When I’m delivering training or coaching one of my goals is to enable the participants to make the shifts that they see is necessary and to facilitate insights and breakthroughs that they want to have. A breakthrough or an insight which will help them lead an intentional life. Recently, one of the participants asked me, “what do you mean by “leading an intentional life”? As soon as this participant asked me this question, I was reminded of something that I had learnt from one of my yoga instructors.
One of my yoga instructors at the beginning of every class asks us to set an intention and through the class she asks us to remind ourselves of this intention that we set. I could not relate to this couple of years back until one day, I decided to set an intention- an intention to smile no matter the challenge I face during the one hour. The change in my focus and the lightness that I felt in my mind, mid-way during the session, was phenomenal.
Our minds wander with several thoughts during the day and this tends to intensify when we are faced with adversities or challenges. Setting an intention which will help our mind to focus on in an hour of yoga is not as easy as it sounds, yet it helps to steer the wandering mind to get back on track. Some days is easier than other days and it is a matter of training the mind to let go of wandering thoughts.
Setting an intention to Life and her moments is no different from that of one hour in yoga or at the gym. In fact it is part and parcel of our life.
“When we cling to thoughts and memories, we are clinging to what cannot be grasped. When we touch these phantoms and let them go, we may discover a space, a break in the chatter, a glimpse of open sky. This is our birthright—the wisdom with which we were born, the vast unfolding display of primordial richness, primordial openness, primordial wisdom itself. When one thought has ended and another has not yet begun, we can rest in that space.” – Pema Chodron
Many of us go through our days and lives by going through the motions, doing things at work and home without much forethought. Compare this with living an intentional life, where you keep your focus on the purpose of doing something – everything you do is done with a conscious intent and based on your core values.
If you think about it, we do everything with an ultimate goal. To reach that goal, not everything may be enjoyable but needs to be done to get there. In some of these moments we go about the task possibly on auto pilot. For example, if I am having guests over for dinner, as much I may not enjoy cleaning the dishes I need to get it done so that my kitchen is clean. Take another instance, in order to market my business and what I do, I need to go for networking events though all of them may not be enjoyable and inspiring.
Intent is always there but sometimes we forget and go through the motions in such a way that it feels like a chore.
How can you live your life intentionally despite the uncertainty and unpredictability that life offers?
Start by asking questions of yourself,
1. What beliefs of mine are holding me back ? What are the alternate ways of thinking, if any ? Can I get some other perspectives ? How can I encourage myself to have more green light thinking and overcome my inner fears and doubts?
2. How did I overcome my last challenge? When have I felt competent or successful? Think about this through different stages in your life. Make an inventory by keeping a journal. When did I feel most vibrant, energized and alive? How can I connect back to those moments in the present ?
3. What can I do that is within my control? Manage your own behavior and actions because that is the only thing that is within each of our control.
4. What does my ideal world look like? What is that I need to do to get closer to that dream? Start with what an ideal day looks like and keep adding to your list of success. Reward yourself with wins no matter how small or big they are. Learn to be gratuitous in life because that changes your attitude to life and helps to bring in more positivity.
5. How do I want to be perceived? What matters? What can I let go of? Are my behaviors and actions in sync with my values?
Living with intention is to finally connect with your authentic self, where your batteries are recharged and you feel lighter in your mind and everything you do feels good no matter how difficult or challenged it may be. Click To Tweet
Living an intentional life leads to a more purposeful and effective approach to life – a life where you can seek to create greater impact and satisfaction in whoever you are and whatever you do. Click To Tweet
How are you creating an intentional life for yourself?
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