As I grow older (and hopefully wiser) I’m finding a need to work more on myself and change my perspective. As a young woman in my 20’s, I concerned myself mainly with how I looked and focused primarily on how the world perceived me from that angle. I wanted to appear like I had it all. The looks, the fire, the energy and determination to do anything. I wanted our family to look like a model family, and I wanted to be the model of a perfect mother. I’m sure I’m not alone in this – society has placed so much pressure on women for so long to focus on these things!
I find that in my later 30’s, (although I’m still a lover of beauty and a bit of a perfectionist) – I’ve realized that there is much more to life than appearances. There is more to life than playing a part and attempting to appear to be a perfect mom or have a perfect family, and I learned this the hard way (after stressing myself out so much I completely burned out).
I still like to look attractive, and it does make me feel great to keep in shape and look after my appearance. I like a clean home and groomed yard. I’ve given up on my kids and husband looking or acting ‘perfect,’ because that just isn’t going to happen! They are amazing the way they are, and I love them dearly. I’ve realized that there is so much more to life than just the way we ‘appear’ to others. I now aspire to be a patient, loving, kind mother and wife – not a perfect one. There are some fantastic character traits that I have naturally, and some not-so-great ones that I’ve been focused on improving in order to become a better version of me.
The term ‘living intentionally’ has a different meaning for each individual. For me, it means looking deeper than appearances and working also on the inner person. It means stepping back and evaluating the things that I’m doing. Trying to understand why I’m doing them, and then deciding if they are helpful or not.
Intentional living or lifestyle is a life lived by someone as per his choice based on his core values, ethics and beliefs determined after a deep introspection with a view to living a truly meaningful and purposeful life devoid of any regrets, now or later on in life. It’s a life lived with total awareness and consciousness regarding the choices that are available to an individual. It’s a life where there is total synchronization between thoughts, words and actions.
Intentional living is quite the opposite of the mundane, stereo-typed lives based on patterns determined long ago without much thought going into the aspect of living with awareness. Living intentionally means interacting and engaging with life on a daily basis, even on a moment-to-moment basis at times.
living intentionally – beginner tips
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” so goes an old saying. Simplicity and minimalism are two key factors to be kept in mind while consciously pursuing the path of intentional living. The following steps make the journey of living intentionally a smooth one:
- Know and accept yourself – Do some introspection to know who you are and what exactly you want to do and achieve in life. Accept yourself for who you are. You are enough, you are strong, capable and you are beautiful! Don’t ever compare yourself with others who are on their own individual journeys. Every personality and life is different! The comparison game is a trap that will keep you from feeling fulfilled and loving your life as the gift that it is.
- Know the choices you have every day – Use your best judgment to make choices that align with your ideals, morals, ethics, values and beliefs. Don’t be guided by the choices you have made in the past in similar situations. You are constantly growing, learning, and maturing. Don’t look to others and the choices that they are making or fall prey to wondering what someone else would do.
- Know the culture surrounding you – Fine-tune your choices made consciously with the culture surrounding you if possible. For example, trying to swim against the tide all the time just for the heck of it may not truly be in line with your determination to live intentionally. Do your best to work with your own strengths and limitations. If you don’t know what they are, do some soul-searching to figure them out. A vision board (like the ones I have pictured below can be extremely helpful in this process).
- Know your calling and passions – Live your passion out completely with total awareness. Let your heart guide you in living a meaningful and purposeful life! I have recently created a visual board that I look at daily to help keep me motivated and on the right track. This is a great and creative tool to help figure out where you want to be, set goals and plan. You can find information to make one here.
Much love as always!
Julie Black xx