I’ve started writing them down in the mornings. I try to get to it first thing, as much as time and life allows, so that my mind is clear and the whispers are undiluted. What do I desire? What do I need? Of what am I afraid that I need to tackle? What do I want to do? How do I want to do it?
Most days the list looks like it did the day before. I’m pretty simple. Isn’t it interesting how almost no one’s life looks simple from the outside, but when you dig in, we all have our routines and ways of doing things and we mostly manage according to what’s important to us? Our priorities guide us through our days. In a season as busy as the one I’m in now, I want to make sure I don’t get off track, so I’m in the practice of writing it all down so I can more easily remember what the important things are. Home, family, marriage, friendships, health, work, dreams, and — this is a new thing I’m trying to manifest — more time to rest and play. We’ll see how I do with that one.
What happens though, when our intentions are misinterpreted or even misguided? What if we attempt something and it goes all wrong? There’s a lot of talk about the gift of failure these days — how it humbles us, how it teaches us, how it allows us to do better the next time by giving us the experience of a face plant to draw on. I guess everything we do is an experiment. Some of them are more grand than others, but at the end of the day, we’re all just stumbling through, looking for grace and understanding. I’ve never been one of those people who seem to land on their feet no matter from what height they fall. I take it all too seriously and let’s be honest, hard, for that. I beat myself up mercilessly when I don’t accomplish what I want to or just plain mess up and I’m thrown off my footing by mistakes and blunders. I have to take time to regroup. But maybe that’s what my lists, those morning whispers, are giving me. Time to focus and refocus, to find and refind and set and reset my intentions, to begin again every day and give grace and understanding to my own damn self. Isn’t that the hardest thing to do?
It is a beautiful morning here in Kelowna, BC. I am taking a little bit of a break — look! rest and play! — before I get really crazy this fall with my book and accompanying record release and have joined H. on tour while J.H. has gone to be with his father. Y’all, I get so homesick for that little boy when we’re apart that I almost can’t stand it, but that feeling makes me return to my intentions too, maybe more than anything else does. To be a parent is to almost constantly question, so having some good ideas in place about how to handle it all gives me a foundation to return to when I’m losing my mind missing him. I have to remind myself of all the things, as being with him every minute and holding his hand isn’t the only thing on my intention list for him.
It’s hard to let go and trust that things will be alright some days. Focus helps me through, and remembering on what I want to focus is imperative. When I forget it all and find myself wanting to get under the bed to hide (yes, I said that) because it all falls apart, I try to remember the things I’ve studied and I reach, again, for the words of those more faithful and intelligent than I am. Thomas Merton comes to mind this morning. After all, I do believe the morning whispers that forge the intentions are divine.
Sending lots of peace, love, and strength to make it through this crazy world to y’all.