The Trader Joe's parking lot, seemingly a suicide alley, an intersection with a 4-way stop light whose non-existent colors of yellow and red ensure horns blaring, folks dropping "F-Bombs" left, right and in between...
All in the name of love, caring and 3 wise men who gave frankincense and myrrh. In turn, we give IPhones and Home Depot gift cards. I know there's a connection somewhere and I know I'm supposed to get it, but I don't. I don't get the folks that say, "Keep Christ in Christmas" either. I did see a sign that read, "Keep Christ in Christian" and I get that. Seems the there is a great deal of amplification going on during the holiday season; dichotomies of caring yet irritability, giving yet expecting something in return. Emotions are flared. I read where folks used pepper spray at a Walmart, fought for the bargain on bath towels. I personally think there's an unspoken pressure to be kinder, gentler during the season and yet, that's asking the impossible and people become these human pressure-cookers.
So, at times, the road is long, friends.
And often, it feels endless. Every damn step brings a minute mental battle and yet, we keep walking. Why? Well, the alternative sucks, that's why. And you know what? There are so many cool humans that I encounter day to day! They are the silent ones. The ones that are plain and ordinary to the common eye unless one takes the time to recognize their "Extra-ordinary."
And my friends, humbly I tell you this, I have done just that and these humans; these homo-sapians, are so beautiful. They are exquisite and unique stories, waiting to be told.
2013 was a helluva year! It was jam-packed with trials, tribulations, pains, and extremely winding roads. Yosemite-size boulders along the way. Larger than life stumbling blocks, that made it hard, no impossible, to get out of bed some mornings for many of us. I have spoken to many a folk who bid "good-riddens" to 2013!
My solution to the whole damn fiasco, is to move on. With that said, I welcome 2014 with arms open wide and a bucket full of personal intentions! They read, loosely, as follows:
One) Get my ass moving again! Climb a mountain, walk the beach trail, pop in one of my Richard Simmons dvd' s.
Two) Continue to work, with diligence and commitment, on my writing and art forms.
Three) Let go of the past. (i.e. the yucky parts)
Four) Focus on listening and noticing.
Five) Travel with my sweetheart.
Six) Breathe deeply and deliberately, especially when I find myself on those long, winding roads.
Seven) Love! Love! LOVE with all my heart.
And yours? The curiosity is killing me, friends.
I learned, from a dear compadre, Shem, that making intentions for oneself, not just at the start of a new year, but regularly, is a very healing and positive thing to do. Not resolutions. They seem to be more firm and concrete, with an expected outcome. Not goals. Not set-ups to fail... But intentions.
intention |inˈten ch ən|noun1. a thing intended; an aim or plan : she was full of good intentions | [withinfinitive ] the Ukraine and Kazakhstan have both declared their intention to benuclear-free.• the action or fact of intending : intention is just one of the factors that willbe considered.
2. Medicine the healing process of a wound. See first intention , second intention
I personally like #2.Medicine. The healing part of a wound. I feel as if I should ponder that second "Webster" because isn't that why one would offer up an intention in the first place? To heal. No doubt, the world is in desperate need of it. No one can deny that. But, I propose to you that we each need individual healing as well, and perhaps that's a very good place to start. The "wounds" of our childhoods, our recent spats with friends, family members, the sickening news story you heard on the radio that you can't let go of, the child being yelled at in a parking lot, the words that regrettably came gushing out of your own mouth, the lies that have been told...All these and more have left our hearts wounded.
If you think of a literal wound to the skin or bone, the healing begins with surgery or medicine or herbs and fresh air. But what about the wounds of the heart? They need medicine too. Of course, setting an intention might not bring quick recovery. But not setting an intention has zero chance for healing.
Intentions toward others can bloom from a very pure and noble place, yet bring unexpected results. Here's a Christmas story... A close friend of mine shared a very personal account with me over breakfast a few weeks ago. The story has yet to leave my thoughts. With Christmas approaching, while serving in Viet Nam, he decided to bring gifts, a Christmas tree, the festivities of his own childhood, to the people there. His intentions were pure and good. As he gathered everyone together to distribute the gifts, two things happened that cut so deeply into his selfless heart, that I do believe, to this very day, he ponders his good intentions. The gift-giving brought jealousy and competitiveness, for the first time, amongst the parents; all fighting one another for the best gift for their child. And outside the church, where the gathering took place? Poor children stared in, through the open windows, with sad, hollow eyes at a sight they had never seen before. For the first time in their young lives, they realized what they did not have.(heavy sigh)Intention # Six: Breathe deeply and deliberately, especially when I find myself on those painful, winding roads.
This is a painful, difficult thing to swallow; like a large uncoated vitamin that gets lodged in your throat. I had to breathe deeply when I heard my friend share this intimate experience and I have to breathe deeply now, as I share it with y'all. The lessons of that day, of that time and moment are huge for the people, but more so, for my friend. As I reflect on his story, my eyes are opened to the heart-felt intentions of his soul. I have a clearer vision of the man he is today and the man he was on that day so long ago.
The intentions I set forth for myself will be for myself. But, like my friend who saw a wounded world that deserved some medicine, I may, at some time in 2014, make conscious intentions that, though from a moral and loving place, have an unexpected and unintended outcome.
“When your intentions are honest and pure, when you speak or act from a place of selflessness and love, the feedback and returns are unimaginable and immeasurable.” ~Nike Campbell-Fatoki
Welcome 2014 and all it will bring!!!! Blessings to each of you as we travel this journey together. ~tpg