Living with Intention

I have been thinking so much about living intentionally.  The word "intentional" creeps into my mind all day long...  Recently a friend asked what that was all about and this is the response I gave to her:

When I write about living an intentional life, I mean that I want to be aware of the moments that are railroaded by my emotions, moments that have become automatic because of habits I have formed over the years, and I want to shift towards a place of presence. I want to let go of fear and self doubt and change the tone of my inner voice. I want to make a bigger effort to strengthen relationships, be vulnerable and get out of my comfort zone. Intentional means to do things on purpose. I need to work on this hour by hour because I have lived on automatic pilot for long enough. This is what it means to me.

I have written a lot about this before, about that emotional take over that sometimes happens when I am feeling stressed, threatened, afraid...  I hate the person that I become.  The first time I wrote about being a Moody Mama I focused a lot on how to pull myself out of that ugly place. There were other posts that followed that - mommy's mistake was all about coming unglued on my son in the parking lot of the ski hill and making amends when I met his meltdown with my own.   Calming down was another post about the way our emotions not only take us down, but they also can drag everyone down with us.  I was reading a lot of Brene Brown at the time and something she wrote about really struck me.

"Anxiety is contagious, but so is calm."

What we do, how we act, affects everyone around us.  Everyone.  When we are down in the dumps we often create company.  I know this.  So what am I going to do about it?

Thats where this whole "Intentional Life" comes in.  I no longer want to be taken over by my emotional self.  I want to be thoughtful, I want to be presence, I want to be aware of what is happening inside of my body.  I have come to realize that this must be a daily, hourly practice.  It is time to creating some new pathways in my brain.  I must do this intentionally.

Here is my plan:

Self Care - notice that this is at the top of my list.  I must take care of myself so that I can take care of the people I love the most in the world.  More sleep.  Better diet.  Daily movement.  Checking in with myself throughout the day - mind and body.  Noticing the sensations that occur prior to becoming overcome by emotions.

Grow Relationships - with my children, my husband, my friends.  What comes to mind when I think about growing relationships is presence.  Being present with them.  Taking in what they want to share.  Making eye contact.  Smiling when they walk in the room.  Creating planned, special one-on-one time with the people I love.

Have Faith - allowing the tools of Positive Discipline to work their magic.  Stepping back and showing that I believe my kids can solve their own problems, allowing others to lead our family meetings.  Turning off the nag, and holding people to their agreements without a lot of "wah, wah, wah" from me. I can do this - hold my tongue more, know that the world will not come to an end if I don't let everyone know what they "should" be doing.

I have made steps toward this intentional life.  I have been journaling about how it is going for the last few days.  I signed up for the Abundant Mama Project and know that I will be inspired to be my best self while bringing the practice of gratitude into my life.  And that is ultimately what my intention is - to be my best self.  Courageous, present, aware, awake - it will take work.  I will need to put systems into place that remind me of what my intentions are.  I will need humility and a deep belief that mistakes are opportunities to learn.

I can do this.  I will.  Want to join me?