2023 New Year, Focus & Intention
Focus: To give attention and effort to one particular subject, situation, or person, rather than another….
I hope this finds you all feeling optimistic and clear about the new year ahead! While mine started off a little rougher than I would have liked (thanks, Covid!) being laid up in bed to ring in the new year also offered me uninterrupted time to really think about my word and set my intentions for 2023. Reflecting over all the successes and failures of 2022, I was reminded how important the practice of choosing this word actually is to me- it really does set the tone for how I show up day in and day out. Last year’s word was “Reclaim” which really took hold, in my work especially. It even became the title of my new book, and the coaching program I have launched for 2023. And while I feel there is still more to reclaim in my life- I am very focused on developing the areas of my life that have been recovered. Focus. The word didn’t sit quite right as, a couple weeks before Christmas, I kept playing around with various words that might inform my intentions for the year. But on Christmas morning, my dad handed me a small gift bag that would change that. inside it Inside was a wooden spoon. My dad is a master craftsman, and has spent his professional years developing his craft-52 years he has worked with wood, creating 18th and 19th century furniture reproductions, and restoring long forgotten pieces to their original splendor. Some of my happiest memories from my childhood are of me, working alongside my dad, sometimes just “building” my own pieces, when I was small, and later, as I grew into adolescence, working through the summers as a “helper.” I’ve helped him hang kitchen cabinets, and hauled countless wheelbarrow loads of wood shavings out of the shop. So, pulling a wooden spoon out of the bag on Christmas morning, was not an out of character gift from my father. The story that accompanied it though, has become my theme, and helped me settle on the word FOCUS to guide me for the year. He had actually gotten the spoon from a colleague that he had visited over the summer- a fellow craftsman, this particular wood worker had become known in furniture making circles for his artistic Windsor chair reproductions that he makes completely by hand- no power tools to assist. Like my dad, he has spent his entire professional career honing his craft, and has now retired, for the most part. And as is with life, things have gotten sort of messy. His wife is ill and needs a significant amount of caretaking, and he has a daughter with special needs that he attends to- among other things. When recounting how hard things had gotten, there was a bright spot; He shared with my dad that he gets up every morning, brews his coffee, and then heads up to his shop, and sets out to do just one thing: make and complete a spoon. He explained to my dad that it takes him about two hours, but in that time, he is able to focus on something that he can control, and that he can complete- and for that brief amount of time, no one needs him, no one is bothering him, and he can meditatively work on his craft, keeping it well within the possibility of finishing, so as to achieve a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when the world begins to seep into his morning, calling him back to his duties. My dad thought the spoons were an interesting piece of art, but of course, it was the story that stuck with me. In my mind’s eye, I could just picture this weathered wood worker, carving out his spoon, over and over again, morning after morning. Focused on something that made him feel ok about the turns his life had taken, he had found solace in the familiar and in the act of creating. I knew then, that my word for 2023 was definitely confirmed. Focus. I have so much to focus on, so many goals I want to accomplish- I’ve worked really hard, and it’s time to build, to grow, to expand, and level up. The vision that became so clear in 2022, is now ready to be developed. And while it is going to take a tremendous amount of work, commitment, creativity and belief- I feel up for it. I’m ready. I’m open to work, and receive. I have the spoon hanging up in my kitchen, and every morning, I look at it as I brew a cup of coffee, well before the sun makes it’s debut, wondering when and how, and why, and if. And then I think of the wood worker’s and my dad, and about the power that can be harnessed when you get really streamlined in your vision and commit to showing up. What’s your word for 2023? Have you even considered setting an intention for the year? If not, I hope this note gives you an opportunity to pause, and think. There is so much available to us- if we are just willing to believe. May you have a healthy, blessed and surprising year ahead. Love and light, Jess