I have a little statue of Buddha sitting on my desk, a shiny brown image of his smiling face and big, laughing belly. He sits on top of a business-sized card a friend sent me that says, simply, “Live with intention” in dark blue letters. I am looking at the both of them as I type this, while all of the things I have left to do at work in the few days I have left go racing through my head. I am panicked about the thought of not working, even though I want this. I don’t know who I am without having my job to help define me, even though I have always defined myself primarily as a mother. I can’t define myself as a writer, even though one of the things I plan on doing once I am not working outside the home is write, and hopefully get paid to do it (me and millions of others, I know, and if I think about that too much I feel hopeless and discouraged before I even start), I don’t yet define myself as a wife (it’s so hard to wrap my mind around that, even now it feels so new!)…I don’t know anything at all these days.
But I look at Buddha and that card, reminding me to live in the moment, to be present in the here and now and to live with intention, and I feel a little calmer. His smiling faces gives me peace, those dark blue words give me a reminder of how I want to live. I am not good at making leaps of faith, prefer instead to take small baby steps and tell myself it is enough that I believe, but this requires a much larger profession of my belief that The Big Guy is watching out for me and cares deeply about how I choose to live my life. He won’t steer me wrong if I listen, if I jump into the unknown and live with intention. Buddha surely wasn’t comfortable all of the time while he learned his lessons about being still and living in the moment, surely he didn’t, surely there were times he embraced the stillness only after sweating,cross-legged and sullen and questioning whether it would be worth it.
Fear is good. Faith is better. Living in the moment, living with intention, is the only way to do it.