The delightfully quirky 2007 movie “Waitress” easily fits into the top 10 of my all-time favorite food movies. Keri Russell stars as Jenna, an unhappily married waitress living in the deep South. Jenna is also a pie maker extraordinaire, so obviously the story revolves quite a bit around the pies she creates. What I especially love about her pies, however, is that she names each one of them based on the emotions she is experiencing while making them — similar in a way to another of my favorites, “Like Water for Chocolate”, but without the mystical aspects of the cooking in that particular movie. Jenna’s baking is more down to earth and realistic, as she demonstrates in her “I hate Earl” pie.
Movies are wonderful in how they take us away from our worlds and into ones of fantasy or adventure. However, it is in the real world where we must live, work, and breathe, so following certain rituals helps us try to get through it. For instance, the ritual of making resolutions is one of the biggies a lot of people follow at the beginning of each new year. I quit making resolutions a long time ago, because, like most, I just can’t seem to follow through with them. Fortunately, a new trend called Word of the Year has emerged, so I decided to give it a twirl.
The standard “rule” is that you are to pick 1 single word as your guiding beacon throughout the year — one that resonates with you deeply and keeps you from going astray. You are instructed to meditate on it, post it all over your house, chew on it, draw pictures of it, and so forth and so on… 1 word…
Unfortunately, I am not a 1 word kind of person. I tried. Seriously I did. However, all I could do was narrow it down to 4 words. I simply could not let any of my words go, but at the same time I felt strongly that I needed a way to join them all together. Then a friend said to me, “We don’t have to live in each other’s boxes. It’s okay to break those kinds of silly rules or modify them to fit our needs.” OMGosh, I’m an artist! Why on earth do I make things so difficult? So, my Left Brain told me I should pick a mother word, then my Right Brain told me told me to draw a pie…
I’ll have a slice of Intentional Pie, please.
In the English language, the word intent is the thing a person proposes to do — the thing that is intended. However, just because something is my intention, or that I seriously intended to do it, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will happen or that I will do it. The problem with the word intention, too, is that it is more often used after I didn’t do something, hence the phrase “good intentions.” But, when I use the word intentional, there is now some meat on the bone, because I am deliberate, willful, and even purposeful in what I want to do. I refuse to end another year saying, “It was my intention, but… (insert appropriate excuse here).“ Instead, my year is going to end with, “The combination of my passions and my intentional actions enabled me to have a remarkable year designing exquisitely beautiful tea towels, napkins, and tablecloths.”
But, there is a price to living an intentional life. Some things must go so that others can take their place, and that’s where my 4 new supporting words — breathe, transform, balance, and transcend — come into play. These are words I have long been familiar with, yet I have never claimed them as my own. Through the act of intentionally allowing them to come into my life, I suddenly feel a new energy — like I have 4 little helper elves sitting around my desk just waiting to step in and relieve my stress, whisper fresh new ideas in my ear, show me alternative solutions to problems, and to even help me to write this post with a more confident and discerning eye. The irony is that although I am my own boss, I had to give myself permission to let this positive energy envelope me! In the process, today alone I gave up 4 old words which had been hanging around for way too long — procrastinate, anxiety, dread, and fatigue.
I once took really good care of myself. For the most part I eat healthy foods, but the changes I need to make go beyond food and into the words and actions that I allow to dictate my life. I have let too many things in (that are actually good things on their own), but now I have no room for the most important physical, spiritual, and creative aspects of my being. This got me to thinking about a book I read several years ago by Dorothy L. Sayers. Written in 1941, The Mind of the Maker approaches the subject of writing and creativity from a Christian perspective, but with the logic and reason associated with the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. It was Ms. Sayers who penned the The Writers Trinity — the Creative Idea, the Creative Energy, and the Creative Power. This concept spoke volumes to me at the time and still does. She wrote that “the 3 are 1 and that none can exist without the other,” just as it is with Christianity’s concept of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I love this. Just as these aspects of creativity cannot exist without the other, my Words cannot exist without each other, because each supports and builds on, and takes from and gives to, the others.
So, this year I will be intentional as I breathe, transform, balance, and transcend:
- I will express and manifest my unique brand of art and designs into the world, give myself permission to pause and rest before I move on to the next thing, and simply and most importantly, I will remember to breathe.
- I will change the structure of my nights so that they will involve more sleep, transform my body through exercise and continued healthy eating, and I will approach the creative process in a fresh new way that doesn’t always involve the computer.
- I will go beyond the creative boundaries I’ve limited myself to in the past, transcend the expected outcomes with fresh and exciting new looks, and I will climb over the roadblocks others have put before me because they are stuck in their own little boxes of rules.
- I will strive to achieve equilibrium in my daily routine, and will enjoy the balance I experience with work, study, and play.
And you know what, I think I’ll have another slice of that intentional pie.