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  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    This year I’m
    doing something
    different than my
    usual tradition of
    pithy punch list of
    lessons learned to
    wrap this series of
    entries up.
    I’m writing
    this last entry
    exactly two weeks
    after we got home
    from the burn, b ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Monday morning I
    woke up early and
    decided that I
    wanted to do one
    more personal ritual
    before we had to
    break down and pack
    up our yurt and load
    the truck and leave.
    So I took my handpan
    and one of our
    little chairs and
    walked ou ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Sunday is always a
    tough day at the
    burn because we have
    to strike
    tough physically of
    course but
    it’s also
    tough emotionally
    because it feels
    like the setting and
    the vibe we worked
    so hard to put toge ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Saturday was my only
    day with nothing
    pre-planned and
    nothing I had
    committed to do. The
    burn was almost over
    and I was starting
    to feel nibbles of
    FOMO (Fear Of
    Missing Out) so I
    was determined to go
    see some more art
    (especially ...
  • Radical Rituals at B ...
    Because I had
    actually gotten
    enough sleep, I woke
    up reasonably early
    on Friday morning.
    Josh was still
    asleep, but I wanted
    to take advantage of
    the relative
    coolness of the
    morning and go do
    something. So I
    decided to take my h ...


A blog in which Our Heroine records, reflects and wrestles with meaning. With lots of asides.
Tags >> intentional life design

New year, new moon, new intention (a word I like much better than “resolution”). Last year I intended to “stretch”, and stretch I did. I stretched into new places and new projects, and pushed farther and harder on my current projects. I challenged myself, for the most part successfully, to do things I had never done before, and to let go of fears and constraints that no longer served me. It was good work, if a bit exhausting in places, and I’m pleased with myself overall.

This dawning new year, though, already seems to have a different feel to it. Though I still am attracted to striving and pushing myself in new directions (and probably always will be), I feel less like I want to expand and more like I want to explore where I’m at. I’ve had a couple of relatively quiet and thoughtful days out here at the beach to try to come up with my intention for 2014, and much as I was hoping for some grand inspirational ideal to present itself to me, the thing that keeps coming up when I think about what I want for this coming year is satisfaction. Satisfaction in the specific sense of feeling sated, that what I have and do is enough, and is pleasurable and fulfilling. I want to find satisfaction in as many areas of my life as possible: my creative work, my relationships, my parenting, my volunteering, my home, my communities. I don’t mean that I “just” want to passively accept whatever good things I currently have (though I do—but that’s gratitude, which is a somewhat different intention) without wanting any more; I want to pursue satisfaction actively (and appreciate it wherever I find it). I want to get clear on what makes me satisfied, and then spend my time and energy doing those things or being with those people or visiting those places. If it isn’t satisfying, and it isn’t necessary to survival, I don’t want to do it. (And if it is necessary to survival yet something I don’t want to do, I want to encourage myself to find some sort of satisfaction in it somewhere.)

So that’s my plan for 2014: find satisfaction. It may be easier or harder at times to find it, and having found it, to keep it; it may take some stretching and some practice. But I would really like to be sitting in a house in Stinson Beach at this time next year looking back on the year and thinking “that was a really satisfying year.”

My 2013 Intention: Streeeeetch!

Posted by: julia

I was just looking back over last year’s blog posts about the year behind and the resolutions for the year ahead, and I see that I said that my major intention for 2012 was to practice (and to create and maintain practices). I think I totally did live that intention, and I want to continue it into 2013. But the specific intention I want to set for this coming year is Stretch. In the coming year, I want to keep reminding (and convincing) myself to stretch: beyond the expected, beyond my comfort zone, beyond what I know or have known, even if just the tiniest amount. I do and I have done a lot, but if I stretch, I will find out whether or not I can do more, in a healthy challenge sort of way.

The key thing to remember about Stretch (hey self, I’m talking to you), is that by its very nature, Stretch is an elastic concept. It requires me staying flexible enough to push just a little farther whenever something new or different starts to make me feel scared or uncertain. I don’t have to go too far; just far enough to feel the stretch. And the deeper and more often I stretch, the farther I’ll be able to go the next time. (So in a way this fits very nicely into last year’s resolution to Practice.) 

All right, I have declared my intention; we shall see how it plays out over this next year. With all this practice and all this stretching, I should be winning a gold medal in the Happiness marathon by 2014!

So I’ve been quiet here in good ol’ Parentheticals, despite my best of intentions (I should really open up my own metaphorical paving company called Road to Hell, just so I have something to do with all my good intentions). It’s not that I’ve been creatively absent, though, it’s just that I’ve consistently chosen to put my creative energies elsewhere than into blogging. I hate to think that there’s a finite amount of usable creative juice available to me, but that seems to be the case.  Personal creativity and artistic output are not all-or-nothing things, but I’m learning (again) that I can only juggle so many active creative projects at one time and that having too many projects going on means that something inevitably gets dropped.

So if I haven’t been blogging, what have I been doing? Thanks for asking. :) Well, for at least the last 4 or 5 months, I’ve been distracted quite a bit by working on my Fly Your Freak Flag High (FYFFH) project. In March and April I put together a Kickstarter campaign to fund taking FYFFH to Maker Faire and Burning Man, and that sucked up a great deal of creative juice. I did manage to get the project successfully funded (yay!)—I wrote about that whole Kickstarter experience over on the FYFFH blog—and then I jumped immediately into prepping all the materials and the booth for the Maker Faire in May (and I wrote about my experience with Maker Faire here). I had a great time at Maker Faire, and learned a lot. (I’ll be applying some of those lessons to the FYFFH projects that I’m bringing with me to Burning Man at the end of August, but more on that later.)

Shortly after Maker Faire, my creative juices took a hit from the advent of summer and its inevitable changes in routine (including family distractions, vacations and other excitement). At the same time I was also hit with an opportunity to publish my novel sooner than I had expected, because another author dropped out of the schedule, so June and July’s creative juices were largely taken up by edits and rewrites and more edits (with a heaping helping of cover design on the side) that eventually resulted in my book becoming a leaner, tighter finished product that I am actually proud of. I’m super excited about the upcoming book launch and I know that any minute now I will have to turn a significant chunk of creative energy over to marketing the book, but I’m ok with that because I think I can be creative and have fun with that process, even though it will probably result in having to temporarily put aside other kinds of creative output. Blogging will likely prosper (stay tuned) but I suspect that work on the novel’s sequel and the next steps for FYFFH will probably founder unless some sort of clever reapportionment of available creative juices or a serious rebalancing of all my daily responsibilities—always desired, rarely attained—can be implemented. I am determined to try both reapportionment and rebalancing, but also to be okay with whatever happens.

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