A big thank-you to the writers who got me through this foggy first week of 2017 with their inspiring new year’s posts. Kathy’s newest essay Voided Checks reflects on practice, gratitude, patience, and how we respond to life’s challenges. Tara Borin chose “practice” as her word of the year for 2017 and had me thinking about a word (or three) I might choose to shape this new year. Sarah at Mourning Dove Motherhood coasted me through the holidays with her infectious optimism and humor. I especially loved her post Winds Are Slowly Filling Our Sails, a meditation on the way shifting our lives in a new direction often feels slow, uncertain, and zig-zaggy, like changing direction while sailing. Rachel’s latest post at Last American Childhood swept me away with its beauty and brought me back to that place of life-as-narrative. I’m so grateful for these strong voices and the art they create and put out into the world. Whether you’re seeking inspiration in the new year or just looking for a good read, go check them out!

I’ve finally managed to organize some intentions for the new year. (Note: you’ll never catch me announcing a resolution. Too inflexible!) Which brings me to my first word.

Flexible. This year I want to be more flexible. Go with the flow. Accept the unexpected with grace. I don’t like surprises or sudden changes in plans. It takes me time to adjust. But life is full of surprises. Already, the new year has hurled curveballs at me. A few things that have helped me become more flexible: pausing, taking a breath, writing, sleeping on it (if possible). To be flexible is to be open to change. To bend rather than break. To continually meet life in the present moment.

Gentle. This year I want to be more gentle. With my child. With my partner. With my family and friends. With myself. My writing practice has made me less judgmental and more empathetic. I want to keep cultivating that. Gentle isn’t rushed or hurried or distracted. Gentle isn’t harsh or demanding. It’s not impatient or unkind. To be gentle is to take care. To seek to understand. To be compassionate.

Celebrate! This year I want to celebrate moments big and small. From newly fallen snow to milestone birthdays. I want to relax into events and holidays without getting worked up or overwhelmed or rushing around like a maniac. I want to enjoy things as they happen. Loosen up and have fun. I want to hang the sign and blow up the balloons and remember to send the card on time. I can’t wait to put this one into practice next week when we celebrate Isabella’s third birthday!

Those are my zen intentions. To counterbalance, I have a long list of ass-kicking goals for 2017 written in my notebook, because how could I not?

(Post 354 of 365)


8 thoughts on “Intentions”

  1. Oh, how I can relate to the words you have chosen. (Especially gentle. That is definitely a quality I want to foster more toward myself and others.) And my goodness, thank you for the mention of my blog! I am so glad that I could provide some humor and cheer during the holidays. Cheers to 2017 and to achieving the Zen goals and the kick-ass goals too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of choosing a collection of words, rather than just one. And I love all the the links you’ve shared, too … I think I’ve added every single one to my feed reader so I can get their latest!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Intentions – yes – so much better than resolutions, so much gentler & more flexible in fact. More celebratory, too. Intention feels like something sacred we attend to. I felt a wave of calmness, centeredness wash over me reading your posts. I had become out of sorts the past few days. Not gentle or flexible enough and also – I realized – not allowing myself the centering practice of reading your words, and that’s what it has absolutely become. (I sometimes want to save your words for when I’ll have more time to focus – I’m sure we all do this with various articles, but I realized I can’t do it. Your blue sail is too much of a lifeline.)

    I’m honored by what you wrote about my post. Grateful to you for that, and so much more.


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