Tag Archives: Intention

Living Blog Post Image


Living is my word for the new year. Living is one of those words that is typically followed or preceded by other words or phrases. Although inspired by the subtitle of our upcoming book, Midlife, New Life: Living Consciously in Midlife and Beyond, many positive words and phrases can precede or follow the word living: Living Well, Living Life Creatively, and Living with Technology, are all chapters in the book; other phases that may come to mind include living space, living wage, living things, living peacefully,  living the dream, or senior living, sustainable living, purposeful living, vibrant living, working for a living, or the philosophy of living. Living from the place of surrender, living in harmony, and living in hope all connect well to my words for previous years.

Living is the active word for the verb to live or the noun life, it is about being alive. This brought to my mind the words of Howard Thurman, “Ask what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” The new year offers new opportunities for being awake and alive, and for living intentionally.

Living is such a versatile word. What are the “living” phrases that come to your mind? How are you choosing to live? I invite you to bring attention to what you are noticing as you read this blog post and set an intention for how you will be living in the new year. Join me in living more consciously.

Finding Your Voice

Finding Your Voice

Finding Your Voice was one of many themes we explored in our conversation circles this year. In these conversation circles, we discussed our physical voice, the outer voice we use for speaking, singing, and perhaps chanting; our inner voice, the internal monologue in our head that provides the words and images that reflect our thoughts and imaginings; and our figurative voice, our authentic voice, what we believe and what we truly stand for, the voice that is manifesting in our speaking and writing.

Thinking about the singing voice brings to mind my mother. As a teenager, long before I was born, she sang in the church choir. At home, while I was growing up, she was always singing. Singing while cooking or doing the dishes, or at anytime while working around the house or in the garden. She had a beautiful voice. I wonder now why we never recorded her singing. A missed opportunity!

As we come to the end of the year, many of us take time to reflect, celebrating our accomplishments, noting what went well and maybe what didn’t go as planned, thinking about what we learned, remembering the people who came into our lives and those who departed. Then, looking forward to the new year, thinking about our aspirations and setting intentions.

As readers of my blog posts may know, I select and share my word of the year. A word that represents my area of focus, a touchstone for my thinking, writing, and speaking in the year ahead. Emergence, surrender, and hope were the words of recent years. I am now in the process of selecting my word for the upcoming year, a word that may guide the finding of my voice, and inspire responsible action. I am reflecting on the following questions and invite us all to do the same: What do we stand for? Who will we be and how will we show up in the world? How will we find and use our individual voice and our collective voices in the coming year? I wish you success with finding your voice.

Originally published on the Dr. Paul Ward Blog.

Seeds of Consciousness

Seeds of Consciousness

Our conscious mind is small in comparison to our vast unconscious mind. This unconscious mind is part of what Thich Nhat Hanh referred to as store consciousness. Describing consciousness as like a house, Thich Nhat Hanh suggested that store consciousness is the basement and mind consciousness is our living room. Mind consciousness is our active awareness, our conscious mind. Store consciousness, sometimes called root consciousness, is in the lower levels of our consciousness. This is where all our past experiences are stored along with the seeds of our reactions to the triggers we experience every day. Although we may not be fully aware of what is in our store consciousness, we can influence the manifestation of its contents in the conscious mind.

Continue reading


Surrender is my word for the year 2021. Rather than new year’s resolutions which frequently get diluted within the first few days of January, I advocate setting clear intentions. Not so much specific goals or outcomes, but intentions for how we wish to show up in the world. So, my intention this year is to surrender to life as it unfolds.

During the past year, I read The Surrender Experiment written by Michael Singer, the creator of a thriving meditation center and founder of a highly successful medical practice management software company. Singer’s philosophy of “surrendering yourself to Life itself” was an inspiration to me during the early days of the pandemic where the uncertainty about the future and loss of control of the present was paralyzing for a time.

According to Michael Singer, “The practice of surrender is actually done in two very distinct steps: first you let go of the personal reactions of like and dislike that form inside your mind and heart; and second, with the resultant sense of clarity, you simply look to see what is being asked of you by the situation unfolding in front of you. What would you be doing if you weren’t being influenced by the reactions of like or dislike? Following that deeper guidance will take your life in a very different direction from where your preferences would have led you.”

My intention is to surrender, devoting myself to the present moment, allowing life to unfold and not trying to force things to happen. Surrender doesn’t mean we won’t have to make decisions or chose between different options but, with clarity of intention, we can, in the words of Christina Baldwin, move at the pace of guidance.

Article previously posted on the Dr. Paul Ward Blog

Conscious Retirement

Accepting that retiring the word retirement may be an impossible task, we may find conscious retirement to be a more exciting aspiration. Waiting until we find ourselves out of work, either by choice or because of unforeseen circumstances, is not a conscious retirement strategy. We need to be thinking about what comes next long before we arrive at a place we might call retirement. We need conscious retirement strategies.

Continue reading