The Formidable Power of Intention

I careened into 2020 out of control. That’s how the energy of the new decade felt. I couldn’t focus, didn’t want to write, looked for distractions to keep me too busy to think. There’s a word used by my British friends that seems to fit. Scatty.

I was scatty.

Normally, my actions are intentional. I’m calm, well organized, emotionally stable, disciplined, and self-motivated. I set achievable goals and bask in an overall sense of well-being. In the months leading up to 2020 the person that used to embody those attributes went missing.

I felt like a stranger in my own skin.

I couldn’t put a sentence on paper to save my soul, nor did I want to. All that interested me was getting together with friends. Hikes, lunch dates, meetups for coffee, any excuse to be with people would do. I no longer needed long hours alone to recharge. For the first time in my life, people energized me.

I kept waiting for the phase to pass. I made excuses for myself: I was overstimulated from my trip to the States, out-of-town visitors needed my attention, it was just a bad case of writer’s block. Soon, I thought, the old me would be back and life as I’d known it would resume.

But it didn’t.

One morning, a personality test popped up on my phone. Before I was fully awake I’d engaged. Instead of multiple choice, I was told to identify the pictures that most closely answered each of the questions. I found myself sinking into the situation each image represented, feeling the truth in my body.

When my answers were tallied I viewed the graph in amazement. I’d scored a whopping 92% in extraversion which, the results explained, reflected how energetically I engaged with the outside world.

On the one hand, I felt seen. My unusual behavior was validated. By some twist of nature I’d become an extrovert.

On the other hand, it freaked me out.

Grasping for clues, I searched my journal entries and a pattern emerged. My desire going into 2020 was for honest communication, greater authenticity, and to be fully and unapologetically who I am. I’d been thinking about it, journaling about it, talking about it, and meditating on it. My intentions had been broadcast to the Universe in multiple ways, many times a day.

What I hadn’t done was imagine what that would look like in real life. I hadn’t expected a rewiring of my nervous system, or that I would become a social animal enjoying the company of the pack at least as much if not more than my solitary cave. I’d made assumptions based on old programming not realizing that the authentic me was a different creature entirely.

As I come to terms with my updated self and accept the mildly schizophrenic sensations that have accompanied this transformation, I’m in awe of the formidable power of intention. I’m also aware of how unskillfully I used that power. I imagined a slight tweak to my personality. But the words, to be fully and unapologetically who I am, that I unleashed to the cosmos, were not about tweaking. In essence I used a jackhammer to pound a nail.

I wish I could describe how it feels to be so abruptly and thoroughly changed. Everything I do is a new experience even though I know I’ve done it hundreds of times before. Sometimes I’m surprised by what I say though as soon as I’ve spoken I know it’s my truth. It’s like someone else has incarnated in my body and claimed it for their own yet this alien other is more authentically who I’ve always been.

It’s spooky, thrilling and disturbingly new, and slowly, very slowly, I’m starting to write again.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Darius Marley
    Jan 28, 2020 @ 22:03:38

    A dab of intent can go a long way! Congrats on discovering a new you… and good luck as you unleash the writing beast this year!

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  2. Anonymous
    Jan 28, 2020 @ 22:56:21

    Awesome in every way!! (Sharon)

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  3. gigicullins
    Jan 29, 2020 @ 21:57:48

    I feel like I know that person who you now recognize in yourself as I’ve always seen that in you and have known her. Welcome back my friend! Love you!

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  4. Pat Malcolm
    Jan 30, 2020 @ 01:45:18

    I love this post. As I read it I felt an identification, though my new self-acceptance was in a different direction. I’ve given myself permission to use my “big words”! All my life they have been stifled. It seemed pretentious to use them. “Too intellectual.” But if I can’t embrace who I am at 70, then when? As I read what you said I thought of your posts in recent months, and was feeling that, yes, you were undergoing a sea change, but I was oh, so, glad for that last line, the one that says you are writing again. Too often in my life when a major change has happened I’ve thrown out the old then wondered why it wasn’t enough. Well, because we’re meant to work the new and the old in together, to find our most authentic selves. And you do know that instinctually, and are doing it. Hooray for maturity, and the courage to go ahead into the world of our todays!

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Jan 30, 2020 @ 14:01:59

      How thrilling, Pat, to have given yourself permission to use your big words! That’s it, isn’t it? We know who we are, we just fight BEING that person. Why do you think you didn’t want to be perceived as intellectual? I knew I was shy and introverted but I didn’t want to be. The persona I adopted to ‘appear’ less introverted came across as arrogant. I was appalled when I was told I was stuck up. I, too, am glad I’ve started writing again. That is very much a part of who I am and I didn’t want to lose that important piece. Cheers to our 70’s and the courage to be whatever and whoever we want to be!

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