Water Element: Intent

In my last blog post I introduced you to the water element. Lately, whenever I think of the water element I think of that iconic and cheesy scene in the movie, “Titanic”, where a fragile and wrinkly woman, Rose, drops the famous necklace into the ocean. I feel sometimes I’m that jewels swimming in the darkest part of the ocean. It’s that part where no light can reach yet there is a yearning mystery to know what awaits there. More often than not, those dark parts within myself are scary.  Diving into those deep waters gives answers to questions we didn’t know were there or illuminates aspects of ourselves and our life that may seem too uncomfortable to handle. Having a pandemic on top of everything else doesn’t help either. But what if it could be easier? The hard part (and the easy part) is getting clear about your intention.. on EVERYTHING.

What is Intent?

The person that I feel best defines ‘intent’ would be Carlos Castenada. In his book, The Active Side of Infinity, Castaneda’s writes,“Intent is a force that exists in the universe. When sorcerers (those who live of the Source) beckon intent, it comes to them and sets up the path for attainment, which means that sorcerers always accomplish what they set out to do.”

In Carlos Castenada’s books he talks about how his teacher, Don Juan, helped him to master the many attributes of a spiritual warrior. He often spoke that we all have the ability to master the the depths of the known and unknown worlds within ourselves and in the world through virtues such as impeccability and bringing one’s totality to every situation. Since life is one big living challenge, it takes clear intent to not just know which way to go, but to first be completely immersed in the One force of the universe, Intent. In Sikhism, it is known as “Ek Ong Kar”. Castenada talks of navigating Intent through one’s inner “nagual”. There are many other different cultures that refer to this state of being rooted in intent.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, wisdom is the virtue of the water element. When the water element is in balance via the kidneys and bladder, wisdom is illuminated. Wisdom is birthed through the one force, the Intent, that Castenada speaks of.  However, we can only gain wisdom through experience (physical, energetic, spiritual).

I’ve had many experiences either through kundalini yoga/meditation, tantric practices or giving/receiving healing sessions where I have felt completely merged within this force of intent and oneness. Some of those experiences resulted in a blissful state of self confidence while one or two experiences left me with the additional feeling of the ‘oh shit’ factor, knowing I had to make a life altering decision which was probably going to be uncomfortable.

But all this really isn’t helpful to you (or me) in the long run because it leaves us seeking for more. It’s not a surprise the over saturation of the ‘business of spirituality’ promising more expansive meditative experiences, prosperity, retreats, plant medicine,daily sadhana and the need to be doing more ‘work’ on ourselves to find the infinite Atlantis made from our own desires and personalities where everyone is special with a capital ‘S’.

The expansive dream we search for through awareness/Intent is already available to us through stillness (Oneness/Shuniya), especially in day to day so called boring life.  However, people with significant trauma, like myself, can sometimes attribute stillness as the calm before the storm, the quiet before the chaos unfolds. These traumas not only make a substantial mark within the first 7 years of life, but also in the womb which are passed down through generations (the origin of the Water element). The stability we can be lucky enough to receive as adults suddenly becomes unsafe as adults, even though it shouldn’t. So we create big and small dramas, because we know how to handle that even though it’s unhealthy. But with the awareness/Intent and where our urges for change come from, we can shift our trauma to not repeat itself, hopefully. I highly recommend professional help from a holistic and licensed psychotherapist to assist with this process. A small way of doing that for me, usually requires me to come back to energetically holding those parts of myself that have felt unheard, not seen, not loved and learning how to integrate them with the power of presence in the moment. Some people may say healing the childhood wounds is never-ending, but I disagree. The child and the adult contain the same soul. Both are infinitely intertwined and can be union through the power of intent and being in the power of the One.

Intent is not willing ourselves to be more productive, more successful, more loving or more/less ‘x’. When we have clear intent it allows us to live a life of BEING ourselves in totality with more integrity and freedom that is guided by our soul, not fear based actions. Yes, that includes accepting those parts of ourselves that we don’t like. This freedom usually requires doing the right thing in the face of the living challenges. Social /economic/environmental justice plays a role here.

It is important to start asking questions for ourselves. For example,

What is the intent of me being in a relationship with this person?

Am I being intentional about how and when I relax, work, disagree, make love, etc?

Why do I want ‘x’ in my life? Is it because society conditioned me to want it at this time in my life or is it because I truly want it? (Asking myself about wanting to be a mom, buying a house, working 40 hours a week, etc falls into this category.)

And here’s the big question..a question that one of my TCM teachers, Lonny Jarrett, continues to ask each time we meet for my post graduate training.

“What is the single most significant thing you could either start or stop doing that would have only a positive effect in your life and the lives of everyone and everything around you? Likely, this is something you’ve been aware of for a long time and have been putting off until ‘the time is right’. Take time out of the picture, and enact that change right now in an enduring way.Note the consequences.”(Deepening Perspectives, p.237)

To end, remember to ditch the notion that we all have to be these perfect luminous transcendent beings enacting our intent in every single fricken moment. Realistically, we can start now AND it is a process that continuously unfolds in each moment that will guide our way if we have the right intention in alignment with our soul. So before you dive into the dark ocean, ask yourself…Why? And know the ocean has wisdom in it’s own intent too, ready to reveal the unknown.