January 9, 2017

Stretch & Sketchbook

This first week of 2017 has felt like suspended animation. I've unintenionally insulated myself from feeling the pull of any responsibilities. I've been floating along, feeling much like my left ear that has been blocked up since the end of December. You know that feeling? Like there's a bubble inside your head/ear that dampens sound and makes you feel slightly off-kilter. Yeah, that feeling. Other than walking around the neighborhood and Wissahickon Valley Park with the Hubs, I've been reading non-stop. I've raced through 3 novels; utterly absorbed while reading, but mostly forgotten when finished. Comprehension, yes; retention, not so much.
As I was writing the other night, trying to verbalize personal blockages I would like to address, the desire to stretch myself spilled forth. To literally stretch my muscles and joints (the Hubs and I had just completed a 9-1/2 mile walk and I was tired and sore), to expand my mind, to challenge my intellect, to learn new skills, to reach just beyond what I find comfortable. I never set an intention for 2016, which felt right at the time, but now, I kinda miss having that self-imposed guiding force.
Stretch is similar enough to openness, my 2014 intention, that I considered trying to come up with a unique intention for 2017. But then I read my email for the first time in a week and stretch was cemented (hah! - ironically enough). In a message from Annapurna Living, Carrie-Anne, one of the women from last February's gathering in the woods, wrote about a recent visit with Amanda, one of the gathering's organizers. In this message, Carrie-Anne addressed the need to stretch:
I step into the deepest gratitude and I look to where I need to stretch and I do it. I STRETCH because I must. The warrior woman in me activates through my practice. My heart is nourished by my conversations with my friends and I keep on keeping up. I cry when I need to and feel no need to explain why. I look to humor as medicine and music as the backdrop to my everything.
Encouraged by this happy little synchronicity of thought, 2017 is the year to stretch myself in all ways. Do you set a yearly intention or theme? What is your focus for 2017?

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