A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)
One of the best and hardest parts of crafting a more hope-full life is that it requires intentional focus. Having hope isn’t wishful thinking, anxious hand-wringing, or crossing your fingers. It is actively taking part in crafting a lifestyle and a belief system that involves several parts:
- Clarity: focusing on expectations and perceptions (positive vs. negative) because we give power to what we focus on.
- Choices: choosing to face reality, pain, & trials head-on. No denial here.
- Craftiness: being willing to do what it takes to gather the tools, skills and people necessary in order to build a more hope-full life.
Breaking things done into smaller steps is what helps us to get some traction.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
I am a wanderer in my heart. I love to have no where to go and no where to be. My favorite walk is the meandering kind. I love a day with no pre-set plans or schedules. I enjoy daydreaming and yet…
As a 21st century wife of a Brain Injury Survivor/husband, Mom to 5, mostly grown-up, children, GiGi to one bright and talkative grandson, credit union employee, church member, friend to a few, aspiring writer,..you get the picture. Wandering and meandering are rare events in my life but I have learned to appreciate the value of intentionality and purposeful focus. I have come to appreciate having a destination. There is beauty in developing a plan and implementing it.
We are currently planning a graduation Open House for the third graduate of our homeschool. My family can attest to the fact that, while I am a brilliant planner, I can get easily distracted and sidetracked and end up in a panic the day before an event. To combat my meandering bent, I have learned to develop a relatively detailed plan and I have learned that you have to look at it daily sometimes twice a day to stay on track.
And….here’s the amazing part…what’s true for a party or event is true for our lives. We can easily find ourselves pulled into the current of the daily stream, drifting along just trying to stay afloat especially in times of trauma, trials or crises. We talked last month about learning to sail our ships through storms. This requires skills and knowledge of rudders, sails, maps, compasses, weather and a trip plan because it is easy to get sucked into someone else’s current.
We can set out on a path and without a compass, map or GPS we have little hope of ending up where we want. A life of hope needs intentionality–please hear me–not unbending, rigid adherence to a set of lists but a life defined by goals and principles. These can be our compass as we walk through a life that is ALWAYS unpredictable. We must be able to adapt and bend as situations arise but always hold fast to our aim and goal.
“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.”
― Richie Norton
CLARITY (focus & expectations)
One example for me recently is my blog writing. I said I would write a new post weekly and, for the most part, I did last year but this year… I started a new job so I have been really pressured to meet my own expectations. Reality check: there are only so many hours in a day and I still have my family as my top priority. I have come to realize that I need to adapt my plan–not give up but reassess my goal and also my implementation of it if I hope to continue on this path.
I have decided that 2 well-thought out posts a month are a more realistic goal and would lesson my frustration. One of the other options was to just give up writing for now…sad choice for me and not a healthy one I think. My goal is to write in order to share some of what helps me in hopes that it connects with you and we can move forward together on our journey towards a more hope-full life. My goal hasn’t changed but I have had to adapt my plan.
CRAFTINESS (tools, skills, people support)
I have re-written our family schedule in order to better delegate some tasks (a form of support) that will free me up a bit and help teach my kids the power of pulling together and responsibility. I have had to say NO to several other things that would take up my writing time.
I am also working on a website. It’s called Hope’s Domain. I want to make this a resource site for all things hope. This is a goal. My plan involves getting a friend to help me set it up because I am lacking some time and skills to accomplish it.
This can also work in marriage, friendships, as well as life goals. Dream BIG but think small, achievable goals as a way to move forward. I love big dreams but freeze at the thought of how to get there. Small steps will eventually turn into a thousand miles and you will be further on your journey then if you had never taken that first step.
Last year we focused on crafts as a way to visualize our theme or thought for the month. This year we are focusing on intentional actions as a way to learn how to craft or practice setting goals and achieving them.
This month since we are focusing on walking out our plan, we are going to focus on our feet.
Make a plan to do something for your feet. Write it down on the calendar, by your bed, on the fridge, in your device. Daily, weekly or a couple of times this month:
putting your feet up for a set time daily,
The goal here is to practice making a plan and then implementing it. It may sound silly to make such a to do about your feet BUT just try it. Set a goal, make a plan, check it daily. Remember CLARITY, CHOICES and CRAFTINESS.
A single step is all it takes…
Heidi Mull, footloose and fancy-free at least until the oven timer rings.