I have been on my own therapeutic journey which started during the pandemic. My past trauma had meant that I liked to be constantly busy, a high achiever and a pleaser to others. I had created a lifestyle that had always supported this and essentially, I was always on autopilot. During October/November 2020 life slowed down once again, we were in another lockdown and the world had paused. A lot of things had gone wrong which led to my stress bucket becoming incredibly full and my anxiety skyrocketing. By January 2021 I needed help and got a therapist, during the period of still waters I was allowed to see parts of myself that needed to be worked on and areas of my life where I needed help.
In the midst of this journey, I found that I wanted to become the best version of myself, a grounded, more self-aware and conscious individual. I didn’t realise that over the years I had lost and became who others wanted me to be. I needed to reconnect, heal and become awakened as I had become numb to who I was.
After my therapy session I would usually do some self-care or watch videos by others who were on a similar journey to mine. This was when I came across intentional living which is ‘a lifestyle based on an individual or group’s conscious attempt to live according to their values and beliefs’, which ultimately means your ‘living on purpose’.
I discovered the Youtube Channel ‘wittabouther’, and three of the questions which can help you living intentionally is by asking yourself:
- Who Am I?
Define who you are as a person.
- What do I want?
What would you like to gain from life, your career, your relationships……
- How can I serve?
How can you help others, how can you become a more obedient person, would you like to become a better friend, son, daughter etc.
This will help you lay the foundations for intentional living and can help you identify areas which you would like to change. For example, if you are struggling to answer, ‘who am I?’ perhaps you need to look at your core values, beliefs, how you view yourself and how others view you and create habits which support the person who you want to be. Essentially, you are examining and evaluating yourself. Don’t panic if you can’t answer all the questions, you can create a clear plan about your goals, aspirations, values, beliefs, wants and desires whilst taking consistent action.
Have a think about what your purpose in life currently is, I say currently because I believe that your purpose can change depending on what chapter of your life you’re currently in. If you struggle to answer this then look at core values, beliefs as above.
There are practical steps that we can take in order to live a more intentional life these include but are not limited to, you can create your own habits which suit your life.
- Goal Setting
Setting attainable goals and clear steps to reach that goal is a great way to help you reach your purpose in life. I like to have a mixture of small and big goals for example a small goal could be journal daily whereas a big goal is buy a new car as this requires more work.
- Practicing Daily Gratitude
Write down three thing you are grateful for every day, no matter how small, this can help you create positive emotions which has creates a happier mind. It can also help reduce stress. I feel like gratitude can make me appreciate the small things in life which we often take for granted.
- Practice mindfulness
I practice mindfulness daily through meditation and breathing exercising. As I am a person who has been living on autopilot it can help slow down thoughts, nervous system and allow me to remain in the present.
- Show love to yourself and set time aside for you.
We are with our bodies and our mind through this journey called life therefore I believe it is important to make sure we are looking after ourselves. Showing love to yourself does not have to be anything extravagant it just has to make you feel better for example a relaxing bubble bath, cooking a nice meal or time spent listening to your favourite music whilst driving to work.
- Set your intention for the day
Setting your intention isn’t setting a goal for the day it is creating a state of mind that suits the purpose for the day. I often set intentions such as I would like to show love to others when I am feeling particularly giving or if I have had a busy with friends socialise and bond with others.
- Ground yourself and remain present
I struggle with remaining grounded when I am stressed out or when I have a busy mind. Remaining grounded can allow you to feel present and enjoy the current moment. There are a number of ways I like to do this some of which include exercising to reconnect with my body and breathing in for 4, holding my breath for 4 and breathing out for 4 and using my 5 senses and thinking of 1 thing I can see, hear, touch, smell and taste.
Use this as a prompt to start your journey into intentional living and let me know what steps you like to take to live an intentional life or if you haven’t started yet, what you would like to do.