That Little Word of Intention
For the last 6 years, I’ve chosen a Word of Intention. Do you do that? Never heard of it? Ah, well, a Word of Intention is a word or a very short phrase that you choose to help guide you through the year. If you want to change, if you want to improve, your Word of Intention is a very serious thing. You kind of keep it in the back of your mind as you go through your daily activities, letting it motivate or inspire you to do things you might not have thought of.
For example, last year my word was “accept”. Little did I know, when I chose it, how appropriate and needed it would be. We were coming off the first year of our pandemic crisis, remember? I was tired of people complaining about all the changes that were happening, and tired of myself complaining about the complainers! So I chose “accept” to remember to let go of judgment and let the complaints slide off me when I felt like I was drowning in them.
Then I got sick, then came the cancer diagnoses, and then came the chemo challenge. Accept, accept, accept. Life happens, I told myself. So does death. We aren’t born with warranties, and control is an illusion. Accept.
It was tough. For awhile, my word was forgotten. But I couldn’t heal psychologically until I remembered once again: Accept.
Why is choosing a little word so difficult? Maybe it isn’t difficult for people with clear goals and intentions. But I find myself racking my brain every January to choose the word that I can clearly focus on.
AHA! Since it’s now SO OBVIOUS that I need focus, my 2022 word will be “focus”.
Do you agree that it’s an important word for a creative person? Without focus, I feel like I’m just meandering around aimlessly. Which is okay for a little while, but not as a permanent state of mind, if you know what I mean.
Focus means ‘to pay particular attention to’. It’s a good word for me because I’ve a history of jumping from one creative endeavor to another, so focusing on what I’m learning from these experiences gives them more meaning and encourages me to either stick with it or move on instead of languishing in a state of “I don’t know what I want”. In addition, focusing on what is beneficial, rather than what has caused harm or is detrimental, helps keep the mental game healthy.
2021 showed me that it’s far too easy to sink into a mental state focused on pain and despair. I don’t want to go there ever again if I can help it. This year I want to focus on the good stuff, the happiness and joy of being in the moment.
George Lucas is credited with a quote that I think sums it up for me:
Yup. ‘Nough said.
Do you choose a Word of Intention? What’s your word for 2022?
Unraveled Wednesday: Knitting Without a Recipe
On a side note, my knitting is focused on learning how to make a slouchy hat without using a purchased recipe.
In addition, as part of my 2022 Intention of making my focus my reality, I’m rejoining the online knitting group Unraveled Wednesday. Hah, like how I segued that?
So I bought this beautiful yarn with the goal of making mittens, but when I knitted the mitten swatch, I couldn’t for the life of me get the right gauge no matter what needles I used.
Yes, indeed, it was very frustrating. The mittens are now on hold until I can find a “light” worsted yarn, i.e. a sport yarn, even though the recipe called for worsted.
I chose a knit-purl chevron pattern from a book I have, then worked up a gauge swatch. It was incredibly difficult to measure gauge from this knit-purl pattern!
Then I used Roxanne Richardson’s video as a guide for creating my own recipe.
I’ve only started knitting the ribbing, as you can see in the pic.
December and January have traditionally been my months for hats and mittens. I guess it’s because I make them for gifts sometimes…at any rate, working on this hat reminded me of a blog I used to follow when I first started my own blog in 2015. Out of curiousity, I looked it up to see if it was still there and LO! Yes, indeed, Kat still knits! And still has an entertaining blog, and still has lots of readers who have interesting blogs of their own.
It’s a sweet little community that I enjoyed in 2015/16 and sort of got away from as my knitting time decreased and my art time increased. So today I’m (re)joining Kat and the lovely knitters at As Kat Knits! Go visit her site and see what I mean!
My Book of the Week
Finally, my current read is called “Belonging” by Toko-pa Turner. It’s currently on Scribd. Amy T Won wrote in a blog that she turns to it often, but I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. Incidentally, she offers a lot of creative inspiration on her website if you want to check it out.
Then I read this in the first chapter:
There are many different kinds of belonging. The first kind that comes to mind is the feeling of belonging in a community, or to a geography. But for many of us, longing to belong begins in our own families. Then there is the longing we feel to belong with an intimate other in the sanctuary of relationship, and the belonging we yearn to feel in a purpose or vocation. There is also spiritual longing to belong to a set of ways or traditions, the longing to know and participate in ancestral knowledge. And, though we may not even notice how its severance influences us, the ache to belong in our own bodies.
There are also subtler forms of belonging, like the one we must eventually create with our own story, and the gifts that have been forged from it. And, if we take a broader view, there is a belonging with the earth itself, which is felt (or not felt) at the heart of us all. Finally, there is the great belonging, which may be the most nebulous and persistent of all, the longing to belong to that “something greater” which gives our lives meaning.
The last sentence (bolded by me) was the hook. I’ve been creating for a long time, my media has changed over the years, but there has always been this need for a purpose to create, that something was missing that gave my work meaning.
So far it’s been a fascinating read, and I think I’ll do a book review on it when I’m finished, just in case other creative souls are also struggling to find their meaning.
Please let me know if you’ve read the book and what your thoughts were! What creative endeavors are you working on this week?