Lesson #75: Living with intention
Living life with intention brings consciousness and purpose to our days, and right now I’m reviewing a blog post that’s been an open tab on my phone for years now. It’s time for me to learn the lesson and move on.
The post is called ‘An Intentional Life’ by Leo Babauta. Looking at the post now I can appreciate it much more than when I first saw it. This is particularly because it refers to the idea that everything you do fulfilling one of your core values. When I first read this I wasn’t as clear about my values as I now am, so perhaps this will make all the difference.
Coming to see my top three values was hugely challenging for me — but also hugely enlightening. I realised I had some judgements around my values that were holding me back.
In the formula for living an intentional life, Baubata suggests that everything you do be fulfilling your values, as a way to bring consciousness to your actions.
My top three values are: 1. Curiosity 2. Creativity 3. Connection . But I have many other values too .. such as Consciousness and Courage. And if I consciously practice fulfilling my values, then, taking these values, I can apply them by:
Curiosity — staying open and curious (this comes easily to me),
Creativity — having a creative approach to any problems or challenges, and perhaps again, staying open and curious and action oriented might be the key .. though again this comes naturally to me.
Connection — here is where I might allow my values to inspire me, since disconnecting and hiding out comes more naturally to me. Showing up rather than hiding out .. and staying conscious of when I am in a state of ‘disconnection’ will bring consciousness to my days.
And then there’s ‘Consciousness’ as a value. Perhaps it is the reason I have saved this post for so long.
Finally, ‘Courage’. Showing up is a huge challenge for me ..
And there it is ..
Showing up as an act of courage and an opening for connection is how I can practice bringing consciousness to my days. And do this in a state of curiosity and connection ..
Not that every goal is needed to come together in that way .. but ..
I can use my ‘business’ and my creative offerings as a vehicle for raising my consciousness. I see creating your own ‘business / creative enterprise’ as a tool for evolving your life, since it inevitably brings challenges that require you to face your demons and take ‘heroic’ action — to face your challenges rather than running away from them — and all the more so because you are taking decisive action in the world.
How can YOU use this formula?
I DO highly recommend embarking on the journey of finding an offering and then bringing it to the world as a way of expanding your presence and contribution to the world, BUT ..
You can (of course) live an intentional and conscious life regardless.
What if you were very aware of your intention for your actions? How would that transform the action, and your life? — Leo Babauta
Bringing awareness to a deeper meaning in your action(ie your values) brings you to a state of conscious observation as well as a deepening of the ‘foundations’ or ‘roots’ of your life.
Addressing the meaning of life
Anyone who thinks deeply will at some point question the meaning of life .. and this can be a very destabilising and distressing question because there is no single answer. It can require us to develop a deep relationship with and appreciation of ourselves to not get knocked over by this question. I know because that has been my experience.
When you become clear on your values (I was about to refer to this lesson and realised I haven’t published this lesson .. it will be one of the next lessons — because this is KEY) .. you can find your answers and your way so much more easily. While I was unconsciously judging my curious and creative leanings as frivolous and indulgent I was preventing myself from connecting with and valuing myself and was thus guaranteeing that I would stay locked in a ‘victim’ state of helplessness and despair, rather than actively developing and appreciating the qualities that give my life meaning and purpose — thus I was keeping myself locked in a state of sadness and despair.
Bringing attention and appreciation to your values allows you to stand strong and to ‘enter the arena’ where you not only live those values but act as a stand for those values.
As I said earlier, showing up is the scary part for me .. the part where I feel I’m bearing my soul. The act of courage.
Writing these lessons on Medium is a form of hiding out for me. Very few people I know see what I write on Medium. This is my comfort zone .. public, but also kinda private. Social media is where my alarm bells go off and I want to vomit. And for good reason.
But I digress. It’s time for me to finally close that tab. Oh yes .. Clarity. That’s another big value (all the C’s).
Intention. Being intentional. Bring intention to your days. A way to bring consciousness and meaning to your life. A way to live your best life.
But first, work out your values!