How Joni Mitchell Reminded Me to Enjoy the Ride

And the seasons they go round and round.  And the painted ponies go up and down.  We’re captive on the carousel of time.  We can’t return we can only look.  Behind from where we came.  And go round and round and round.  In the circle game.  ~ Joni Mitchell

I blinked and January came and went.  I’m not sure if the warp speed was due to perception of time as I grow older, to the fullness of life these days, or some combination of the two.  Whatever the case, it only reinforced my word of intention for 2015 –balance.                                                                                                                                                                Let me explain…

I did manage to pause and capture the beautiful January snow

I did manage to pause and capture the beautiful January snow

I like the recent social media trend of carefully selecting one word to represent the year’s intention rather than embarking upon a number of New Year’s resolutions. Choosing one word can help guide us as we are faced with countless smaller choices throughout the year, a sort of litmus test of what matters most.  Do I say yes to this commitment?  How shall I spend a free afternoon?  Does this decision move me in the direction of my chosen intention?

As the New Year rolled around and I reflected on intention, the word that initially arose for me was connection.  Between work, family, and a bit of self-care, a month can pass before I realize I have not had much interaction with friends and that it’s been six weeks since my husband and I had dinner out sans kids.  Although an important piece of how I view my ideal balanced life, connection often seems to unwittingly fall to the bottom of the priority list.  Attention to connection felt important and true.

When I pondered a bit longer, though, I recognized that balancewas the more fitting, overarching intentional word.  Balance, to me, means a constant, fluid readjustment of my time, my priorities, and my commitments as I strive to allow the fullness in my life to remain full without overflowing and overwhelming me. Connection is my focus, a subheading under the overarching intention of balance.  As I focus on increasing connection, balance keeps it all in check.

January Sunset – a sight to behold.

January Sunset – a sight to behold.

I knew that if I didn’t devise some sort of structure for my intention to connect, time would fly by much like the month of January and I might find myself in the same imbalanced place next year.  And so I created a plan to bring me closer to my intention to connect.  I will share more specifically in my next post how I am doing this and how it is going.

When it comes to intention, it is important to see it not as rigid, but as a helpful framework to create more of the life we want.  The point is not to feel hemmed in by the habits, but to feel supported by them.  If the framework does begin to feel restrictive or pressured, step back and reassess your intention word.  Does it still resonate?  What is the resistance about?  Change is often uncomfortable.  Don’t mistake healthy growing pains as a sign that you are on the wrong track.  Perhaps the structure needs some re-tweaking.  Perhaps the word does, too.  And sometimes it is most helpful to not press for an answer.  If we create a bit of quiet, simply posing the question often allows an answer to eventually present itself.

Time still moves quickly, but rather than being surprised by the rapidity, it feels more like gliding along on the carousel at a pace that, thankfully, does not nauseate, and, hopefully, allows for more awareness and joy.

So, go ahead, if you haven’t already, choose a word for 2015 that speaks to you, one that rings true in your ears. 

Be deliberate in your days.  Take care to enjoy the ride.