When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment. (Gary Zukav)
“The Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav was a book I gifted someone over eighteen years ago, that changed her life forever; that person was me. I was in my forties, married, raising three kids, and living outside of the United States. My husband was working in Kaposvar, Hungary, for government services during the war in Bosnia. My son Sam was a college student at Loyola Marymount in California, while my two daughters, Julie and Kelli, lived with me in Budapest, Hungary. It was necessary for the girls and I to live in Budapest due to the British International high school opportunities for my daughter Julie. On the weekend, my daughters and I would take the train back and forth from Budapest to Kaposvar to visit my husband. Thinking back, I remember my family’s glum faces, especially my mother’s, when I told them about our move overseas. Fear and concern were at the top of their lists knowing that international travel was considered hazardous (yes, even back then). It took some getting use to living alone with the girls in a foreign country, but my faith and the wonderful people of Budapest became my support system.
It was late one evening, close to midnight, I turned on the television and found an english channel (there weren’t many) showing reruns of the Oprah Winfrey Show. That particular episode featured Gary Zukav. The topic being discussed was “Intention”. In Gary’s words, “Every action, thought, and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect. If we participate in the cause, it is not possible for us not to participate in the effect.” To put it simply, we are responsible for our every action, thought, and feeling brought forth from our intentions.
I was mesmerized by that statement, horrified by the thought that every single, itty, bitty, thing I did in life, I was responsible for. Half of the time I was on “auto pilot” maneuvering through life just to get from point A to point B, and on top of that, suffering from the “disease to please.” There I was experiencing another sleepless night worrying about how everything was going to work out. I had a choice at that point to change the channel or continue listening, I chose to listen. Zukav explained that it is in your intention about which your effects will be mirrored. If your intentions are grounded in self-love and self-respect, the effects will reflect the same. Oprah admitted during the interview, “In the beginning, I wanted people to like me. And as long as I gave them what they wanted, I suppose they did. My breakthrough was recognizing that my intention to be liked was causing all the requests. Cause and effect. When I changed my intention to be about doing what I wanted, what I felt was worthy of my time, the effect automatically changed.” That was an awakening moment for me. I could set daily intentions in an effort to initiate purpose in the hours laid out ahead of me each day, instead of life dragging me along by the seat of my pants. With practice, I began to see changes. Today, eighteen years later, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I make time for a “intention tune-up” to get grounded again in self-love and self-respect.
This brings me to the intention of this article: Why did I choose this topic for today’s article? I chose this topic because I believe many of us suffer from the “need to please” and reluctantly continue the routine habit of putting ourselves last on the priority list. What did I want the outcome of this article to be? I wanted my readers to embrace a new way of waking up to life every morning-waking up with Intention! I’ve mentioned the airline safety analogy before, and it serves a purpose to use it again: In an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first, before you attempt to help others around you! Everyone in your life benefits when you practice self-love and self-respect.
I’ll be offering a “Soul Circle” tune-up series at Serenity Matagorda Isle on topics such as intention and purpose, self-acceptance, grief & loss, family, friendship and work place relationships, forgiveness, emotional intelligence and much more. The first “Soul Circle” topic will be on utilizing Gary’s book, “The Seat of the Soul.” For more information, please go to: www.serenitymatagorda.com.
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, December 11, 2016.