Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Setting My Intent

Lately, I've been lamenting the loss of writing time. My personal life has pulled on my attention lately, and let's face it, sometimes zoning out in front of the tube with a beer is a bit more relaxing than having to, say, think.

Yesterday, however, I got my big chance to sit down and touch the keyboard for more than the scant 10 minutes or so I've been getting lately. Summer is winding down, and it was time for me to write the welcome letter I'd been planning for a while. Little Suzy Sunshine will be back at my home again, and well as Evan Everbright, and I like to just go over some of the things the parents might want to know, or be reminded of, now that they've spent the summer with their kids and their brains are probably toast.

You would think it would be an easy task. "Please pack an extra change of clothes, blah blah blah." Oh, the horrors. No, that's not my kind of writing. I can't just ask for an extra change of clothes, I have to get all flowery about it.

"Be it a little accident or a rainstorm, it’s helpful for the kids to have their own clothes to change into."


Nor could I just say "Please call if you will be late picking up your child." No way.


"The end-of-day transitions can be trying for some children; knowing when they are to be picked up will help me ease them out of their play and be as ready as possible to say “hello!” to you."

What about snack times?


"...snacks are allowed at any time a child feels hungry... if we have been so busy playing that I see a need to eat or rest, I will step in. Children sometimes need guidance to pull away from their play and take care of their needs. My goal is to do this as seamlessly as possible, by incorporating it into their play whenever I can. This could mean a picnic in the fort... "


Or what about the fact that we have art and some free play choices available?


"...I believe strongly that the best opportunities to learn and create are emergent, when the children lead the play or craft and I support them by providing whatever materials and guidance they may need to reach their end result, be it building a fort or working on a collage."

So, all this fancy-shmancy writing aside, I thought today about what had really happened. In writing this document, I had shaped what I wanted for the next school year. I had put down onto paper a pleasant vision of what I am hoping for, and made it more tangible.

In many spiritual practices, this is often call this "setting one's intent". Sometimes it's a prayer, sometimes it's a scrap of paper thrown on the fire, sometimes it's a mantra we recite to ourselves so we don't forget. It's a way of knowing what kind of change you are hoping to affect, and then focusing your mind on working toward that goal, keeping your intentions focused and present as you proceed through life.

So I'm hoping that I can keep those cozy images present on the hard days, when nothing feels like it's gelling with the kids, and on the easy days, so I can remember that a little vision goes a long, long way. Amazing how far a little writing time can go, too.

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