Tag Archive | virtual friends

The Power of Intention

I’ve been thinking some more about yesterday’s misadventure at the pharmacy. Today’s lesson from that is the power of intention. Without consciously articulating it, I stepped out of the car determined to get the shot. That was my intention: I will get the shot. Putting myself, my desire, my perceived need above all else, and fueling it with resentment over ‘wasted time’ that day at the clinic and the week before at the pharmacy. I can imagine today how differently I would have felt afterward if I had gone up to that counter with an intention to be kind, patient, and aware of the invisible suffering of every person behind the counter and every person who came to the counter and everyone waiting in line for the two windows. If my intention had been from the beginning to accept however things turned out with no attachment to outcome, and to be of benefit to everyone I encountered, what a different experience it would have been.

It’s been a challenge today to accept that I did the best I could by tempering in that moment the Colonel’s self-righteously commanding attitude and voice that emerged from my depths, and then backing way down, letting go of my frustration, and apologizing with an open heart. I’ve learned and grown from the experience; I minimized the damage to the extent and as quickly as possible. That’s what mindfulness is all about. I’m grateful for recognizing the power of intention in this powerful lesson.

I’m also grateful for the sweet surprises in the mailbox this morning! And for all the causes and conditions that came together in this remarkable universe to bring to my life a jar of homemade tomato chutney from Texas and one of pear-chocolate preserves directly from Florence, Italy, with a layover in Austin. Thank you, Hungry Traveler, for thinking of me! What a world, where people who would never have met otherwise can become friends through the ethers, tangibly sharing their joys and the fruits of their kitchens and their travels.

Friends I’ve Never Met

This little girl lives across the country. I’ve never met her, nor her mother, in person. But her mother is one of a number of friends I’ve made virtually along the mindfulness path I embarked upon in earnest five years ago. She and I have met almost monthly with a small sangha on zoom for that whole time – even pre-Coronaverse, a new world in which I’ve become friends with a number of other people on the path this past year. I’m grateful for all of these dear people who’ve come into my life online, and hope to meet some of them in person eventually.

Little R will be three in June. Her mom texted me this picture with the caption, Look what R found in her drawer and wanted to wear. Still fits!! She’s wearing a bunting I knitted for her ‘welcome to the world’ present, which she received when she probably could have fit inside one sleeve. I’m grateful my hours of knitting are still keeping this little girl warm, that she wanted to wear it, and I’m grateful her mom made my day with this surprise picture. My joy in this simple text and all it conveys brings tears to my eyes.

I’m grateful again today, as always, for waking up alive, and finding my dear Stellar alive downstairs in his bed. It still breaks my heart that he can no longer climb the stairs to sleep with me, but he seems content in his own bed. And I’m grateful that he feels so good these days that he eagerly strays from the trail. For most of last year, he was so feeble that he could only plod along ahead of me, head down. Nowadays, he’s always following his nose out into the trees, and sometimes gets so far ahead of me I can’t see him. I’m grateful that he always stops and waits for me. From our walk this morning – he’s blurry in most of them, that’s how well he’s moving!