The walk to intentions
Coming into the latter half of the first month of 2015, I have been pondering my intentions. These are sometimes titled new years resolutions, but intentions seems a little less daunting and well a little more hipster. I was strolling the Westmere coastal sidewalk to get fish ‘n chips with a friend last week, when we began discussing my “list”: my headings included health, work, spirituality and creativity. Under these there were several trajectories. I’ve never been one to pack only one pair of shoes, or be happy with one dress option; and so it is with my yearly goal(s).
After digesting both fish ‘n chips with my friend and the amazing year that was ahead of me, with multiple grand achievements lined up, I literally stopped in my tracks. A thought occurred to me, (it seemed bigger than a thought but a revelation seems to grandiose) one that would have been easier to never have: I am selfish. No dictionary or google search necessary to know what that word means.
In my intentions, I had not considered others. They were about MY growth, MY success, MY happiness. I had not reflected on who may need more of my friendship and support this year, what my family commitments need to look like or where I may volunteer my time. Sure we can’t do everything and I’m not saying these intentions are not good, or that good will not come out of them for myself or for others. I am a huge campaigner of boundaries, self-care and FUN, however, it was the absent void of being intentional about thinking of others that gave me a fright.
Strolling these city streets there are many signs that would encourage a self-absorbed way of thinking, but as I move into 2015 I want to be countercultural. I want to revisit my “list” before I’m popping another bottle of champagne at countdown. Revisiting it with a lens that sees a world with me connected to many people, a world that labels me privileged by all statistics and thus a world that requires something of myself.
Cool kid Mr Greenleaf may have coined the phrase servant leadership, but as for me and I hope for you – let’s take it from philosophy class to the streets, to our community and whanau, by setting our intentions toward others as just as weighty as those we set for ourselves.
Text and photo by N.Reese