Three Intentions for 2009

For New Year’s 2007, I was on a retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains which had a New Year’s Eve ritual inviting us to form and share three general intentions for the year. I went to the same retreat again this New Year’s for several days, but I was back in the city for New Year’s Eve itself, so I didn’t do the ritual this time. I can’t be more specific about the reason, except that it involved my girlfriend, some close friends, and Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit. In any case, the ritual was such a valuable thing for me in 2008, not to mention which my intentions also largely came to pass, that even though I didn’t do it there, I’d like to do it again for this year, and share it with you. Here are my intentions for 2009:

1. To invest more in myself physically- I’ve always done gangbusters investing in my mental life, and the last few years I’ve been getting much better with doing the same emotionally and spiritually. My physical life has always been the least developed- sometimes I’ve even thought fondly about being a brain in a jar hooked up to a supercomputer. So, I think this is a year to work on that. What does that mean? Beats me, it’s just a general intention! Seriously, I imagine it will mean all kinds of things about diet, about exercise, about consciously investing in clothes and wardrobe, and about trying new physical activities. Maybe yoga wind surfing?

2. To reconnect with my Muse- While I’ve done a lot of writing in the last two years, and even started and completed some brand new stories, I haven’t really felt the fire (as one example, I haven’t written any new poetry) since going in to rehab at the end of 2006. I think that’s a pretty natural result of having to focus on recovery first these last two years, and I mostly have patience with it as part of a natural ebb and flow. But I do think this is my year to get back in touch with it, while staying safe and sober. So, I’m re-reading old journals to see what’s there that I can connect with, starting to learn music, reading new poetry, creating more time for writing in my weekly schedule and just generally inviting the Muse to alight. Tell her if you see her!

3. To be a little less self-obsessed and a little more connected to other people- Recovery literature regularly talks about most of our problems coming back to self-obsessed suffering, and for me this is definitely true. My external life has really gotten to be pretty darn good these last two years, and the only things I really suffer from these days are old patterns of thinking and feeling that still unspool in my head. So the solution, I have heard, is to spend a little less time there and a little more focusing on other people. Not to mention I might do something nice for others in the process. So tell me, what’s going on with you? Maybe I can take you out to lunch soon…

Those are my intentions for 2009. How about you?

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