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Living an Intentional Life

In my experience, the best thing we can do for our happiness and wellbeing, is to be an active participant in our lives. If you're reacting to every day and the things it brings, instead of intentionally living the day you wanted to have, then yeah. I think that wears a person down over time. Passivity breeds apathy and you can't experience your true value and worth when you're in that place.

I have a life philosophy, courtesy of my mom's last message to me upon her death, that's kind of clunky to verbalize, but today I realized it's really about living life intentionally. I don't believe in leaving regrets on the table, which requires me to do what I want to do even if it's hard, scary, or even embarrassing. I believe in taking chances. In trying. And I think it all boils down to living intentionally.

If you're thinking of resetting your brain and heart so you can have a more intentional year, then consider being more purposeful, more intentional.

Yeah, I know. Easier said than done. Especially when you plan the perfect day and, well, life happens. The thing is, there's no such thing as the perfect day, but every day is full of promise and can be whatever you make of it.

Let's play around with that and see what we come up with...

Say I wake up, and because today's the day I'm gonna do yoga and meditate, I hop right up and get dressed to do that. I've got the day planned out and it's off to a great start.

But when I go to let the dogs out, I discover one of them has been sick all over his crate and he's been sleeping in it for hours.

Instead of yoga and mediation, I get cleaning out the crate, cleaning the bedding, and giving a dog a bath. Plus, all of that takes way longer than yoga and meditation was supposed to, so now I've not only missed my me time, but I've also lost an hour of work time. But I still haven't had breakfast or done any fact, my body feels achy and sore from all the bending and scrubbing and wrestling with my dog to get him clean. I'm cranky and ready to go back to bed.

After that, the whole day's a bust. I only have 45 minutes left to write, but I haven't centered myself or gotten into the creative mood, so the time ticks by without more than a couple of words on the blank page.

All of these things acted upon me, without my permission, and by letting it ruin my day, I'm giving all the stuff the power. It's like allowing myself to get beaten up by a bully.

Living intentionally, is about taking the power back.

There's not much I could do about my buddy being sick, but I can change how I feel about it; how I react to it.

Instead of feeling upset that it happened and "made" me miss all the things I had planned, I can take responsibility for myself and my feelings. Empathy and compassion would change the work for my dog from a hardship to a service. The feelings attached would be concern and care as opposed to frustration and anger. Knowing that even though I might not have time for a full-blown self-care session, I can still take the time to make a hot chocolate and center myself for a few minutes. And even though I might only have 45 minutes left to write, which is barely enough time to get into it, I can be grateful that I could be there for my dog and that I was able to have a minute before getting to work. Maybe, with an open heart and mind, the words will just flow and I'll have the best forty-five minutes ever. Or maybe they won't. But with a positive, compassionate attitude toward myself, I can task-switch and find some things to do that move me forward toward my goals. It might not be a rockstar day, but it can still be a good, productive day.

Anyway, that's how I do it, and what I believe. Living life intentionally is living without regrets. I hope my mama looks down on me and is happy for the positive impact she had on my life, despite the challenges we faced.



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