Intentional Living…finally | June 2020

Intentional Living…finally | June 2020

I am joining Honoré again this month to share an update on my word!

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher

Six months in and I finally got it!
What intentional living is. What is should be. What it feels like.

And it is incredible!!

News Flash: I have been living such an unintentional life!!

Aimless (yes, maybe focused aimlessness…but still so aimless!) I am sad that it took almost four months of at-home-quarantine to figure it out. (but I am not sure I would have been able to any other way…)

I started out the year with an entirely different journey in my mind for this word. Haha! Well, it sure showed me!

So what changed? I finally gave up trying to pick the path and let the word show me where I needed to be. I stopped fighting it and gave myself over to it.

Here is what this month revealed to me:

Time in meditation is the best time I can give myself. And meditation paired with some time listening and a bit of writing sets the best tone for the day. (Listening, you ask? Yes… listening. Some days it is poetry, some days it is nature, and some days it is listening for a still small voice.) I have done some form of mediation regularly for a very long time, but this quarantine has helped me hone my meditation skills… or maybe it is that there is less on my “shopping list” (see below) and that has helped remove the noise and just be immersed in the meditation time.

Time mindlessly shopping was such a colossal waste. We have been grocery shopping once every 4-ish weeks…and you know what? We have not run out of things…once. I have not done any “clothing shopping” at all this year and have not died and my wardrobe is not lacking (see Me Made May for proof of that!) No aimless wandering in a store buying things out of boredom.

This month I’ve gone to bed earlier and I am sleeping better and waking up easier! (Most nights that is… sometimes the news just can’t be avoided and then queue the tossing and turning with a dose of worry)

I am giving up trying to control.all.the.things! (it’s a work in progress…) And as a result, I have started to stop worrying about those things. (okay, maybe not entirely…but I am working on it…see above, lol)

Now, here we are on the last day of June and I am excited to see what Intentional Living will look like in July.

You can see my Intentional Journey here.

 

Moving Monday | 6.8.20

Moving Monday | 6.8.20

Writing is my salvation. If I didn’t write, what would I do? — Maxine Kumin

I heard a poem by Maxine Kumin last week and I have not been able to get it out of my head. It is the epitome of summer, and I just want to immerse myself in it…and never leave. It was the balm I needed to get through the week. I had not heard of Maxine Kumin so I did some Googling and discovered the quote above. I am nodding my head in agreement,  writing keeps me sane these days. It is a bit scary, but I have almost filled my Pandemic Journal…and I am debating with myself; do I keep going or stop?

Today I want to dwell on the goodness that this poem holds:

Appetite by Maxine Kumin

I eat these
wild red raspberries
still warm from the sun
and smelling faintly of jewel weed
in memory of my father

tucking the napkin
under his chin and bending
over an ironstone bowl
of the bright drupelets
awash in cream

my father
with the sigh of a man
who has seen all and been redeemed
said time after time
as he lifted his spoon

men kill for this.


May your Monday be awash with good things.

Photo by Jenna Hamra from Pexels

 

 

 

Intentional Living…finally | June 2020

when INTENTION is all I have | May 2020

I am joining Honoré today and sharing my Little Word update for the month!

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher

I am positive that this was not the word I should have picked for 2020 because here we are closing out May, and my struggle with intention continues. This was absolutely not what I ever imagined when I settled in with a word for 2020 late last year.

Words like uncertainty, circumspect, and home-body seem like they might have been better word choices, but I am not a quitter – so onward with intention!

But Mary Anne Radmacher’s quote still beckons and this month Choose with no regret has become my daily mantra. And sometimes I was even successful!

  • All month long as areas began to “open up” I confidently elected to stay home.
  • We have a Primary Election next week so I applied for a mail in ballot… and sent it in.
  • I trimmed my hair.
  • I have not yet given myself a pedicure, but I have been using this delightful scrub regularly accompanied by a foot massage!
  • I wrote more, thought more, and read more.
  • I had long (and frequent) conversations with my kids…perhaps talking longer than we would in person!
  • I spent time knitting (of course) and practicing my meager crochet skills.
  • I wrote down little bits of gratitude every day, even when it was hard.
  • I also found myself back in the circle of grief, visiting stages I thought I was done with.

Choose with no regret was absolutely what I needed this month.

You can see my Intentional Journey here.

 

 

 

Intentional Living…finally | June 2020

Intentional Living in the Age of Social Distancing | 4.28.20

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher

When I started this journey to be more intentional, I had no idea that Mary Anne Radmacher’s quote would stay with me in my journey. Yet, it is – and this month I found her words to Practice wellness and Appreciate your friends were just what I needed in Stay at Home Life.

And so, I have spent the month practicing wellness by staying home.

