The Intention Question

The Intention QuestionDo you know that our conscious mind controls about 5% of our awareness while the unconscious (that regulates our bodies & operates on auto pilot from the past) represents 95%? We are bombarded by 2 million bits of info every second & our unconscious mind keeps us sane by filtering out, distorting & deleting most of it – leaving us with about 134 +/- bits. This is why we find it so hard to make long lasting changes. 5% of us wants to do things in new, empowering ways while 95% is invested in keeping things the same because “sameness” equates with survival while “new” might be dangerous or risky. We are running our computer-like brains on old, outdated programs that actually scan for difficulties, problems and threats while continuing habitual & often negative routines.

When we move toward the unknown, what we might consider “better”, the amygdala (the part of the brain that activates fear) sends intimidating messages & strong neuro chemicals (like cortisol) into our minds & bodies telling us to fight, flee or freeze. We get stopped in our tracks.

Imagine being able to harness even a part of that 95%. Would that give you more power to design your life the way that you want? If you could ask your unconscious to help you with a desired outcome or goal would you use it? Here’s a simple method to try that brain research shows to be highly effective.

First, get very clear about what you want. Practice on something simple that you think you can achieve in the short term (or 1 piece of a larger goal broken into smaller steps). Be specific, positive & state it in present time. Create your intention in the form of a question, then write it down by hand. For example, “How can I take some fun continuing education classes without having to pay for them?” The unconscious mind will search for ways to answer the question. You’re basically saying, “This info is important to me. When you’re sorting, leave all possible solutions intact for me to see.”

Then, in the next few days, you might notice an opportunity in a local paper where you could volunteer your time instead of paying. Or a friend puts a flyer in your hand advertising free classes that interest you at a community or retirement center where they need more people in their program or have just gotten a grant to fund free classes. Perhaps, If you hadn’t made & written down that intention as a question, you may not have even noticed the ad.

Intention also activates your will which helps you focus. Focus on what you want (not on what you don’t want.) For example, instead of saying, “I don’t want another bad relationship,” replace it with, “How can I have a relationship that is loving and fulfilling?” Questions leave your mind open.

Take action toward your outcome even if it is only a baby step. (Like asking a co-worker, “How would you proceed if you wanted this?”) Persist. Often people stop too soon & don’t allow enough time for the process to unfold. Persistence Pays. Intention questions focus. Action brings into physical form. Put your unconscious to work for you. Redirect a portion of that 95% into alignment with the conscious choices you make.


Author: Gwen Sarandrea has authored numerous books including Counseling Case Study & The Healing House, The Gift of Dad’s Final Years. She is also a portrait montage artist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gwen has a love of helping people cope with the aging and death of parents and other loved ones. Visit to pick up your copies of Gwen’s books.

Photo Source: Microsoft Clip Art

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