Today we will discuss the bizarre idea of retro-intentions. Alright, stay with me here, because this is probably one of the more “out there” practices.
What are retro intentions?
Normally we think of intention as something we can use to alter the present and the future, but not the past. A retro-intention is an intention that we send out today that can seemingly alter something that has already happened.
If time is truly non-linear and we only experience it chronologically, this would seem to make sense – however, it truly boggles the mind and honestly I’m unsure if I thoroughly, personally accept it.
However, what if changing the past before it happens was something we could do?
These questions are brought up in Lynne Mctaggert’s book, Living with Intention, in which she goes over a number of such experiments in which it seems that someone’s current intentions (such as hearing more clicks in an audio recording) can alter what was actually recorded at an earlier time. At first I was incredulous, but the research seems well supported.
Benefits of Rewriting our narratives
One of the benefits of “thinking back” in this way is that it helps us to remember and focus on when we were living up to our values, instead of ruminating about when things went wrong.
Even if retro-intentions are not possible, what could the psychological benefits be of imagining yourself acting in a better manner than you did? Having a better childhood? Being kinder and more forgiving to yourself and to those around you?
This is a form of narrative re-telling, similar to the psychological technique of narrative therapy
Just the act of imagining ourselves and others being better gives us a path to making that a reality today.
For me, I picked a couple.
First, I am working to correct chronic health problems with allergies and nervous system dysfunction. So for my first intention, I imagine myself taking better care of my health while I was younger (e.g more avoidant of environmental contaminants, eating fresher food).
The best day for this would likely be Sunday. Healing corresponds to gold and green for me, so I wear those colours and can burn those colour of candles. Frankinsence would be my go to, but again use whatever you have available that feels right to you with intention and gratitude.
My retro-intention is:
I have always been diligent about my health. My mom would garden and we would eat fresh organic food from there and from my grandparent’s farm. Even at my worst I still cared about my health and took very good care of myself with healthy food and supplements.
I think about the specific times that happened, and imagine it happening more often.
For my second intention, I have dealt with issues around self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, and overall demoralization about the value of my self. While working on this in several other ways, another way is through this retro-intention.
Monday or Friday would be best for this kind of work, pink, purple, or silver candles, lavender incense. Again, whatever resonates with you, and used with love, diligence and respect.
The specific intention is:
I was always intelligent, beautiful, talented and cool. I wrote great pieces of music even at a young age, like that piece I submitted to the piano competition. I was always mystical and special, even if I didn’t know how to capture it in photos or express it outwardly up to the standards of my current self. That drawing I did and pieces I wrote were good and I should recognize that.
While the exact mechanism of action that leads retro-intentions to be possible is debatable, the practice itself can be healthy and healing. Whether that comes from a physical changing of the past or the psychological benefits of choosing our own stories instead of letting the world write them for us may not be as important.
It is possible that the past is as malleable as the future. And if we are only picturing it in our own minds, our inner world that we alone must occupy, why not work to make that a pleasant place to be?
Thanks for reading!
~ Blessed Be and Happy Creating ~
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