We can intend things; we can plan, scheme, dream. I have often joked that if I went to Hell, I would be in the GOOD INTENTION section. Hey, if you end up there, come visit me!
*Joking … sort of ….*
Cause, I mean to do things; I intend; I aim; and I falter. Oh Lord, I falter. Time, circumstance; laziness. All kinds of excuses. I’m always looking for forgiveness from myself and others, or at least it seems that way.
Forgiveness for not doing what I intend to do.
Sometimes intention is complicated. It has to do with expectation, really. And we have to be able to adapt and adjust. Sometimes our intention needs to be redirected; we gain new information; insight; the winds of change blow us off course, and we have to adapt.
When my eldest baby was in the hospital as a nine-month-old, I remember sitting for hours in the PICU, rocking and nursing her; for hours that child would stay latched to my breast, little blue eyes staring up at me, making sure I wasn’t going anywhere.
I fully intended to wean her at one year; that was my pre-birth plan. Cause you know, you just don’t NEED to nurse beyond that time frame. There is no medical necessity. Cause you know, it’s easy to be the most amazing mother and have all the answers before having a child of my own.
Recall one of the nurses says to me, with a twinkle in her eye — “When are you planning to wean her?” “I’m going to wean her at one-year” I chirped, still dragging my pre-birth intentions into my current reality. “Let me know …. how …. that goes ….” she said; smiling knowingly. Some moments get frozen in time in your mind, and that is one of them. I knew she was right; in that moment, I knew my world; which was already tilted off its axis; my world as a mother wasn’t going to be the world I had imagined or intended.
I finally weaned the child when nursing her was throwing me into labor with her sister, who was six weeks away from her projected birthing day. My doctor yelling into the phone, “Wean. Her. TODAY!”
I am thinking a lot about intention. About goal setting; about what I really want to do and what really matters. And how I thought my life would unfold; the intention behind some of those choices; and how it has actually unfolded in magical, unexpected ways. So much of the foundation of my current life was not something I intended to create.
This is a brand new decade for me. I turn 50 this year. It is the end of an era; which means the beginning of something new.
Looking back, my 40’s were incredible. Hard as hell, but incredible. Raising my children were my focus; my greatest challenge and greatest gift. I also raised myself this decade; an unintended consequence of nurturing my children and honoring myself.
The problems in my marriage forced me to find me. After the ups and downs; and downs and downs of my late 30’s, I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training through the Temple of Kriya Yoga. I graduated from the program, surrounded by my new tribe, precisely on my 40th birthday. Auspicious.
The age range 42 to 44 is the classic astrological mid-life crisis, and I did mine up right. In addition to opening a yoga studio, I was mothering, trying to hold a marriage and a life together and processing a few other things. As to Uttara, I always say – if you’re going to have a mid-life crisis, a yoga studio is not necessarily the worst path to take; but it is not the easy way out. The reality has been the deep connections to spiritual seekers; the experiences, friendships, service; I cannot even begin to describe all the goodness; it has been an unfolding of things that I could never have dreamed up, nor been brave enough to intend or expect.
This decade has also been full of heartache. My marriage split; and it mended; and it split. Tearing a marriage apart is awful; to tear a marriage apart with children, well – that is an actual hell I really hope none of you experience. In the aftermath, I fell madly in love; it was a great four years (oh; okay, 2.5), and then that also crashed, badly. Had a more recent glimpse of happiness and love; two months; and he vanished, too.
It feels like the theme of my 40’s has been that no one wants all of me; not even me. It’s too much — all of my complicated life. It seems like the only acceptable way to handle it has to be in pieces and parts. And I get that. Most days, it’s a little too much. So if those are the lessons; if the outer world reflects the inner world, is the primary problem that I don’t want all of me?
I am thinking about how I am to set an intention for my 50’s. If the paradigm is “Maiden, Mother, Queen, Crone,” I am in the Queen phase. I’ve learned so much from raising my babies; I don’t have to be the darling girl anymore; and I don’t have to spend all my time trying to keep little ones alive. Can I simply set the intention to fully be the passionate, straight-forward woman I have become; and hopefully, everyone is ready for that? Especially, me?
The shift of the last few years has been about integration. Weaving my mothering/parenting life and my spiritual life and my work life and my love life and own personal needs along with my friendships – all those things coming together. To be whole and complete and I don’t have to be one “Jill” in one my part of my life and another “Jill” in the other. I’m just my fabulous- screwed-up-perfectly-human self in all my areas of life. No mystery, no intrigue. I just get to be me. There is an enormous amount of freedom in that.
But apparently, there is work to do. I’ll be honing my intention over the next few months. And also be open to being completely thrown down another pathway. The astrology suggests we will all be gathering a lot of information. Huge change is coming, are you ready?
We are going to have to be enormously brave to launch this new era and protect what we value and love. What do YOU want? What is your intention? Your desire? Plan … dream … scheme … and stay open to all of the incredible possibilities.