Yesterday morning I wrote about my word for 2014, intentional. Throughout the day, I would see some little thing that needed to be done, start to walk away from it in my ‘do it later’ mindset and the word ‘intentional’ would surface. In each instance, I did the small thing before moving on. It’s interesting to reflect on the possibility that stopping to do a little thing might be the opposite of intentional if my concept of the word were only to stay focused on the specific task at hand. In my case, it isn’t. My concept of intentional is more that of the big picture. One of my Facebook friends is apparently doing a group daily reflection type activity and she posted “Begin with the end in mind.” That’s one aspect of what I mean by intentional so that, if I want my world to have some level of organization (the end result) then I need to be intentional in making sure those little things don’t keep getting shoved aside until they become big things.
After I wrote my blog yesterday, I did a Wordle of some synonyms and antonyms I thought of to aid my sense of what it means to be intentional. This morning my emailed Word of the Day was ‘yare’ and I think it’s a word that might well fit in with my ‘big picture’ concept of intentional. It’s a word I don’t remember ever seeing or hearing before although it is a very old word [first known recorded use was in 888]; it means “easily maneuverable; nimble; ready; prepared.” I suspect it was often used of a sailing vessel that could be managed in rough or smooth seas, was adaptable, ready and prepared to meet the needs of the sailors, equipped with the necessary weapons to defend them and with enough capability for speed to enable them to escape if need be. At some deep level that word encompasses my reasons for choosing the word intentional. Although I want to continue to go with the flow, I also want to be prepared, ready and fit for whatever purpose and need that arises.
So today as I live with intentionality, I also aim to be yare.
Shortly after I mentioned on my Facebook status that I had written a blog, my daughter commented/quipped, “My new word of the day is Wordle.” I decided I should do a Wordle of my word and began searching for synonyms and antonyms. Here is the result: Thinking about the synonyms and antonyms brought to mind a few books to utilize in my year-long endeavor: Sacrament of the Present Moment by Jean Pierre de Caussade, Be Here Now, by Baba Ram Dass, Reflective Living by Ken Gire and one I just saw mentioned in an Amazon email: Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. I will probably spend time again with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and Walking in this World. I know as the year goes on I will be adding additional books to guide me.
In the last few days of 2013, twoFacebook statuses caught my attention. The first was a status that asked, “What’s Your Word?” As one who loves words along with having often reflected on the life of a woman of great spiritual depth who selected a word to focus on each year, I clicked on the included link: “My One Word – change your life with just one word. The page included a Wordle of potential words and one of them seemed to leap out at me: INTENTIONAL.
I was reminded of a quote from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland:”
“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
I think we all know the road we take does matter. As a rather laid back, low-key, person, I am good at “going with the flow,” “rolling with the punches,” responding to what is. Although I don’t necessarily think those are bad things, I can’t help but wonder what my life might look like if what I did was, as the dictionary defines intentional, done deliberately.
The second status that caught my attention yesterday was a quote: “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” For the past several years I have been writing on two books: “Remembering it All: A Memoir,” and “Jacob and Eva” (a fictionalized family history) as well as two blogs – Donna’s Weblog and this one, “Notes from Life’s Journey.” In 2013, I did little more than make a few editorial changes in both books, and wrote nine blogs in 365 days – not much output for one who loves words.
Some of the areas in which to be intentional in addition to writing include healthy living, business opportunities, household organization and reaching out to others. So here’s to a year of living intentionally!