I can’t quite recall when the idea of living an intentional life first took hold for me, but I can recall an era in my 20s, when my focus really shifted to personal responsibility for the Earth’s wellbeing, as well as my own. When I recognized that every human had choices which could impact our environment in harmful ways–both within the natural world, and in our own personal inner landscape, or mental wellbeing. I was living a life that didn’t have a lot of depth or meaning. I was composed on the outside, taking care of my basic responsibilities like paying rent by working steadily, maintaining decent personal habits, etc. I was fun to be around and enjoyed what at the time seemed like a full and satisfying social life. But I was unfulfilled in the ways that mattered to me. My personal relationships were few and at least partially dysfunctional. I had superficial but steady support systems, and my outlook was cynical. I didn’t have any direction–I was just taking things as they came.
I read a book called the Circle of Simplicity by Cecile Andrews, and it seemed to mirror something inside of me that I had somehow known. A sense that modern life would inflict great harm to our general wellbeing if we mindlessly careened through it, rather than mindfully choosing the most important facets to focus upon. I didn’t resonate with every detail of the book, but I didn’t suspect the author way trying to get me to live as she did, but instead intended to get you to consider what was of importance to you, for after all, life really isn’t all that long, and then to live intentionally to achieve a sense of wellbeing for the remainder of your time on this planet. It also centered around a concept that materialism can be detrimental if unchecked, and it struck a chord.
Yet, I didn’t do much about it. I simply allowed an awareness of intention to be constantly present in the background–sort of like a constant current that you are aware of but don’t actively pay attention to. And I actually made some pretty bad, not-at-all-intentional choices along the way, which is why I find myself here, again, with that same book in hand, urging myself to go further. I had done some very intentional things that have worked out extremely well for me thus far, so why not expand this concept and really take it somewhere?
So here I am, real-time, trying again to center on the concept of living an intentional life. I have taken stock of where I am now, and I discovered with a bit of a shock that I am not so pleased with many aspects of my life, and the time is dwindling. I am not old, but one never knows what is around the corner. I have taken pretty good care of my body, so I am hopeful that that investment will pay off, but aware that I must keep intention on getting stronger and staying strong. Building even better habits. But time is always brief, and you become keenly aware of how fleeting it is when you experience a cascade of loss in a brief window of life. I have come to understand that if I don’t invest in my own life in a meaningful and intentional way, I may never again feel satisfied or content. I cannot accept that, and have therefore decided that the only way forward to choose a life intentionally. In both the big and little ways, this can have great impact. And while I understand that it takes a great deal of flexibility within those choices, I can intentionally take one step at a time and create a life worth living. So I am choosing my path intentionally. And I am glad you are here to join me. This is the first intentional step. Now, let’s pick up the pace and get a good rhythm going!