Intentional Living Gone Bad
I hope you all had a beautiful weekend! I didn't do much of anything. Well, I relaxed, went to the beach, took my son for pizza (and enjoyed a glass of wine while he ate), and went on a drive/adventure with Ed which lead us to some sketchy and questionable places. I took Ellie, the Bug, out for a spin down 30A (the main beach road here) Sunday afternoon, and went to bed early.
Great weekend? Yes? Aligned with things I love? Yes. Did I get much of anything done? Nope.
There were times where I would have looked at a weekend like this as a waste largely because living with purpose (aka intentional living) was mistaken for over planning, obsessing about life, over-prioritizing accomplishing arbitrary things, and just spending waaaaaay too much time in my head.
I'm going to back track a bit for you.
Years ago when I got into the wellness and yoga community, I was thrilled to learn about intentional and purposeful living. I went through 5 years of psychology graduate school, and never heard these concepts discussed once. Not once! I had a total revelation that maybe a lot of people felt depressed or anxious because they lacked this, rather than there being something internally wrong with them. And from a behavioral perspective, if they could live with more passion and purpose, it would be reinforcing and make them ultimately feel better. Win win.
Intentional living is a buzzword these days, and I've been it's biggest fan for years. When I "woke up" several years ago, I realized that I was living largely by default, or how I was supposed to be living according to everyone else. You know... grow up, go to school, get big degree, work a lot, buy a house with a big mortgage, have children... and so it goes. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, I realized that it wasn't what I wanted per se. I wanted more adventure, more risk, more fulfilling days, more passion, less stuff, and lots of beach. It became my mission, and I wanted to share my message with the world.
Throughout this process, I've realized that intentional living can be just another means to not really live, especially if we become anxious about whether or not we are being intentional enough. Gosh we are complicated beings, aren't we? So easily able to turn passionate and purposeful living into something dark! This is supposed to elevate us, not bring us down.
Intentional living done wrong can become an obsession, make you overthink life, and ultimately lead to stress and burn out... And this is the furthest thing from actually living with intent.
Take a look at your own life, and if intentional living is causing you stress, anxiety, and preventing you from enjoying life step back and reevaluate! Something is not right.
Living with intention simply means that your values align with your lifestyle (like time and money). Make small changes every single day, and allow the process to take the time it needs.
Remember that it's a good thing to get lost and do nothing. Zone out and shut down.
Wasting time is not wasted time.
Live more. Think less.