Forest teaching about Intent and coming from love versus division

Late summer reflections at the Eagle Pond

For years now, too many years to count, I’ve walked in the woods opening up to spiritual teachings. Ordinary thoughts go silent as the feet crunch dried leaves. An expanse opens, an inner reflection sometimes begins.

Like a dream this inner voice speaks its truth.

It shares just at the edge of what is known or sensed. It doesn’t feel like it’s coming from the ordinary chatty mind. It’s like an overlay deepening and expanding. It feels like a truth rooted in ponds and stumps and late summer wildflowers.

Quite often I have used this blog to give expression to this voiceless voice. It doesn’t mean I’ve mastered living what it shares. It just comes forth as a forest teaching for you to rest with, digest and allow to sink below ordinary knowing. Like you, I try and allow it to filter past ego, limitation and separation.

Teeny tiny asters alongside the road

The teachings of the last two mornings centered around Intent.

Our intent energetically vibrating just behind or next action.

Our intent to create, manifest, build, call our friend, eat buttered popcorn.

I’ve experienced trouble with the word Intent over the years. Mostly because most people seem to use it as a force of willpower to get what they want. You can feel the hard demanding quality of force behind it.

You can feel ego’s hard hand trying to deal a full house, insisting the cards work out in their favor.

The abandoned little children of our psyche seem to often use Intent to get rid of pain, suffering, and muddy repressed energetic patterns.

These fungus growing atop a rotting fallen tree look almost like eggs

Spiritually it’s a wake-up call to begin to see that our Intent often serves ego and an attempt to get love or appreciation or attention. I’ve been appalled at times to see my ego’s distortions. And yet have begun to learn to love the scared inner babies of my ego and give them the love they have yearned for.

What the forest teachings have gently shared in the last couple of days is this: don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Can you see what actions come from love? asks the forest teaching.

Can you discern if your approach comes from division and separation?

Can you recognize and choose to speak, act, share from inner peace and love?

Harbinger of autumn

And if you can’t, can you turn your love toward the egoic contraction and surround it with a soft tender heart?

For many years, in some cases, I haven’t been able to do this. There were parts of myself that I wanted to disown, to ban, to push away. Disappear ye demon of the psyche!

And yet with lifelong patience and an Intent to move from love’s shores, I do believe it is more and more possible for all of us to do this.

To choose love.

Nature takes out her paintbrush

My intent for writing this blog is to share the forest teaching from the love that resides in all of our hearts. To remember throughout the day–when anger, sadness or frustration arises–that there’s something steadfast at the core. Something bigger than every sorrow or contraction.

And we can Intend to live and share from that love. Because if we don’t, we’re just creating more division and fear in the mandala circles of our lives.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
This entry was posted in September 2021 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Forest teaching about Intent and coming from love versus division

  1. Carol says:

    I think often our intent is good, but our follow-through lacks. Although lately I often question that thought – I hear or watch the news, and I wonder – what is going on in the brains of so many?

    • Kathy says:

      Carol, that is a good point about our intent being good but the follow-through sometimes not as much. I have seen this in my own case. For example, I can write a blog post from love, but sometimes the ego has come back to try and claim it as its own. I have been also spending a lot of time trying to view other people’s perspectives. Sometimes it seems like their view comes from fear, but also I can often see threads of love interspersed. Like the abortion debate. One side comes from the love of the mother, personal choice, etc. The other side comes from love of the baby and the sacredness of life. Both sides come from love–it’s just the values that differ. So I am trying to honor the love instead of automatically relating from our differences.

      • Stacy says:

        Do you remember the saying that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” ? I agree with your reader Carol. Even if the intention is good, what good is it if no follow-through exists? Instead of intending to share in love, just share in love. Do it. πŸ™‚ But I guess the first step is to recognize it.

        • Kathy says:

          I agree, Stacy, the first step is to recognize it. And so many of us are so filled with fear and defensiveness and upset that follow-through becomes impossible. I find that when I see the root love that is hidden in the fear then my heart softens with compassion. If I instead focus on the less-than-stellar behavior, then my heart contracts in pain and suffering and upset. So I do what I can to soften in love, and sometimes that’s impossible because of my own opinions or prejudices. So then it’s a path of softening with grace into my own inability to love.

      • leelah saachi says:

        “Both sides come from love–it’s just the values that differ. So I am trying to honor the love instead of automatically relating from our differences.”
        I have for three weeks now been in a situation where a person who copies keys has a machine who gives me copies that will not b ring me into my house. I can SEE that they are not precise – he will NOT see it. So we try again – now three times – and I am set on loving his need to be right – and the fear beneath it ( and I will take my key somewhere else-) πŸ™‚

        • Kathy says:

          Yes, exactly, Leelah. And how frustrating that this is happening to you. I remember Byron Katie saying something about “expecting people to be exactly who they are”. And you are seeing that this person is not precise and has difficulty being that way. You are seeing the love beneath it, but choosing an action that honors your own need to have a properly copied key.

  2. Sarah Davis says:

    Yes! Ego is a ruthless player always pushing for a full house, as if can control the deal!

    Intent always comes back the love. Thank you.

  3. Susan D. Durham says:

    So beautiful … all of it.

