Listen

Welcome to The Four Years of Intention

To provide space to listen to someone or even to ourselves is a powerful thing. It’s what we do here at PoetsIN, every day. We like to hold space to hear about the lives of others, to pay attention to how mental ill-health affects lives, arming us with knowledge that we utilise to provide vital tools and skills to those struggling; assisting them to change their lives for the better. 

This is why we are partnering with Sean Houlihan, A.K.A Bear Intentions, for the next 12 months as he takes a vow of silence to listen – all whilst raising funds for us. Allowing us the opportunity to provide those safe spaces to change and save lives. 

Bear Intentions is an incredibly engaging, warm, and insightful individual who we are proud to collaborate with over the next year. Instead of us trying to tell you what he is all about, let’s hear from the Bear himself. Sit back, grab a cuppa, and listen to his four years of intention.

Listen | ˈlɪs(ə)n |

give one’s Attention to A sound – To hear something: be alert/Ready to hear something
Old English hlysnan ‘pay attention to’, of Germanic origin.

The Art of Embodiment:
Bear Intentions & The 4 Years of Intention

Listen

If you’ve landed here you’re probably asking yourself the same questions I ask myself everyday – “Who is bear intentions and what are these 4 years of intentions?” Thankfully you’ve come to the right place.


Firstly, What is Intention?

Intention is choice. To set an intention is to make a choice that is based on purpose and meaning. Making and developing choice is very empowering. When we choose to empower ourselves or those around us it positively impacts our mind, nervous system and our body – our health. Confusion can have the opposite effect, leading us to feel overwhelmed to the point of feeling like we are lacking something. It’s for this reason I decided that Intention was the missing component in our approach to wellbeing.

Who Am I?

My name is Sean Houlihan, I am 30 years old, and I am The Intention Coach. I’ve spent the last 9 years travelling the world as a wellbeing professional and developing a structured approach to wellbeing, aptly named – Intention. I am a qualified personal trainer, a yoga and meditation teacher, massage therapist, and I am on a mission to simplify wellbeing for the purpose of reducing confusion in the way we approach our physical and mental health. To do this I have created a structured approach to health called ‘The Intention Structure’ – a clear way to plan one’s activities and tasks around their health so that the individual can develop their ‘choice’, thereby growing their sense of empowerment – their Intention. 

Who and What on Earth is Bear Intentions?

Trying to be healthy can (ironically) be stressful so I decided to turn health into my art. Bear Intentions (B-In) is me, expressing my healthy mind and body. As a wellbeing expert, my approach to health is holistic (mind, body, social and environmental). One of the key components of managing and overcoming stress is by developing both myself and my client’s ability to PLAY. Play is vital for our health as we get to step away from a goal-driven mindset. Play allows us to release our attachments of an “image” or end result of an activity, which has a relaxing effect on our body. It enables us to let go of potentially rigid patterns that we have been embodying due to demands of our work, responsibilities and environmental conditions. To play is to become creative and move into novelty. 

Bear Intentions is my way of playfully approaching health. Bear is the embodiment of Intention. During the COVID pandemic I started filming myself performing my poetry. At the same time, I started developing various characters (alter egos) and combined the two, triggering in to existence the world of the Bear Intentions. 

I feel that performance art that is focused on mental and physical health is an effective way to teach my perspectives on wellbeing. In the last year I came to a realisation that embodiment and developing healthy ideas, ones that can be seen and are tangible, is vital in displaying and teaching healthy behaviours. 

…That’s where the 4 Years of Intentions come in! 

What are the Four Years of Intention?

As you get to know Bear Intention better, you’ll start to see that he’s all about embodiment. As The Intention Coach, I observed that there are four fundamental components or ‘behaviours’ that the body needs in order to develop health…

These are the 4 Intentions: 
To Listen
To Play
To Love
To Empower 

As the intentional bear that I am, I’ve decided to embody these behaviours to develop myself and display health in an artistic form. I’m going to be doing this by taking myself through four, year-long challenges (see structure below). 

Who am I Fundraising for?

With big challenges comes big opportunity to raise money and awareness for charities who are too often the ‘unsung heroes’ of our community. They go above and beyond to support those who are challenged by health and living circumstances. Below you can see the structure of the four years; the challenges I have chosen for myself, what I am focusing on in relation to health, and the charity that I will be supporting in that year.

Why PoetsIN?

Aside from PoetsIN being run by an incredibly fun and loving group of people, they offer tools to help others express themselves. Poetry has become a medicine for me, a place of fluid clarity, like water for the parched. Creative writing for the purpose of mental peace has been life changing for me and is a key process in my emotional expression and sustaining my mental health. PoetsIN provide people who may be challenged with theirs. This is why Bear Intentions and PoetsIN are in perfect alignment because as a charity they represent the same message as Bear Intentions – healthy expression. 


How am I Structuring These Four Years?

Year 1: 8th October 2021 to 7th October 2022
Intention: To Listen.
Focus: Mental Health and The Art of Silence
Challenge: A vow of silence – No verbal communication for the entire year
Charity: The Creative Mental Health Charity, PoetsIN.
Links: https://www.poetsin.com


Year 2: 8th October 2022 to 7th October 2023
Intention: To Play
Focus: Physical Health and The Art of Embodiment
Challenge: A year of performing the various Bear Intentions Characters.
Charity: Clowns Without Boarders UK
Links: https://www.clownswithoutborders.org.uk


Year 3: 8th October 2023 to 7th October 2024
Intention: To Love
Focus: Community Health and The Art of Comfort
Challenge: A year of altruism- support my community where it’s wanted.
Charity: CREATE Charity (UK), to whom all of my personal profits will also be donated at the end of the year.
Links: https://createarts.org.uk


Year 4: 8th October 2024 to 7th October 2025
Intention: To Empower
Focus: Environmental Health and The Art of Intention
Challenge: For this final year I’m going barefoot – no footwear.
Charity: TBC
Links:TBC