What is Your True Intention? (Intention, #9)

I am so honored to have this guest blog from my good friend, Suzi. I love to see and hear how people who are not my clients approach this topic. I learned a lot from this post. I will recap for you at the end.  From Suzi:

My idea of what Intention is is ever changing. At first intention seemed like a great tool to ensure that I got my goals met, but I realise that I cannot fool myself that easily. I really need to want what I set my intention to be, or I really need to think about what it is that I really want before I set my intention. Sometimes it takes a while for me to understand what my true intention is and sometimes I realise it after the fact.

A while ago my family and I went away for the weekend. I was in the process of doing a course that ran on Sunday afternoons for 8 consecutive weeks. I found this course to be very valuable for me and really did not want to miss a session, so I set my intention that I would make it to the course on the Sunday that we got back from our trip. I knew it would be a stretch and that it may be tricky to be back by lunchtime.

We had a relaxed Friday night and Saturday, but on Sunday morning I started feeling pressured about the fact that I set my intention to be back in time for my course meeting. I started feeling guilty that I would possibly be rushing my family, and in so doing, spoil the lovely relaxed atmosphere that we had created.family camping

I realised that I was allowing my worry to affect my enjoyment of the last few hours away and decided to take care of myself by emailing the course directors and letting them know that I may not make it to the course, or that I may be late. They assured me that it would be fine to come for any part of the meeting or none of it. This allowed me to relax about whether I got there in time or not. We continued packing and spent some time outside with the kids before getting in the car to go back home. I managed to enjoy this time and still feel like we were having quality time together. We drove home and I did not consciously watch the clock. We made it home in time for me to go to my meeting and I felt ok about walking in a few minutes late.

I learnt two things from this experience. One was that I do not have to worry about how I am going to make my intentions happen. Setting them is the most powerful step. My intention was realised in a different way to how I thought it would be. I can let go of trying to control how it plays out.

The other thing I learnt is when I look back, my intention was really to go to my meeting and to do it in a way that I could also take care of myself in the process.  This happened to be what the course was all about and I was learning this and it felt wrong to be hard on myself and my family to get to a course that was teaching me how to be compassionate with myself.

I know now that my intention is more powerful than I sometimes believe. I also know that sometimes I need to really think about what my true intention is. It is not just a to do list; it is thinking about why I want something and how I want to feel about getting it.woman celebrating

–Suzette A.


All the underlining was added by me.  These are the most important pieces to me.  What I love is the very last part about identifying our true intention before setting it.  The piece Suzi adds is how important it is to ask ourselves before setting our intention not only “why do I want this?” but also, “how do I want to feel about getting it?”  This is the single most important part of this story for me.  That she said not only “why do I want to go to this class?”  But also “in making it to the class, what is the overall experience I want — with my family and within myself?  I do not want to arrive stressed and having rushed my family.   I want to take care of myself and have my children feel relaxed, and arrive there with ease.”  This is a fully formed intention.  The fully formed intention is easier and more likely to manifest.

Other things I notice in this story:

  1. What Suzi noticed was that we can really discover our true intention by looking back over what we did and what we were committed to.  This is a powerful way to learn our true intentions so that in the future we are better at creating them going forward, which is what she did.
  2. HOW your intentions will happen is not nearly as important as setting them in the first place.  Especially if you do ask “do I really want this?” before setting it, you will find a way.  It is never about the “how.”  If you are committed, you will make it happen and letting go of what that will look like opens vast possibility.


Now, go set your intention.  What will you create today?

About the Author

Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching attorneys and management since early 2008. She wrote a book, published by the American Bar Association, "Coaching for Attorneys: Improving Productivity and Achieving Balance." She coaches attorneys and managers one-on-one, and provides in-house training designed to improve productivity and bring accountability to the organization.

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