Dancing with Uncertainty

Craving certainty, wanting to control, to know for sure … well, it is a malady affecting quite possibly most of humanity. The opposite, uncertainty and lack of control, is terribly frightening after all. I’m definitely guilty of this and the threat of uncertainty has been something I’ve often tried to run and hide from, as my anxiety tries to latch on to the scariest uncertainty it can. Sometimes I’ve thought my mind just likes to invent new things to feel anxious about whenever the current “cause” of the anxiety is alleviated. With that in mind, here are a few reflections on holding space for that unsettling uncertainty and perhaps even dancing with it.

1) Go to the extreme of your fear. What uncertainty really comes down to is that our lives on this earth are very small and fragile when you think about it and there is so much we don’t know and can’t control. We don’t even know if our next breath will be our last in this human body we inhabit. This is an example of taking an anxiety or fear of the unknown to its natural extreme. I’ve found this practice can be helpful even if it might seem a little intense. Simply ask yourself what it is you are afraid of? What is causing your particular anxiety? Maybe a friend isn’t responding to a message you sent. Okay so what’s the extreme of that. Maybe something like your friend doesn’t care about you anymore and doesn’t want to be friends. Likely that’s not the case but if you can take it to that extreme and make your peace with it, accept what you can’t control, chances are whatever is actually the situation will be much easier to handle.

2) Try your best without attachment to the results. Much of our discomfort with uncertainty comes from wanting to control the outcome of a situation. However, the outcome is something we really don’t ultimately have control over. All we can do is put forth our very best effort each day, each moment. If we can do that and surrender control of the outcome, chances are we will be a lot more content.

3) Hold space for uncertainty and learn to dance with her. Uncertainty is a fact of life; there’s no avoiding it. If we fight against uncertainty and try to impose our own feeble attempts at control, all we’ll end up doing is making ourselves miserable. If we can practice simply sitting with uncertainty, holding space for her and all the accompanying emotions that come up, with kindness towards ourselves, that is an unbelievable step forwards. With time, we might even be able to stand up and dance with uncertainty, sometimes with a smile and sometimes with tears, but dancing just the same, embracing the wonder of not knowing and seeing where the next step might take you.

We want to know
know what?
know everything of course
the secrets of existence
why we are here
who are we?
who am I?
who are you?
We want to know
what will happen next
will we succeed or fail
will we live or die
will we live after we die?
will we go to heaven or hell?
is there a heaven or hell?
we think we can grasp
at certainties
by reading and writing
and philosophizing
and actioning
we think we can hide
from uncertainty
run from it
lock it away
when really
you can’t hide from uncertainty
no less than you can cut off your own shadow
unless you’re Peter pan?
when they talk
of faith and trust
it’s not an eschewing of uncertainty
it’s a dancing with it
opening the doors to it
welcoming it in
and saying
I don’t know
and that’s ok
I trust that that’s ok
would you like to dance?

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Allow

One word. Allow. I recently completed a 30-day dream online course led by a good friend, and this is the word that has manifested as a core theme of learning that I’d like to carry as an intention word into the new year that’s approaching. Here are a few ways I am intending to apply this intention and I thought I’d share in case it resonates with anyone else 🙂

1) Allow whatever arises without judgment and let it flow through. Something that I can be guilty of is resenting difficult emotions and experiences that come up. It’s magnified if I had a certain expectation that was not met. Instead of just allowing this change and new experience, I am prone to fight against it, kicking and screaming inside my head at the unmet wish. Naturally, this makes everything even more challenging. A better approach would be to simply allow this new experience without judgment and preconceived expectations and let the energy flow to those unmet expectations.

2) Allow and hold space for discomfort and a whole range of feelings. Nobody really likes discomfort whether it is a physical discomfort or emotional one or both. When discomfort comes up, I often have the inclination to either distract and run from it or lock it away and compartmentalize. What happens in either situation is the energy of that discomfort gets stuck and later has a tendency to rear its head again or materialize in some way I didn’t expect (and not for the better). What I want to work on doing better is simply allowing and holding space for that discomfort. And moreover, allowing space for all emotions and sensations. This often means holding space for some flavor of discomfort alongside a more “comfortable” emotion or sensation.

