Intentionality is Everything.

Time is Finite. What Will You Do With Yours?

 

Over the last decade I have tried to be intentional (not always successfully) about certain things - my physical health and keeping depression at bay. However, intentionality always wasn't a priority in other areas of my life. 

Going through the motions. Get up. Go to work. Respond to emails. Go home. Cook, Clean. Play with the kids. Laundry. Sleep. Repeat. We sometimes begin doing these things with a bit of intent, but it can slow succumb to a mindless routine. 

A routine that can often
leave us feeling neutral or depleted at the end of the day. 

Things started to change for me after I had my baby (she was 2 last June). I was 41 years old with a newborn. Clearly I wasn't a spring chicken anymore. I had this overwhelming sense of urgency that I didn't want life to keep ticking by the way it had been - just going through the motions - hoping for change, but doing nothing to instigate it. 


During that time I watched a video that compares the days we have in an average life to a big box of jelly beans (I posted the link here - WATCH - it's powerful).

When we're young it seems like we have an endless supply of jelly beans (days), until we realize we don't. Our lives are finite. 
I often feel like an awkward 15-year old, yet clearly I'm not 15 anymore. I am officially middle-aged. Yikes. I know I look young for my age & I certainly feel young a lot of the time (except when I'm chasing my two-year old around the grocery store), but the truth is I have spent close to half of my jelly beans. 

I spent several months wrestling with this profound realization. It was a difficult time. Really difficult, but important. I'm grateful for it. When I was contemplating what I should do with the rest of my jelly beans, one of my friends told me about the book The Desire Map, and said "Go Big, or Go Home!" That phrase stuck with me.

It's been a big motivator for what I am doing now. 

I made a commitment during that time to be more intentional with my time. 

I'm practicing intentionality now, not all the time - sometimes I catch myself going through the motions, not paying attention, but it's getting much easier. 

I still have a lot I want to do, experience, and feel. My story's not finished yet, and I want to be the one who chooses the ending. 



A Desire Map Workshop


This workshop is all about Intentional Living. It's about creating intentionality about how we want to feel & using out feelings to create a GPS for our life. It is a program that really helped me to learn what to say YES to and walk into an intentional life. It's also been helpful in figuring out what to say NO to. My jelly beans are limited and I want to use them up doing what I love, not what I feel obliged to do!

If attending a workshop like this seems like a good fit for you - email Jenn@LuminateWellness.com
Don't miss out!

For more information check out this page - Desire and Self-Compassion


The Intentional Life. 

If we often find ourselves going through the motions when do the things that take up the bulk of our time - like when we drive to work, clean the house, eat a meal, what happens if instead we stop and take note of why we are doing these things? 

When I drive to work I choose to think about what I'm going to do, who I am going to spend time with or support in some way or another. I think about what drew me to that job, and even if some of my job feels like drudgery, what lights me up about it. I guarantee there is something however small. 

I'm cleaning my house as a service for my family, for me. As much as they sometimes bring me to my wits end, I love them wholeheartedly. I'm giving to them, when I clean the house. I also feel more content in my soul when my home is clean. I am practicing mindfulness or stillness in my mind as I wash dishes, sort laundry or vacuum.

When I eat, I think about how I am nourishing my body. I think about how this food will make me feel after I eat it. I stop to enjoy the tastes, smells and textures. 

To practice more intentionality, pause before doing something.

Be still, even for a second.
Close your eyes if you can.
Ask yourself some questions; 

Why am I doing this? 
What is the deeper purpose behind the why?
Is it inline with how I want to feel? 
How will I feel after I do it? 
What happens if I decide not to do this? 
Am I doing this out of kindness or compassion for others, or myself? 


Intentionality With Words...

When speaking (or writing); 


What are my intentions with what I am about to say/write? 
Am I saying them out of anger, frustration or malice?
How do I think I will feel after I say them? Will I feel good or bad?
How do I think the words will be received by the person I am speaking to? 
How will these words affect the relationship? 
How will uttering these words affect me, and my perceptions of the world?


These are the first little steps in creating an intentional life. 
 


"You're on the Verge of a Miracle" - A Journey with Fear and Hope

August 28th:

Yesterday wasn’t a good day.

I was feeling niggly feelings of despair starting to take residence in my chest, like an unwelcome squatter. It had been growing over the past week or so, but yesterday was the worst.

Today I’m sitting on my mostly clean deck, enjoying the sun and chewing Dr. Pepper Hubba Bubba gum, feeling a lot better than I did yesterday.

