It's crazy to think that it's already March 2023 and the last time I sat down to blog was 5 months ago. I promise it's not for lack of ideas but rather lack of time; life has a way of "getting in the way" of this leisurely stuff that I enjoy so much and I probably haven't made the best effort to carve out the time to do it either.
But the other day Oliver (of all people) asked me if he could read my blog and proceeded to "demand" that I tell more stories so he could practice his reading. Funny, I know, but also cute because he seems genuinely interested in what his mom has to say, so I will oblige...
Ever since 2023 started (and probably way before that), I have set out to LIVE WITH INTENTION, which basically means living a better-balanced life, full of meaning and purpose. It means choosing activities that are engaging and worthwhile and especially activities that would make me a better person. I got tired of wasting so much time on mindless activities and being on auto-pilot; at some point I felt like I was "done" with the lack of self-awareness and with making unconscious choices, from the things I said to the things I ate, to the people I befriended, and so on.
But "Living with Intention" also means saying "no" to things and to people. It means putting yourself first in situations where others used to be first. It means rejecting ideas and plans that don't add positivity to your life, it means changing, it means growing. And growth can be painful, growth can be tedious, and it can be isolating because it forces you to leave behind old habits, comfort zones, and even friendships.
In late November last year we took a family trip to Portugal and I found myself immersed in the peaceful landscapes that country has to offer It was a trip with no set itinerary and no expectations, but more of a wanderlust vibe, where no one was waiting, no on was rushing, we were just there! Surprisingly enough, the relaxed nature of that trip opened my eyes to my own flaws, my own intention-less attitude at times, my lack of intensity and purpose and I realized living with intention matters and that's how I always want to live, enjoying the little things and being PRESENT. (I will blog about this amazing trip soon)
Some of the things I must do to LIVE WITH INTENTION and the questions I ask myself are as follows:
- Choose activities that matter: How am I spending my time? Am I keeping my beliefs, values and priorities in check? Are the activities I do serving a positive purpose in my life? What's most important to me? What do I want out of life?
- Work toward betterment: Am I on a path of self-improvement and personal growth? What can I do to be a better person? Personal growth requires intention, work and understanding. Am I asking God to hold my hand when I'm weak? Am I praying enough? Am I prioritizing myself in difficult situations?
- Enjoy the moment: This is a big one for me, especially because I am a mom and have a tendency to "rush" through things, often missing the little moments because... stuff! I have been making an intentional effort, for example, at taking less photos and experiecing more moments instead. Being more mindful of the present moments has helped me increase my self-awareness, build stronger relationships and decrease stress and worry. This requires A LOT of effort, but I am willing to keep working on this because I don't want to regret not enjoying the little things.
- Strive for balance: Am I working toward balance and overall wellness? Am I caring for all areas of my life the same? Am I spending too much time on some things and too little on others? Taking the time to get re-centered has been the main goal for me this year. I have put "time limits" on some of my phone apps, distanced myself from social media and consciously decided to share less of my life on the internet. It does the soul good to keep some things private!
- Make a difference: Am I doing enough for others? Am I giving back to the community? Am I being sensitive to others' needs? Am I using my God-given talents to make the world a better place? Helpful actions toward others is always beneficial to one's mental wellbeing. There is something magical about helping others and giving of my time to make a difference but I always question whether I'm doing enough or I'm doing too much and that goes back to finding that balance I know I need.
These and many other things are part of my "goals" and self-reflection this year. I know that living with intention can lead to have more passion, more focus and more attention to our actions, which can enrich the experience and our life in general. That's who I want to be! How about you?
These are some photos from that Portugal trip I mentioned. These are snippets of the "little things" I enjoyed BIG when doing things with intention.