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Essence of October: Intention


My dear friend Laura Lavigne is the founder of the Center for Happiness in Anacortes, Washington. I was extremely blessed to spend six weeks near the end of 2018 living with her in Anacortes and helping out in small ways at the Center. One of the first things Laura taught me was about Essence. You can learn more about Essence here.

While living in Washington, I often found myself and my friends declaring an Essence for the day like “playfulness” or “connection” or “adventure.” The idea of beginning a morning with an intention not of what I wanted to accomplish, but of the things I wanted to feel was new and exciting.

A mutual friend of Laura and I was chatting with us about Essences when he mentioned wanting to focus on an Essence each month of 2019. Enchanted with the idea, I asked Laura to share with me a list of Essences. These are my reflections.

Essence of October: Intention

It’s taken everything in me to not write a post about how my Essence of October is “spooky.” Maybe next year when I ditch inspirational writing for satire. Nevertheless, October was a tough one to think about as September’s Essence of Acceptance was one I struggled with.

Should I just redo Acceptance? Would picking a new Essence be the equivalent of handing my brother the video game controller to beat the boss in Super Mario Bros so I could skip ahead to the next level? Either way, I thought, the calendar month is turned. I’ve made peace with September. It’s time to face forward. And October just happens to be my favorite month.

If you’ve been following these Essence posts, you’ll know that it’s been a pretty jumpy year.

I haven’t lived in the same place for more than a few months in a year and a half. I’ve been traveling for work (and play) and have, at times, been a little all over the place. As summer drew to a close, I made a very difficult decision to spend the fall in my hometown in Pennsylvania.

You see, I started The Smile Project at age 17. I was a senior in high school. Then I went to college. Then I moved to New York. Then I worked full time. Then…

There was always a “then,” always a reason I wasn’t giving this nonprofit my full attention.

But this month I am setting an intention. I want to give The Smile Project time. I want to give it focus. I want to be intentional with my energy and my actions.

Truth is? It’s actually pretty scary. And when I sat down to write about an October Essence, I definitely didn’t see myself going this direction. But I have always stood by openness and transparency with The Smile Project and that hasn’t failed me yet.

This fall, I am taking on a closer-to-full-time role with The Smile Project. October is intentional. My favorite month. My favorite thing. Let’s do this.

Essence of January: Discernment

Essence of February: Trust

Essence of March: Expansiveness

Essence of April: Vision

Essence of May: Freedom

Essence of June: Connection

Essence of July: Creativity

Essence of August: Adventure

Essence of September: Acceptance

Essence of October: Intention

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