Having discussed the concept and practice of Authentic Presence, I would like to now take one step further (and deeper) by discussing several integrative psychological aspects of Intentional Living. I will begin by sharing some brief information about the evolution of psychology from reactive to pro-active, and how this shift has led to new discoveries and methodologies that can be readily applied towards the pursuit of the Integrated Life.
One of the ways in which I like to think of the history of psychology is by considering two waves, if you will. The first wave seems to have been oriented towards helping people cope with and heal through things that had happened and/or been done to them. These methods were founded upon helping people find the courage to openly talk about their struggles, thereby experiencing the release of the anxiety caused by repressed and suppressed thoughts and emotions.
While these methods have had and continue to have value, there is a second wave of psychology that has expanded the healing potentials of psychotherapy. This New Psychology is focused less upon what has happened or may happen, and more upon what WE desire to make happen in our lives. This, dear Reader, represents a powerful shift in human consciousness that I like to say has the power to transform us from “victims” into “victors.”
While it is still true that things may still happen that will cause us to be in need of healing, and that there will always be situations that will remain out of our control, it is also true that we can indeed form intentions and direct our will to the performance of affirmative actions that can lead to positive experiences in our lives. Life need not be a series of reactions to “what happens next,” but can instead become a series of thoughts, intentions, and actions that can create that which we authentically desire.
This then is Intentional Living: “To proceed in pro-active ways of thinking and feeling that then become powerful intentions that direct us to perform actions most conducive with the attainment of our highest hopes and desires.”
Let us then ask ourselves: Are we living re-actively or pro-actively? Are we waiting for what happens, or are we making things happen? Are we living as victims or victors?
May your answers to these questions reveal to you the truth of your path of life, and motivate you to adopt the ways of thinking, feeling, intending, and acting that will be most conducive to your overall happiness and wellbeing.
Blessings to each of you as you work to create the life you most truly desire.