Do you know what kind of life you want to live?
I thought I did, but really I was just passenger sitting idly, allowing things to happen, situations to change, and moments to pass by. I thought I knew what I wanted until life stripped me down to my bones and brought me to my knees. Those dark days (months, really) forced me to reevaluate everything that I thought was important and the way I wanted too exist in the world. In the language of Intentional Creativity, I had to ask myself what it was I wanted to “cause and create” for myself, my family, and my community?
As a way to deal with the overwhelming grief and heartache I was experiencing at the time, and to process what was happening, I began to journal. I filled page after page as I poured out my anger, my sadness, and my confusion. Sometimes in words and sometimes in images.
Journaling through my feelings became a powerful means for me to connect with myself. For the first time, I became aware of my deepest desires, my values, my hopes and dreams. I also became aware of the hidden stories and self limiting beliefs that were running the show.
With the complete obliteration of my family structure as I knew it and armed with all of this new information I had excavated, I made a commitment to myself and made it my personal mission to live every day with INTENTION. I wasn’t going to let life just happen to me anymore. I was done just reacting to whatever came my way. I chose a more empowered way to exist. I would create my experience every day.
I wanted to mindfully choose how I spend each day, how I spend my energy, what thoughts fill my mind, what food fills my body, and what environment surrounds me. I wanted to choose my thoughts because I know they create my feelings. I wanted to choose the direction I’m headed and where I’ll end up in the future. I want to create my own reality by rewriting my story and never giving the pen to someone else again..
I have been at this for a couple of years now. I am not always successful I have had to clean house of people, things, thoughts, and beliefs that don’t support this way of being, which can be hard. I slip up, I forget sometimes, I react……I’m human. But , after taking a step back, re-evaluating my life, and claiming what is most important to me, I have been able to intentionally create a life I love.
I know how choosing to live with intention can radically improve your happiness and sense of contentment, so I want to share five tips with you on how to begin living an intentional life:
1. Dream big.
Let your mind wander. What would a completely joyful, radiant, love-filled life look like for you? A bungalow in Costa Rica? A daily yoga practice? Starting your own business so you can walk away from your desk job? Go ahead and write it all down. What is your BIG unreasonable dream?
Only consider the “whats” right now, not the “hows” (you’ll figure that out later). We want to focus on what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be living, and who you’re spending your time with, not how you’re going to make it happen. If you jump into the logistics right away, your mind will shut down and this brainstorming-dream session will come to a close.
2. Determine your values.
When you know what’s important to you (what you value), you can use that as a compass for each decision you make. If your values include self-acceptance, health, and gratitude, you’ll likely choose to spend your days practicing yoga, drinking green juice, and meditating, instead of drinking gin with your girlfriends until 2 a.m. at the local bar. So, what lights you up?
3. Prepare for resistance.
It’s natural to feel increased fear and self-doubt when examining your life, your choices, and your routines. But know that resistance is a sign that you’re on the right path, heading toward your higher self. If it didn’t matter, you wouldn’t be scared. The resistance is a sign that you must keep going and do the thing you’re scared to do. It’s your inner critic showing up to try to keep you safe and small. Be compassionate with him/her and send them on their way. You’ve got this. Resistance is stretching your wings.
4. Take a step forward.
Ask this question about everything….Are your actions in alignment with your values and intentions? Make sure that what you’re doing today is preparing you for the kind of person you want to be a year from now. What can you do today to get you one step closer to that peaceful, happy life you’ve imagined for yourself? Go do it! Even f its just baby steps toward that BIG unreasonable dream.
5. Make it a conscious practice
Wake up everyday and choose what kind of day you are going to have. Set your intention for the day…..for the week…for the year.
How do you want to experience 2016? What do you want to cause and create in each of these areas? Get out your journal and start excavating.