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Today’s intention is:
Explore the world with open eyes.
Explore others with an open heart.
Explore yourself with an open mind.
Creating a beautiful garden
Walking around the neighborhood, my friend, Ryan, rings my cell.
“Hey friend, what’s shakin’?” I answer.
“I thought of a couple things I can share for the community and want to discuss.” He responds.
A few days prior, I asked Ryan to consider leading a community event on an aspect of health. He is the healthiest person I know and has had a major impact on what I eat and how I exercise. He’s a former college basketball player, a well-practiced yogi and a spiritual leader in his own right. The guy has gifts that need to be shared.
I stroll down the alley behind my house as we discuss his experience learning and teaching meditation. He began meditating almost ten years ago and discovered it naturally through his yoga practice. He suggests yoga is meditation. The postures prepare us to sit in meditation. The breathing exercises help us concentrate or create a desired energetic effect to enhance meditation.
As Ryan shares more about his journey with meditation, I think of a lesson I can share with him.
I mention the revision process I went through writing my book, The 5 Buckets. I distinctly remember Jennifer, my editor, highlighting sentences and commenting, “Tell me more about this” or “This is interesting. Can you expand?”
For me, the sentences said all that I was trying to convey. But to a curious reader, they lacked clarification and detail. I had to explore the depths of each sentence. I needed to get to the bones. Only then, could I bring the reader into my world effectively. Only then, could I be understood.
Near the end of our call, I ask Ryan to write one page about his experience with meditation. After, we can work together to get to the bones of his story. We’ll choose a specific aspect, moment or lesson to explore. I compare the process to creating a beautiful garden. There are three actions we must take to bring this thing to life:
Dig. Water. Grow.
Even the untrained horticulturist knows a quality garden starts with soil and seeds. We dig through his written thoughts to surface the deep, rich ideas. As we do, we toss a few weeds and make space where plants, flowers and fruits will flourish. His clear, authentic story is there but it’s hidden beneath the topsoil of consciousness. Use a shovel or use a hand. Either way, get to digging.
Shovel enough soil off the page and seeds of his true Self surface. We nurture them from seedling to flowering. But we must remain patient. Flood these ideas with hurried expectation and they die on the vine. Similarly, starve them of water and they dry to dust. Paced, consistent trickles of fresh thoughts and renewed perspective are the way. Nature doesn’t rush and neither do we.
As vibrant flowers and delicious fruit show themselves, we take a moment to admire the work. Our patience, dedication and resilience have been rewarded. We are prepared for the challenging stages of growth. We gather his strong, thriving ideas and share them with the world. Finally, we can accelerate. Bring sun, bring wind and bring rain. His garden of memories, stories and ideas only grows fuller with storms of consumption, engagement and feedback.
Ryan’s story isn’t yet written but this process has been cultivated over centuries.
And if you haven’t noticed, this isn’t just about writing, meditating or gardening. It’s about living with intention.
Living with intention is an exploration of Self. The self you don’t even know. The one no one knows because it’s covered in weeds and topsoil.
I explore my Self with every one of these posts.
I explore it through Morning Pages, running on the beach and cooking vegan butternut squash soup.
Now, it’s time to accelerate. Bring sun, wind and rain.
Join Ryan, me and the rest of the community as we seek the bones of our stories.
Use a shovel or use a hand.
Either way, get to digging.
No mistakes, only experiments
Whether we’re gardening, writing poetry, starting a new job or playing the ukulele, growth comes through our experiments. We seed breakthroughs by tinkering, trial and error and days spent doing the stuff.
One of my favorite experiments the last four months has been The Music Show. I connect with friends, tell stories and find my voice by sharing favorite beats with you.
The journey of Self-discovery
A few weeks ago, a close friend asked me why I’m doing all this Student of Intention stuff.
I didn’t have a great answer for him. I told him I suppose I am just curious.
But it’s more than that.
I’m chipping away at myself.
I’m removing layers and getting to the bones.
I’m digging, watering and growing.
My Self is in here somewhere.
And yours is somewhere inside you.
Let’s explore together.
Let’s enjoy the pursuit of purpose.
Until next time,
Don’t wait. Start small. Learn as you go