Intention

A day late – but here nonetheless!  I didn’t get round to writing my intentions for the week yesterday – because I was too busy doing them!!

My intention was to make a card to congratulate Awesome Daughter Number Two’s partner on his graduation (which happens today) – Congratulations Craig!  And to make two birthday cards – one for my sister and one for Tech Guy’s sister.  I intended to send off my post to the luscious Kathy from Bliss Habits, who most graciously invited me to submit a guest post for this week’s topic of Resolve.  Well, I got all of those done yesterday – would you like to see one of the cards?  Check out the end of the post!

It’s Tech Guy’s birthday on Saturday, but we’ll be away on our holiday and Awesome Daughter Number Three will be away on hers by then – so we will be having a Birthday Day for him on Wednesday instead!

I have embarked on a gluten/wheat free diet having read that it’s a quick and painless way to eat more healthily – well, it’s not quick and it’s not painless – but more about that on Wednesday. And I intend to persevere with this way of eating, with all of it’s challenges.

I still intend to publish posts for this week – on Wednesday and Friday – in between shopping, cleaning, laundry and packing, so it’s going to be a busy week!

My last intention is to come to the end of the week without stressing and to make sure I pack my journal so that I can remember and work through the challenges and lessons that will come up next week, because I’m sure they’ll rear their heads!

Have a great week yourselves – what are your intentions?.

Intention

‘Remus’ – photo by Karen Blackburn

My intention this week is to honour my blessings.

Recent reflections have shown me just how many blessings I have.  My wonderful Tech Guy, three awesome daughters, two cute kitties and a beautiful view of my bird feeders out of the window!  My (newish) blog has been well received and I’ve been asked to write a guest post for one of my favourites, Bliss Habits.

If you are reading this, then you’ll see that this blog is a fairly recent venture.  It was inspired by the lovely Amy Palko who began a writing project inviting us to share our beliefs.  Finding that my first response was too long to fit in her comments section, I began a blog of my own.  Now this all sounds fairly straight forward, but I have hankered for many years to write.  Only, I never knew what to write.  Creative writing was not my bag – I don’t feel that I have sufficient imagination (however, based on the changes that have taken place over the last few months, that too could change!), but I knew that I could write academic essays.  I loved the idea of blogging, but was hampered with thoughts of ‘what do I have to say that is of any value?’ or ‘who would be interested in anything I have to say?’  Well, Amy’s invitation must have hit the spot because I decided to try.

I have read copious books, internet articles and blogs about ‘finding yourself’ – because I have felt over the years that this is what I needed to do.  What I found was that the thing I took most comfort from was realising that other people felt exactly the same way that I did.  It seems that it’s fairly common to feel that you’re ‘not good enough’, not slim enough, not rich enough, not smart enough and I came to the conclusion that if so many people felt like this then it must be a human condition rather than truth.

With this in mind, I began examining my beliefs – picking them apart – looking at where they came from, what their results were and how they impacted on my life.  I have been inspired by articles by other bloggers and life coaches and. as I have explored my emotions, feelings and beliefs I have come to better understand myself. I have realised that while they all combine in a particular way to result in the uniqueness of me, they are not unique to me and I realised that if I can be inspired on my journey by others, then perhaps my experiences would be equally important for someone else.  As you can imagine, this journey of discovery is an ongoing process.  My beliefs are opened to question every day.  I jump to conclusions and make judgements just like anyone else does, but now I can recognise when this happens and explore where it comes from (although sometimes I choose not to go there because I’m not ready yet!).  This work has given me freedom.  Freedom to begin accepting that I am enough.  Freedom to begin accepting that I have value.

And so this week, my intention is to honour my blessings.  To appreciate Tech Guy; to tell my girls that I love them and am exceedingly proud of them; to cuddle my cats (when they’ll let me); to feed my birdies and to continue to share my journey in this blog with love and integrity – and to thank you for sharing it with me.

Blue Tit -
photograph by Richard Blackburn

 

 

Intention 3

Reflecting on my Gratitude post last week, I have realised that I live so much in either the past or the future – in my ‘stories’ – that I miss much of what is happening now.

At the moment I am sitting in a coffee shop while I wait for the car to be repaired – I don’t know what is wrong, but I’ll worry about that when I do!  I love the ambiance of this coffee shop.  It’s cosy and always feels friendly.  It sits in what was once Montrose jail and still has the three-feet thick walls, low doorways and recessed windows.  There is a stone floor and lovely old beams support the roof.  I can hear the low thrum of conversation and snippets of them as the voices of the people around me occasionally rise or burst into laughter, and I can smell the scent from my chamomile tea and the beginnings of today’s home-made soup (sweet potato and red pepper).  I walked here in a roundabout way from the garage, doing errands on the way and I can feel the tingle of my muscles not used to moving so much.  I feel the softness of the cushion that I’m sitting on and I enjoy the flow of my pen as it moves across the page recording these thoughts.  Outside, it’s a beautiful warm, sunny day and the cool water that I drink is refreshingly welcome before I have my tea.

All of this is in the ‘now’.

With this in mind, my intention this week is to stop and smell the roses.  To bring myself back from future or past, what might or might not have been, and focus on what is in front of me.  Right here.  Right now.

