At lunch the other day a friend, who has known me since high school, said that she considers me a very intentional person, that I set out to do something and I do it. She used the example of setting intention at the start of her yoga class. I understood what she was saying, but I wouldn’t use intention to describe how I go about doing what I do. To my way of thinking, intentionality implies a somewhat lock-step, mental plan for achieving specific, concrete goals; and that just isn’t the way I see my life from the inside. I’d say I operate from a spiritual flow more than an intentional time clock.
What I accomplish is driven by my mission. Example: Each day at the cottage I hope/plan to complete a monthly chapter for the book I’m writing (today was May 2001). Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But it is the reason that I am writing the book that keeps me moving forward, chapter after chapter, even when I’d rather knit and watch the ocean. It is my mission to inspire, affirm and encourage others to find meaning in their lives that drives me. I suppose I could call that intention, but the idea of mission flows deeper into the arena of longing, which is a far cry from putting a check on to-do list.
It’s a matter of semantics. But for sure, I wouldn’t be able to ponder this with extended periods of silence, solitude and simplicity. ‘Very grateful.”