i can excitedly report that this is the last post of january’s theme on intentional living. and, while i have absolutely enjoyed beginning this magical year of 2016 with this theme (oh, yes, i truly believe that 2016 is gonna be filled with magic), i am totally pumped about february’s theme – which begins next monday!
in one week, you’ll get a new playlist for february that i am certain will inspire you throughout each of the 29 days to keep the theme close to your heart. plus, i’ll have my first little explanation of the theme and lots to get you inspired about our next step.
but, before we move on to next monday, let’s have this one last post and one more week to really settle into this idea of intentional living. ok?
so, it is my understanding/belief that an intentional life is a lifestyle based on a conscious attempt to live according to one’s values and beliefs. it is a way of living, but it is not just what we do, it is also who we are.
we’ve spent some weeks thinking about living intentionally, and now that we are at the end of the month, i want to talk about how, once we make the decision to live intentionally, how we actually do it.
how do we stay resolute? well, we take it day by day. oh, it’s definitely good to have that big goal out there. that big, lofty vision + purpose that is your overarching intention. but, the tough part is making it a reality during every single day, every single moment even.
there are many people who live life like they are always on a mission to get somewhere. they move fast, from point a to point b, with the intention to get from one place to the other. with the vision of moving from one experience to the next. i see them as seeing life as a journey, but a journey that is filled with a series of markers, of stop along the way. moving them closer and closer to the end destination all the time. for, that is the purpose: to get there.
in the north carolina mountains, where i have lived + grown up, there is a long road called the blue ridge parkway. it winds around and up and down and through the various ranges that make up the appalachian mountain range. it is an incredible highway. only two-lanes. with mysterious, dark, year-round damp tunnels and magical, ancient forests + waterfalls and breathtaking views of mountains as far as the eye can see.
dotted all along this incredible road are scenic overlooks. the overlooks + marked spots, of course, highlight some of the most amazing spots along the road. should you drive the road, from one stop to the next, you would most definitely have an incredible experience and see a lot.
however, simply going from point a to point b, from one overlook to the next, means that you miss out on a ton of other things.
daring to make the entire trip about the journey, and not just each little destination point, though, will give you an entirely richer, deeper, more meaningful experience. there are secret swimming holes, unmarked trails with views, and local people, native american legends, historical markers, black bears, and camping spots all along the way. and you really don’t want to miss all of that.
living life as if the destination is what’s important is not really living life, i believe. it’s living for the future. rushing through things. always focusing on what’s coming next. feeling that there must be a “purpose, goal” to achieve, to mark off, to accomplish.
for me, however, life is about all of those moments in-between. oh, the markers, the goals, the things that are our points all along the way are very important. but, simply moving through life, focusing only on them causes us to miss out on so much. in those in-between moments is where the magic lies. the magic of everyday life. of living simply. of living slowly. of living intentionally.
the little moments of regular life, are where we find inspiration that we never dreamed existed.
when you walk from place to place, or drive form place to place, are you on autopilot or are you in observant mode? autopilot gets us there. it’s efficient and motivated. it’s good. we focus on what needs to be focused on. but, being an observer also gets us there. it still gets us there in time. but it also fills our soul in ways that we’d never imagined. it opens our eyes, our hearts, our minds. it makes us people who live life fully awake, fully engaged with the world around us.
my point to all of this “living in the present moment”, “life is the journey not the destination” talk is because this, i believe, is the secret of living an intentional life. of staying resolute – of keeping those “resolutions”, or intentions, that we have set for ourselves.
so, i am going to go even a step further and suggest that we not only celebrate those milestones, those achievements, those big things, those amazing trips, those life-changing moments, those “i’ve made it from here to here” accomplishments (even if it is as little as walking from the apartment to the grocery store)… but that we celebrate every little thing all along the way.
choosing to celebrate every little thing, to find a kernel of goodness + inspiration in everyday life…
- that is being aware and aware and conscious.
- that is having a vision + a purpose for every single moment of life – including washing the dishes, changing the baby, sitting in a meeting, cleaning the toilet.
- that is making all of life a meaningful, fulfilling, slow, mindful journey for yourself.
- that is a life that automatically is filled with space and love and compassion that affects all others around you, thus changing the world.
- and, that is a life that is created by one’s own choice to make the most of the entire journey.
that, my friends, is living an intentional life.