  4. LaDonna Remy says:

    This is truly beautiful Kathy.πŸ’—

  5. Pingback: Intent | Steven Wheeler's Blog

  6. Val Boyko says:

    A beautiful reflection Kathy. I see intention as a guide arising from that deeper knowing. Otherwise it’s simply an attempt to control direction from the ego mind. πŸ’• A question that brings a smile here β€œWho is in charge?”

    • Kathy says:

      That’s a good way of looking at intention, Val. The guide from deeper knowing. I am going to reflect on that, too. And smiling–Who indeed in in charge? πŸ™‚

  7. I’m so happy to have these lovely insights to start my day!

  8. As usual, a thought-provoking reflection. we live in times of division. So much so, it seems division is the intent of too many. Meanwhile, I hope all is well with you and yours! Cheers, Kathy!

  9. Debbie says:

    Intent — in and of itself — doesn’t get things done. We have to persist in following through, don’t we? Lovely reflective thoughts today, Kathy — thank you for nudging us to contemplate them more fully!

    • Kathy says:

      You are so right that follow-through is necessary. But sometimes–at least in my case–the intent behind many actions is almost unconscious. Like when I compulsively reach for a cookie or glass of wine. Sometimes I’m not seeing that the intent is to soothe me, and that I’m reaching for a substance instead of finding the love within to heal what is so subtly needing love.

  10. lisaspiral says:

    I know you wrote this several days ago, but I saved it and am finally getting to it today. Thank you. I needed this. I really appreciate the teaching that recognizing Love as a source is a way to discern where ego asserts itself, and/or what that little child-self actually needs. Enjoying the photos as well!

    • Kathy says:

      Lisa, it is so nice to see you and I am happy that this resonated with you. You are so right that love can be kind of like a tool of discernment to determine where ego/fear is sneaking in. And glad you’re liking my new iPhone photos!

  11. I’m puzzled by my lack of intent! And I didn’t know I lacked it until I read your beautiful post here. I SHOULD have intent, shouldn’t I? I think in some ways I think of intent as a “goal.” What do I want to do with my life, with my loves, with my writing, with my being? I met a woman through a dance class we both attended and during lunch, she explained to me her career as a life coach, and how she helps people be more successful by gaining confidence and making goals for themselves. She didn’t use the word INTENT, but it would have been correct. She was noticeably horrified when I admitted I didn’t have any goals for my writing or even my published books. “then you won’t succeed,” she responded. Silently I disagreed with her. I prefer to just “BE.” Perhaps that’s my intent?

    • Kathy says:

      Oh my goodness, you sound just like me! The intent to simply BE. It always keeps coming back to that–to seeing that’s my “true” intent. Before writing this post, though, I kept discovering other (almost unconscious) intents. Like reaching for a cookie to calm me. I didn’t even realize until then what the intent behind that action was. That there were insights to be gleaned even while simply BEING. (I am so very glad that we both have similar intent…)

      • In our world today, we’re meant to feel guilty if we’re not DOING. Thus, every morning I meditate the desire to Just BE. I find it interesting that the effort is challenging. Here’s to you and me doing our best “BEing” that we can BE. πŸ™‚

  12. Robin says:

    Just finished reading your post and the comments. Thank you, Kathy, for such thought-provoking forest teachings. It can be hard to know, sometimes, just what the intent might be (especially in this world we live in today).

    Intent and action… I’ve been working with anger lately and it was interesting to note that anger is a freeze thing for me (in the world of fight, flight or freeze). The only way I can act on anger that needs to be acted on is if I come from a place of love or compassion, not from the anger itself. I have to hold it in my heart, let it soften or cool or whatever it needs.

    Anyway. Lots to consider here. Thank you again. β™₯β™₯β™₯

    • Kathy says:

      Robin, working with anger can be so rich (and challenging). I know exactly what you mean about acting on anger from that place of love. Your image of holding it in your heart until it softens feels so good. So much to learn all the time from the intent sometimes hidden behind the places that trigger us.

  13. I love it when you share your forest teachings. And your pictures with the new camera are captivating. It’s funny, when my kids were teenagers I found myself advising them “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater” countless times and now I cannot even remember the things we were talking about, just the advice I kept giving them. We all have a dark side but we can look for and find the love in there. Anger comes from love. Sometimes I think the opposite of love is not hate or anger, but indifference. If we didn’t care about someone or something they/it wouldn’t provoke us. Just my random thoughts…

    • Kathy says:

      That’s a good point, Barbara–that anger comes from love. And that the opposite is indifference. I know it’s that caring fiercely (and sometimes not knowing how to wisely express that caring) that can trigger me. Thank you for sharing and enjoying the forest teachings!

  14. Tilly travel says:

    Kathy your words have lifted my spirits a little, my inner voice as been screaming at me to just lie down and give up, I am letting the outside world take over me and I am losing the me inside.Your post as made ne realise I need to find the love of myself and life again.

    Many thanks and Bright Blessings to you

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, dear Tilly, our inner voices can be such defeatists, can’t they? I am surrounding your thoughts and sadness with love right now and hoping you can feel the amazing love that exists within you–hidden just beneath the stories the mind likes to spin. Bright blessings back to you. ❀

  15. jodiczt says:

    This makes me want to live in the upper peninsula! I think walking through the forest and near bodies of water would be heavenly! What beautiful photos, that new phone is serving you very well.😊

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