How To Build A Beautiful Intentional Life

Amma is a living enlightened Being. Learn more at Amma.org

 

How To Build An Intentional Life


As a coach, clients and friends will often seek my counsel. While each of their challenges appears to be unique, I believe many of the problems, especially the recurring ones, stem from one simple idea: We have yet to release the past, forgive everything, and construct new, durable personas (temporary self-identities) – ones that can establish and sustain an enjoyable, stable life.

Instead of plunging into forward movement, we tend to repeatedly reaffirm the past and go in circles.

We can change this. We can recreate our lives with the purest, clearest, and most focused intentions. Living an intentional life is not for everyone, but it’s the only path to liberation and peace.

Even amid being pummeled by karmic repercussions that stem from prior lives, if we establish a strong and deeply rooted self-concept, we can withstand any storm.

Let’s Dive In!

From the moments of our births, we begin to build temporary self-identities or personas to maneuver through our lives. These personas are most often born from outdated beliefs, confused family dogma, codependent social paradigms, and limiting religious doctrine. Along the way, we weave guilt, shame, and regret into the fabric of our personas to the point of imprisoning ourselves in loops of repeated behaviors, decisions, and addictions.

Because of this, most of us live as if we’re strapped to rollercoasters, whereby we continuously react to external stimuli as if we have no control. In the short term, we enjoy the results of our impulses. In the long term, we find ourselves in complex situations that erode our senses of Self and peace.

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Over time, consequences and complications emerge. We cope, medicate, and try to assemble a quick-fix response to it all. 

We try everything but eventually find that quick fixes do little to address the deeper issues. We look at every aspect of our lives and realize that our marriages, jobs, and environments are not aligned with who we know ourselves to be. 

In a moment, we understand that we are not self-aware, and therefore, we are not free.

This is the moment of decision. 

Do we continue to shrink and hide or do we choose the road less traveled, finally embracing our true Self?

If we choose the latter, we begin to wake up!

We soon feel or sense deep-seated emotions and regrets. We might feel anxious or panicked, feeling unable to source remedies. We finally see the weight that we’ve amassed atop our souls. We remember the stories and justifications we used to keep our outdated personas in charge and in motion for so long.

In a pure moment of delight, we decide enough is enough!

Intentional Spiritual Living is a decision and commitment of the mind and heart to live a fully conscious, pre-meditated life according to our deepest values, ethics, and beliefs, without story or excuse. 

We build an intentional life through self-inquiry, ritual, ceremony, and forgiveness. We own and acknowledge every aspect of our choices amid our tumultuous lives. We own it all – from every teensie bit of minutia to every decision we’ve made.

We take responsibility for EVERYTHING. 

We blame NO ONE.

Beginning an intentional life often comes with a year or more of crying a few hours every day. It requires complete transparency with our core Self, God, and the eternal consciousness. We can no longer hide. We refuse to hide. We are now on a mission to unearth every truth about ourselves and the nature of the Universe.

We begin to imagine a new persona, one that is built upon virtue, transparency, vulnerability, and truth. We no longer carry regret or shame. We no longer blame. We own it all – every molecule of every instant.

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We process it all, pounding the earth in anger and crying for every lost moment. We cry to God and the Universe to nurture and save us. We do this until we are drained of all projection, attitude, and ego. We realize we know nothing and we are nothing. 

From there, we build our new, more durable, more holy persona – not from the rubble, rather, from the truths we’ve uncovered and become.

We grow our personas into emotionally, psychologically, and financially stable warriors – through whatever means. With meditation, mantra, and Divine grace, we begin to strengthen and stabilize. 

We continually release emotions, attachments, and the past. 

“The past is a canceled check. It no longer exists.” – Amma

After some time, we realize that we’ve become warriors of self-care, self-responsibility, and self-awareness. 

Having built an intentional spiritual persona, we can now build an intentional spiritual life.

How Do We Do This?