3) Allow the energy to discharge. When I was first thinking about this idea, I thought about it in relation to unintentionally picking up and absorbing energy and emotions from others. This could be anywhere from feeling sad if a loved one is sad to getting upset after hearing about an awful happening on the news. While these reactions may be normal and are a sign of empathy, what isn’t healthy is if that reaction and energy gets stuck in our bodies. We need to consciously allow the whatever we may pick up as we go about our days and lives, to discharge and flow out. This of course applies to any emotions that we create from our own inner landscape as well (perhaps related to the first point on failed expectations or anything else). Otherwise, they get stuck and can pop up in all kinds of unsuspecting emotional, mental or physical ways.  

A couple poems that I feel beautifully encapsulate this idea of allowing are Rumi’s “The Guesthouse” and Dana Faulds’s “Allow”; both are shared below.

The Guest House​

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.​

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.​

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.​

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.​

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-Rumi

Allow

There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado.  Dam a
stream and it will create a new
channel.  Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground.  The only
safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.

-Danna Faulds

Have you loved much and have you loved well?

When you think of the word success, what comes to mind? Did you achieve your career goals? Your fitness goals? Relationship goals? How do you define those goals? When you are near death and look back on your life, what will you count as success and will it be the same as what you thought it needed to be when you were 20, 30, 40, 50, 60?

The things we worry about now will they matter on our death bed? This may sound morbid, and I’ve touched on these topics before in the past, but it’s been something that has been on my mind again lately which has brought me to this ramble hah.

A family friend and spiritual mentor once said that the question we should ask ourselves on our deathbed is, “Have I loved much and have I loved well”? Said a different way this means how many hearts have you touched, including your own? Of course, this isn’t a competition … it is about quality not quantity. As Mother Theresa once said, “We cannot do great things in this world. We can only do small things with great love.”

The daily worries and anxieties that may plague us along with whatever goals and successes we may strive for are all pretty small in the big scheme if they are not filtered through the lenses of the heart, of love. Of asking ourselves daily how can I best love today? How can I love myself so that I can shine that light, that burning candle of love, on the world, on everyone I encounter from friends and families to strangers in line at the grocery story to wild creatures to the earth. Words aren’t even required. Just an open heart.

Love in all its shapes and sizes, in all its eddies and swirls, is the beating heart of the universe. Our own hearts’ interactions with that Heart are a divine dance, a divine love song, a poetic embrace, a drum circle of hearts.

“Love is the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mysterious of the cosmic forces.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (theologian and French Jesuit priest)

2 thoughts on “Have you loved much and have you loved well?

  1. Great reminder dear Kalindi. We are blessed each day that we are given to seek ways to transfer our love and passion to others, whatever it may be. Always looking at the positive things of life, and when challenged, accepted with grace and faith.
    Thanks for your incredible message. You are a special and loving person. Hugs, Your Friend Fernando

    1. Aww thanks so much Fernando! Big hug!

Comments are closed.

Life and Death

I thought I’d try something a little different on this blog and share one of my recent poems. Perhaps more poems will be shared in the future.

I walk the spiral path
Stepping over
Narled roots
And grassy patches
Hand in hand
with
Life
and Death

They are my friends
My guides
My teachers

Fraternal twins
Dual sides
of the same
eternal wisdom

I smile and greet them
as old friends
friends I have shared walks with before
and will share walks with again

My friend death gets such a bad reputation
But who is death but the usher into life anew
And life the usher into death returned
Each meaningless without the other

So I smile and weep and laugh
Hand in hand
with my old friends
Life and Death
I walk and run and trip and fall
and sometimes collapse on the ground
and don’t want to get up
And there my friends wait patiently
Knowing they can only present lessons
on my walk
not force me to embrace and learn them
that it’s my choice
but they’ll never leave my side
whether I wish to acknowledge them or not

6 thoughts on “Life and Death

  1. Krishna Kanta (Catherine Schweig) August 10, 2022 — 10:39 am

    Dear Kalindi,
    I love the concept in your poem, of life and death being as close as dear friends and teachers. It was a beautiful read! 😊 I especially like the last line which gave me goosebumps (in a good way): “…whether I wish to acknowledge them or not.” Yes! That line really got me. Thank you for sharing your poetry with us! 🙏
    And, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to submit your poem (or another one, if you wish) to my poetry project, where I publish spiritual poems by women every week. If you are interested, here’s the link to the submissions page: https://womenspiritualpoetry.blogspot.com/p/submissions.html
    I look forward to sharing your poetry with my readers!
    Warmly,
    Krishna Kanta
    💗

    1. Thank you so much! I just emailed you 🙂

  2. Such a beautiful poem, Kalindi! Thank you 🙏

    1. Thank you so much!

  3. A beautiful heartfelt gentle brave and moving poem thank you so much Kalindi I would be glad to share it on my Facebook page for morning prayers which I read every morning peace and blessings Lou

    1. Thank you so much would be honored for you to share!

Comments are closed.

