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How to Co-Create your World-A Recipe Card for Manifesting Intention

Ashley-offerings, not outcomePart five: Offerings, Not Outcomes

This month we arrive at the fifth step of intention setting: Offerings, not Outcomes.  I would like to offer a business model to explain this concept as well as add another helpful tool in intention setting.

After college I was working in a creative field and, like many people at that point in one’s life, a little lost.  Seeing this, my father sat me down and told me I should utilize a “moving business plan” to develop a more solid plan for my life. Since my life was so spontaneous, I thought a business plan wasn’t something I could use to direct my future endeavors. Like many daughters in their youth, after two seconds of contemplation, I said, “Thanks, but this won’t work for me and my life.” And being the smart father he was, he then said, “You have no choice…”

For the next few days, we spent time outlining my personalized business plan.  The first part was setting up an objective (which, by the way, if you look it up in the dictionary, it’s another term for intention). The objective is the overarching idea of what you want to have or be in your life. I whined, “How do I know what that should be, it seems so permanent…things could change tomorrow?” His next words have stuck with me for years, “The best part of this plan is that you start out on a clear plan of action with the awareness that, over time, things shift and change. It’s not set in stone; it’s a moving document, a moving plan.”

Ah-ha! Now that I saw that this planning was all about clarity and flexibility, I was on board. We laid out goals for three months, four to six months, one year, one to three years, three to five years, and 10 years.  Once those were set, again not in stone, we moved on to weekly performance, the weekly to-do list, so to speak. This is an outline of the next three months, a breakdown by week of what I was going to do daily to move towards my goals. From there, I was to check in every day with this plan.

What this ultimately did for me was to create a structure from which I was making choices on how to proceed daily towards my tiered goals. This in turn would lead me to attaining my objective (aka my intention).

The amazing part was that I reached my objective, albeit through a slightly different path than what I had initially planned. Once I saw that, I was hooked. I still use this type of planning process to this day, visiting the goals and objectives every three months, adjusting as needed.

The main thing that I have seen over the years is that this process is primarily about the offerings, not outcomes. The Dalai Lama says “Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” The simple outcome we start out by seeking may be realized instead by a true outcome, far more complex and elegant. Making the offering, setting the intention, and staying on the path allows us to receive outcomes that may surprise us.

Next month: Step 6 – Do the Work, Move in Rhythm.

Ashley Walsh is the Vice President of Marketing for Intentional Chocolate ™, her family’s business, www.intentionalchocolate.com. An integral part of their company is to help teach the science and spirituality of intention setting. She practices yoga, meditation and chocolate eating daily as she believes all are vital to good health. 


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