Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I waited two months to tell you: my word for the year

The promise of a blue sky

Here it is the first of March and I still have not revealed my word of the year. It's not that I've been keeping it from you on purpose, holding it back like a gift not given or a whispered secret told out of earshot. It's more that I've been growing into it, turning it back and forth in my hands, sleeping on it, and getting to know what it means, truly. Not just as a trite theme to spout off on January 1st and quickly forget by the second week, but as a word to guide me through 2011. Life is busy and things can be crazy. Decisions need to be made and this theme word is what I come to when I need clarity.

This year's word is Intention.

And after playing with it for two months, I've gotten to know it better. It's become my friend and a close ally. A confidant and the angel/devil sitting on my shoulders. It's the one I write to every morning, and who I speak with when I am frantically chasing deadlines.

Intention is a coming back to oneself. Connecting not to outside pressures, trends or craziness, but truly listening to your inner self. It's asking the questions of do my activities match with who I truly am? Am I living my true self? And in the busy-ness of a full life, am I doing the best that I can? How can I ensure my actions fit my intentions? By listening to myself. Allowing my self to feel the emotions I do, to reflect and sit with them and let them be. To be mindful in my choices and decisions. To prioritize, cut, and hold dear my activities and the people I surround myself with. To be present.

A lot of this has taken me away from my online self, and I've found clarity from turning the news off, turning off the incessant pinging of Tweetdeck, and dialing down my blogging. To step down from volunteer commitments, to take on clients only whom I can do the best of work with. To limit side projects.

And with all of this, my true intention is to be the best person I can be: to my clients, to my family, to my partner, to my friends—busy busy-ness of a hectic life doesn't always support that. In the quietness of removing myself from some of these, I'm able to focus on the intentions of my true self, and that is to be healthy, happy, successful and wise. To have fun, create, relax and be joyful. To do good work and to learn how to play. I'm learning some of these things for the first time, others I'm rediscovering of elements of my past. And some I have yet to figure out.

So what will this blog become? I will continue to embrace being a bad ass of the domestic arts, and my gardening and love of cooking endures. But it also includes embracing these things in moderation, and learning new things, like how I've been learning to cook whole grains, greens, and fish. To be a bad ass requires strength, and I have to admit to you, I've been going to the gym every single day. I've discovered a love of exercise and being in my body, creating goals and becoming a stronger woman. I'm doing some work. Some hard work, and it feels pretty good.

The garden has always been a place of solace and creativity for me, and my intentions are to live in that garden every day this season (note I said season, not day, because today, March 1st, there's snow in my garden). Alas you may no longer find cupcake and pie recipes here, except for on special occasions. But if you're interested in learning how to cook farro, or bulgar, or the best way to make the most delicious sauted kale ever, I might divulge a few secrets. And I've learned how to make fish!

Being a domestic bad-ass, for me, comes within the balance of being a busy modern woman running her own consultancy, and having a life filled of giving back to the community of which I live. This thing called balance is a tough one, but my intentions are to find it this year. See how I did that? Intention. It all starts right there. In-ten-tion. Welcome to my 2011.

Snapshots of a new life:
Beauty in ones bodyTrying on clothes is a current favorite past timewearing things i haven't worn in 5 years43 minutes on the elliptical for my 43rd birthdaycelebrationjapanese nom nomtomato jam makes a healthy lunchi will never buy salad dressing againfor the love of greenshi there!


samswaim said...


Allison Jones said...

This is wonderful. I think a lot about the balance between our real selves and our internet selves, and it is SO important to nurture. Trust me, your readers will love the shift towards health and intention, blogs evolve and when they can show reality I think they invite more trust and empathy from readers. Good work!

LeLo said...

Sam, you are a freak. And I love you.

Allison, thank you for the kind words. As a huge fan of your blog, I appreciate your thoughtful comments so much!

Kate said...

I am right there with you - perfect word, isn't it? While we love what you share, I think everyone needs a balance in their life. We will be here to read 1 post a month or 10, so get on and continue being true to yourself, you domestic arts badass you!

A Lewis said...

Intention. Reminds me that yoga is calling. And I haven't been answering for some time now.

Jacquelyn said...

I love this. It's absolutely beautiful. Hooray for intention, and hooray for you! :)

Zoe / pearled earth said...

Very nice post. "Intention" also reminds me of yoga class - and my instructor's use of the word always reminds me to readjust my outlook. Enjoy your journey!

Loraine said...

timely read of your post for me- thank you for reminding me about the value of intention!

Laguna Dirt said...

you go girl! i love the idea of taking responsibility for our lives, which first and foremost means taking care of ourselves! intention. i'm going to think about that one!

Anonymous said...

Most timely right now for me and for others in my life. I'll be sharing this post with friends. Thank you. (And about that farro, yes, recipes, please! Discovered farro last year and am excited about some new recipes.)
Lee Ann

rozanne said...

Congratulations!!! It's easy to just allow life to steer us down paths we don't choose (gah--that sounds pretty hackneyed but you know what I mean). Being intentional, I think, requires a lot of hard work and commitment and thoughtfulness. I applaud your decision to be intentional. I'm keeping it in mind for myself as well.

KristaSwan said...

I really appreciate this post, Lelo – you nailed it!
I've somehow missed the fact that you choose a word for each year. I'm glad I found this one. It's like Pantone choosing a color for the year, but perhaps less arbitrary.

I just turned 40 this year, and for the first time (two weeks of introspection which hobbled my ability to write anything) realized that I need to be more intentional about setting a path for myself. I'm now actually working off a master plan for myself for the next 25 years. I should call it a fluid master plan... but it's a plan nonetheless. It's scary and gratifying to set goals for myself because now I have something against which to hold myself accountable.

Kari said...

I loved this post...keep up all the (intentional)work! Great food for thought. You ARE a bad ass LeLo!