Carrying My Intentions Out the Door

My exercise for Day 25 in the Love Your Life course was to set an intention for my day…and come up with more intentions for future days. This is the kind of creative play that I love.

An intention is a plan, an aim, an intended goal, used to focus thoughts and give guidance. I find it interesting that intention comes from the Latin word “intendere”, meaning stretch, purpose…stretching out a purpose. It seems to suggest action, over time.

I took this idea of writing out intentions and ran with it, and as often happens with me, I created a game to play.

I wrote out 30 intentions and cut them into small strips. I chose intentions such as “Be kind”, “Listen”, and “Find the Story”. The object of this exercise is to be mindful of and carry out the intention over the course of the day. If I draw “Be kind”, I will focus on practicing kindness during the day, and be aware of opportunities to express kindness.

Mike Dooley suggested wearing something or carrying an object to refocus attention if needed. I thought of wearing a wrist band to keep my awareness high. But I came up with a better idea, inspired by a Hobbit.

I bought this Hobbit door necklace several years ago, during my Year of Journeys, when my symbol was a Door. This beautiful door connects me to the Middle Earth stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, where adventures and journeys were key themes. And, it is a locket, making it the perfect receptacle to hold and carry my intentions.

I will select an intention each day, fold it up, place it within my Hobbit door locket, and wear it throughout the day. Having the intention around my neck and near my heart will keep it in my awareness. I can reach up and hold the locket, or open it, any time I wish. In keeping with my belief that I am guided when I play these games, I will select the intentions randomly and trust that the slip of paper I draw is the perfect one for the day ahead.

All I needed was something to hold my slips of paper. I knew exactly what to use, and it continued the Middle Earth theme. I have a collectible box shaped like the city of Minas Tirith, from the final story in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Located in Gondor, Minas Tirith is the city of the King. It is where Aragorn claims his crown and his throne. The city built into the side of a mountain represents hope, strength and life.

This box came with a special edition Return of the King DVD that I purchased. I’ve never used it before. It works well, as the keeper of my intentions. I’ve place the box and the Hobbit door necklace on my dresser, where I begin my day selecting clothes to wear. I will see it easily and draw out an intention before I select a pair of socks. The last item I will put on as I dress for the next 30 days will be my locket.

I may be stretching this purpose way out there, and taking this exercise in a totally different direction. However, I am having fun being inspired in this way and I’m excited to see what unfolds. I am being intentional about intentions. I am playing with the Divine.

Day 299: Five Week Middle-Earth Movie Marathon


Today’s planned first was postponed due to family members battling the flu! I switched gears, on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, enjoying time in the garden and time relaxing with one of my favorite movies. As part of the countdown to the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I joined the 5 Week Middle-Earth Movie Marathon for my first today.

Launched by MiddleEarthNews on Facebook and Twitter, this fun event encourages fans to watch the five available Middle-Earth films, one each week, beginning today with Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. I chose the extended edition version. I’ve watched this film many times however, it’s the first time I’ve watched it as a part of a special event and the first time I’ve watched any movie and tweeted about it and read related tweets on Twitter. We used the hashtag #5wkMMM. That was fun!

Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth movies have deeply impacted my life. I’ve discovered so many truths about myself within these transformative films, journeying and growing along with the characters. It has been a while since I’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have journeyed since my last viewing and it was interesting to watch today and see with fresh eyes and a slightly different perspective. Here’s what stood out today as I watched FOTR:

• Because of my recent viewings of The Hobbit films, I noticed more acutely the references to Bilbo’s adventure, dragons and characters from The Hobbit, such as Balin, Gloin and Thorin.

• I was aware that Bilbo offered Gandalf tea when he arrived in the afternoon. Pippin also mentions tea time as a customary Hobbit tradition.

• I saw the warrior like qualities more clearly in Gimli, rather than seeing him as playing a more minor role in this adventure. Similarly, I noted how Legolas has settled more fully into who he is.

• Aragorn is one of my favorite characters in the LOTR movies and his transformation from Strider the Ranger, to Aragorn the King is inspiring. The other human in the Fellowship, Boromir, plays well the man who would take the ring from Frodo, by force if necessary. I watched his character closely today, appreciating his transformation as well and the role he plays in calling Aragorn forth. While Boromir does seek the ring, it is not for his own purposes that he desires it. He wishes to protect his city, Gondor, and its people, using the ring as a weapon against the enemy. He would not have been able to control the one ring, yet his intentions are noble. The two men have many strong traits in common. One has tried to hide who he is and fears he doesn’t have what it takes to be king. The other has lived bravely, carrying the many heavy expectations of his demanding father and he has no desire for a king. Boromir resists Aragorn’s destiny and yet, as they journey he begins to share his love of the white city, Gondor, with his companion. He calls Aragorn forth, in an added scene in the extended edition, and I paraphrase, “Stop hiding in the shadows. Stop fearing who you are and what you are.”

• I always get teary eyed over Boromir’s death. This complex man finds redemption as he sacrifices himself in an attempt to save the halflings. The emotional response didn’t change today! What I noticed for the first time though was that it is Boromir who first addresses Aragorn as “my king”. The others in Aragorn’s life encourage him to become who he is destined to be, see the strength in him, refer to him as Isildur’s heir. Boromir, as he lies dying, acknowledges fully who Aragorn is, calling him, “My brother…my captain…my king”. What a far seeing man. Aragorn responds, not with denials and hesitation, but in a quietly confident manner befitting a king. I loved seeing that unfold today. Boromir’s gauntlets that Aragorn wears for the remainder of the journey become a constant reminder of that man’s belief in his king, and his trust that Aragorn would save his people, and Middle-Earth.

