Let us intentionally recognize our biases and try to balance them with compassion.
Let us notice our reactions and intentionally turn them into thoughtful responses