When I started my business, I also wanted to begin a family. I made a decision that my role as business owner would be flexible and secondary to my role as mom until my child was in kindergarten. My husband agreed with my intention, and I moved forward, building my business in my home office.
By the time my daughter was three, I had a wonderful part-time business in which I was making good money. My schedule was flexible, and my office was at home. I loved my life. I had my business to challenge my mind, clients and friends to meet my needs for social engagement, and my role as a mom to fill my heart with joy. Then one September day, my husband came home and announced he had resigned from his job, effective December 31.
The two of us had not discussed this decision; he’d made and executed it on his own. I was in shock. This was a game changer. My husband was in public administration and had the kind of job that required a geographic move in order to advance in his career. A new job meant a new location for all of us. At the time, my business wasn’t portable. When I asked what his plans were, he told me he was going to take a sabbatical.
I moved from shock into fear. We had a mortgage, car payments, utilities, and taxes to pay—not to mention a daughter to provide for and support. We lived on both my husband’s income and mine. Our finances could not support a sabbatical for either of us. Despite this, there was no turning back now. Things were in motion, and our income was going to be cut in half come January 1.
Overwhelmed by fear, I totally and completely lost track of my intention. From a place of panic, I purchased another firm, and merged it with my small and currently manageable business. In theory, I could scale more quickly and make more money faster with this acquisition. I negotiated the purchase in November, and by January 1, we closed the deal, and my company doubled in size. I needed new people, new office space, new systems—just about new everything.
It took five years to gain control of my life again. During those years, I had to dig down and muster the courage to change, prioritize what mattered, and implement the tools I am sharing with you in this book. The time I missed with my daughter is a never-ending ache in my heart. I have come to accept that this was the best I could do at the time, and I have forgiven myself, but that doesn’t mean the wound will ever heal.
This story is one of the cornerstones that built MACKEY™ into what it is today, a firm committed to helping business owners prosper. I don’t think it’s necessary to suffer or learn the hard way. That is why I wrote this book—so other families and children don’t have to needlessly suffer or struggle. I learned that setting and holding a clear intention improves my own life. I have seen it transform the lives of countless others as well.
Your intention already exists inside of you. Finding it is about discovering your own inner wisdom, and living it is about trusting that wisdom. It is a process with a delightful endgame—a life of meaning and fulfillment—designed by you and for you.
Intention is the starting point on the path to prosperity. It is the “North Star” that guides your choices. With intention, you have directional navigation. You can always step back, take a look at the bigger picture, and ask yourself, Does this align with my intention?
I reflect on my intention statement every year. I check in with myself to make sure it still works. Sometimes I change it up a bit. Each year, I write my intention statement down, and because I am a visual person, I also create a piece of artwork to represent what it looks like for me. I post the art on the corkboard over my desk, and I look at it every day. From time to time, I still lose my way, but it doesn’t take me long to refocus on my intention. It is like a nurturing voice, always there, lovingly reminding me of what is important.
Intention engages your heart and your mind. Your mind is busy chattering all the time. It is easy to know what your mind is saying, as it speaks directly to you in the language you have learned to use every day.
Your heart speaks to you in other ways: as feelings, as positive or negative energy, as desire. It has no access to language. It is quiet. Finding out what is in your heart requires that you listen, observe yourself, and pay attention without expectation. The clues of the heart are all around you, and may include the following:
- Feeling delighted or captivated
- Experiencing whole-body smiles
- Feeling free, young, free, and/or giddy
- Experiencing eagerness and curiosity
- Re-visualizing a positive outcome
- Noticing a sense, saying, or memory repeatedly popping into your head
- Feeling solid and grounded, like this is where you were always meant to be
- Returning to an idea, a possibility, that feels like an itch that won’t go away
- Experiencing a strong sensation of intuition
In the reverse, when you find yourself in a situation in which your energy is lower, there is a sense of obligation or dread, or you find yourself procrastinating, you are receiving clues that you are not aligned with your intention.
If you aren’t clear about your intention, no worries. Treat finding your intention like an adventure, an exciting journey of self-discovery. Think of it as a scavenger hunt. You find clues—bits and pieces—and before long, the whole picture comes into focus. Be patient with yourself and the process. Enjoy the expedition.
If you want to become more clear about your intention or feel like your lost north star, give me a call or shoot me an email and lets talk about it. Mackey@Mackeyadvisors.com