Intentional living (vs. life on autopilot : my story)

Dernière mise à jour : 23 juil.

Life was all about "making it", about "getting it right", about making my parents proud and achieving what they had achieved. I was too busy to investigate the niggling voice, the reason why I felt bored one year into each of my jobs, the reason I felt like I didn't belong. So I shut it down and kept my eyes on the prize instead: buying a house, earning more money, being a "strong, independent woman" like my mother always told me to be.


I thought that having more and doing more were the secret to success, to feeling fulfilled and happy. But deep within I was lost, I had forgotten who I was and what I really wanted.

I was unable to truly FEEL. I didn't know what I really wanted to do with my life, what I deeply enjoyed.

Why?

Because my main driver in life had always been FEAR. Fear of not making it, of not being loved, of not being enough in the eyes of others. So most of my decisions were taken by OBLIGATION vs. choice. They came from the mind, not from the heart.

The years went by and I always hated my birthdays because it put me in front of an uncomfortable truth: life was passing me by and deep inside I felt that I wasn't on the right path, I wasn't living MY life, but someone else's... I felt trapped, stuck in a life that wasn't ME.

It hurts to know you're actually doing wrong for yourself day after day after day, and that in fact, you don't have your life figured out at all, when all you did was try to create stability and work towards that prize, that final destination.


How to live intentionally

In 2016 I took the big leap and decided to experiment with my life. For the first time in my life I was being intentional about my direction, without knowing the final destination. It's messy and scary, but it's what moves me in the direction of my dreams.

When you're scared, tell yourself this: nothing changes unless you find the courage to take the first step. Your decisions TODAY define your TOMORROW.

Everything starts with your core values. They are the key to choosing your direction. You don't need to have your whole life figured out, but you do need to know what matters most to you.

Everyone's values are unique. Mine for example are: Honesty, simplicity, sharing, caring for myself and others, freedom (amongst others). Define what matters most to you and then make sure that what you are living on the outside, matches what your heart is saying on the inside!

Intentional living is about making small decisions, every day, to live the life you want most. And taking responsibility for your choices, your actions. It's fine to start small, and it's fine to get lost. Life comes in seasons and finding a way back to your purpose is part of intentional living. It's a lifelong practice, asking yourself every day: "what can I do that will point me in the direction of my values, of my dreams?"

Intentional living is about deciding to practice yoga for 10 minutes as you start your day, or to bring a homemade lunch to work. It's about saying 'no' to disposable ice cream cups and instead, choosing a shop that uses environmentally friendly ones instead. It's about getting on the floor and spending 10 minutes with your children without distractions, tuning out the expectations.

Intentional living is about being honest with yourself and doing what feels right for you. There are no right or wrong answers, only you know what they are. Don't compare yourself to friends, family, or social media accounts. Instead, remember to explore what you are here to explore.

And remember, mistakes are proof that you are truly living! A life well lived is a messy life, but in a beautiful way. And those on autopilot will secretly (or overtly) admire the beauty of your ups and downs. Because that's what life is all about, it comes in waves, it's seasonal, it's everything but predictable and linear. And by embracing this notion of flow in your life, you will end up suffering far less than by trying to control everything and everyone, keeping your gaze on your final destination.


How do you feel about your journey so far? Are you happy with where you are headed, or are you happy with a change of direction? Are you living with intention today? Let me know in the comments !