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TSD columnist Lucy Shaw, a previous Women of Excellence honoree, zeroed in on “intention and purpose” during her 2012 WOE gala keynote speech at the Memphis Botanic Gardens.

(TSD columnist Lucy Shaw, a previous Women of Excellence honoree, zeroed in on “intention and purpose” during her 2012 WOE gala keynote speech at the Memphis Botanic Gardens last Saturday (April 28).)

 TSD columnist Lucy Shaw, a 2010 Women of Excellence honoree, zeroed in on “intention and purpose” during her 2012 WOE gala keynote speech at the Memphis Botanic Gardens last Saturday (April 28). (Photo by Tyrone P. Easley)

“Ten years ago, Wayne Dyer wrote a book titled ‘The Power of Intention.’ I remember searching the book for a definition of intention. I finished the book without a working meaning of the concept for myself and hence an inability at the time to apply what surely must have been a powerful concept.

“Today, I know that I simply was not ready to receive it or at least not in the way that Wayne Dyer presented it. Today, I have what I think is a pretty good grasp of what intention is….

“Simply put, intention is the conscious activity of using your will to choose. The operative words are conscious, will and choosing. Add purpose to the choice and you have something that is unstoppable. Free will is the most powerful gift that we have. When it is understood, appreciated and used consciously and purposefully, wonderful things begin to happen. It can be small or it can be large.

“This morning, you practiced this awesome skill by choosing to attend this event. What makes any choosing special is your purpose. While one person chose to be here to show love and respect for an honoree, another’s purpose may be to meet and touch people she has admired from afar. Another may be here to network. Another may simply be here to satisfy curiosity, another may be here for the purpose of expressing gratitude for the TSD, supporting its contribution to our community. The possibilities of purpose are unlimited.

“But here is what is most important about intention and purpose. So listen closely because it is elegantly simple and infinitely powerful. You are here at Earth University to learn and to grow. That’s it, period. The quality of your matriculation through Earth University (EU) is determined by your intention or choices, your discipline and your purposes. What choices are you making, moment by moment, and for what purpose? What will you learn and how will you grow in your choices? And most important, how will you teach what you learn to others?...

“I have been blessed with an absolutely wonderful life. But I must tell you a secret. I was not always intentional or purposeful. I simply always did what seemed right and natural, loving and fair. I was not one of those people who could say, “I always wanted to be a ...” I was good at many things and simply did not choose to do the things that I was not good at! In other words, I played it safe.

“And one day, I learned that our core purpose is defined by that thing we can do well without a whole lot of effort. Sure there are some corollary skills that we might have to work harder at, but each of us came to EU with a basic set of gifts and talents that we are expected to intentionally and purposefully exploit. To do that requires self-trust and self-respect and the capacity to constantly ask, “How can I up my game?”…

“Choosing to excel can be tricky business. Everybody doesn’t think you are great and everybody doesn’t love you when you excel.

“I went to an awards dinner one time and a young black female who had worked in Japan came up to receive her award, and here is what she said, “In the Japanese tradition, I thank my enemies first and my friends second.” She explained that her enemies were those whose lack of faith in her caused her to keep pushing, and friends were those who supported her on her journey.

“Over the years I have thought much about this. So who are our friends and who are our enemies?

“Our friends are the positive, empowering thoughts and beliefs we have about ourselves and others. Our enemies are the fears, doubts and beliefs in lack and limitation that keep the good away. Paul tells us in Hebrews that the Israelites did not make it into the ‘promised land’ because of their unbelief. They never believed they were deserving or capable of entering in.

“So for the (WOE) honorees and for the rest of those present, are you visualizing, naming and claiming your own ‘promised land’? Are you setting an intention and purpose for entering into your promised land? Are you believing, trusting, preparing and owning it as your birthright? EU is for living, learning, teaching, giving and receiving again and again and again. There are no limits! Success is our very birthright…

“I want to end this talk with one of my favorite quotes. Author, preacher, teacher, Maryanne Williamson wrote it; President Nelson Mandela used it and made it broadly famous.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”


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