Monday, October 6, 2014

Best Intentions


An amazing woman I know, in a facebook group she set up as a landing place for parents doing their best to parent gently while coping with the many manifestations of post-traumatic stress disorder, started something that has turned into a daily ritual for me, and has been life-changing. It's so simple, yet so critical. 

First, two simple words help center me for the day ahead: I Intend...

Today, I Intend: To live in the moment, To be open to Joy, to make it the best birthday party ever for my son by encouraging him to lead the way through the Peabody Museum of Natural History with his friends and releasing any expectations I might hold of what our time there should look like. To be gentle with myself as I navigate the museum in wheelchair or on crutches, listening to my body's limitations, but not letting those limitations affect my mood. 
Today, I Intend: To center myself in the Water and the Word. To tend to the earth. To be a good steward with my time, talents, and possessions. To have patience, to act in kindness, and to be gentle with myself and others.
Today, I Intend: To treat myself gently. To not push myself to do more than I should. To let the house and the kids be messy. To take my pain medication, use my mobility devices, and to pray instead of worry about my physical future. 
Today, I Intend: To balance much needed rest with much needed housework. To be patient with moody children and children working through sensory issues. To be gentle with myself as I deal with extreme pain.
Today, I Intend: To be patient with my children and myself. To let go of expectations for the day and just let it happen. To listen more than I speak, to give more than I take, and to say yes more than I say no. 
This simple practice helps me be mindful of how I want to proceed through my day, helps me keep myself in check, and is easy to go back to throughout the day to remind myself how I wish to proceed.

Then, in the evening, three words fill my being with gratitude for life's blessings ... I'm Thankful For ... 

Today I am thankful for amazing friends whom I don't see nearly enough. Friends who ask me, and REALLY want to know, how I'm feeling, how i"m doing, and are concerned that I have too much on my plate. 
I am thankful for a wonderful outing to the museum, for lots of smiles and excitement, for crutches to get me around, for having a vehicle my friend could borrow in an emergency, and for lots of good things to look forward to this week. 
Today, I'm thankful for clean water, nourishing food, shelter, warmth, and family. I'm thankful for each step, each breath, each tear, and each laugh. I'm thankful for community, for music, for unexpected conversations, and for giving my time to others.
I have to admit that I more often than not am to tired or ill to post my gratitude, but every night share it with my family as we share our highs and lows of the day with each other. 

Composing my intentions at the start of the day, and acknowledging life's blessings at the end of the day have greatly improved my life, my outlook, and my mood. This ritual has helped me navigate daily doses of Angry, increased pain, and decreased ability to do many things in life. I intend to live life in joy and carry gratitude with me always. 

Thanks, Rose! 

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