Intentionality and Grace

Normally, when I show you food from my kitchen, it’s all nicely lit and carefully plated and, on good days, garnished with a bit of flair and garden herbs.

Tonight is a bit different. You see, what’s on the plate you’re seeing is, in many senses, garbage.

(Don’t run off… it gets better!)

This particular plate of crab shells, also known to many as the smelly part you throw away, started this morning with one of my trips to the Farmers Market for a bit of intentional walking and shopping.

Except that, really, it started in an Intentional Creativity workshop yesterday, with a question I didn’t quite answer well enough.

We were talking about the notion of intentionality. In art. In eating. In shopping. One woman asked something to the effect of how things could be free and healing and perhaps even fun, if they were also “intentional,” which I realized later carried overtones of “externally expected” for her.

We talked about choosing things intentionally, in a positive sense, but there was still a piece of the puzzle missing. One I didn’t have a conscious connection to in just that moment.

If you’ll hang in there with me, I’ll get to the connection. I promise. But first, grocery shopping.

I went to the market primarily hoping for figs. I have an old friend and art sister coming for brunch tomorrow and my favorite  frittata recipe was just calling out for a side of organic Black Mission figs, macerated in really good balsamic vinegar.

So, about 10:00 on this hot, humid morning, I tied on my seriously groovy walking shoes, gathered my various leaving-the-house essentials and headed out for a bit of baby waving along with some hunting and gathering.

An Arab woman, veiled in black, offered me her grocery cart in the parking lot when I waved at her charming baby.

It was blessedly chilly inside and I spotted gorgeous organic figs right away. I scooped them up first. Then, a few tiny organic mushrooms, some baby arugula, and some miscellaneous bits and pieces for the raw fed dogs who will reappear from Camp tomorrow and sleep like rocks until dinner time.

I needed dinner, too.

I also needed a bit of celebration.

You see, on Monday I finished the biggest of the big Intentional Creativity workshops for my Color of Woman graduation. The last required one is all planned for Friday. (The rest are the kind of play that our souls do when we set them free.)

And, I’m leaving for Italy in a few weeks to paint with my teacher and my art sisters, eat some fabulous food and wander in the presence of the Holy Mother.

So, I found myself drifting in the direction of crab claws, as is my habit when celebration is in order.

About a pound of Alaskan King crab legs, and a big bag of ice wound up in my cart and I made my way home.

Here’s where the intentionality part comes in.

Crab legs are, to be sure, an abundance sort of choice and I believe in living in a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. I also believe in stretching the abundance as far as it will go.

It is, finally, about living in integrity with my values.

Among other things, I value rejoicing. And enjoying fabulous, natural food with a sense of respect and gratitude. And investing my financial resources rather than just spending them.

So, the crab shells in the picture above are already in my freezer, ready to become broth that will turn into 4 or 5 more dinners at our house.

(The Instant Pot helps a lot!)

No finger shaking or shaming or blaming involved.

I so deeply want to help my girls know this.

Just a bit of celebration and a powerful boost to the things I value.

Food can be creativity, too. And I’m being intentional.

Tomorrow, more paint!



Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach