Ever get to the end of your day and know that, while you checked some things off “the list”, you still lack any true sense of satisfaction or accomplishment? Ever have a mishap because you weren't “paying attention”? This can be the consequence of “Accidental Living” or not Living with Intention. To-Do lists are great, but how do they encompass our sense of purpose or vision? And, while it's not reasonable to expect every minute to be purpose-driven, perhaps we each could feel a bit more fulfilled if we injected more consistent intention into our daily living.
To live with intention is to depart from your comfort zone, that mindless, habitual state of unconsciousness that is more doing than being. Eckhart Tolle says “What a liberation to realize that the 'voice in my head' is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.” Be the one who sees your life. Notice the who of you, cultivate that relationship and choose a direction. This could be a goal, a lifestyle, or a higher setting on your spiritual dial. Be the chooser. Observe that the very act of envisioning and connecting with your intention has as much value as the action steps that will take you there. Imagining your new landscape is the first step toward making it so. Then, engage in consistent affirmation to sustain your commitment to your intention. Affirmations illuminate value, rewire our confidence and project positive energy into our reality.
One place to start is the first 15 to 30 minutes of your day. Sit quietly in a peaceful spot before the “house wakes up” and ask yourself “What is my Intention today?” Perhaps it is to live each moment with extra kindness toward others; maybe it is to be a more attentive listener, or a more available parent. It could be that your intention is to be more inward-focused or more social. Your intention could be to speak more softly, be less reactive, practice deep breathing. Or, it might be to listen to your inner voice, tap into your intuition, and keep your heart open to the rainbow of possibilities in your life.
When we set an intention for the day, it invites our Spiritual Warrior to show up and have a voice. Intention has some of the qualities of an agenda, but with a wider lens and a deeper vibration. Like any new habit, this will take practice to begin to feel more natural. Simply do your best to exercise your Intentional Muscle with some regularity. The more often you set daily intentions, the more naturally it will become a part of your familiar rhythm.
So, the next time you head to that staff meeting you don't typically enjoy, the next time you feel the reaction to your teenager's disrespectful, indifferent tone, the next time you commit to a project or goal, sit and linger inside your intention a touch longer. Not too long that you resist action but just long enough for your intentional barometer to rise a bit higher. Allow your intention to percolate and trust in the process of practice.
Good Intention → Good habits → Good Intention. It's a choice; it's YOUR CHOICE.
Certified Health and Lifestyle Coach, Sheryl Melanson, partners with people to transform limiting habits into mindful choices that express their values, create action plans and recalibrate their lifestyle to optimal well-being.