Way back in high school I had a good friend whose advice to all of us young angsty girls, was if you chew grape Bubble Yum, you will fall in love. I chewed a lot of Bubble Yum. (Clearly I’ve been a dreamer for a long time…)

Yum!

Yum!

Obviously, it didn’t work. I didn’t marry the love of my life until I was the ripe old age of 32. As an adult with a fully formed brain I know how ludicrous the correlation between grape gum and falling in love it, but I still associate that sugar-filled gum with good, anticipatory feelings. (Don’t worry, I don’t chew it all the time…)

The reason for the recent niggly feeling of anxiety that has been creeping in the same part of my head that my fierce determination usually resides, is because I started to question this whole idea of self-employment. I knew going into this journey it was going to be hard work. I’ve learned that self-employment isn’t for the faint of heart. The truth is that the first eight months were actually pretty easy for me. Opportunities came fairly easily. It’s not feeling as easy right now, and that’s making me question things.

Summer is just slow. I realize that organizations and businesses just don’t plan for workshops and trainings in the summer. It’s like the part of the brain that wants to learn simply slows or shuts off in the summer for most people. When I think about it, I realize that it’s actually a really good thing that happens. Summer is the season for as much FUN and PLAY as possible.

Now that fall is nearly here, realistically it’s going to take time to get things rolling again.

Still, it’s hard. We can know that there is a realistic reason why something is the way it is, yet it can still eat away at our self-confidence if we let it.

Last night and today I got several good pep talks from some of key supporters. I’m feeling much better, more hopeful.

I feel like it is important to share my struggles with self-doubt. There can be a perception that some people have it all together, and nothing bad ever happens, and we are always emoting 100% confidence.

Well that’s simply not true. We all have times of questioning things—those moments of self-doubt. I’m realizing that it’s so important that I persevere through it, since everything in my being is still saying YES! I still feel lit up about what I’m doing and dreaming about doing, so it’s time to dig in and make it happen.

I have a Truthbomb deck by Danielle Laporte (author of The Desire Map). This afternoon I decided that I would try a little writing project and pull a card out of the deck. I said to myself that I would write about whatever card I got. I gave myself no opportunity to put it back and take a new one.

This is what I got… “You’re on the verge of a miracle.”

I found a blog post by Danielle Laporte says about this truthbomb. She says, “A Course In Miracles defines a miracle as “a shift in perception.” I love that, because that definition covers a lot of bases.”

A shift in perception. Nice.

 

September 28th (exactly one month after I started this post):

Well…I wasn’t able to finish this post for a month, because I couldn't find the time to finish it. It's felt so refreshing to have just the right amount of busyness in my life and business, especially after such a slow season. I feel so much better than I did when I started this post.

Since then I have facilitated a five-day facilitator training with a group of amazing people, and I have another one coming up next week. I'm working on an Appreciative Inquiry project. I have three or four new small projects and some potential contracts in the works. AND as an amazing bonus, I got to hear Brene Brown speak live in Seattle.

This is the best picture I got of Brene Brown that night. I chose to put my phone away and just listen. It really is her...I promise.

This is the best picture I got of Brene Brown that night. I chose to put my phone away and just listen. It really is her...I promise.

Interestingly enough, the tagline of her new book Rising Strong is, "The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution. If we are enough, often enough we fall. This is a book about what it takes to get back up." I'm loving her book right now. So fitting for how I've been feeling. 

I feel expansive.

I still have anxiety about self-employment- keeping busy and having enough to pay the bills, but I’m honouring my core desired feeling of abundance.

There is enough. I know that I’m following the path that I want to be on. A path that very clearly has my name on it.

I am trusting.

I believe that good things are in store for me and my family, because...well, it just plain feels right.

 

In the wise words of Brene Brown, “I am enough.”

As I was writing this, I took a little facebook break…and came across this quote by Parker J. Palmer. He is someone I deeply admire and his writings have profoundly affected me. This quote pretty much sums up my emotional journey over the past couple months. I got a little weepy reading it. 

We have places of fear inside us, but we have other places as well – places with names like trust and hope and faith and joy. We can choose to lead and to live from one of those places, to stand on ground that is not riddled with the fault lines of fear. To move towards others from a place of promise instead of anxiety. As we stand in one of those places, fear may remain close at hand and our spirits may still tremble. But we now stand on ground that that will support us, ground from which we can lead others toward a more trustworthy, more hopeful, more faithful way of being in the world.
— Parker J Palmer

So…“You’re on the verge of a miracle.”

Heck, yes I am. 

 

(AND...I bet you can be too!)