My friend and I were having coffee the other morning talking about living ‘deliberately’. I know Henry David Thoreau and others have spoken about it, but I have my own meaning. To me, in many ways, to live deliberately means to live with intention or to do things ‘on purpose’, to navigate life so that I reduce clutter and reactivity, while increase peace of mind, integrity, beauty and a sense of usefulness in my life.
Henry David Thoreau wrote about living a life deliberately by walking into the woods to confront life, so that when he died, he would know that he had lived. To me, it means to move away from autopilot, to choose what I consume, purchase, the people who I surround myself with, the places that I go, the activities that I engage in with an attitude of intention to live life deliberately so that I might flourish and in turn help others and indeed the environment to flourish too.
So, how might we live more deliberately? How might we live with intention?
We can start with the question- ‘Does this add value to my life?’
What I put into my shopping trolley- does this add value to my life?
The work that I do/the job that I have- does this add value to my life?
What I do in my downtime- does this add value to my life?
The objects in my home- do these add value to my life?
The people who I spend my time with- do they add value to my life?
The actions that I take- do they add value to the lives of others and the environment in which I live?
This week’s challenge is to see what it might be like to live more deliberately. Maybe even keeping that question in mind with everything that we do- ‘Does this add value?’
The Mindfulness Association includes setting an intention at the beginning of every practice. Moreover, Choden and Heather Regan Addis address the power of intention in the Mindfulness Based Living Course book that is being released this month:
“It is important that we make our intention our own- something that touches our heart and is meaningful to us. Intention drives change in the human mind and so reminding ourselves of our intention each time we practice helps us to stay on track with our aspirations”.
Make sure to get your copy! To order please click here!
Hi Jane, thanks for this. I’ve been playing around with Intentionality for a while. It really appeals to me and the times I manage to apply it are very satisfying. I just don’t always manage to apply it! I was at a Parenting conference last night and the speaker spoke about Parenting with intent, which is another great aspiration but hard to put into practice! My online presence is one of the areas I intend to manage more deliberately, but find I really struggle with. When teaching, I always introduce practices with intention and motivation and often add that it’s a good habit to get into in all areas of life. I need to learn to practise what I preach!Thanks for the tips.