All in Intention
With a quick snip of the scissors and a fast, light-blue bicycle, my 8-year-old self would gracefully make off with a few of my neighbor’s precious flowers. I would bring them back to our home where a brick fireplace jutted out from the side. With a rock and the brick as my mortar and pestle, I would grind the petals to create a “floral-inspired perfume”.
I had a bit of creative slump for the past week or so (maybe two weeks, if I am being completely honest). Words weren’t coming to me, I found myself in that lovely spiral between getting lost in the internet, compulsively cleaning the house, and watching reruns of The Office. I can see it coming like a screeching-loud train, ready to put my ideas to a complete halt.
I woke up at 6 AM this Sunday to go to work but I would have given anything in the world to instead be…. chopping wood. And calling myself a novice in the art would be putting it too generously.
Walk, Don’t Run.
The three words that drove me berserk as a child. I didn’t want to walk into the pool, I wanted a full sprint in order to propel my cannonball jump even further. And I couldn’t believe the audacity of the grey-haired teacher with mix-matched clothes that effectively halted my hallway hurry to recess, at least until I could slip around the corner out of sight.
I kept the same full-tilt pace into adulthood. But this time I wrongly misjudged it. I couldn’t see where I was jumping and the hallways seemed to go on forever. I always felt like I was running, finishing one thing and immediately on to the next. A head-down sprint, with one foot blurring in front of the other - but I never looked up to see where it was that I was actually going.
It was time to reset. With no real agenda to hold us accountable.
The strangest of weather unfolded as we made our way for the west coast. The morning, holding to true Irish flair, began with rain. But I later awoke to crystalized tree tops and the hills tucked in with a light blanket of snow – something that struck me as unusual for Ireland. Upon reaching Dingle, the only town on the Dingle Peninsula, the sun began to break apart the stubborn clouds. But stubbornness usually has its way of prevailing, and the clouds unleashed a cold, hailing rain. To avoid the icy harassment, and keeping with Irish style, we dipped into the nearest pub.
I sit cross-legged in a slouched posture that would make any yogi cringe. Eyes closed, I tell myself to focus on my breath and to empty my mind of everything else. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. The sounds from the Irish streets below slowly begin to creep in. Ambulance sirens wail. School children laugh. Birds flapping their wings high above the River Lee. No - I tell myself - focus on the breath. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. I wonder if it will rain later? Exhale. Inhale. This is Ireland. So yeah, probably. Exhale. Hmm, coffee sounds really good. Inhale. Is that a dog? Exhale. Great, my foot is now asleep. Inhale. Exhale. Hey self, remember that time in 1995 when that boy was mean to me on the bus? This is the perfect time to think about that.
It’s well known Denmark often tops the list of the happiest countries in the world. With a country that battles grey skies and harsh winter winds, it may initially be difficult to see why. Perhaps it has something to do with hygge.