Love is a Verb

When you think of the word love what comes to mind? Perhaps that earthshattering feeling of falling head over heels in love? That romantic, butterflies in your stomach, kind of feeling. In other words, thinking of love as a feeling or state of being. And, sure, that is an aspect of love of course. Where we might go astray in our thinking, however, is if we fully equate love with just that “lovey” feeling. This means that we are thinking of love in a passive way – either you feel it or you don’t – so if you’re stressed, anxious or just generally having a bad day and not feeling much in the way of that love state whether with a romantic partner, friend, child, parent, or anyone, you may not change your actions to try to get back into a “love state,” but rather you may even get shorter tempered and unintentionally lean into irritation and anxiety spiraling you further from the loving energy that suddenly feels elusive. Worse still, you may blame the other person or other people for the lack of your feeling “love”. The reality though is that love is not just a noun, it is a verb too, an action verb. You have to make an effort to love and to love well. In fact, one could make the point that there is no higher goal in life than to practice and grow in active loving with everyone … our circle of loved ones, strangers as well as oneself. Here are a few ways you can practice loving as an active verb.

1) Love is thinking of others. Love, true love, is pure and from the heart, with no selfish aspects. The practice of unselfish love, of unconditional love, is thinking of others and offering acts of service, of love, to them without wanting or expecting anything in return. You simply do it because your heart flows to other hearts and you practice giving something of your heart, your love, as an offering. Of course, this doesn’t mean you don’t have any boundaries and there will be different ways you show and act on your love to different people with family and a spouse at the center of your heart circle and expanding out to friends, acquaintances and strangers. Extending out beyond human strangers to all living beings – animals, plants, mother earth herself – thinking how your actions might affect these “others” who are not really others but fellow travelers and companions in life, connected heart to heart, soul to soul, life to life.

2) Love is loving yourself too. If you do not love yourself unconditionally, you cannot love others unconditionally. This means offering love to even the parts of you you may not like much, the parts you may be embarrassed or ashamed of and wish to hide perhaps. Offer love to those parts even as you strive to grow to do better to heal the broken parts. My partner has a beautiful way of describing the necessity of self-love: Love yourself so much that your love explodes out to everyone around you. That is, if you don’t love yourself fully, completely, any love that you offer to others will be incomplete since you would be drawing from an empty or partially empty well. A great affirmation for this is “I love myself so much it explodes onto everyone!” Try repeating that to yourself a few times each day as you practice actively loving yourself and others.

3) Love is a practice that requires dedication. If you want to get fit, you wouldn’t just wait until the days you are feeling strong to work out, you would come up with a routine and stick to it, knowing that it takes persistence and dedication and working out even on days you’d rather stay in bed. This of course applies to pretty much everything including meditation. The point is to practice especially when your mind is all over the place not just when you’re calm and feeling motivated. Or writing a book. Eating healthy. You name it. Love is the same. You have to consciously choose to love well each day, each moment, in your words and actions. Practice loving even when you are in a bad mood and are feeling stressed. Practice loving even when you don’t feel particularly “loving”! Even when you may feel you are “faking it until you make it.” For example, if you don’t feel like smiling and smile anyway,  you are sending positive endorphins to your brain and you actually feel a little more like smiling. It’s the same thing with love. Practice loving until it becomes second nature at all times, even and especially in times of stress, practice until your heart bursts with love, and feeling and action become merged. For most of us this is a lifelong practice and we will experience glimpses and times where feeling and action are aligned and others when we need to practice the action of loving even when we don’t “feel it” knowing the feeling will come again.

“Love is first and foremost exemplified by action – by practice – not solely by feeling.” [Whose quote? Anonymous?]

“Practice love until you remember that you are love.” Swami Jai Premananda

Balancing self-acceptance with a growth mentality

Life is all about balance in many areas. One of those that I’ve been reflecting on lately is finding the balance between self-acceptance and a growth mentality. That’s how to balance accepting ourselves where we are today while also striving to learn, grow and improve ourselves.

