As I prepare for my vacation I find myself being unusually productive 16-18 hours a day, split between my work at Sunworks, The Coconut Room, The Metropolitan Block renovation, City Council, and a number of small projects in our building downtown. Not to mention catching up our accounting for year end. Last year’s efforts to be reelected put a number of things on the back burner and finally the pile is starting to diminish. It was without a doubt one of the most difficult years of my life.
What is fascinating is that as spring approaches I feel an incredible amount of change around me. Projects are moving and rapidly developing, some are nearing completion, others are just getting started. Most are moving freely without a lot of effort. What I begin to think about begins to happen. This of course appeals to my belief in social constructionist philosophy. Our words do create our worlds. I become more aware of the need to pay attention to this fast moving energy and the change that it is inviting.
I have an image of energy, squishing out everywhere, in a random way. Like perhaps wet clay does through your fingers when close your palm, or a garden hose gone wild. I recognize the need to sculpt and direct this energy for change — to pay attention to intention.
There have been a number of issues that I’ve failed to properly address over the past couple of years as our businesses developed. I’m consciously paying attention to addressing the issues that seemed stuck, to explore the reasons I was procrastinating doing them. Results are beginning to appear. Some of the work, where people have been involved has been quite painful. I no longer accept working with people who choose negativity as their approach to life. I’m surrounding myself more and more with people that believe in collaboration and cooperation — openness, trust, and dialogue. Some of this work is helping me more deeply realize what real friendship, love and kindness feel like.
And it’s reminding me of the many positive and kind people with whom I want to associate. Some have been around me for years and others are new friendships. I’m particularly inspired by some of our staff at the store and the restaurant. It’s been a joy to work with these lovely women.
Even though there is pain in dealing with the difficult situations, there is much joy in the discovery of new friendships and the renewal of seasoned friendship — particularly those who have travelled along side me on my journey as they have travelled their own. These connections are so important to life and happiness.
I’m in Maui now and working on my book manuscript which is a slow by passionate process. In between I’m working on unfinished renovation projects here at the flat as well. Yesterday and today I go to ACE hardware to purchase paint for the glass backsplash. Over the course of several trips back and forth, the man working at the paint counter and I begin to talk about life while the machine shook the various colour samples. He lives at a Buddhist centre in Paia.
At one point, he says to me that there are only two things in life to remember — intention and paying attention to intention. I like this thought and certainly it fits with the things I’ve been pondering over the past few months.
We each need to find time to consciously explore our invitations to the world. What is it that you most would like to invite? That’s your compelling intention, the thing that attracts you and draws you toward it. To engage your imagination and soul think about this question: What is the single most compelling image you have about your future that you’d like to journey toward?
Your image will hold appeal, mysterious cache, almost like a mesmerizing grip of joy. With further exploration of that compelling future you’ll begin to find more specific questions to ask yourself. When you carefully craft the right questions to ask, you are in a process of giving your future colour, shape, and texture. You are breathing life into that future, life that will need to be nourished. Intention that will be attention. That future will start to feel tangible, as if it were just a few steps away, perhaps in another room, or around the corner — close enough that you can go there if you choose.
Once your image begins to form — it doesn’t need to be completely clear — think about how do you create a bridge from today’s present to tomorrow’s present. Ask yourself, what is one most helpful or obvious activity I could do today, this week, or in the next short while that would take me one step closer or my compelling future?
Exploring your invitation to the world, your compelling future and its richness, and then intentionally taking one step toward it will invite the energy of change — the kind that joyously squishes out between your fingers like wet clay.