I write this practice on the first weekend of the new year. The year just passed brought many challenges, not the least of which has been our global, collective experience with Covid 19. Other challenges arose, as well, bringing with them an inescapable awareness of cultural beliefs and norms that need to be updated, changed, eliminated, or transformed depending on what they represent and what they support in our social consciousness and behavior.
I’ve also been thinking about the intersection between deeply held intentions and what has been called the “quantum foam”—the arena in which an infinite array of probabilities may be found. In quantum research and theory, it has become apparent that probabilities dance in and out of reality all the time, responding in part to the “observer effect”. For me, this equates with how our deep choices interact outside our conscious awareness with the emergence of particular probabilities and I find this a much more dynamic and creative idea than our usual “New Year’s resolutions” type of activity.
In my work with the optimal future self over the last almost 40 years, I’ve explored the ways in which our felt-sense—that ability we have to experience in the body new states of being, new awarenesses, new possibilities—can access and draw into our present-day life more positive, healing options. The idea of an optimal future self can actually be misleading, since the process intends to affect the present, to access and bring into this time and this place more positive probabilities or, at least, to jumpstart them in the present.
In my work with subtle activism—drawing on inner practices such as a focus on using imagery and intention to support positive change and healing in our collective reality—I have also wondered about drawing on optimal futures which, again, aren’t really about the future. One of the activities I’ve suggested to many people is to call on the alternative reality (another idea drawn from quantum theories as translated by people who work with healing and personal transformation) where there is a human family that has learned to live gently on the earth and with each other. The idea here is that our current reality could then absorb the state of being that reflects this gentler version of our human family.
If you are interested in delving more deeply into how dynamics from quantum realities can be a resource in your life, I recommend “The Quantum Revelation: A Radical Synthesis of Science and Spirituality”, by Paul Levy. It’s available as a book and also recorded on Audible.com.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to take some time to check in with whatever deeply held intentions you may have for this new cycle. Notice the felt-sense that arises in you when you access your intention. Notice what sensations arise in your body. Become aware of the emotional tone you feel and also the quality and nature of your thoughts. Bring the intention alive in you so that you can feel its reality. Your intention doesn’t need to be concrete or completely clear. For example, you may hold the intention that the coming year will be filled with more kindness, from you and from the world around you. Then, you would notice what this intention touches in you. Or, you may hold a very specific intention that, for example, you would like to have more work come your way this year. Notice how that feels in you and what quality of experience you have when you hold that intention in your conscious awareness.
You may find, as you go more deeply into your intentions, that mixed feelings arise. I always consider an awareness of mixed feelings to be a true gift, as it points the way to something that needs to be resolved so that you are freed up to move forward into what your intention embodies and offers.
There’s no right or proper kind of intention to hold. The key is to recognize that whatever you hold within your awareness that feels alive to you intersects with certain probabilities that can bring your intention to life.
Remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that arise, allowing them to move on through without your having to do anything with or about them.