It’s the day before Thanksgiving – one of America’s most celebrated holidays. A holiday that has come to be synonymous with acts of glutton, greed and gratitude. What a strange conglomeration.
It would be very stereotypical for me to write a specific onerous Thanksgiving post listing the many things I am thankful for and the many reasons for you to be grateful. We have so much! We are so blessed! We’re the best! Hurrah! In the midst of many horrific events and sad situations surrounding us in this world, I suppose it is not a bad idea to reflect on what we are grateful for. To do so in a humble, peaceful, non-boastful way is very commendable. To take action, turning that gratitude into something that can be radiated to others is strikingly noble. I hope that I have it in me to do so.
I am immensely grateful (and I hope that it is evident in the majority of my writing), however, I want to share that more and more each day, I am focused on the intentions I set for myself. I am approaching the close of a very epic year for me – a year that has included one of the most amazing re-birth processes I never could have imagined. It is a year in which I bravely turned my focus inward in the most profound way; I looked in a proverbial mirror and saw what I needed to see, picked up the heavy weight of my downtrodden soul and ran. Ran far from every preconceived notion, every stubborn idea, every idealized and unfounded desire. I picked up my disillusioned self and embarked upon a journey to replace it with something calm, balanced, emboldened, with eyes and mind wide open.
What I found was that I could choose to be the person I wanted to be — and then just be. There are times, however, that I find myself unhappy with my direction, and I determine that I’ve wandered from the path I chose to be on, and I again choose my direction. I’ve found wise and appropriate moments to look back upon my progress, and re-visit my choice, and with extreme kindness, redirect myself. To set my intentions.
Recently, I sat down and assessed how I spent my time. I walked through my schedule in my head and what I did that week and thought about what each activity brought to my life — if it enriched my life, or took something away. I thought about the feelings that certain activities evoked and I thought about if I felt satisfied with that. I wrote down everything I did that I thought enriched my life — brought me joy or satisfaction, increased my happiness, contributed to my journey and propelled me in the direction I wish to travel. What was I doing that was making me into the person I want to be? What wasn’t?
I thought about my intentions behind the things that I choose to do with my time. Am I doing things that have no purpose or meaning? Are the things I do having an unintended effect? This practice was so very clarifying. Thinking ahead to the new year, I am more and more exhilarated about what the coming months will bring, and I am increasingly satisfied and content with the person that I am becoming.
So, while I am always trying in every way to express as much gratitude as possible, today I draw my focus to setting honorable intentions for myself — for the coming year, and for each and every day.
I encourage each of you, dear readers, to put thought into the intentions behind the things you do with your time; and, with kindness, determine how they influence you, what feelings they evoke.