I couldn’t figure out why my scarf smelled so good. It smelled fresh, crisp, and satisfyingly sweet around my face. I had just stuffed myself into an extra pair of fleece-lined pants, adorned myself with my hat and gloves, zipped-up two coats and (Ralphy-style) bent over to grab my purse when I was caught off guard by how heavy it still was. (I only carry a large purse in the winter; it’s storage for my many, many layers and winter-time extras… my hope is that one year I will make it through the winter without losing a glove.) There I was, a performance-gear snowball, ready to roll down the stairs and out into 18 degree weather, so my purse was empty… and still heavy?
I found three apples rolling around the bottom of my purse. Seriously? Along with two books, a yoga mala, a lint roller, three camping forks, sunglasses (sunglasses!? it hadn’t been sunny in two months!), four pens and a zip-loc full of tea bags. No wallet. But, three apples! I mean, I could survive on apples and almonds (and successfully have before), but carrying around three apples instead of my wallet in my purse seemed ill-advised.
Apparently, I stowed an apple in my purse each morning that week… and never got around to eating it. I’m sure I intended to mow down on my favorite snack in between teaching my classes but instead I wound up with an apple-scented scarf.
Intentions are slippery, complex creatures. So often, I set a remarkable, wise, intention in the morning and it slips away, unnoticed, by the 3 o’clock slump. I’ll set an invigorated, enthusiastic intention at the beginning of the year and it runs away three weeks into February. Or, sometimes I do remember my intention …I just never get around to doing it.
But here’s the thing: life is too long to live without intention. I’m not talking about ‘the great and humbling mystery and meaning of life;’ your life is already meaningful simply because you are living it. What I’m talking about are the aspirations, the wishes, the yearnings, even the feeble wants that we spend so much time thinking about and planning, but never get around to doing.
Do you intend to do something but ‘never get around to it’? (Remember this post: what you would do if nothing stood in your way?) Hopefully, this ‘something’ is more important and inspiring than eating an apple that’s been in your purse for three days, but it definitely doesn’t have to be life changing.
Could it be: Call a dear friend? Mail a card to your grandma? Clean out your closet? Update your resume? Invite your mom to a yoga class? Begin a meditation practice? Sit and breathe for 5 minutes daily, learning to de-stress? Engage amicably with a co-worker who you find difficult to appreciate? Go for a walk over your lunch break and actually take a ‘break’? Cut out sugar from your diet? Donate your spare change to your favorite animal shelter?
Whatever your intention is: Do it.
Your challenge is this: today, do that SOMETHING that ‘you never get around to doing.’ Actualize your intention. Make your idea into solid MATTER. No one else is going to do it.
As modern poet cleo wade says: “Show up for yourself and do not wait a second longer.”
Looking for a good intention for your yoga class? Check out this article I published a few years ago: intention. Looking for a Meditation to help you uncover your intention? Try this one: what is my deep, driving desire?