Intention vs. Action
So, is having the intention to recycle, buy organic and live a good, green life the starting point? Or is the starting point the moment you actually stop throwing soda cans in the trash, and take them out to the recycling bin in the driveway- in the dark, in the heat, being bitten by mosquitoes, when all you want to do is stay in the cool, bugfree house? (Damn, that trash can is so much closer than the recycling bin!) This is an important question for me, as I’m really, really good at sorting recycling and creating piles in the house, but I’m not very good at getting that recycling out of the house, into the bins and onto the curb for Wednesday morning pickup. So I’m not really recycling, am I?
I have the best intentions. And as a Buddhist, intention is very important – it’s part of the EightFold Path, the way to Enlightenment. Right Intention acknowledges that all our actions grow out of our thoughts, so if we have the Right Intentions, Right Action (another step on the EightFold Path) will ultimately follow. But I’m NOT recycling, so what’s going on here? It seems, like all things in life, that things are more complicated than they appear. For starters, just what exactly is an intention? Most would say they are the big thoughts– I want to make the world a better place; that’s my intention. And making the world a better place really is important to me. I think about the state of our planet, climate change and the world my daughter will inherit quite a bit. SO WHY CAN’T I GET THE DAMNED RECYLING OUT ON TIME???!!
Hmmm – here’s where my lovely subconscious comes into play and complicates everything up - ‘cause you know what? It has intentions too. And those intentions are to stay inside and eat ice cream. My subconscious doesn’t give a rat’s ass about recycling. So guess which wins out? Oh, yeah, you guessed right. And for yet another week, the recycling pile gets larger under the dining room table.
The only way to cure this intention standoff is to get both sides on the same page – and right now that’s not happening. I do have a plan. By bringing conscious awareness to the dilemma, spending some time meditating and looking at my resistance to recycling, I can create the opportunity to realign my conscious intention with my subconscious intentions. And I’ll need to willfully invoke action as well, because action repeated becomes a habit.
It’s not that I’m lazy, I’m just conflicted. Very strangely conflicted. (But that’s not news to those who know me.) I’ll be working on this over the next few months, and let you know if my recycling ever makes it to the curb.
- highheelsandcompost posted this