1) The first thing to realize is that while they may appear to be on different ends of the spectrum, self-acceptance and a growth mentality are not actually mutually exclusive. Self-acceptance to me means having a fundamental sense of “okayness” or self-assurance that you are okay just as you are right now – your whole, beautiful perfectly imperfect self. Having certain areas that you want to grow or improve in doesn’t change that fact. Where this topic is concerned, you can in fact have your cake (self-acceptance) and eat it too (growth).

2) The next thing to do is to add in a nice, heaping scoop of love and compassion, or more accurately self-love and self-compassion. In this topic it may be easier to step outside of yourself and use a loved one as an example (since we may have an easier time loving and accepting others than ourselves). With a dear friend or family member, you love them for who they are today, right? And say they do something that bothers you (let’s take a basic example of someone who is chronically late), you may talk with them and hope that that is something they will try to work on but you love them anyway. In this example with punctuality, time issues are simply a habit of the person, it’s not who they are at their core. Our core or essence is a beautiful soul, always worthy of love, compassion and acceptance. That magical light-filled spark is who we really are trappings of perceiving strengths and weaknesses aside. Our purpose as beings on the lesson-filled playground of life is to grow and learn, just as little children on the playground learn and grow through their games.

3) The way I look at it (and it’s definitely still a journey with me as self-assurance is something that I’ve struggled with and why it’s one of my intention words of the year), is that self-acceptance, self-love and self-assurance (take your pick of what words resonate) are part of your unchanging, beautiful core to hold close within your heart center. From there, with that core in place, you can expand outward both within yourself to look at areas you would like to work on for development and from outside of yourself if you receive say feedback on a certain area that makes you look at something to improve. Regardless, your core of fundamental self-assurance/acceptance stays strong and therefore looking at areas to improve becomes an exciting growth opportunity not something that shatters a fragile self-esteem. Part  of the definition of a growth mentality means looking at opportunities to grow and learn and become better versions of ourselves as an exciting process all the while still being okay with where we are today.

What do you think? Share in the comments below if you’d like.

“No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.” Brene Brown

Defining Serenity

I’ve always loved the Serenity Prayer. Its short version goes like this: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” It’s profoundly powerful in its simplicity and I’ve been reflecting on it lately in the context of worry, anxiety and future tripping. I feel like there is so much wisdom in this short prayer/meditation on how to manage anxiety and develop more peace and equanimity in your life without being passive.

1) Befriend change on whatever side of the coin it’s on. Whether it’s on the side of accepting the things you cannot change or having the courage to change the things you can, it starts with befriending change. Leaning into it instead of shying away. And, yes, I’m really speaking to myself here as change has never been something I’ve been particularly fond of (just ask my parents about the tantrums I threw as a child when they dared to rearrange a few pieces of furniture – the horror!). Change is frightening and it can be all too easy for our anxious “monkey” minds to jump to a worst-case scenario, a likely side effect of our biological hard wiring for survival. Here’s the thing though …whether an upcoming change is something you can or cannot change, worrying about it really doesn’t help much. Of course, there’s the obvious serenity to having the serenity to accept the things you can’t change, but there’s also a serenity to be had in having the courage to change the things you can. Notice how it says have courage not have fear or worry … hah! I’ll let you in on a little secret about courage though ….

2) Courage isn’t the absence of fear or anxiety. Yes, I did already write a blog post about courage a few years back; however, it’s such a good topic that it just begs to be included here. When we ask or pray to be brave, to have courage, our secret hope may be to be a fearless warrior charging into the battle of whatever change it is that we need to face. The thing is though the best warriors, the heart warriors, they’re not fearless. If they were, they actually wouldn’t be brave, they wouldn’t be courageous. Heart warriors are courageous because they face the fear, the anxiety, the worry, the panic in their hearts and they take that next step anyway, with courage, with serenity, because it’s their calling, their duty to change whatever it is they are called to change and know they can change, or at least try to change.

3) Oh yeah, the wisdom bit… It’s easy to spend time either worrying about the things you can’t change or the things you can (without actually trying to change them) or better yet confusing the two altogether and trying to change the things you can’t and worrying and not changing the things you actually could change. Fun right! Say that five times fast. The wisdom of knowing the difference one could say is the key to it all (well, really, they’re all key but you know what I mean, hah, I hope). The serenity prayer as a whole and the wisdom bit is for many (including yours truly) a lifelong practice. Of returning to attempted gratitude, perspective, courage and serenity when our minds do that anxious “monkey” mind thing, of knowing that it is something we can change, one small moment of change at a time.

