I wrote about my 2022 Intentions (as an alternative to resolutions) during the new year. After wrapping up April it’s time to reflect again. As a reminder, “intentions” are the behaviors and attitudes that I intend to promote and champion within myself each day. The intent is to do (be) my best on any given day…in any given moment. There are no rules. No broken promises. Just good intentions.
April was another challenging month with us being locked down (along with the entire city of Shanghai). For those that are not aware, Shanghai is taking a very strict approach to locking down due to the spike in covid cases. Starting in March we began to experience restrictions from leaving our community and in April we were mostly restricted to staying in our own homes with the only exception for getting covid testing. We are blessed with a garden and so unlike many that are stuck in apartments with no recourse, I do have more space to stretch, but I must say this is getting quite tiring and for all the people of Shanghai, quite sad. One bright spot is seeing the neighborhood become more neighborly with people sharing when running out of supplies and collaborating on bulk orders to secure new supplies. Ironically I’ve “met” more neighbors during lock-down then I ever met during ‘normal’ times.
With regard to my intentions, it’s been an up and down month with some low spots and some bright spots. Let’s take a look — here are my reflections for each intention.
#1 Intention: Rise and Shine
My first 2022 Intention was to ”Rise and Shine”. To get up when I (first) wake up. Given my normal sleep patterns I decided to wake and get up at 5 a.m. (with a 9-9:30 sleep target to ensure I got enough sleep to feel rested).
In April I generally kept to this 5am get-up schedule but with my working from home due to the lock-down I didn’t need as much time in the morning and I sometimes ended up taking a nap even before work started, which never really felt that restful. I’d say in the past week or so I’ve gotten more on track with this regard and am feeling less sluggish.
#2 Intention: Move
My second 2022 Intention was to “Move”. To get my body moving daily whether it be doing yoga, or taking a walk, or going for a bike ride or swim it’s all good. The idea here was whether I feel fresh or tired, I‘ll choose to move.
Moving was by far the biggest challenge for me this month with me clocking in exercise only sporadically. Walking hasn’t been a choice due to the lockdown (and it’s my preferred option for moving when I’m low energy), but I do have options for yoga and an exercise bike. So it’s really just a matter of reminding myself of my intention and taking a first step to get going.
#3 Intention: Be
My third 2022 Intention was to “Be”. To meditate each day.
My general habit was to meditate after yoga each day and with my lapses in yoga I also lapsed a bit in meditation. But in the second half of the month I started to meditate more by telling myself if I’m not going to do yoga I can still meditate. This “permission” unlocked me a bit.
#4 Intention: Create
My fourth 2022 Intention was to “Create”. To write and or create art each day.
Here, I excelled. In celebration of national poetry month the muse was with me and I wrote over 75 poems over the course of the month. I’ve been wonderfully prolific and this has been a bright light for me throughout the month. I even published my sixth book this month after starting the work on it in March — a very fast cycle from idea to fruition (and definitely atypical). The book is a collection of illustrated silly poetry and you can learn more about the book here if your interested.
So there they are. My April reflections. A mixed bag, but if I think back holistically at my month I’ve done something to take care of myself everyday and that is something I can (and do) feel good about myself for. I’m not going to make any adjustments to my intentions as I still feel that they are all positive directions for me.
I do sincerely hope that the situation here in Shanghai eases and people regain some freedom. People need to feel some lightheartedness and joy.
How was April for you?