Student of Intention
Student of Intention
Join the dance

Join the dance

Getting out of the mind, off the screen and into the remarkable world around us.

One story, one clip, and one quote delivered every Tuesday to spark a little Self-discovery.

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Today’s intention is:

To feel.

We spend so much time thinking about the world instead of experiencing it. Today, at least for a moment, find a way to feel what you’re doing instead of thinking about it.

Get out of the mind

I swoop Ryan at his house around 5:15 AM on Saturday morning. He steps into the car and mentions we are a few minutes away from our morning hiking spot. As I drive, he whispers directions and we arrive at Piestewa Peak at 5:32.

We get out of the car, stretch for a few minutes and walk toward the base of the mountain. I notice Ryan wearing sandals and ask about them. He says he began climbing in them almost a year ago. They help him focus. He steps more mindfully else he stubs a toe or rolls an ankle.

The walk up measures over a mile and takes us a little more than 30 minutes to summit. Once there, we sit on the edge of a rock face and look over all of Phoenix. We share stories and thank one another for making time for the moment.

Fifteen minutes later, Ryan leads the way down. As I follow slowly, my mind wanders as I think about my plans for the day and when I might leave Ryan’s house to check in to the hotel.

Then Ryan picks up speed. He breaks into a gallop so I chase after him. The decline steepens and wrestles my attention away from my planning session. As gravity pulls me down faster and faster, my mind clears and my focus narrows to each step in front of me.

Pressure fosters presence

As we descend, my heart pumps faster, and sweat drips off my skin. My leg muscles flex to absorb each step as I reach my left foot out to catch the flat top of a large rock then quickly extend my right to propel off the side of a boulder angled toward me. Then I leap to a dirt path lining the rocks. The path lasts 20 feet, disappears, and I return to my left then right rock jumping technique. I toggle between rock jumps and path leaps the rest of the way.

The trip down takes half the time compared to the walk up. The bottom of the mountain turns completely to dirt path. We slow to a trot then gracefully regress to a walk.

Both sweating and panting, we bump fists and Ryan says, “Well done, brother.”

I respond, “Thanks for picking up the pace. I enjoyed the run down.”

“I thought you might. It’s nice to get out of the mind for a bit.” Ryan says with a smile.

His words hit me. I don’t have a care in the world. All my thoughts are still on the mountain focused on getting me down quickly and in one piece.

As we stretch by the car, I realize how clear I am from racing down the mountain.

I think about how clear Ryan must be from navigating each rocky step in his sandals.

When challenged or pressured, our minds clear as we focus on finding our way past an obstacle. We feel the experience instead of thinking about it. We get out of the mind.

The challenge of speeding down a mountain provides just enough pressure to grab our attention and pull us into presence.

But we don’t always need a mountain. The wonders of our everyday lives surround us. We can choose to give our full attention to a conversation with a friend or morning walk around the neighborhood. We can indulge in the rich experiences available to us here and now.

What will you choose to experience fully today?

How will you remain present to each unique moment?

When will you get out of the mind for a bit?

Your remarkable day awaits.

Don’t think about it. Feel it.

Get out of the device

My good buddy, Ryan Vaillancourt, stopped by The Music Show last week. We talked about life, listening, and our mutual love for music.

In this clip, Ryan shares his hopeful thoughts about a song by Punch Brothers that describes humankind’s addiction to the little screens we all carry.

The Music Show is part pod and part DJ show as it layers music between conversation. You can listen to the full episode with Ryan on Spotify and we’d love to hear what you think.

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Get into life

The more I study intention, the more I realize action is the answer.

Whatever thoughts crowd your mind today, remember you can choose to press on, dive in, and just go.

Change is inevitable. Obstacles will surface and challenges will creep up.

You can freeze or move.

I say we listen to Alan.

Let’s plunge into it.

Let’s join the dance.

Until next time,

Don’t wait. Start small. Learn as you go.


Student of Intention
Student of Intention
One short story delivered every Tuesday to spark, strengthen, and support Self-discovery.