The Guest House by Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

How To Be Yourself

This one is a little of an oxymoron – you are you, I am I, how can you be anything other than yourself? Well, speaking personally, I’ve fallen into the trap before of being a chameleon, i.e. changing who I am to fit the group or person I’m engaging with. Is this a learned or born skill or a little of both? Who knows and does it really matter? This chameleon like trait can of course be a blessing just as much as it can be a curse, a curse of forgetting how to be yourself. For me, the blessing is that I can see so many different perspectives and the “curse” is that I can get so immersed in understanding another’s perspective that I can forget my own – do I even have one? So with that little intro, here are a few rambling thoughts on the practice of being yourself in case you ever find yourself similarly “lost.”

1) Dive deep within yourself. This could (and probably will) be a blog post in and of itself. The answer to how to be yourself comes from knowing yourself. Diving deep within the nooks and crannies of your spirit, your essence. Facing your demons – the parts of yourself you may not like – and acknowledging your strengths while also knowing that you are far more than the sum of your strengths and weaknesses. You are always you. That’s how you can strive to grow and improve and even change different aspects of yourself (say you want to start a healthy morning routine and be someone that has good morning routines as one small example) while still being you. Even if like me you have a tendency to chameleon yourself to your surroundings, that’s still a beautiful part of what makes you you. Even if like me you find yourself writing a blog post about how to be yourself. That’s a wonderful part of what makes you you… or me me in this particular example. And even the things you have in common with others … those still make you you too … it’s how all the pieces fit together into one unique bundle that is you.

2) Stop worrying about whether people will like you. While an inherent adaptability or chameleon energy isn’t a bad thing if it’s happening even subconsciously because you want to fit in with a group and want people to like you, then it’s really not ideal. Remember, you can still compromise and be adaptable when needed without hiding your true opinions. And if people don’t like you for sharing your thoughts, emotions, values and beliefs, they’re not people who care about and respect you and certainly aren’t worth you worrying about them liking you. Another point on this, differences are okay! It’s natural to want to be liked and fit in and perhaps similar to our loved ones and it may pain us if we have a strong different opinion on something to someone close to us. Part of the journey of learning to be yourself is learning to be okay with our differences. As long as there is mutual respect, differences can be awesome growing tools, as we learn the art of putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes and understanding, accepting and respecting them while simultaneously knowing what our own shoes are even if those are a bit different from the other persons.

3) Accept yourself. This ties in with point number 1 about diving deep. You may not like everything about yourself if you really dive deep. We all have both light and darkness within us. It’s our choices every day that define us. Do we step into the light or the dark. And sometimes we need to step into the dark to get through to the light at the other side. Accept who you are today, who you were yesterday and who you will be tomorrow. You can accept yourself while still wanting to improve and grow. That’s how you can have the self-assurance of being okay with yourself and who you are even while you face any aspects of “darkness” within that you want to shine a light on and heal.

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Mark Twain

Getting out of your head and into your heart

These days the head, the mind, gets a lot of attention. We talk a lot about how we can improve our minds, improve focus, lessen anxiety … you get the idea. Mindfulness, in fact, is a theme of this very blog! However, if we just leave it at the mind, there is a missing link – the heart. So, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to chat about how we can go beyond mindfulness to what I like to call heartfulness and cultivate a deeper love for ourselves and others.

1) Understanding love and the heart. Love and the heart space can sometimes get a bad rep as being “emotional,” not rational and subject to apparently whimsical ups and downs. Love/hate anyone? When we talk about true cultivation of love and heartfulness though, we are talking about learning how to cultivate a deeper and more profound love and heart connection. A love anchored in our higher self, in the divine, a love that transcends a mortal love that could never be broken. A love with compassion and gratitude. That is the love we want to cultivate.

2) How to cultivate a higher love and heartfulness. Ok so how do we actually do that? We can begin to cultivate heartfulness the same we practice mindfulness, one moment at a time. Each moment, each day is an amazing opportunity to connect deeper to our heart of hearts and feel that love expanding from ourselves to others and the world. Each seemingly ordinary connection with another being is a chance to connect from the heart, to lead with love, compassion and gratitude.