      • We are careful welcoming people into our lives
      • With a new friend, we are careful when choosing to engage in sex. While sex is certainly wonderful, it can be distracting and harmful. Get to know your friends before jumping into bed with them.
      • We are careful before solidifying a marriage. According to the rishis, it is best to know and live with someone for 3 years prior to committing to a marriage.
      • We carefully research and plan job and home changes
      • We don’t “jump” into anything, instead, we pause, reflect, and consider
      • We refrain from feeding our addictions
      • Less screen time and more prayer time
      • We pray as often as we can
      • We continuously have faith hope
      • We forgive everything
      • We own everything
      • We do not dwell on our negative feelings
      • We remember that we are never a victim
      • We work to completely dissolve our egos
      • We choose our food carefully (organic, grass-fed, no chemicals, lots of greens and vegetables)
      • When we are able, we strive to find the balance between western medicine and naturopathic medicine, knowing that pure food is our best medicine
      • We realize our thoughts sustain us, so we choose them carefully
      • We learn to place our attention on aspects that truly serve and uplift us because we know what we contemplate is what we become. Mediate on the rose and you become the rose.
      • We realize that our self-esteem can only come from ourselves
      • We decide to be happy because happiness is a choice
      • We say goodbye to people and events that do not serve our liberation and peacefulness
      • We say goodbye to deep attachments, except GOD & THE DIVINE
      • We have boundaries
      • We only speak lovingly about ourselves
      • We stop all projection
      • We maintain a healing attitude
      • We find ways to selflessly love and serve others while also not hurting ourselves
      • We root ourselves in self-inquiry, honesty, and love
      • You might enjoy releasing processes and modalities like The Sedona Method (search it, it’s awesome)
      • When we’re ready, we can seek out living enlightened masters like Amma, Karunamayi Ma, and Mother Meera
        • We can ask to receive a mantra from one of them
        • We can ask Her to be our guru or spiritual master which can expedite our pathway to liberation.
      • If we feel so inclined, we honor the purest and most non-judgmental tenets of our birth religions
      • We enjoy our birth masters, including Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, and others

IN ALL THINGS, PLEASE KNOW …

You are more than you realize. You have resources far beyond your wildest imagination. It’s time to commit to a more eternal game. It’s time to release it all and become your most vibrant, eternal, and empowered Self. SURrender!
As you reach toward liberation, you might want to explore having a coach, guide, or therapist to help you along your path. In the meantime, meditate, pray, and chant with loving attention toward the divine.


 

Other articles you might enjoy:

Helpful Ways To Inspire Rebirth During Challenging Times

Amma: The Loving, Hugging, Humanitarian Saint

Seek Enchantment and Transformation through Prayerful Ritual and Ceremony


Check out Paul’s EMPATH OATH.

Empaths: Intuitive, Emotional Warriors

Emotional

Empaths can be warriors – if they choose. A Shutterstock Licensed Image.

As an open-hearted and whimsical little boy, I wish this question had dawned on me sooner, “What is an Empath?” Given all the experiences that sensitive children tend to endure, I wish someone had taught me about my nature during childhood, instead of plopping it into my lap when I was a meandering adult. My boyhood battles were hard fought and rarely won. The lessons throughout the years seemed to point to one thing: I had no idea I was an Empath.

Are You An Empath?

I remember the day someone asked me that question. I was 30 years old, sitting on a beach in California, holding a friend’s hand. I felt so badly for her broken heart that I cried with her. When she asked me that very potent question, my tears turned inward, where I immediately found a beautiful and profound clarity. At that moment, I knew I was an Empath. I was free.

In the years to come, I could not only feel the feelings of others; I could see the possible trajectories in their lives. On several occasions, I took on my client’s physical attributes, including the temporary appearance of track marks on my arms when doing a session for a former heroin addict.

Yes, being an Empath can be intense.

Check out Paul’s EMPATH OATH.

What Is A True Empath?

Over the years, I’ve seen the definition of Empath morph. It used to refer to being able to imagine feeling what other people are feeling. It grew from there to reference people who are deeply and actively compassionate, and in the face of danger or drama, can readily extend warmth and kindness to those in need.

As factions of society became more conscious, the definition of an Empath narrowed and crystalized. It’s clear now. An Empath is someone uniquely open and highly sensitive, to the point of being able to embody and process the emotions that someone else is experiencing. It turns out that Empathy is the older, wiser brother to compassion.

Not only do Empaths grow and heal by processing the emotions of other people, but they can also learn to be inspiring advisors and powerful healers. They can build schools of thought and heal nations. Nelson Mandela was an Empath.

What Does It Mean To Be An Empath?

If you can feel, from head to toe, what others are feeling when they are having a tough day, you might be an Empath. If you feel overwhelmed and personally afflicted when someone else is hurt or broken, there’s a good chance you’re an Empath.

It all starts with a traumatic event for another person and the immediate feeling of being completely overwhelmed, yet unable to describe it. Somehow your voice is shackled, and your energy is restricted. You don’t feel depleted, but you feel limited, maybe oppressed. As your mind fails to land on a clear thought, deep in your heart, you realize something’s wrong. But, what is it?

At first, you try meditation, exercise, therapy, dance, essential oils, crystals, herbs, jogging, sex, tantra, mountaineering and adventure travel, plus every other modality that might help you shed inhibition or come back to life. While some of these things help you find yourself again some of the time, most of them don’t work most of the time. Empaths tend to spend 50-70% of their lives somewhat emotionally restricted, confused, or depressed.

