It’s that time of year… when we’re ready to let go of what’s trailing behind us from time gone by and launch ourselves into new intentions, goals, and resolutions. It’s a time for savoring our beloveds, envisioning how we want to show up in the world, awakening dreams that may have been dormant for a while.
I’m not a believer of resolutions. For me, they have this habit of eventually leading me to abandon ship at the first sign of failure to be perfect. I like the gentle persuasion of a good intention instead. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have fierce goals. For example, my biggest one for the coming year is to finish my book. But intention is about the journey, not the destination. It’s about practicing rather than becoming an expert. It’s about how I want to be or feel while completing my manuscript, but also in general. It’s about the tools I need to gather along the way in order to make it happen, and the courage it takes to forgive and love myself if for whatever reason I don’t make it happen. Because let’s face it. Life is particularly full these days for most of us, and has a way of nudging us off course when we least expect it with things we have no control over. Beating ourselves up about that seems counterproductive to me.
I was having a difficult time choosing my intention this time around. I have found my last two were perhaps too specific for covid times. Emergence in 2000 was a major stretch as we all went into lockdown, and belonging in 2021 wasn’t easily fulfilled either, as we all struggled to strike a balance between re-connecting and staying careful. Because intention isn’t about a destination, they still worked, mind you, at making space for those things in my inner world. But I’ve been longing for an intention that can ground me more both on the inside and the outside.
I usually choose an intention in November, but it just wasn’t coming to me. I tried to get quiet and tried to feel it in my body. I sat at my altar and emptied my mind. But nothing felt right. Nothing felt capable of transcending all of the chaos happening around me and the overwhelm I felt from the mess the world is in. Nothing felt both spacious and solid enough.
But one thing I know for sure is that when I can’t decide on an intention, an intention will choose me. Sometimes it’s while I’m cutting pictures out of magazines to make a dreamwheel, and sometimes it’s even more random and mysterious than that.
Several weeks ago, I rearranged my studio. In so doing, I had a bowl of writing prompts on little pieces of paper leftover from a writing class that I decided to toss into the recycling bin. Like the mischievous feather that floats around in Forest Gump, one of those slips of paper escaped and landed under our kitchen table, and sat there for over two weeks, undiscovered by Juniper, the puppy who I’m sure would have eaten it had she known it was there, and somehow not swept up by Deena in one of her cleaning binges. One morning in December, I dropped one of my vitamins and when I leaned down to pick it up, there it was! Trust.
It didn’t roll across my tongue the way I usually like my intentions to, but immediately, I knew I had been chosen. It landed in my gut with an aha and fit me like a snug pair of flannel pajamas. I knew it would guide me, teach me, and open me up in ways I hadn’t imagined for myself. I still have yet to discover all of the ways it will show up significantly in the coming year, but I do know that I’m needing to re-learn how to trust myself, for somehow or other, that ability has gotten a bit piddly as of late. I’ve gotten into the terrible habit of over-thinking, over-explaining, and over-apologizing. Gotta let that shit go. And I need to trust more in the flow of everything and not worry so much. So yea, there’s that.
There’s more there, I know it, yet to be seen and understood. But it’s a beginning.