Finding Intention in the Hustle & Bustle
What are your intentions for the holidays? It seems as though Halloween breaks the seal and from the end of October until the end of the year, days, weeks and months blur in the busyness of food, festivities, friends and family. And though these events happen at the same time and in the same order every year, I propose three reasons why perhaps we are caught off guard and unable to answer the question of what it is we’re hoping for from this season.
We are busy people. It seems as though in a calendar year we all just get back from taking a summer vacation where we finally allowed ourselves time to rest and space to breathe when the school year hits and before we know it, we are knee deep in weekly activities, eventful weekends and the months fly by. The cultural rhythms get behind the driver’s seat and we hold on tight as we join the collective push to sign-up, commit, or engage to a place of over-extension that doesn’t allow much room for reflection or intention.
We do what has always been done. As creatures of habit, we often function automatically, following a list of rituals that have been passed down to us: making handmade Halloween costumes, cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, setting up a Christmas tree. We might not think to question why we are doing things because it is seemingly more efficient and conserves energy to do things consistently.
We see things as either/or. One of the problems with shifting anything is that there is a natural fear that to take something away means only emptiness will remain. So, if we don’t make our Halloween costumes, then we may conclude we can’t participate at all. Or if we don’t make a turkey, then, we might as well not have the rest of the meal. Or, if we don’t set up a Christmas tree, we shouldn’t have presents.
However, let’s say we were to carve out space, perhaps a Saturday morning in early October before the rush of the holiday season is upon us, and we were to take up the task of setting our intentions. What if in that time and space, we considered the ways things have always been done and allowed them to be questioned and reconsidered? Then, in order to not fall into either/or categories, we invited imagination for what’s possible in-between. In the process of creating space and being mindful of our pasts - sorting what should stay and what should go – we create room for something new. And there is empowerment in making new choices and hope in new possibilities.
The labor of finding and setting intentions for the holidays much less the rest of our lives is no easy task. It doesn’t seem efficient and certainly takes time and energy. Because it is challenging, it is difficult to do alone. But if you are curious what life might look like were you to be more intentional and are looking for someone to help you in that process, schedule a session with a counselors who would be happy to take time and space each week dedicated to this process of sorting and sifting and imagining and seeing what new choices and pathways come into view.