Thursday, September 13, 2012

Living with Intention

The word intention always takes me back to my college ballet days. More specifically, the classes I took from Ms Denise Celestin. (She's divine by the way. She loves purple and teaches Russian technique. Enough said.) She repeatedly reminded us to make every step with intention. Nothing is placed without purpose. Yes, this is incredibly difficult. Mindfullness, vigilance, awareness, eyes always open. You can't have a mindless moment.
Sounds daunting, but actually ever since then I have loved the word. It has been a slow process, but this year more than before I have sought to LIVE WITH INTENTION.

As a  parent with a special needs baby I realize how you have to always be mindful, always vigilant. We are consistently aware of his body positioning in the way we hold him making sure the tight muscles are relaxed that he is physically working on some part of his body (visualization, head control, leg kicks) even at the same time as going about our daily duties, being present with our children, and just enjoying him as a baby.

As much as I believe in reason for the way things happen to us and why, I also believe in the freedom to make those choices.
Even when I repeatedly ate fast food during my pregnancy I did it by choice. on purpose. sounds awful doesn't it? It wasn't though because it was just what I had to do in the moment. You know what I mean... you spent way too much time in walmart (the ultimate time sucker) and now you are starving... popcorn chicken it is! Whenever I feel like I am struggling to meet everyone's needs and that inevitably someone is falling short I remind myself what my beloved midwife and friend has repeatedly told me "you do what you can with what you have." I accept that I can't be the best chef, maid, therapist, doctor and best friend to my kids all the time.

This brings me to a virus. Something that happened to my family because we don't live in a sterile world. The number one prevention for cmv is handwashing. I had never been an avid handwasher or germaphobe. Every story I have read from parents with cmv babies says the same thing.... "I had never heard of cmv before". There are more babies born with cmv than downs syndrome we just don't know it because 80% of the babies don't show any signs of it and go on to live "normal" lives. The most common transfer of the virus is through fluids (snot, sweat, tears etc ) particularly sexual relations or children's urine. I am a dance teacher to little kids, my husband is a public school teacher, my daughter was in preschool and my toddler was potty learning during my pregnancy. There are a million different ways that I (and my whole family ) would have contracted the virus without even knowing it. There are two things to learn here 1. WASH YOUR HANDS. I don't look back and think why I didn't I wash my hands ALL THE TIME....(actually I often think what if the person I had contracted it from washed their hands too?) just all of us all the time WAAAASHHHH. not just for cmv for everything!! I am still not a germaphobe. I still don't wash my hands every single time I should but this has made me believe in  the rare percentage. Someone could be talking about anything and say "ya but the percentage is so small".... still to that one person it is very real. I haven't spent a lot of time in the "what if" place* and that brings me to number 2. If I went back I wouldn't have done anything differently... intention. I knew letting my son run around our house naked was a sanitary issue but it was also the way we were able to communicate how we as humans eliminate our waste. I wouldn't go back in time and not put my daughter in preschool, which she loved and gave me the much needed naptime with my toddler. I wouldn't go back and refuse every runny nosed child that came to the studio ( I wouldn't have any students! :). I would do everything the same, because I did it with intention.

Making choices with mindfullness and not roaming around in mindlessness...

**by the way the what if place is a wretched dark hole... don't go there. EVER. The second you think WHAT IF even though you want to start thinking about the other possible outcomes just GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!


  1. so beautiful! i'm off to wash my hands ;)

  2. I live a lot in that dark "what if" hole. It drives my husband nuts and you are right- it's not good for anyone. It's something I have to work on every day.

    God bless!

  3. What a great post Michelle. As my son is running around our house half-naked. ;-D It has been a very effective approach for us as well.
    I think of you and little John Michael often!!

  4. I am one who has never heard of this virus, but I am a big stickler about handwashing. Although my son washes, then resumes picking his nose!
    And I'm a culprit of going over and over what-ifs. Great post!

  5. Wonderful post and education about CMV! My 17yo daughter was also born affected by CMV. Hope you're on CMV Mommies on Facebook -- a closed group with over 450 moms (dads and grandparents, too) that all have children affected by this awful virus that so few know about but should!