April 7, I began stitching my 100 Day Project. I had spent much of January and February plotting and planning out what I wanted this project to be. I started off eagerly; excited each day to sit with my stitching. One edge was completed, and some niggling worries began to creep in. What if it doesn’t work out like I planned? A couple of days the uneasiness – the uncertainty – kept me from stitching. I spent some time with that uncertainty and discovered that it was not the stitching, but my inner nay-saying voice creeping in. The answer for me was not to argue with that voice, but to tell myself that even if it does not “turn out” it will be okay…and believe it, and intentionally ignore that nay-saying voice.

About mid-month I noticed some significant changes in my life.

My meditation time became easier. I found I did not need to set a time to “stay” meditating. Rather, I welcomed the silence, the breathing, and especially the listening! Being comfortable with the stillness and just listening has been so helpful in these stressful days.

I joined Katie in her Reading Through the Gospels Lenten Journey and at the end of Lent, I just kept going. Kym sent me a wonderful little Intention Journal and I am filling it with notes as I read.

And that brings me to my next focus of the month… my friends. That number includes all of you, Gentle Readers! From your comments, your suggestions, your kindnesses – You make my days better and my life is so much richer because of you! Thank you!

My local Knit Group’s weekly Zoom Meetings have become a thing that I anticipate with great joy. We laugh, we bitch, we share. I did not imagine these women would become such a vital part of my week… but they have, and I am better because of them!

I guess all this means that I have somehow found the path again, and I am profoundly grateful that I have!

I am very happy that Honoré hosts us each month! Please, head over here to see a round up of word updates!

You can see my Intentional Journey here.

Intentional Living…finally | June 2020

Missing Intention | March 2020

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. — Mary Anne Radmacher

Oh boy, can you say Intention Derailment? I feel like I am living on the edge.

Stuck on that dammed edge, wishing like hell that I could go back to last years word… to pick it up and wrap it around me because I really need something familiar right now. Something easy.

And then I read this:

Whenever something bad happens, keep calm, take a few deep breaths and shift the focus to something positive. — Roy T. Bennett

Yep, that is where I am right now… trying to stay calm, trying to breathe, and unsuccessfully seeking anything positive.

If this was all just about me only…I think I’d be fine with little or no hiccups in my day. But every day there seems to be some new thing to be concerned about for those I love (specifically my kids) and, honestly, it is damned hard to “put on a happy face” or find something positive.

But I have discovered that even small breaths are good. And faking calm works in a pinch – or at least for the duration of a phone call, then all bets are off.

And silent tears sometimes are the most positive thing in a day.

And that is all I’ve got.

Now, please go visit Honoré and see what everyone else has!

You can see my Intentional Journey here.

Intentional Living…finally | June 2020

An Intentional Life

Live with Intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is. – Mary Anne Radmacher

It turns out that January’s fumbled start was just what I needed to stop and consider what intention can mean for my life. And February brought lots of thoughts and even some ideas and before I knew it, being intentional slowly began to take root in my days.

One thing I wanted to be more intentional about this year was my reading. I really needed to give myself permission to slow down and savor a story versus being a perpetual participant in the Reading Race. And wow, this has been a surprisingly delightful thing. Part of that slowing down and savoring process has included writing brief reviews/thoughts on the books I have finished. I am taking time from when I finish a book to when I write the review – time in which I am processing the story, thinking about what I liked, what stayed with me, and what about this book makes me want to tell someone they need to read it (or not as the case might be).

The other part of my intentional reading includes reading more poetry. I know very little about poetry outside a few poems that my grandpa eagerly shared with me. He loved poetry and had so many poems memorized and it was amazing to hear him talk about them. But my poetry knowledge leaves much to be desired so this year my goal is to read a book of poetry each month. I never realized what I was missing by not reading poetry, but the journey thus far has been both eye and mind-opening!

The other facet of my life is making, and it is clear to me that I need to be be intentional in my making (as well as my reading!) I spent some time going through “in process” projects and a good number of them were unraveled. It felt so good to reclaim those needles and my “yes, I really want to make this” list is now manageable. I realized that making is not a race – I love the process of knitting. But, honestly…how many more sweaters, scarves, hats, etc. do I need?

I have been slowly going through my wardrobe with some intention as well and as a result I have more things that will be leaving which makes it easier to see “holes” that need to be plugged. Once I have completed this “clean out” I will have a list of things that I will work on making as the year progresses. Intentional making is a very good thing!

One thing I have been truly been missing is some kind of daily stitching – but again, I don’t really need or want to do twelve more months of stitching projects. However, a somewhat planned 100 Day Project might be just the thing and I have begun sketching out some ideas of what/where/how I’d like to create this textile. I’d like this to fall somewhere in between “play with abandon” and “continue to learn” or perhaps both!

I am joining Honoré and friends as we explore our words together! Stop by and see how everyone did!

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) from Pexels

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