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While most now agree that an Empath is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) who feels and absorbs what other people are feeling, there are different degrees of Empathic abilities.

Some Empaths can feel what an object is carrying, and possibly the energy of the person who once held it. The most intensely intuitive Empaths not only feel emotions and energy from most of the people in a room, but they also feel the residual energy and can intuit the personal circumstances surrounding the people who recently inhabited that room. Some Empaths are downright spooky. I’m one of those Empaths, and I love it.

Types Of Empaths

As you can tell, there are varying levels of Empaths. Some can carry collected energy their entire lives, without ever being able to relinquish it. The reason that an Empath might be stuck in this way is that they never learned how to set boundaries, release collected energies, and reinvigorate themselves. This points to one painful fact: most Empaths have no idea how to care for themselves.

An Empath doesn’t have to be a professional clairvoyant, intuitive reader, or life coach. Some Empaths are artists, politicians, or teachers. You can even find Empaths in the military.

We tend to be bright, compassionate, and proactive, although there is also a slight tendency to over-dramatize emotional situations and events. Empaths are not perfect; we’re just open-hearted and absorbent.

Empath Traits

You might be an Emotional, Medical, Intellectual, or Spiritual Empath. Regardless, the traits of an Empath can vary. Here is a list of potential characteristics, according to the newly emerging category of Empath psychology:

  • Often considered a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)
  • Materially, energetically and spiritually generous
  • Absorbent to the point of having to shed the emotions collected from others
  • Highly intuitive, telepathic or clairvoyant
  • Sleep is filled with potent dreams that are easily remembered and interpreted
  • Appear to be slightly sad or depressed, more than most
  • Come off as mystical or spiritual
  • Tend to be shy, introverted or avoidant of conversation
  • Able to heal others of physical, intellectual and emotional challenges
  • Easily manipulated or coerced
  • Easily overwhelmed
  • Can quickly become the dumpster for every else’s negativity
  • Energy can be rapidly drained
  • Equally helpful to friends and strangers
  • Often feel better in solitude
  • Feel as though they can deeply and genuinely relate with trees, plants, and animals as if they are kin to human beings
  • Able to pick up the disease and physical symptoms of the sick
  • Able to quickly parse the emotions and thoughts of others
  • Attractive to narcissists and energy vampires
  • Attuned to the moment someone is lies
  • Tend to give far more than is required or necessary
  • Tend to have a tipping point where the individual cuts cords with others
  • Might temporarily hate themselves, and as a result, get stuck for a while
  • Might be seen as a doormat or sucker
  • Sensitive to smells, sounds, and tastes to the point of being immobilized
  • Feel full of love and light when they are surrounded by nature
  • Feel replenished during thunderstorms and snowstorms
  • Shocked by event crowds, cocktail parties, and busy department stores
  • Loves to write, paint, sculpt, color, dance or play music

Empath And Narcissist Romances

If you’re an Empath, you’ve probably spent some time in a relationship with an extremely needy person or a narcissist. The Empath-narcissist pairing is alluring because the Empath is always absorbing something palpable from the emotion-addicted narcissist. With their hearts full of light and love, this can be exciting or energizing for an Empath.

With each projection that extends from the vampire-like partner, the Empath will find ways to reflect healthier versions of the projection, with the hope he or she might save the narcissist from yet one more drastic rise or fall.

It’s the Empaths throughout the world that tend to act as the psychic receptacles of emotional and dramatic events. Yes, Empaths can save the universe.

Are Empaths Real?

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Once in a while, I bump into people who reject the notion that Empaths are different from others. They say things like, “You’re too sensitive” or “Why do you choose to feel that way.” As an Empath, you eventually learn to tolerate these statements, without reacting to them. I will often respond, “If I wasn’t feeling things so deeply, I might never have seen your immense value.” Or “If I wasn’t truly Empathic, how could I have seen that subtle event that broke your heart and told you what it felt like.”

It’s an honor to be an Empath, yet it takes time to learn how to maneuver through all the emotional and energetic fascia throughout the environments and relationships that we encounter.

Famous Empaths

There are millions of Empaths around the world. If you’re on the Meyers-Briggs scale as an INFP or INFJ, you might be one, too.

Here is a list of a few of the more popular Empaths throughout history. There are many more.

Look around at your family and friends. Chances are that 10% of them are empathic in some way. Be gentle with these folks and nurture these relationships. At some point in the future, you might need a deeply loving friend to come to your rescue.

Check out Paul’s EMPATH OATH.