Natasha climbed the career ladder, gaining a senior role in a well-known marketing company. In her late 30’s she decided to give up work to become a full-time mum. After a period of time enjoying being a full-time parent, she felt the urge to work again.
Natasha's starting point for working with intention
After 18 months of being a full-time mum, Natasha experienced a strong biological drive to care for her child, but her ego wanted go back to work in order to enjoy the status and challenges that work once bought her. Natasha experienced a values clash – she did not want to go back to the daily grind and pressure of working for a large corporation, but she did want to work. This was Natasha’s starting point for working with intention.
step 1: Initiate intention
Natasha had a strong desire to work, but only knew the corporate world, and no longer wanted to work in a corporate role. She noticed that many other mums wanted to work flexibly from home so that they could care for their children whilst still enjoying the challenge, social interaction and revenue that work provided.
Her initial intention was simply to find a flexible way to both work and care for her child, but she wasn’t sure how to do it so lacked the belief that it was possible.
step 2: Distil, test and refine
Step 3: Embody and embed
step 4: Take Action and grab opportunities
Natasha ended up moving backwards and forwards through steps 2 -4 before firmly moving forwards in step 4.
Natasha made a start on Step 2 by using the 'Get moving' tool (Intention Matters Chapter 6, tool 1) to help her to refine her intentions.
When she asked herself what her core intention was she felt uneasy, and only vague ideas arose. She plugged in her headphones and sat down to practice mindfulness for ten minutes. At the end she kept her eyes closed and again asked the question 'what is my core intention'? She immediately visualised effortless juggling of both her home and work life, and having fun and meeting new people.
She clarified her core intention - simply to find a flexible way to work. This led to identify a nested intention to help other mums offer a service that helped other women to work flexibly. She sat with her eyes closed, holding her intention in her minds eye. She tuned into her body and noticed that this felt right for her. She was not sure if it would work, but decided to give it a go.
Applying step 3, Natasha made a start by hosting a mums get together event in her local village hall. She chatted to local mums who thought her idea was great, and said they would definitely support her. This made Natasha feel a little more confident, so she held more events at village halls within a 30 mile radius and go similar positive responses from the mums she met. She set up face to face monthly meetings with a £10 membership fee.
After six months, she found that she was working really hard but achieving little. The meeting fees barely covered the hall rental and refreshment costs. The mums seemed to prefer to chat and gossip than discover and create new flexible employment options.
Revisiting step 3, Natasha revisited her core and nested intentions. They still felt right, but she still lacked full belief that it would be possible to create the flexible employment she wanted. She did not want to travel further than a 30 mile radius on a regular basis and could not think of other ways to grow the business. A friend suggested that she hosted the group - saving travel, room hire and refreshment costs while extending the reach of the group.
Natasha set up her first online meeting, inviting the more proactive mums that had attended her face to face meetings. The first meeting was a great success. And membership started to grow
Applying step 4: with her membership growing, Natasha's confidence grew, and with it her belief that her core intention would manifest the results she was looking for. Natasha business was growing, providing a good income and generating many mumpreneur success stories and yet something did not feel right. After running the business for 18 months she found herself working for over 30 hours a week and often taking phone calls late into the night. She found herself away from home for a number of evenings and weekends as he hosted or attended networking events and education seminars for working mums. She started to question if this is what she really wanted.
One day Natasha re-visited her journal and was reminded that her core intention was to work flexibly. She realised that meeting her companies demands were causing her to work more hours than she had wanted to work, and she was missing out on precious moments with her fast-growing child.
Revisiting step 2 and 3 helped Natasha to again consider her core intention and to refocus. Natasha decided to employ a mum to work 40 hours a month, focusing on mumpreneurs who were just starting out and organising educational events. She refocussed her efforts on helping mums whose businesses were at a more advanced stage. This felt right. Her core intention remained the same, but she identified more nested intentions to help her along the way.
Revisiting step 4, Natasha restricted her work to Monday to Friday, stopping work at 6 pm each day, and restricting evenings away from home to one a week. This felt right.
Over the next 6 months, her belief grew stronger that her new work would indeed provide the flexibility and challenge she had been craving. Life felt good. Six months after restricting work to Monday to Friday, ending at 6 pm prompt, with one or less evening away from home a month, Natasha reviewed progress towards her Intention. She felt better than she had done in years. This was an indication that her intentions, though not fully manifested, were moving in the right direction. It's common for intentions to not be fully manifested all at once, but to unfold over time.
Many of Natashas nested intentions started to manifest themselves. Her new business was growing much faster than she had anticipated. The growth and diversity of the membership provided the stimulation and challenge she craved. Amongst the members, she found talented individuals who became part of her management team. As all of her team were working mums, flexible working, support, and empathy were the norm. The vision of the organisation to help other working mums to do the same proved a powerful driving force.
NatashA's OUTCOME OF INTENTION
After several years of working backwards and forwards on steps 2-4 of the IDEA framework, her intention consolidated. Four years after starting her new organisation Natasha found herself working thirty hours a week – which suited her well.
Some weeks she worked fifteen hours, some weeks forty – when an how she worked was her decision. With ten thousand members, each working anywhere between five and forty hours a week she felt a personal sense of pride and making a real difference in the world. Looking back at how her intention had taken shape, Natasha shared a similar experience to Helen.
By holding her intentions lightly, taking action when opportunities arose, and regularly checking to see if her actions were assisting or hindering she achieved her intention by ways and means she couldn’t have anticipated at the outset