I enjoyed watching Fellowship of the Ring today. It reminded me of my own journey and of the moments of realization about myself that I have had. It also brought to mind the people who make up my Fellowship, those brave souls who encourage me and call me out as they need to. They see what’s possible in my life, sometimes long before I do. May I continue to journey well and lend my wisdom and encouragement to others on their adventures!


Day 287: National Face Your Fears Day

National Face Your Fears Day

Who knew that there was a day specifically set aside for facing ones fears? I didn’t, until this month. According to, this holiday is always the second Tuesday in October, so the date changes each year. This year it is today, October 14. And for my first, I “celebrated” the day by being mindful of my journey and all the fears I have overcome.

Fear is a powerful emotion that can paralyze us, keeping us stuck in a supposed safe place. Many terrors begin in childhood because of an incident beyond the control of the child, such as fear of water because of a near drowning, fear of storms because of a tornado passing through, fear of the dark because of strange noises emanating from the closet. The memory or energy of that incident remains trapped within and each time a similar event occurs, that memory gets triggered, and the energy stirs, and we feel it as butterflies in the stomach or an icy grip around our hearts. We pull back. We begin to avoid those things which trigger the fear and a phobia is born.

I know all about fear. I lived most of my life in the clutches of it. Many of those fears were common fears… of the dark, of dolls, of strong storms, of loss, death and isolation, of failure, of not being enough. It took reaching middle age, and the loss of two dear people, to realize that all my fears centered around one major, deep seated fear. I was afraid of who I was, at my core, and the gifts I’d been given to share with the world. I was afraid to shine, as the person I was Divinely created to be.

Watching The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring about 12 years ago, a scene caught my attention. I knew I was seeing a picture of myself played out on my tv screen. Gandalf the Grey, the wizard in the film, is leading the fellowship through the mines of Moria. The little band of travelers has just discovered that the occupants of the mine are all dead. There is a darkness in the mines that goes beyond a lack of light. Gandalf raises his staff and allows a very small amount of light to shine forth, lighting their way. He whispers, “Let us hope that our presence may go unnoticed.” I replayed that scene over and over and something shifted near my heart. That was me, not allowing my light to shine brightly, hoping that my presence would go unnoticed. That fear of shining as my true self kept me small and invisible. It caused me to be a people pleaser, an avoider of conflict and controversy, silent when my voice could have made a difference. It was my smallness caught in isolation that created the fear of death and loss, fear of the dark, fear of being alone.

My journey shifted as well that day. Oh, the fears didn’t disappear overnight. But as I released fear after fear, I began to draw amazing people and situations to me that gave me opportunity to shine as the person I am created to be. And finally, as I fully embraced who I am and all that I am, gifts, abilities and quirks, I could quietly, courageously face the last of my fears and watch them drop away. The dark no longer menaced me and I no longer had to fear being alone, especially at night. It is a continuing journey, walking as me, finding my voice, and I am still learning and growing into what that means and how to offer who I am to others.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” I agree. By facing my fear, I have done that which I never thought I could do, in many areas of my life. I am grateful for National Face Your Fears Day because it reminds me of how far I have journeyed, and what is possible when I shine bright. There is no place within me for fear to hide in that great light.

heart of light 2

Day 265: Hobbit Day

Hobbit Day Lego Bilbo and Frodo e

What a fun week for me! Yesterday launched the start of Tolkien Week. And today, September 22, is Hobbit Day. I am a huge Tolkien fan, appreciating all of his literary works including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Until this year, I didn’t realize these special celebrations existed, and yet both events have been recognized since 1978. My increased awareness of experiencing first things has brought all kinds of interesting firsts to me. I am delighted.

For my first today, I celebrated Hobbit Day, which is the birthday of both Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins, fictional characters in Tolkien’s Middle Earth saga. Bilbo is Frodo’s uncle and both are Hobbits, residing in Hobbiton in the Shire. Although I read Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit years ago, the stories really captivated me when Peter Jackson fleshed out the characters and brought them to life on the big screen.

The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Rings begins with a party. It is Bilbo’s eleventy first birthday. According to Tolkien, Bilbo was born in the year 2890 and Frodo in the year 2968 in the Third Age. While Frodo, the ring bearer, is featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with Bilbo playing a minor role, it is Bilbo who reaches unlikely hero status while on an adventure in The Hobbit. The recent releases of Jackson’s Hobbit movies, starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo, has brought Bilbo’s story back into popularity.

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I am a fan of both Hobbits. Although I favored Frodo until I followed Biblo’s dragon fighting adventure in The Hobbit movies. Hobbits are gentle, peace loving folk from the Shire, who never cease to surprise those who encounter them. The courage of Hobbits is central, and crucial, to both stories.

What fun to celebrate this day. Because it is also National Ice Cream Cone Day, I enjoyed a fun scoop of Icing on the Cake ice cream on a sugar cone, to wish both Hobbits a Happy Birthday. I also spent time in Middle Earth lore, reading about both Hobbits and looking up some of my favorite quotes. In my quest for pictures and quotes, I came across several great ideas for celebrating Tolkien week, which will be featured as firsts during this week. I even found a great photo contest to enter called My Own Shire Photo Contest. There are three categories that I can enter, including a Garden Category. So perfect for me!

Hobbit Day and National Ice Cream Cone Day e

It is going to be a special week of celebrating, Middle Earth style. I look forward to firsts around the stories and characters that have been life changing for me. Here are two of my favorite quotes, one from each Hobbit, in honor of them and their day:

“He often used to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river; its springs were at every doorstep and every path was its tributary. ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,’ he used to say. ‘You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.’” Frodo Baggins, speaking of Bilbo

“All this is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king.” Poem in honor of Aragorn by Bilbo Baggins

Hobbit Day Bilbo and Frodo e