Living With Intention

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November 13, 2018

When I think of living intentionally, I can't help but think of the idea of planning.  Although we can live intentionally without planning,  I find that my intention-radar goes up significantly when I plan to be intentional.  Planning allows me to develop my days, weeks and months in an organized manner, therefore allowing me to accomplish the things that I would like in the manner that I set out to.  

A few of the areas that I like to be intentional about include planning our family outings, intentionally choosing organizations to give to and to serve through, creating dates with my husband, planning fun ideas to add to my children's schooling, growth time for myself, etc.  I have found that when I take the time to plan the things that are important to me, I can fit everything in my schedule and reserve the energy I need to accomplish it.

On the flip side, if I don't plan for the things that matter, time goes by and I don't accomplish the things I want to.  If I don'...

November 6, 2018

Studies show that we have more positive experiences everyday than negative.  However, we sometimes remember the negative ones more often or they have a tendency to affect us more.  I have tried to learn how to enhance my positive experiences so that they can have the greater affect on my life.

Positive emotions can be very powerful.  If we focus on trying to cultivate our positive emotions on a regular basis, our brain chemistry can actually change in the long run.  According to Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, positive emotions include Joy, love, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration and awe.   According to studies by Fredrickson, positive emotions broaden our awareness and actions.  This means that when we are having positive emotions, we are more adept at doing positive things like goal setting, decision-making, problem-solving, etc.  She says that positive emotions are our nutrients as humans much like sun...

October 26, 2018

Have you every met someone who always appears distracted?  Normally, I do not approach people who look too distracted.  I don't want to interrupt them so I just skip it altogether.  When we are so distracted or busy, we are really missing out on the most beautiful moments of our day.  Moments like noticing that a friend needs a hug.  Moments like an excited glance when our child does something amazing.  Moments that show us the stranger next to us could really use a smile.  

Distraction has the ability to swallow every ounce of concentration that we can muster.  Distraction is the opposite of concentration and if it is practiced enough, it will become our preference.  A friend once confided in me that she had become so addicted to the distraction of her phone that she had a difficult time putting it down at night to sleep.  She said she felt jittery without it and her habit of scrolling and browsing had begun to steal her sleep....

October 3, 2018

Some days, I have no margin for error.  Everything is scheduled to the minute.  If anything goes wrong, I'm toast.  I call it over-committed.  Some days my home feels like it has no margin for error.  If I add one more item to that closet, it might burst.  I call it over cluttered.   And worst of all, some days I feel so over committed, over scheduled and over cluttered that I have no patience and my words snap at someone I love.  I call it over stressed.

All of these "overs" in our lives can be hard on us.  They can steal our joy and leave us empty.  Many years ago before I started my decluttering phase, I would wake up in the middle of the night and I would be thinking about my house.  I was thinking about how much stuff we had and how I needed to clean it, organize it, fit it and store it.  So, I began this journey of decluttering.  I realized that the answer wasn't more storage bins or a bigger house but the answer was less stuff.

Whe...

September 18, 2018

Several years ago my husband and I decided that we would downgrade the amount of things that we bought as gifts and instead build experiences for the occasion.  Slowly we began to spend less and less on Christmas gifts and birthday gifts.  We announced to the kids that we would build a family experience for their birthday instead of doing another party at the local trampoline center or other great place that every other child picks for their party.  

We didn't get too much resistance.  After we planned a couple of great experiences, they were all in.  So now, we spend about $20 on a gift and spend the extra money that we would have spend on a party to go somewhere super amazing and do an adventure that we wouldn't otherwise spend the money on.  A couple of our adventures from the past years include: riding in a helicopter to see the Christmas lights in our town (we have a couple of Christmas birthdays), dog mushing in the beautiful town of Winter Park, CO, hot air balloon...

September 6, 2018

Many years ago, I was listening to a series from Tony Robbins.  I often enjoyed his lectures and I can still remember one of them quite vividly.  I was sitting in my living room, taking notes.  The topic was on Creating Your Greatest Life.  There is one thing that he said during that entire series that I remember...and it changed my life.  He urged his listeners to pinpoint ONE thing on your list that you have been meaning to do.  Just one.  It could be small or large.  Scary or boring.  Then he said, circle it and make that one thing happen.

It seemed really simple.  Make one thing happen.  But the magic was in the previous sentence.  One thing that you have been meaning to do.  This implies that there is a reason you haven't done that one thing.  Perhaps you are scared.  Maybe lacking energy or will power.  It could be that starting this one thing might lead to other things.  Whatever it is, there is a reason it hasn't been done....

September 2, 2018

When I started my Intentional Living journey many years ago, I knew I needed to slow down and focus more on the things that mattered.  I desired to be more purposeful and mindful.  I wanted to notice things around me instead of just "go through the motions" as I had often done in the past.  I wanted to be present...really be a part of my experiences.  

It took a lot of practice and discipline to focus on my well-being.  It took loads of patience.  Just when I thought being really busy was difficult, I learned that doing things slow and on purpose was sometimes even more challenging.

Living With Intention is meant to share my experiences and be an encouragement to you!  I am continually learning to make room for the things that matter and I hope to inspire you to do the same.  Thank you for listening and reading and I look forward to many more years of journeying along with you!

August 28, 2018

Our family embarked on an amazing journey this past weekend.  We had the honor of preparing and offering our oldest daughter a lavish and wonderful Quinceanera.  This special occasion is so much more than just a party...it was truly magical.  A ceremony calling her to take her faith as her own, numerous friends and family members supporting her as she grows into this next chapter of her life and lots of enjoyment.

It was really fun for our family because we prepared a great family dance and our daughter choreographed a special dance with each of her four siblings.  As we planned for this momentous occasion, I was thinking about which parts might bring me to tears.  Which parts I would remember the most.  Would it be the daddy/daughter dance, or my special dance with her to Celine Dion's, A Mother's Prayer?  May-be it would be watching her come out as the announcer called her name.  There were so many meaningful moments.

The night was pretty much perfect.  Bu...

July 9, 2018

Have you heard the word Savor?  I really like this word.  The first thing that comes to my mind is that old commercial for ketchup with the big, juicy hamburger awaiting the ketchup from the bottle with the song, "Anticipation" playing in the background.  You could just taste how good it was going to be.  Savor.  We want to savor moments that are too good to let fade from our memories.  Have you savored any moments lately?

The other day, my children and I were at a pool, sipping iced drinks while relaxing.  The day was pristine.  I said, "Okay guys, savor this moment.  You'll want to feel this moment again in about six months".  Of course, in six months we will be freezing and this pristine day at the pool will only be a memory.  But what if we FEEL it a little longer while it is happening?  What if we look at the beautiful scenery a little deeper?  What if we close our eyes and smell the summer air with clarity?  Can we savor this moment so that we can recall i...

June 17, 2018

I am taking  a Specialization Series of Courses from Penn taught by the father of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman.  It has been such a pleasure to learn about this theory of Psychology and I have been affirmed to see that so much of what I refer to as Living With Intention and Purpose is not only taught in the area of Positive Psychology but has also been extensively researched and studied.  

I love that one of the top strengths of living a life full of well-being is gratitude.  Research shows that the practice of gratitude contributes significantly to our feelings of well-being.  In fact, if someone is given the opportunity to do something that they enjoy for an afternoon that is solely for them, or do something that is "others-centered" therefore, creating a sense of helping others and a feeling of gratitude, people that did something for others in need came away from the experience with more pleasure and well-being than did the other group that solely did somethin...

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