As winter softens into spring, each day stretching longer than the last, I have created an on-going list of my intentions for the season. To me, intentions embody both goals and fresh ways of thinking. New perspectives and new practices.
I love to celebrate the beginning and end of each season by articulating my intentions. This practice helps me to feel more connected to the earth and rooted in my values.
(If any of these intentions resonate with you and you'd like to join me, please let me know!)
1. Family always comes first. Mothering is enough.
I don't need to be a famed author or a wealthy entrepreneur to be joyful. Yes, I need to write and I need to create, but the end result is irrelevant as long as I am doing what I love.
On the other hand, when it comes to mothering, the fruits of my labor mean everything: the happiness of my kids. It doesn't matter how prolific I am on a day to day basis as long as my family is happy.
I wrote this intention because I have days when I feel like I'm not doing or being enough. I would like to revise this belief: I am caring for my children every day, and that is always enough.
2. Write when you can. Don't feel like you must.
Writing is like an addiction, and though it can sometimes interfere with my relationships (like all addictions, I'd venture to say), it's better than many of the alternatives. I set this intention because I want to be easier on myself; free to enjoy my life rather than obsessing over the next opportunity to get to the keyboard.
3. Cultivate inspiration. Live an inspired life.
Take walks. Sit in the sunshine. Draw pictures. Notice small beauties. Experiment in the kitchen. Talk to people. Ask questions. Read good books and good blogs. Make lists (see #5). Write poetry. Pick flowers. Brainstorm pitches. Make pitches. Window shop. Talk to trees. Stare at the sky. Play outside.
4. Love yourself. Know your potential.
Take nothing for granted.
Remember achievements of the past, appreciate the perfection of the present, and dream big for the future.
5. Take notes. Don't expect the brain to hold it all.
This has been especially helpful for blogging. If I don't write down my ideas and thoughts right as they manifest, they will often fade away, shadowed by more pressing matters. Such as feedings and tea orders and what's for dinner.
6. Blog weekly.
At least once per week. Preferably two. Maybe three. Because I love this creative outlet. And because writing about my life is incredibly cathartic and empowering and enlightening.
7. Drink one green smoothie per day in April.
My friend Jessica posted on Facebook about the 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge and I immediately agreed to do it. I already drink green smoothies on a regular basis, but I was excited to step up the frequency a bit. 8 days in and I fall more in love with green smoothies every day. Someday soon I'll post my current favorite recipe.
8. Exercise 30 minutes per day.
This one was inspired by the #1800minutechallenge which challenges bloggers to exercise for an average of 30 minutes per day April 1-May 30. Since I am still recovering from childbirth I am pretty liberal with my minutes, counting every thing from easy walking and gentle stretching to cleaning the house with a baby strapped to my chest. Really, at this point, I just want to get back into the exercise habit and figure out how to make it work for this particular season of my life.
Make plans with friends. Talk to friendly strangers. Schedules dates with James, even if we don't leave the house.
When I choose to venture into social media land, I will not click away without connecting at least once, leaving comments and likes and replies.
Listen to people. Listen deeply to what they're really trying to say. Read between the lines.