Living with Intention

Living with Intention

I understand why I feel so ungrounded at 3 am. I am awake and staring at the Milky Way, a film of wispy cloud turning the sky to glowing gauze. Standing beneath the film of the universe, like a spiders web full of light above me, I know I have not been living with enough intention. I have been telling myself I am just surrendering, I am riding the waves instead of swimming against them. There is intelligence in this, in knowing when the universe has leaned down and gripped your life, in knowing when there is nothing you can do to stop the lessons coming your way, nothing but buckle up and start listening. Still, I have found the big lessons to be in the macro moments, in the tangible shifts, and not so much in the minutia of every day life.

Our house floods and is invaded by mold, we have to move in with our parents with a five year old and a six day old baby. Our entire world is flipped upside down and yet the micro moments do not abandon us. There are still hot cups of coffee in the morning, still books read at bedtime, still days that unfold with 12+ hours ahead of us. Our bodies want food and exercise, our minds want stimulation and recognition, our hearts want love and companionship.

Then the universe bends down and the ground beneath us shifts again. The baby has three hernias and swollen kidneys. Our savings start going towards medical bills. We give up Nespresso pods and bamboo underwear. We spend our evenings shoving baby intestines back into place and eat lots of beans and rice. We forget to fuck and start fighting like our lives are falling apart.

Our kitchen gets ripped out and we live out of suitcases. We spend the nights in the hospital thinking we will have to be medevacked. Our baby needs surgery. Coffee turns into the black sludge from the gas station. Exercise becomes walks between doctors appointments. My makeup is abandoned in a drawer to dry out and crumble. My husband stops shaving. Instead of praying we scream at the sky. Yet we are lucky. At the end of the medical chaos we come out exhausted but mostly unscathed. We suffer no major harm or losses.

After the climax, the small moments start to creep back in. We still have too many bills and cannot move back into our house. Yet there's time for breakfast at home again, time for exercise, moments to breathe. Still, we are shaken. We have been living on autopilot, and in doing so, forgotten how to infuse intention into the small moments. We have become survival robots, and so we follow the habits from harder times without question. We do not exercise, keep drinking gas station coffee, forget to kiss each other, plan nothing, and wonder why we get nothing done.

It is at 3 am, under the filmy stars, that I remember about living with intention. The universe has plans of its own, plans I have no knowledge of or power over, but I can have plans too. I can grasp the micro moments, the minutia of my days, and I can mold them. I can know the pleasure of coffee at the table with loved ones, I can move my body, I can stand still long enough to hear the birds, to kiss my husband, to listen to my son's story about horse chestnuts.

We are in a place we never envisioned, ungrounded and dependent on our family's benevolence. Yet, we are learning to be humble, to be less materialistic, to love each other well and richly, even when our world crumbles and reforms. We see that houses mean nothing when your children are unwell. We see that kisses mean something even in hospital rooms, even in our parents living room. Under the 3 am sky I tell the universe I am listening, I am learning. I say too, that I will not let the big lessons take my small pleasures from me, I will shift back into gear, I will plan and fuck and love, and if some days the only thing I can manage to control is the amount of sugar in my coffee, I will pour that sugar with my eyes wide open and be thankful for it.






Image Credit:
Shuttershock contributor Andrii Drachuk 
ID: 1772258423

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