This article summarizes a presentation from the 2005 TIR Association Annual International Symposium in Barrie, Ontario
Presence and intention are the keys to success in every endeavor: giving sessions to clients, being a parent, being an employer, being an employee, making love, being a friend… everything. In this article, we will take a look at both presence and intention and some exercises for bringing these more into conscious awareness.
Examining the subject of presence, it is interesting to notice how not present most of us are, much of the time, even when in session, a time when we have the conscious intention to be there for our clients. As an illustration of this: a.) Remember a time that you were fully present as a facilitator in session. b.) Remember a time when you suddenly became aware in session that you were not fully present.
The mind operates a great deal on what appears to be a stimulus/response basis. If we are told not to think of a pink elephant, most of us cannot keep from thinking of just that. In fact, there is a great deal more going on than a simple stimulus/response mechanism. As we make our way through the world, trying to both survive and thrive, our minds supply us with a steady stream of associations, similarities and differences. We use these perceptions and inferences (consciously or unawarely), to help us make sense of what we are seeing and to know how to proceed in a given situation. It follows then that people who want to achieve a quiet mind usually do so by removing themselves from the world, even if temporarily, as done in meditation.
Despite the fact that there is more going on mentally that just stimulus/response, the effect can seem that simple at times. A viewer (client) says something, and we think something in response. Certainly we can apply the Communication Exercises and learn to work over the top of these automatic thoughts. With enough Communication Exercises, one may at times achieve the quiet mind that is so desirable for facilitation or just life in general.
As facilitators, we can improve our abilities to focus, control and direct our own attention by both doing exercises and getting our own viewing. Viewing allows us to discharge our traumatic incidents, upsets, worries, confusions and fixed ideas. Each piece of this work we get done means one less thing that is available to be triggered.
Now let us look at intention, as distinct from simple presence. Without intention, we are merely spectators in our own lives. Bringing definite intention to our activities has a marked positive effect. Let us consider some examples:
The importance of intention as a student or teacher
- Think about times as a student when you were fully “there” with the intention to learn what was being taught, to receive the information or master the skills with the intention of applying them.
- Think about some times as a student when you had no intention to be there or to learn what was being presented. A bit of a difference…?
- Now think about times as a trainer/ coach/instructor when you were fully there with the full intention to be there and to impart knowledge or train someone in body of knowledge and/or a skill.
- Can you think of some times when you were in that role, but had no intention to be there or get the information or skills across the person or people you were supposed to be teaching?
Increasing your awareness to be able to notice your degree of presence and intention gives you access to improving your abilities and effectiveness. It is all about paying attention. The intention to do this increases your actual ability to do it.
Importance of intention in all aspects of living
(Spend a little time on these to make sure you connect with the feeling of each one.)
- Remember spending time with a child when you had no intention to be there with that child.
- Remember spending time with a child when you had the full intention to be there with that child.
- Remember a time when you were a child yourself, being with an adult who had no wish or intention to be there with you.
- Remember a time when you were a child, being with an adult who was fully present with the intention to be right there with you.
- Remember spending time with a spouse or lover, but having no intention to be with him/her in that period of time.
- Remember spending some time with a spouse or lover, being fully present with the intention to be with that person at that time.
- Remember spending time with a friend, but having no intention to be with him/her in that period of time.
- Remember spending some time with a friend, being fully present with the intention to be with that person at that time.
The importance of intention as a facilitator
The Rules of Facilitation (rules of practice) include “a clear and primary intention to help the viewer (client).” This doesn’t just refer to a lack of other distracting intentions, but the intention itself as a key ingredient. Of course, as professionals, we have this intention, or we’d have chosen another career. The question is then, how much presence and intention do we have available to bring to the job? The ideal situation would be effortless presence, and operating with clear intention at one’s full potential. That would be life as bliss.
Meanwhile, we get on the best we can. To be professional is to be there in any case, to harness the discipline and will necessary to do the job. People can overcome a great deal, and be very good facilitators despite personal pain. That is part of our amazing resilience and something to be acknowledged.
Let us review the reasons to get one’s own viewing, not merely a session or two here or there, but a real Life Stress Reduction case plan, done to a real end point on the whole case plan, ideally followed by the Ability Enhancement Curriculum:
- You receive the personal benefits of relieving stress and painful memories and also of strengthening abilities and exercising awareness
- You are triggered less or less often, a benefit to both you and to your clients
- Doing so frees up your “horsepower” to bring to your work and to everything that you do
In conclusion, there is huge difference between a doctor or dentist or facilitator who comes at you with indifference, uncertainty, or weak intention and one who approaches you with confidence, certainty and strong, positive intention. Ask yourself which type of person you would want to see if you had need of visiting the Emergency Room at your local hospital? Strong, positive intention we read as survival potential, with good reason; this holds true whether you are a teacher, farmer, facilitator, or manager. The good news it that we have tools, both in the realm of training and also of doing our own viewing, that remove blocks to intention and exercise and build our innate ability.