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Intentional Living

Jan 19, 2024
Intentional living is about choosing to be present in the moment, embracing stillness, and making conscious choices that align with who you are in your essence.

“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.”

ÔÇĽ Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere

 

Have you ever found yourself caught up in a never-ending stream of activities? The endless meetings, lengthy to-do-lists, and the pressure to keep up with everything and everyone? I know I have. It is so easy to be drawn into chaos and external demand, losing track of what matters most.

 That is why I find the quote from Pico Iyer so true.

Intentional living is about choosing to be present in the moment, embracing stillness, and making conscious choices that align with who you are in your essence. It is a practice that allows you get clarity on your direction and use this clarity as a tool to create the experiences you want to have in your life.

 

The Art of Being Present

In a world that values busyness as an illusion of flow, the art of being present often gets overlooked. Intentional living begins with the simple act of slowing down and paying attention to the here and now. When you are fully present you can take in each moment and appreciate the air you are breathing, the color of the sky, the warmth of the sun.

Recently I was on my way to facilitate a workshop and on my way I had two options, take the fastet route in between buildings or walk around the buildings alongside the sea. I chose the latter. Taking slow conscious steps while breathing in the cold, fresh air gave me a sense of ease and calmness. When I rounded the corner I could see the sunrise and a beautiful red skyline. What a view! It was freezing outside, around -17 degrees and the cold air caused the sea to evaporate. The sea mist created this stunning view that was breath taking. I consciously decided to not take any pictures, but to store the image in my body and appreciate the moment. I paused for while and felt an immense gratitude and appreciation for the moment itself. It was beautiful.

This to me is presence, joy and conscious living and in these moments I feel open to creativity and ideas start flowing. Choosing to experience these moments is a conscious decision. I set an intention that I want to be present. This connectedness is available to us in every moment, if we remember to slow down and sometimes stay still.

 

Aligning with Your Values

Stillness opens up for a knowing of what matters most to you.

I know people that simply cannot sit still, stay still or spend a moment without looking at their phones, listening to a podcast or book, or be engaged in an app. I also know people that are becoming more and more conscious of their time, their values and what they engage in and with. 

It comes with a cost to choose to be conscious. At least in the beginning, the uncomfortable feeling of being with yourself, your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

Allowing yourself to just be is a gift. It is like giving yourself permission to choose you, discover what really matters to you, what gives you energy and what drains it.

With this permission a new process starts. A process of aligning with your own true values, not set by the system around you or the people around you, but from yourself. Now you give yourself the permission to start choosing what really matters to you.

 

Purposeful Choices

Choice and how we allow ourselves to see the concept of choice opens up possibilities and options. When you allow yourself to make conscious decisions you start to say "yes" to those things that feel like opportunity, growth and energy, and you easily reject and say "no" to those things that are in the opposite direction. All because of the intention to be present, you are not making different choices. You have become purposeful.

This is why I pause and reflect several times per year, more on a higher level twice per year. I do set goals, but more important than that I focus on what I want to experience, who I want to be and how I want to contribute. Combined all of this becomes intentional actions, a tool I use to live consciously.

 

Embracing Authenticity

To me this is authenticity in practice, and one of the most beautiful aspects of conscious living is the authenticity it cultivates. When you live in alignment with your values and make purposeful decisions, you naturally become more authentic. You are not trying to be someone you are not or living to meet others' expectations. Instead, you are embracing your true self and letting it shine.

Authenticity is magnetic. It attracts people who resonate with your values and passions, leading to deeper and more meaningful connections. When you're authentic, you inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect of genuine living.

 

The Essence of Conscious and Intentional Living

In a world where everything is moving constantly, give yourself permission to sit still, it is important. Equally important is to be intentional, make conscious choices and live in alignment with what matters most. Setting intentions is a powerful practice that can transform your life, and lead you to more fulfilment, authenticity, and meaningful connections.

So, today, here and now, I invite you to take a moment in stillness, reflect on your values, make conscious choices, and connect with your inner self. Notice what comes up for you and tells you what matters most right now.

 

Stay real, stay intentional, and let your true self shine.

 

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