Being conscious of the relationship we have with ourselves and with others is what I call Intentional Partnership. Intentional in the sense of making a conscious choice that is deliberate and purposeful and partnership entails two distinct people, or parties, coming together intentionally. When we put these two words together Intentional Partnership is not merely two people being randomly in relationship to one another, although at first it might happen that way. It implies a relationship that is developed by the mutual intentional of both parties with the understanding that both will be enriched in a way that is unique to the intention of the relationship.
Intentional Partnership begins with your relationship to yourself. For most, because of early life programing and childhood experiences, self-love, self-respect, compassion, emotional stability, and living with integrity initially requires healing and work. However, the intention to relate to oneself with these qualities and to love this precious life we have, sets the stage of how we are in the world.
It has been my experience and that of the people I work with in my psychotherapy practice that when our relationship with ourself is based on positive intention and self-care, then the opportunities to participate in the celebration of living life shows up. Life wants to live through you as a unique expression of the creative force that is the core all of life and this creative force expresses itself in the form of life purpose.
In fact, life purpose is the declaration of how we wish to partner with the world. For life purpose, to come alive, we must first partner with ourselves and later, our life purpose emerges in the world by, among many things, identifying key people that we can partner with. Through Intentional Partnerships we mutually uphold the evolution and positive unfolding of one another. In this way, life unfolds through us through these significant partnerships.
Of course, arising out of our own Intentional Partnership with ourselves, is a compassionate orientation towards all beings. However, the distinction here is that Intentional Partnership is aligning and forging relationships that are mutually evolving both parties through the connection of the relationship.
I have had many Intentional Partnerships in my life: Mentors, colleagues, spiritual community, friends, clients, students along with my wife and family. These relationships have been instrumental and crucial in my desire to be authentic in my participation in life. The key for me in finding these key partnerships is first taking 100% accountability for my own life and experience, having the intention to live a positive and compassionate orientation towards all of life and the desire to evolve and live life purposely. When I come to life with these intentions, the people in life that have these similar qualities, or desire to have these qualities, show up and we are all enriched.
Once I identify possible key relationships that can be turned into partnerships, I use the power of my intention to integrate purpose to these to relationships by showing genuine interest, thoughtfulness and directness. If the other person show the mutual affinity for sharing this partnership, that the partnership begins to create a magic of its own. As the relationship continues, I find moments to express gratitude and appreciation for the connection to the other person.
It is important to state what is Intentional Partnership is not. When we partner with ourselves and others in ways that are destructive, toxic, and self-serving, we cut off the life-force that comes out of the Intentional Partnership experience and the creative force of life itself. Also, partnering with people who do not have our best interests is draining and will not feed our evolution and life purpose. Similar to getting to know the parts of ourselves that do not serve us, we also must be aware of people and relationships that do not want to share in our positive vision for life. The more with partner with ourselves, the more we will understand the relationships that are nourishing and life promoting.
Intentional Partnership is an integration of the mind, heart, gut: the clarity of intention, the openness for connection and willingness and courage to participate in life. To take it one step further, of these three, Intentional Partnership exudes the strength of the heart. It’s expression is living a life of purpose beyond oneself, to uplift humanity through one’s positive connection to others and to participate fully in the rhythms of life.
I wish for all you readers that you may find the true partnership with yourselves in Spirit, find the purpose of life that is seeking to be lived through you and create Intentional Partnerships to fulfill your unique purpose in the world.
Art credits in order of appearance: Christophe Billard, Hans Braxmeier and Jonny Linder.