How do you wish to fill your time?
What is your intention in your every exhale, in your every emotion, in your every effort?
What is your dream?
These are the questions I have been asking myself lately.
If I could summon an answer in just one word, the word would be love.
Love is my time. Love is my intention. Love is my dream.
An authentic kind of love. A timeless kind of love. A Stranger kind of love.
And out of that Stranger love, emerges a Stranger kind of life.
To answer these three questions in fullness, it’s simply necessary to delve into the idea of a Stranger kind of life.
My favorite book, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, is one that has spoken a different message to me each of the five times I have read the pages.
The first read, I struggled through every page. I lost track of the meaning of the words. I neglected the story for weeks at a time. I just didn’t quite get it yet.
The second time through, I thought it was an interesting plot. I developed a relationship with the characters and felt closer to the story.
The third and fourth brought enough familiarity with the story which enabled me to look closer at the symbolism. I recognized this book finally for what it is, I realized the message it is trying to illustrate. And it’s the same message most stories are attempting to tell: the story of love, of living honestly, of being all you want to be & being it now, being it with absolute faith.
The last time I read it as though it were a guidebook of sorts. A different perspective into the possibilities in life we have claim to. For the first time, I felt like I could live my life in the way these characters do, and it would be the perfect way for me to exist. Living close to the people you care most about, sharing & providing so no one ever goes without, loving each and every person with an open heart, no judgements, no attachments, just love. Living a life of faith. Faith that all is exactly how it is meant to be. Faith that all will change, yet remain exactly how it is meant to be. Faith in not just the world around you, but in the world within you.
And so, this stranger kind of life & this stranger kind of love I am referring to comes from my evolving interpretation of that book. And in that book, where anything is a possibility, I have learned that the answers to these questions determine everything in my life.
How do you wish to fill your time?
The answer for this one is usually changing, depending on what I am NOT doing (always wanting what you can’t have, right!?) But mostly, I wish to fill my time productively relaxed. I try not to do things I don’t want to do. And I spend my time wisely, with people who appreciate it & value it. I wish to fill my time with art; photographing, writing, reading, drawing, cooking, creating. I wish to fill my time in nature; watching each sunrise & sunset, truly feeling the tickle of wind on skin, the rustle of leaves, the steady pace of life as it’s meant to be lived. I wish to spend my time spreading light & love & inspiration to every person I encounter.
What is your intention?
This has been a big one for me lately. I try to set an intention at the beginning of every day, every month, every yoga practice. Today my intention is to communicate flawlessly, with kindness & confidence. My intention for the month of August is to be light-hearted. And my intention for practice today was to slow down, be gentle & carry grace throughout my day.
If there’s one thing you should do every day, it is to set an intention.
Your intention determines everything.
And finally, what is your dream?
No surprise here in saying this answer too, changes constantly. The other night one dream was to take images beautiful enough to capture the essence of Wyoming, my home. That has been a dream for a long time, though!
Other dreams include creating a home for my tribe. Having a space to open up to anyone & everyone whenever they need it. Providing meals & nourishment for them. Making them feel capable, and talented, and appreciated – because they are! I dream to overcome any situation with grace & strength & courage. I dream of traveling this year. I dream to continue learning every day about the things I am most passionate about – cooking, photographing, healing, teaching. I dream of shaking things up a bit & helping people take a second look at the way they perceive & interpret life.
I think the most powerful thing you can do for yourself right now is to ask & answer those three questions. Do it once. Do it every day. Do it every time you breathe! Because when you are constantly in tune with the answers – your wishes, your intentions, your dreams – you will notice that they just pour into your life. All you have to do is ask, let go of the result, & live life in love. A Stranger kind of love.