Detail of Intention from The Mother’s Wisdom Deck
Last Friday I got my hair chopped. I had spent years and years growing it, and now it was time to let it all go. I wanted to shear off the past energy stored up in my frizzy ends. I wanted a clean break. In a way, I was setting an intention: Change was literally ahead.
As my hairdresser, Annie says, grow to cut, cut to grow. It’s the life cycle seen through the wise eyes of a professional shape shifter.
This paragraph we wrote for the card Intention rippled through my last week:
Intentions provide us with ballast when the winds of agitation blow. Without the framework of intention, it’s easy to overreact, to act out—much like our children do. When we relate with intention, we temper our impulsive reactions with the fire of purpose. Intention gives us the composure to field the curveballs of the motherhood without being thrown off-kilter.
One of the things that bugs me about the way I mother is I never quite surrender to just being mama. Since I work from home, I constantly check emails or try to squeeze some work in around the edges. A friend suggested I get more clear about when my work times child times are, and I think it has helped me be more present. Another tip that I heard as the voice of Intention was at a parent night at the Waldorf preschool, Rainbow Bridge, that my son has been attending since he was one and a half. Rahima Baldwin Dancy, who runs it, who is also author of the seminal You Are Your Child’s First Teacher spoke about ways to replenish our etheric body—our life force. She talked about how going out in nature, with or without our kids, is a great way to recharge the batteries of our soul. “If your feeling depleted, choose being in nature over doing errands or going shopping,” she says. I love knowing that even at the playground, which isn’t always my idea of a fun day out, my life force may be quietly regenerating.
My intention to be more present, and to spend more time in nature, seeped into my time with the kids. I spent more dreamy hours outside. Oriah likes nothing more than to run wild. Once we get out of the house, she tastes freedom on her skin, and she charges off down the street, often toward the open space that leads to the playground. Instead of saying no, trying to hold her back, I went with it. I let her energy guide us, out in the world, spring breaking into blossom right before our eyes. We had no goal or destination, just to roam. We explored the permeability of the chain link fence behind the high school, we checked out the dog park, we heard birds chirp their day’s gossip. We said hello to all dogs, near and far. We were in no hurry, just enjoying the sun on our face, the wind at our backs, and the newness of the world once again birthing itself into life.
With my son Jordan, Intention arose when I was less reactive to his behavior and more receptive to the Zeitgeist of his inner world. We had a swim lesson on Monday that he was not looking forward to. Sensing the potential of a mutiny, I talked about my own issue with fear, such as when I was learning how to drive, and how good it felt when I had worked through them. We got to the pool. Trying to avert a tantrum, we discussed what we would do after the lesson (read bribery). Then out of the blue, Jordan admitted he was scared. Those words, said aloud, have so much power. Fear acknowledged can be worked with. It felt like an enormous collective exhale. Jordan proceeded to enter the pool, float on his back, and even get his eyes wet. It was a sweet mothering moment, one that brought the power of intention home.
What kinds of intention do you have regarding mothering? How has setting an intention made a difference?