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Intentions, Friends and Unintended Outcomes

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came upon an interesting definition of

the word "intention" on Wikipedia which got me thinking about all the influencing factors that determine whether or not our intentions become realized, such as hidden or unexplored beliefs associated with an intention:

"Intention is an agent's specific purpose in performing an action or series of actions, the end or goal that is aimed at. Outcomes that are not anticipated and not foreseen are known as unintended consequences.

"Intentional behavior can also be just thoughtful and deliberate goal-directedness. Recent research in experimental philosophy has shown that other factors may also matter for whether or not an action is counted as intentional."  (Wikipedia)

Discovering these "other" factors is the heart of spiritual work, and sometimes the frustrating part of the work because these factors can be hidden from our view even though they may be in plain view to others around us.  It's typically easier to see the blocks preventing other people from moving towards their intentions than it is to see our own blocks. Where there is stress in a person's life there is typically also an "other" factor at play and it is worthwhile pausing to explore what it might be rather than pushing through toward an intention.  

Asking a trusted friend what blocks they perceive in us can be helpful.  However, picking who to ask requires careful thought too. Someone who loves you, who is a loyal, trusted friend may be a good place to begin.  Most important is to be willing to listen to what they offer without defense. 

I asked a friend recently what he saw in me that might be blocking my progress towards my intention to live more joyously and he told me exactly what I didn't want to hear. Nevertheless, once I accepted that I already was aware of what he told me it became easier for me to take the practical steps that would allow the mysterious energy of intentions to draw me to my greater good. 

Is there an intention in your life that might benefit from the insight of a trusted friend?


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