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The picture shows a calm landscape at the sea with a lighthouse. It stands for good intentions, which like a lighthouse help us to find our way through difficult times.

Positive intentions

In the recent weeks, many of us have found that our lives are falling apart or at least changing to such an extent that our lives may not be the same again. Having lost the anchors of familiarity and routine, we all had to get organise ourselves in an completely new manner and find ways to handle this new situation. For some people it seemed easier than for others. Creating a new routine, finding positive aspects, going with the flow, even in these difficult times.

Experiencing (voluntary) quarantine

The first two weeks in (voluntary) quarantine were not too bad for me. But in week 3 I realized that this time might last longer than I initially expected. My ups and downs began. I tried to find an emotional balance and to keep a calm mind. It became more difficult for me to find ease, to laugh, to cheer up my friends and to accept that the plans I had made for the next couple of months would no longer work. I noticed a certain seriousness and tension in my body and mind.

Shifting the focus from the future to the present

One afternoon, during a bike ride, I tried to put aside what was going on in the world for a while and my thoughts began to revolve around the concept of positive intentions. How can I make plans for the future in these uncertain times? How can I keep my mind at ease? I knew that I was responsible for my life and that every decision had a consequence. But how can my currently confused and worried mind focus on future goals when I just saw most of my plans go down the drain? This is when I found what made me feel uneasy: it was the thought of the future. I realised that I needed to shift my focus from the future to the present. This was actually nothing new, but at that moment it was particularly difficult for me to put it into practice. I liked the idea that positive intentions can give us the motivation and accountability we need to move forward.

Focusing on positive intentions

Carrying out a role or task, no matter how small, no matter in which context, professionally or personally, a positive intention can serve as a beacon to remind us how we want to be in the world and live each day. By focusing on positive intentions everything we do suddenly makes sense. For us and for the greater whole. By questioning ourselves, we can make sure that we deal with our patterns, behaviours and habits. We can work continuously to be the best version of ourselves.

The beauty of it, I found, was the shift in perspective. It was not about winning or losing, it was more about focusing on what is important to me in life. What makes my life meaningful. What makes it beautiful. Now. All of a sudden I found comfort and hope again.