I’m continuously looking for ways to stay positive. It’s difficult to do sometimes. Stress, two jobs, shortages of time, and chores all make it easy to feel gloomy. And somehow, gloom-and-doom is just simpler—at least for me.
Negativity isn’t the way, though. It weighs us down and eats at our insides till it takes over anything else that could have been. It draws on any creative energy we might have had to take it over for itself.
So, the title of this article comes into play—setting intentions.
Setting your intention is an idea I learned about (at least in name) when I was reading about the Wicca faith many years ago. But then, I saw it come in a book on mediation, and later in my Philosophy 101 in college.
What does it mean to set intention? It is different things, surely, in all of these situations, but in general they all lead back to the same thing. Setting intention helps you see things you might have missed, and gives an aim and appreciation to your actions and to your day.
What would your intention be? It doesn’t have to be complicated.
I think back to a day earlier this week. It was a day I needed to go to both of my jobs, and upon waking up, I just didn’t think I was going make it.
I decided I must set my intention for the day: to feel gratitude for what my life is now and to complete my day’s tasks to be able to see it continue.
I made a list of what was going to happen that day—for days when I have both of my jobs to go to, I can easily seem to see things have slipped my mind. My day job topped the list. Next would be office hours with two stacks of writings from my students to finish grading. After that I would go on to teach two sections of class, pick-up dinner on the way home, and finally outline some writing ideas. It was a daunting list.
My intention was not necessarily a goal. That seems to me to be more long term. But with the full rundown of what had to all happen on a usual Tuesday gave me focus of what I ought to do to keep things on track for myself (my mind and my soul, I mean) while going through the motions of everything else.
My jobs take a good deal of time, yes, but I find both rewarding in some way every day. I can assist people who need help from getting them benefits from the Commonwealth to giving my students new ways to better express themselves in a language that isn’t their first one. I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to do both of these things. I see that they are not just a means to an end of financial security for my husband, the cats, and myself, but they’re fulfilling in a spiritual way, even if they often take all of the energy I can muster.
An intention can be simple—finding one small bit of beauty in a tough situation—or it could be more extensive, such as trying to work towards helping your community on a large scale through your actions. Just let it be something that you value and that you feel strongly about—let that be your intention each day.
Marcie is a bilingual caseworker by day, a university adjunct by night, and an aspiring writer at times in between. An import to NEPA, she has been active in the arts for many years from theatre to forensics to music. Her interest in the arts continues as founder of Ink, an area writer’s group, a founding member of Voce Angeli (NEPA’s only all-female chamber choir), and as a columnist for Thirty-Third Wheel. She loves all things Pittsburgh, particularly the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her Master of Arts in Linguistics. She lives in Scranton with her handsome husband, Pete, and their horde of cats: Napoleon, Gimli, King Ajax, Sam, and Dean.