Live with Intention - Mary Anne Radmacher
“This book is written with love, earnest observation, and keen awareness that my life is richer for remembering my core intentions than it would be if I allowed the press of the world and the specific challenges of my life to overtake or overwhelm me. Staying connected to the core intentions of my life allows [sic] me to feel and be satisfied at the end of the day.” – From Live with Intention

Replete with poetic “word birds”, quotes, personal anecdotes, pithy phrases, playful brushstrokes and hard-won wisdom, Live with Intention by Mary Anne Radmacher encourages readers to live on purpose—without regret, self-recrimination, distraction, apathy or worry.

Rather, Live with Intention helps readers look for the sublime in the ordinary, the profound in the simple, the joy among sorrow, compassion in the midst of harshness, wellness among illness and self-care among busyness.

This book serves as balm for the soul, renewal for the spirit, stillness for the mind, candy for the eyes and wellspring for inspiration. The author serves as a trusted confidante, friendly neighbor, spiritual teacher, working artist and woman-just-like-you as she prods us toward greatness, wholeness, passion, service, understanding, boldness and mindfulness.

Here are but a few lovely gems found in Live with Intention:

• Spirit turns performance into being. Rest after flying at high altitude ensures that the chronic call to speed, activity, and performance-based measures is balanced.

• The present moment is where all the good stuff happens.

• A fallow field is working toward a productive harvest—every (heart) harvest has its story of seemingly unproductive days.

• When you’re tired of running, just sit down. When you’re tired of turning in circles chasing your tail, stop. When you have an itch, go to the best scratcher.

• What if we just acted like everything was easy?

• Have a long memory for joys and a short memory for disappointments.

• When it’s the right kind of risk, people fly and don’t fall. And, well, if they do fall, they don’t stay bruised for long.

• Punctuate the large with many joyful smalls…take verve and power from the enormity of what is before you.

For about two weeks, I used Live with Intention as my nightly devotional, tucking into the author’s words with anticipation and relish. The beautiful art, weaved throughout Mary Anne’s genuine, honest-to-God sensible truth, gave me just about as much pleasure as her words. Sometimes, I used her full-page illustrations or stray piece of graphic whimsy as a visual meditation, spending minutes just drinking it in.

It’s rare to find a book that combines both wisdom and art with such congruency and, well, intention. Even now, I keep Live with Intention handy to pull off the shelf when I want an emotional pick-me-up or need some spiritual granola to chew on. Mary Anne’s wisdom is crunchy and fluffy, meaty and airy. It’s a rare combination in book, actually.

Admittedly, there are a few cringeworthy moments in the book (“whoop ass” instead of “whup ass”—a phrase that doesn’t jive with the overall spirit of the book, especially when used more than once), and some grammatical errors. But even though those minor mistakes irked my inner editor, I looked at the whole…and realized that the book, like Mary Anne herself (from what she says), is an imperfect masterpiece of authenticity.

A wonderful book for Mother’s Day, a sister’s birthday, a get-well-soon booster, a thank-you gift or a “just because” token of friendship, Live with Intention would make a wonderful present for others—but, perhaps most importantly, a wonderful investment in yourself and your outrageous life.

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