Chasing the Muse: A focus for the new year

The week of looking at the sparkle of snow and ice crystals had been a great getaway. Still, what a joy it was to see the sparkle of blue-green ocean on my morning walk. I had looked forward to this sight on the long drive home from Montana even as my eyes took in the many wonders along the way.

This morning's rain had left a clear, blue sky, with more billowing rain clouds on the western horizon. There was much to do before the work week began, and I was looking forward to getting it done. The walk was such a necessity, though, after a week away. Walking for me sets much else in motion besides my physical body.

This would be the first day of the new year that I would be at home. This meant it was time to set my intentions for 2013 in place.

Many of us look ahead with hopefulness and thoughts of what possibilities there may be. This time of pause and attention feels much like a crossroads, and we tend to treat it as such. As with resolutions, I suppose, we use this juncture to pause and look back over the previous year before turning thoughts to the new one.

As a cool breeze played across my walk-warmed skin, my thoughts turned to what intentions I might choose to put into play. Possibilities danced in front of me like the twinkle of sunlight on the water. What should I embrace for this coming year? It can be amazing, the force this intention brings into my life. I must choose carefully.

What aspects would you like to bring into your life? What do you feel is missing as you look over the past? Simply put your intention into play by choosing the quality, and then let it go. Allow the intention to play out as it will. You may be surprised at what shows up. You may not. Choosing the intention is the only area over which you have much control.

So much of life seems out of our personal control. Choosing intention is not. Choice never is. The simple act of what we choose can have a profound effect in our lives. Choose one or more: Prosperity? Joy? Compassion? Love? Integrity? Abundance? Purity? Gratitude? Grace? Any of these possibilities and others, as well, can be chosen.

These intentions can wake us up in wonderful ways. This has certainly been my experience. When you live your life with this kind of intention, you will likely find John Muir's words ring true for you: "The sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing."

I'm ready for another new year of shining and gliding and singing. How about you? Let's get to it!

Though my greeting may be a bit late, I wish you a happy, full, rich and intentional new year.

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer and director of the Sawdust Studio Art Classes in Laguna Beach. Always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the beauty and the ever-changing mysteries of life, she can be reached at or by phone at (714) 745-9973.

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