Does Intention Create In-Tension?

Apr 5, 2023

Let’s begin with dictionary definitions of both:

: implies a little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about
: a determination to act in a certain way—RESOLVE

: a feeling of nervousness that makes you unable to relax
: a difficult situation caused by the opposite needs or effects of two different ideas, desires, etc.


In July, 2022 I wrote about, Intentions and Expectations.  My perspective then was an intention is an aim in life not a destination—as you enjoy the journey.

An expectation is more rigid because we lean hard into the “should be’s.”  Which can take us out of the presence of what is. I still agree with this perspective, and…

Lately, I have been considering that intention can at times bring us inner-tension. Let me share a few random examples:

  • Intention to lose weight: in-tension with the now body
  • Intention to change careers: in-tension with current career
  • Intention to slow down: in-tension with pausing and slowing down
  • Intention is to create prosperity: in-tension with abundance
  • Intention to feel: in-tension with simply feeling what is

You may agree or not agree, it doesn’t matter. I am simply sharing with you another perspective. And, I feel an intention doesn’t create inner-tension all the time. I do believe it’s important to take note within yourself when it does then pause, and wait for your answer. In Chapter 15 of the Tao Te Ching, it asks, “Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?”

An example of no tension would be—having a specific intention, and then letting it go. Trusting that the Universe will figure out all the how to’s, and you can simply focus on your why’s while enjoying what is.

I love asking these questions—it expands my perspective and keeps me grounded with humility.

In Qigong & Tai Chi, I admire the Beginner’s Mind of new students. They are fully present because they do not know what’s next. I too, continue to cultivate the beginner’s mind in my own practice—participating and not anticipating.

I love this quote from the book, Even if Not. “The first step to receiving an answer is being brave enough to ask a question.”

What questions are you currently asking yourself?





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