Each year for most of the last 10, when we come together on the 3rd Saturday in December, we have used that as an opportunity to look back on the past year. (This year it will be the 2nd Saturday, December 13). On the one hand, we reflect on our announced intentions from January to consider how on track we were. (These are posted in the tab on the Red Maple Leaflet blog). On the other, it is necessary for us to remind ourselves who has contributed to our activities so we can express our gratitude to them. These two activities act together to mark a conclusion to our year, leaving us ready to meet again in the month of January, to set our intentions for the coming year. For this reason, December’s theme is always “looking back”.
Over this past year I have realized there is another aspect to this activity, one which we are wise to highlight. This is momentum. By this I mean to bring us back to the idea we express in our saying “action follows intention - what’s got your attention?” We are never in the position of starting fresh, there is no point in our lives when we are unmotivated by our prior actions, and actions around us. Our lives are, by definition, interdependent with whatever is happening around us. All our choices and decisions occur within a context of countless other decisions and choices, all of which impact on us in some way. The Ayn Rand-ish image of the man of determined power who charts his own course based on his will alone is patently a fantasy, one ignorant of this reality of interdependence.
This looking back needs to measure the form and sources of momentum on which our lives ride. It is like our image of paddling our boat across a wide and rapidly flowing river. We can aim for the other shore, we can have that intention. However, we are wisest to align ourselves with the motion of the current and observe other forces in that stream, including all those other boats among which we are striving. If we try to force our will on the river, we court disaster. Momentum means we act in concert with the river, accepting its will and strength. We will reach the other shore, of this there is no doubt. We will do so most expediently when we work with, not against or ignorant of, the momentum of the river.
Yours , on purpose,
Mindful Living in Renfrew County ....What’s got your attention?