Will you join me?

Rosa ‘schoolgirl’

Intention 2

Awesome daughter number 3

On Saturday we had a ‘phone’ incident.  The second ‘phone’ incident in as many months.  Awesome Daughter Number 3 has a mobile phone – on contract which she pays for out of her pocket money (along with insurance – her idea) and she’s had it for about three months.  One month in, she was messing about with her pals when it got dropped and the screen broke.  Bye bye phone.  Response – screaming, shouting, threats of grounding and questions about whether she is responsible enough to have a (smart) phone and whether or not she deserves to have a good phone when she clearly can’t look after it!  That would be my response.  Her Dad, on the other hand, took a deep breath, pulled out the insurance documents made a few phone calls and Hey Presto! a new phone arrived within the week.  All good except for a few missing phone numbers and all her favourite music.  Calm was restored.

Fast forward to Saturday evening.  Last weekend it had been the birthday of one of her friends and Alex had missed it because of other commitments (though I’m not even sure she had been invited – but that’s a whole other mess of self acceptance on my part!) so she invited some of her friends here for a movie night.  She baked and decorated a cake and made some cookies.  The girls were staying for a sleep over and the boys went home after the film.  She had cleaned her room for the girls staying over and she had cleaned the sitting room for them watching the movie.  All in all, she made a huge effort to make sure that Jaz had a great night.  Then she discovered that her phone had been damaged again – and again the screen was broken.  She held off telling her dad and me until the boys had gone and then she waited for the fall out.

To her surprise – and mine – I took a deep breath and didn’t shout.  I explained the consequences – no phone until we can get it replaced (and that won’t happen until we have the funds to pay the insurance excess) and if she doesn’t have her phone, then her social life is curtailed.

My default response of taking the incident personally and feeling angry and in pain because things have not gone the way I believe they should – and then shouting screaming and blaming so that she feels as much pain as I do – disappeared.  I was able to see that she was already in pain, that shouting and blaming won’t fix the phone and that railing against what ‘is’ won’t change anything.  And so I accepted what was.  I was able to put into practice all the things I’ve been working on over the last four weeks and understand that resistance really is futile!

Even better, I’m not just sitting on anger, huffing with a simmering bad mood.  I’m able to hold her in my heart and send love to her – and hope she realises that an accident happened that wasn’t her fault and that it doesn’t diminish her in any way.

And so my intention for this week is to maintain this attitude of kindness – to myself, my husband, my daughters and anyone else that I have encounters with.  Mmm… not so sure about those unsolicited sales phone calls though…!

What is your intention for this week?

Intentions

*image courtesy of quotable cards.

I live my life with lists, including ‘to do’ lists – many of which never get done even though I love ticking the items off when I’ve completed them!  If I have an event coming up, out comes a spreadsheet and I meticulously plan what items I need for the event to be a success.  A family party will inspire menus and shopping lists and a schedule for cooking, freezing and things to do on the day.  Holidays elicit lists of things to purchase and pack and Christmas requires a list of cards to make and send.  Why then do I fall down when it comes to scheduling tasks and goals necessary to build a business?

It would appear that building my business falls way down in my list of priorities – somewhere behind catching up with emails and facebook, my favourite blogs, recorded TV shows, days out with hubby and, when things get really bad, housework!

So inspired by ‘A Year With Myself’, I think it’s time to get organised.  To give myself a framework that will keep me straight and guide my posts.  And since Monday starts the week, I thought that would be a good day to set an intention for the week.  On Wednesday, I will participate in Amy Palko’s Beautiful Beliefs Project and on Friday I will reflect on the week and consider what gifts I have received over the previous seven days.  Tuesdays and Thursdays will be left for me to ponder what takes my interest on those days!  And most importantly, I will retain a bit of flexibility just in case there’s a bit of a cock up!

At this juncture it might be helpful to explore what an intention is and how it differs from a goal.  A goal is defined as “the aim or object towards which an endeavour is directed”, whereas intention is defined as “an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result” or “purpose or attitude toward the effect of one’s actions or conduct” (Collins Concise Dictionary).

Dana Theus gives a simple personal example. “You may have a goal to leave the office every day by 6pm to spend time with your family. Great goal, but inevitably, if you’re in a leadership position, business intervenes with – stuff. If all you have is your goal, every time the business hands you a stinker, you fail, feel bad, piss off your spouse/boss etc. Who wants goals like that? Alternatively if you have an intention to spend as much quality time with your family as possible, you will still have to deal with those inconvenient work problems, but you have no guilt about coming into the office 30 minutes late the next morning to make time to take your kid to school”.  She suggests that by meeting your intention, you’re giving yourself the flexibility to deal with life as it shows up while still achieving success on your own terms and that intentions give you permission to achieve success where others only see options to fail by not meeting the goal. This distinction is important for someone like me for whom failure feeds into the whole ‘I’m not good enough’ frame of mind!

So, without further ado and it being Monday, today I will set my intention for this week – to give myself time, ahead of everything else, to write.  To research my topics so that I come fully prepared and present to the posts that I write, and to make sure that my readers get the best of me.  Oh, and to ensure that I get two Father’s day cards made before the weekend!