Intent: A Mind, Body & Spirit Connection
By Malissa Diener
What is intent? You set your intent by the actions you take, the words you speak and the energy you emit. Your intent is put out into your world through word and deed daily. Pretty hefty stuff, huh?
What exactly is the English definition of this very powerful word? The Miriam–Webster Dictionary gives this definition:
1. a) the act or fact of intending: purpose; especially: the design or purpose to commit a wrongful or criminal act admitting wounding him with intent
2. usually clearly formulated or planned intention: aim the director’s intent
3. a) meaning, significance b) connotation
In the English dictionary, we will focus on purpose and plan. What is your intent when you approach the animals in your care? Do you ever take a minute before you start your interactions with others and consider your intentions for the day?
Why is intent important to us as pet groomers? We are all made up of energy. Including the pets we serve. This energy transmits from us to the people and pets we encounter daily. If our energy isn’t balanced, we have no set intent or are “in a bad mood” this transmits to everyone and everything around us. Without a set intent, the animals and people, when encountering us, get a feeling that we don’t care or something is “off” about you. You can do or say things that sound like you have good intentions, but your lack of intent will transmit through.
Pets can’t understand all the words in our languages since they do not have a spoken language to communicate. However, they can associate words with intent. “Good boy”, “Wanna go for a walk?”, “Who’s hungry?” all have an intent behind them. Pets pick up on that energy and equate it to a good feeling or act. The same goes for “bad boy” and other words we use to chastise our animals. Animals are extremely sensitive to our energy and frequency tone. They are like four legged receptors, taking in energy from everything around them, filtering through it and processing the messages.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, TCM takes a different view of the human body in which the body emerges a system of energy, called “Qi” (pronounced “chee”). Qi runs through and around the body via paths called “meridians.” Qi consists of two main complementary energy forces: yin and yang. Yin energy is slow and cold, Yang is fast and hot. These energy meridians are in humans and animals.
The Five Elements
The Five Elements, or Five Phases, are aspects of Qi. These are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. In the beautiful language of the Five Elements, health is a harmonious balance of all the elements. The Qi of the elements slows and flows in daily and seasonal cycles. Each one of us is a unique and characteristic blend of the influences of all the elements.
If your energy is not in balance and the pet’s energy is also off, this will make for conflict the entire time you are with the pet. By being in balance, you can help bring the pet into balance as well.
In Hindi, the word intent has a much more internal meaning:
1. (a.) Closely directed; strictly attentive; bent;–said of the mind, thoughts, etc.; as, a mind intent on self–improvement.
2. (n.) The act of turning the mind toward an object; hence, a design; a purpose; intention; meaning; drift; aim.
3. (a.) Having the mind closely directed to or bent on an object; sedulous; eager in pursuit of an object;–formerly with to, but now with on; as, intent on business or pleasure.
The mind directs the body. There is a saying, “get your mind right and your body will follow”. This is true about anything, especially in our profession. Our mindset effects the pets and their behavior while in our care.
Think about the energy you want to put out when grooming pets. Frustration, anger, carelessness and dislike will set your animals into defensive energy and actions. When the pet isn’t complying with your commands to stand up, and you get angry, the pet shuts down its energy receptors to you. They don’t want to take in that negative intent. The more frustrated you get, the more the animal “misbehaves”. When you feel yourself getting to that point, you need to step back, take a few deep cleansing breaths, and reset your energy. The animal may never stand the entire groom or obey every command, but they will relax and start to calm down and give you the trust you want from them.
We work on an energy of trust. Owners have to trust us; the animal has to trust us to complete our job. The spirit to which we carry ourselves is what people and pets pick up on. Again, this is an energy we exude to all we encounter.
All things have a frequency, an energy level. What is yours? Some people equate energy frequency to colors. What color would your frequency be? We are made up of negative and positive energy. We draw energy from each other, especially when you touch someone.
What is your intent when you touch the animals that come into your work space? Is it positive, open and healthy? This is what you want optimally, but life has a way of taking us out of balance with our energy and therefore it changes or sets our intent. We need to be mindful of this and know when to step back and hit our “reset button.”
Breath is a great way to reset energy. Take deep, intentional breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth, slow and deep, until you feel the energy change inside you. Shake out your arms and legs, roll your head around. Relax your shoulders. Reset your spirit to calmness. Find your center and go to work from there.
Ever hear someone say “she is out in left field somewhere” when referring to someone who is off in their own world? You want to be in center field. The pitcher in baseball has the best vantage point for seeing all the players. He is up on a mound, elevating his vision. This is what you want. You are the pitcher in your game of life.
You determine your day. You determine how you are going to let your day affect you, your energy, your spirit. Set your intent to positive. Set your spirit to love. Set your mind to beauty. See positive, love and beauty come your way. What we put out we get back. The energy fields are mirrors. What do you want everyone to see when they meet you? ✂