How often are you actually aware of your intention? When you make a ‘to-do’ list or put something in your diary, you envisage a desired result for your actions, but the rest of the time, are you on automatic pilot or just reacting impulsively to whatever comes your way?
In the Verbal Aikido workshops we put great emphasis on developing deliberate intention in the exchanges. Students quickly see the power and difference between managing a verbal attack without, and then with a deliberately peaceful intention. So if you are engaging in verbal exchanges, remember to ‘insert’ your intention of harmony and balance with your partner before you start, and even if you don’t obtain this desired result externally (with your partner), you’ll find yourself closer to it internally (with yourself)!
So what is a ‘Daily Verbal Aikido Intention Exercise’?
As the (only slightly modified) acronym suggests, a ‘Davie’ is all about intention. It’s like using a muscle regularly – once you make even the smallest increase in deliberate intention in your daily life, your personal power increases exponentially. I’ll give you an easy first exercise below, but first… something to consider.
I had a friend who was learning English a few years ago. He made me smile when he told me that he was driving his wife crazy by putting post-its all over his house – ‘labelling’ in English every object he could, in order to increase his general vocabulary… everything from ‘nail’ to ‘fridge’! Crazy maybe, but it proved to be an exceptionally effective and easy way to stimulate his learning every day.
So this first ‘Davie’ you can try will stimulate your awareness of how often (or how rarely) you are actually acting with deliberate intention. Whether it’s with a few well-placed post-its, or on the wallpaper of your phone or PC, try this for a month and let me know how it goes:
Simply write the question “What is your intention (now/today)?” on a couple of post-its and place them at strategic and visible places at your home or office. For example, at eye-level on the inside of your front door (putting it on the outside may also get an interesting reaction from visitors!), on your fridge, on the handset of your phone at work, on a mirror you look in regularly, maybe the one you’re in front of when you’re brushing your teeth… I think you get the picture. For an even more powerful effect, write the question on a piece of paper and take a quick snapshot of it for your tablet or phone wallpaper etc.
You may find some great answers to this question that help you throughout your day, or for a specific moment like a job interview, but the beauty of this exercise is that you don’t need to put pressure on yourself to have an answer every time you see it… just whenever it feels like it might be a good or helpful time. By the end of the month you’ll notice not only how you’re becoming increasingly aware of your intention, but also, your awareness of others’ intentions or lack thereof.