3) What to do when your head gets in the way? You’re going along through your day, trying to practice heartfulness and something happens that triggers your mind to hijack your heart and take over in a swirl of perhaps anxiety, frustration, etc. Maybe someone cut you off in traffic. Maybe you are having an especially frustrating call about health insurance and just aren’t feeling heard. This is where you can use the practice of mindfulness to connect you back to heartfulness. As soon as you notice (mindfulness is the practice of noticing our thoughts without judgement – and we have to notice when we’ve strayed to be able to bring ourselves back) that your mind has taken over your heart, you could choose to take a few slow deep breaths, bring your mind back to the present and slowly allow your heart to enter into the equation again. For the heart to work properly it needs the mind to be in the present. We can’t be in our hearts if our minds are all over the place. Use your mind to help you ground yourself in your heart and then allow your heart to send it’s love to your mind until your whole being is filled with love and that expands to the world around you, shining your bright soul love on everyone you touch. 

What is love

The very fabric of the universe

Of all universes

Of all hearts

What is love

But the radiating light

Of each living being

From a flower to a great tree

From a sparrow to an elephant

What is love

But the meaning of existence

For what would existence be

Without love

What is love

A hand extended in compassion

A soul smile that speaks a thousand words

A hug that speaks a thousand more

What is love

For all attempts to define it

Are probably beyond the scope

Of human words anyway

What is love

But a feeling

Not a thought

Or a feeling so powerful

It becomes a thought

That becomes word

Love

What is love

But the dance

Of Divine Lovers

Sung in the songs

The ancients

Sung in the songs

Of our hearts

What is love

But being here now

Our hearts a brilliant glow

Soul radiance shining through

Connected to the brilliant

Love soul connection of life

Of life beyond death

Of life eternal

Fed by love

What are some ways you connect to your heart?

“Through my love for you, I want to express my love for the whole cosmos, the whole of humanity, and all beings. By living with you, I want to learn to love everyone and all species. If I succeed in loving you, I will be able to love everyone and all species on Earth. This is the real message of love.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh.

Intentions for 2022

It’s been a tradition the past few years to set intention words for the new year, so I thought I’d keep up the tradition for 2022. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m done with the words from previous years or that I can’t add onto them just to add more focus for the year ahead.

1) Self-Assurance: this one has brewing for a while and I almost choose it as one of my words for 2021. To me, self-assurance means having a fundamental sense of “okayness” with yourself. It means even when making a mistake or receiving feedback that is challenging to hear, your self-worth isn’t diminished. An affirmation for this? May you accept yourself just as you are. Know that your worth isn’t defined by your actions, your successes, your failures, your disappointments, your praises. It is that bright spark of soul that makes you “you” and nothing can ever diminish that.

2) Boundaries: Aaahh boundaries. Much like self-assurance, this one has been brewing for a while. Boundaries have always been a weak point of mine. When it comes to setting boundaries with other people, they tie with that aforementioned self-assurance and trigger my people pleasing and wanting others (especially those I care about) to like me, leaving little room for healthy boundaries. Boundaries, of course, are healthy and necessary, not just with others but also with ourselves, and come in all shapes and sizes, often blurring a boundary for others and ourselves. For example, a boundary might involve a transition from work to personal time, as work from home seems increasingly here to stay for many. This boundary would involve expressing that to coworkers and bosses, while also being firm with ourselves and not allowing late night or early morning phone/email checking, for example.

3) Joy: I threw in this intention for 2022 for good measure, since self-assurance and boundaries seemed quite growthful and serious haha. The aspect of joy I want to cultivate is that of being present and noticing the little joys in each day whether that’s a hot shower, a morning cup of strong coffee or the deer outside in my backyard. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses of daily life and thinking if we can just get through this stressful period whatever it is, we’ll be happy … but that’s not how life works. There will always be some of kind of stress, uncertainty, or sadness, just as there will be moments of spontaneous laughter and wonder. The practice is in accepting and riding the waves of the “difficult” emotions and paying attention to the little moments of joy and gratitude in each day.

Do you like to do any kind of intention setting for the new year? What would your intention words be? Share in the comments below.

1 thought on “Intentions for 2022

  1. Wonderful intentions! 2021 was filled with many exciting happy moments as well as many devastating moments and permanent changes as well as everything in between. I do believe I had a good opportunity to work on patience as there were often many problem situations that inevitably would be fixed some amount of hours, days, weeks, months later. When new problems arose, I felt slightly less stressed knowing that there was likely a resolution on the other end.

    For 2022, I’d like to take the slightly less stressed into minimally stressed when problems arise and trust that there will be a resolution and if there isn’t a resolution in the way I had imagined or it is taking long periods of time, that I can be ok and enjoy what’s in front of me.

    I’d also like to instill more vibrancy and ease of conversation regardless of simple or challenging situations. All with love 💙 💕

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