My father would have turned 90 last week, and as I marked his birthdate, I found myself feeling his presence in a new way.

It was my dad who taught me how to create a compost pile for the garden. As I cleared out the remnants of our tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers and sifted through the compost, he was there with me.

My dad rode his bicycle to work as a high school history teacher, carrying a bag to pick up bottles and cans to recycle – way before recycling was even a thing. When I pulled out our purple recycling cart for pickup, I felt my dad close.

Every morning, my father got up early for a quiet time: praying, reading the Bible and stretching. My morning routine involves contemplation, reading spiritual teachings – some from the Bible – and jumping. My dad must be smiling.

It wasn’t always this way. I rebelled against my father’s intentional life for decades. And here I am, observing my father through a phrase often described as a Zen Buddhist saying:

“How you do anything is how you do everything.”

My father lived an intentional life. When I would cut corners, give less than 100 percent and make choices without considering the consequences – it’s no wonder we butted heads. His edges were in place. That’s the beauty of being intentional.  

What you say and do in the stillness of your thoughts does come to life with everyone and everything you encounter.

You’ve got this.

How does that resonate with you?