“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” – William James.
Is it just me, or does it seem like ‘Intentional Living’ has become a new buzz word? Now, I’m not one for buzz-words. It irritates me that people can pay lip-service to a range of lifestyle-crazes with hash-tags and lingo. Seriously, if I hear a person say ‘vibes’ I feel nauseous. Ugh. HOWEVER! …I really hope that this one catches on.
I am so into living with intention and consciousness. Without having a label for it, it is exactly what I have strived for all my life, even when things seemed messy and out-of-control. It has taken me a long time to realise that life is what I make off it. It is my responsibility to take opportunities as they come my way. It is up to me to bring my dreams to life, to translate them into tangible reality. Intentional Living has made this concept a reality for me.
In this world, there are dreamers, there are do-ers, and there are dreamers who do. In my opinion, people in the last category have life sussed. They get it. It’s about taking practical steps towards making your dream life come true. It’s a balance of pragmatism and sponteneity. A beautiful collaboration between both sides of your brain: the logical and the creative. When we are making our dreams come true, we are living a FULL life. We are using all of our capabilities, strengthening all aspects of self.
It’s funny, things have a way of finding their perfect time and place. I don’t always notice it, but every so often something momentous will happen. I will always take a second to allow it to land on me: the feeling of everything and everyone being in perfect balance and unison. As if all the good stuff, the bad stuff and everything else has led to one glorious moment of it all fitting perfectly. At times like that, I always feel as if ‘I’m on the right path.’ But recently I’ve started realising that there is no wrong path, really. Things are always just fine, as they are.
I’ve read countless books on Buddhist, Yoga and Taoist Philosophy and have come across the concept of ‘things as they are’ frequently. I’ve understood the concept, but the feeling and the knowing of it is so much more, so deeper. And rather than fling me into a haze of hedonism or hopelessness (what’s the point if things are always fine… I may as well do anything I want, or else give up entirely…) it fires up my sense of intention. It re-dedicates me to a life filled with meaning, the meaning that I create. It makes me feel alive, responsible for my joy, and excited for my potential. I hope it can do the same for you.
I get it. Sometimes ‘Intentional Living’ seems about as far away as the moon. It sounds like a huge project to launch into your life, requiring with to-do lists, heavy reading material and tonnes of research. In reality, nothing could be simpler. Intentional Living puts you back into contact with you true, authentic self. Intentional Living starts from within yourself, it is not some lifestyle that another person plans out for you. Intentional Living means listening to your inner voice – truly listening to what YOU need right now, and giving that expression.
That means if you need to be angry right now, you be angry. Nobody can tell you that your emotions are not in line with intentional living. Everything you feel is valid. What you feel has a right to be felt and expressed. You can honour whatever you are feeling right now, or at any time, by silently acknowledging what that feeling is. You can verbally or silently allow it to be present.
The need for a life lived with intent becomes stronger as our society speeds up, becomes more interconnected and yet disconnected. It is easy to become distracted, mesmerised and enticed in several directions at once. It becomes more difficult to see the direction of our life with clarity, to choose our actions in alignment with that direction. Instead, we reach the end of a week, a month or a year and exclaim: “It went so fast! What happened to all that time that slipped by?”
Coming back to the very basic idea of a life lived on-purpose is so refreshing. It’s like remembering what you thought life would be as a child. You get to create your very own dream life, through your conscious choices. It is our choices that shape our days, our years and eventually, our lives. We can choose our actions and our reactions. We get to decide! It’s just that, somehow, a lot of us have forgotten that power of choice. Instead, we falsely believe that other people and outside circumstances are in control of our life. Maybe we feel that we are drifting, and there is nothing we can do about it… Wrong!
I am here like Rafiki in the Lion King to bang you on the head as a (friendly) wake up call – “oh yes, the past can hurt. But, you can either run from it or you can learn from it.” So, no matter how much energy you have put into your life up to this point – it is never too late to choose differently. In fact, simply making one significant choice can take your life in a totally new direction, and that’s okay! Even though change can seem scary, you will know when it needs to happen.
Everything in your life is conspiring to wake you up to the reality that you control your own choices and your direction. The level of boredom, stress or unhappiness you feel at the moment is usually indicative of whether you are living your values or not. On the other hand, the more closely you align with your values, the happier, brighter and lighter you feel. Intentional Living brings happiness, the kind that comes when you KNOW you are where you’re meant to be, doing what you’re meant to do.
You are not an accident. You were created on purpose. The same universe that contains rainbows, penguins and oceans, contains you, too. No matter how far from your loved ones, you see the same moon and stars. You breathe the same air as every other living creature on this planet. We are all in this together, and YOU get to create something beautiful. On Purpose.
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