A New Intention

You might notice that yesterday and today’s posts lack their Thoughtful Thursday and Confessional Friday markers. I’ve decide to omit all “day” markers from further titles even though I will continue to post accordingly. Posts will still be tagged in the category for which they belong (today’s post is still tagged as Confessional Fridays).

Every night at yoga we talk about our intention during practice that day. What are we bringing to our practice? What do we hope to take away? This month I’ve been focusing on “accepting without judgement.” In order to be truly mindful we must see things and accept them for what they are without judging them as good or bad. This is very difficult for me.

Lately I’ve been looking through my posts, on both my blogs, and have noticed a lot of negativity. I espy it in my every day life too. I compare my life with others’, and generally find it lacking. Sometimes I need to think of what others who are less fortunate live with (or  without) to feel grateful for what I have. I expect too much. I want so many things. I struggle with so many aspects of my life. So many of my thoughts are negative, or at least have a negative twinge.

The thing is, I don’t consider myself a negative person but when I look at the written record of my thoughts it’s hard to argue otherwise. So much of what I write is expressed in complaints. I don’t make enough money. I hate being a work outside the home mom. I wish I could stay at home. I feel cheated out of having my second child. I want a stupid camera. It’s all what I can’t have and how I must go without. My blog is dumping ground for the selfish and egotistical and embarrassing.

If I were to die tomorrow, is this the legacy I’d want to leave? If these posts were all my daughter had to remember me by, what would she think? I don’t want to be a woman who has so much and looks past it, focusing only on what she lacks.

I need to find a new intention for my life, for this blog. I need to find a new purpose, a distinct direction. I need to step away for a little while and rediscover the positive and how to talk about it not forcefully but eloquently, not because I should feel joy because it dwells unencumbered in my heart and soul. I want to be the person who makes others feel better, not the girl who brings everybody down.

I didn’t used to be this person. I don’t know where she came from but somewhere along the way, during my struggles with TTC, after my loss, I stopped expressing that enthusiasm for life that I once cherished – that enthusiasm my daughter has, that I think, that I hope, she got from me.

Through this blog I have met many wonderful women, some I’m lucky enough to call friend. One of those women is J from A Half Baked Life. If you don’t read her blog I highly recommend you do. If you want to know the kind of writing and attitude I aspire to, look no further than her posts.

Sometimes poor J is on gchat and I start “talking” with her. She asks me a considerate question and inevitable I start spewing some depressing, woe-is-me diatribe and just as inevitably J has exactly the right thing to say. She always knows how to make me feel better without feeding my cynicism. She can validate my feelings while gently suggesting an alternate course. She does all this without ever complaining about her own life. She has a heart like a bottomless well, brimming with loving kindness. I’m glad we don’t live too close of I’d attempt to drink from it indefinitely and surely scare her away.

I want to be like J. I want to be a calm presence, unweathered by the storms of life, a beacon of light and warmth for those who need shelter. I don’t know how to become that person but doing so feels like a worthy intention for this sacred gift of a life.

This morning I dropped Isa off at my friend’s house and sobbed all the way to work. With every fiber of my being I wished to not be there. When I crossed paths with a colleague he asked me how my summer went. “It’s was okay, but it’s over now,” I sulked. I didn’t say, “it was wonderful, I spent so much time with my daughter and my family,” or “it was amazing, I saw friends and got away with my partner,” or “it was spectacular, I’m so lucky to have two months off every year.”

I don’t want to be the person who defines her summer only by its inevitable conclusion. I want to be the person who appreciates it for the wonderful gift that it is.

I don’t know what my plan is. I’m not sure how things will play out in this space, or the other. What I do know is I’m grateful for this place and for all of you and I look forward to a future with a newly inspired and more genuine intention.

11 responses

  1. “I don’t want to be the person who defines her summer only by it’s inevitable conclusion”
    Beautifully phrased, and a beautiful lesson about life in general.

  2. I really want to be this person as well. That’s ultimately why I chose to change the way my blog was headed until I lost another baby, then, well, that got a little sidetracked. But it’s still where I want to go. I hope we both find a way to make that happen.

  3. “If I were to die tomorrow, is this the legacy I’d want to leave? If these posts were all my daughter had to remember me by, what would she think? I don’t want to be a woman who has so much and looks past it, focusing only on what she lacks.”

    So beautifully put. The first step is to create the intention. The next is to live it. (So easily said, right?) 😀

    I have a neat personal vision statement activity I can send to you, if you want. It’s from an old communications textbook of mine and it basically allows you to rank your values and then craft your own personal vision statement based on what values are most important to you. If you live your life with vision, you’d be amazed at all the things you can now see in your life’s path – I’m a firm believer of this.

    Let me know and I’d be happy to send it to you!

    • I think I may have a book that will help me create my intention. I’m reading it now. If I don’t find it there, I will definitely take you up on that. I just got to the part where he explains the first exercise. It’s intriguing and is going to take some time. I’m simultaneously looking forward to it and ambivalent about it, I think because it’s going to be so hard. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

  4. Wow … I hardly know what to say! You’re too kind … and remember, you’re only seeing my online presence … there’s a lot to be said for mediated communication that allows you to re-phrase before you post. 🙂

    (And, for the record, I bet I’d love to be real life friends with you if you lived closer … you have a joy for life that I admire … I can see it in your photos, and in your daughter’s eyes.)

    I think that cultivating your intention is a lifelong process. The fact that the storms of life shake us is part of what makes us painfully but also beautifully human. I’m so glad that I can be an “ear” sometimes (I feel bad that I don’t initiate conversations more myself) … but trust me, I complain plenty! I think that the blogging community has helped me to reframe my own negativity, though … and channel it into more positive directions. 🙂

  5. A book you might like with respect to realizing your intention is ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp… and her blog ‘a holy experience’ takes my breath away. Don’t worry… you’ll find your footing.

  6. I’m late to comment because I’ve been working on this very thing all summer and find myself still without purpose. A big part of me thinks I wasted my Summer 2011 by trying to find myself and not succeeding. I am naturally a glass half-empty person. Finding myself hasn’t resulted in much more than that.

    I hope that we’re both able to find our place and ourselves.

  7. I am here via Time Warp Tuesday and remember reading this post when you first wrote it. I am sorry that I didn’t comment on it back then.

    It sounds like J is a really great friend, with a wonderful attitude about life, and I look forward to checking out her blog. I may have been there before, but I am not sure. I really like how you described her here: “She always knows how to make me feel better without feeding my cynicism. She can validate my feelings while gently suggesting an alternate course.” I am grateful for the people in my life that are able to do that for me too.

    Reading this post almost two month later, I am curious how things are going with your new intention. I hope that you moving in a more positive direction with an intention that works for you. That said, I get how easy it is to fall into the habit of complaining and focusing too much on what is wrong with our lives, instead of all the things that are right and wonderful.

    I know this week’s time theme is about Heroes though, so now I will return to your new post to see what more you have to share about that. Thanks doing the Time Warp again with us this week! 🙂

  8. “I want to be the person who makes others feel better, not the girl who brings everybody down.”

    For what it’s worth, I see you more as the former than as the latter.

    But I know what you mean. I have gone through periods in my life where I feel down, just down, and not in control. I think that’s the thing that brings me down the most — not being in my own driver’s seat.

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