Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Good Intentions

Do you ever feel like you're trapped in your day the moment you wake up? Like you can't quite grasp what it is you really want to do or accomplish, so you go through the motions of obligations or things you feel you should do? You spend most of the day with a vague sense that you're not really doing what you were meant to do, just what you're supposed to do.

Today was, for once, not one of those days. It easily could have been. I awoke feeling aimless and adrift. I got up and walked mindlessly down to the kitchen to let my dog out and observe the fresh blanket of snow that had been deposited overnight. Then I stared blankly out the kitchen window as I drank a glass of water, wondering if I would spend the entire day as I did the day before, unfocused and slightly dissatisfied, but not knowing why. And then it happened - a moment that shifted the trajectory of the entire day.

It was so simple. From my window, I spotted a neighbor's dog far off in the field next to our house. And he was absolutely delighting in the snow. He was alone and unattended, but completely immersed in running in circles and hopping around in the white fluff. His ears and posture were perked and eager, his tail wagged as he strutted about.

Suddenly, my day had intention again. Watching the dog for just a few moments reminded me of the essence of being. It was one of those rare glimpses, that seem to come so few and far between, of something akin to the meaning of life. How do we forget so easily? I set my glass down on the counter and ran upstairs to change. I knew I had to get outside and play, too.

So, I took the dog's lead and traipsed outside through the snowy woods with my dog and husband. We often venture out for morning walks or jogs, but because I had been given a lesson in intention, this morning felt different. I knew I needed to have this much intention each morning before I start slogging through the day.

Later, at my desk, I chanced upon an article by Christine Kane about the importance of having a morning ritual. I usually have somewhat of a routine in the morning and already do many of the things she suggests (yes, I do use a Neti Pot habitually), but have yet to make these things part of a ritual. So I took her advice and wrote out my morning ritual. Now I can begin each day with intention and focus, and not have to rely on the neighbor's dog to remind me!

I give thanks to that little dog for giving me these insights today. I have been so much more focused and happy ever since.


Speaking of intentions, you can see that I haven't contributed to this blog since October. I've had "intentions" to, but have been thinking too much about my band of late. And I think that's a great way to spend my time. So more and more you will see posts specifically about The Hello Strangers, music, and creativity. These will eventually be linked and posted on our band site:

While you're at it, check out my friend Jamie's recent blog post about us!