The past two years haven’t exactly been a walk in the park for me. But, for lack of sounding like a cliché, I wouldn’t change a thing.
No really. The job loss, the nutty new business, the health challenges, the wacky rescue dog. All of it has made me much stronger. At some point I made that transition from surviving to thriving. The peace that came from that was not based on people, places or things. I didn’t find a magic genie, get handed a million dollars or write that best selling novel. (Well, I wrote it, but I haven’t sold it yet.) The serenity came from making a conscious choice to live intentionally. I figured I could look at my circumstances as a victim, or I could look at them with over flowing gratitude. I chose the second.
Making space for surprises to happen was not something that just happened. I had to carve out space for it. I had to make it a part of my day. Every day. Sometimes every hour. Sometimes every minute. On days when fear took over, I did it second by second. The point is, I did it.
10 Ways I Found Peace with Intention
- Gratitude: Every day, before I got out of bed, I started saying thank you for what I had. Thank you for this warm bed. Thank you for the hot coffee Im about to drink. Thank you for the wonderful job Im about to start. That job? Didn’t have it yet. But rather than stew about another long day of searching, I put it out there in the universe. Slowly my attitude changed. And with that shift, lo and behold, I found a great job.
- Exercise: Every day, right after breakfast, I went to the gym. Yes, it was inconvenient. Yes, it was early. But it got the blood flowing. I felt accomplished. Sure, I only burned 100 calories at a time, but that doesn’t matter. What mattered is I put my health first. I started a routine. I knew I could build onto it.
- Rest: Despite a crazy schedule with the kids and a few freelance gigs, I made time every day to just sit. I’d drink a cup of coffee on the porch. I meditated. That last one? I’d love to start doing that! Right after I figure out a way to add to my morning gym routine! First things first, which leads me to
- Gentleness: I decided to be gentler with myself. I gave walking papers to all the ’You Shoulds’ in my life. They just made me feel bad about myself. There’s nothing I need to do other than be me and live with kindness and compassion.
- Forgiveness: I decided to finally let go of some age-old grudges that were just eating me. This process was not easy. It also didn’t mean I would allow negative people back into my life. But it did mean I would no longer obsess about them.
- Toxic people: As a people pleaser, it was hard to intentionally rid myself of people that didn’t make me feel good. But as long as those people were in my life, I wasn’t able to be my true self. If I couldn’t be the true me, I was essentially denying my children and husband the gift of my complete and whole person. I finally started saying goodbye to negative people and hello to the person I wanted to be.
- Laughter: Every day I found something funny to laugh at. Often times this is simply taking time to chat with my kids. Life doesn’t have to be so serious all the time.
- Sleep: Getting eight hours of sleep for me is hugely important to my sense of balance and peace. If I’m not rested, Im cranky. I started rearranging my bed times and guarding my zzzs.
- Water: I made it a point to drink water regularly throughout the day. Being hydrated made all the difference in my ability to focus.
- Simplify: Rather than take another 10-hour/day job where I didn’t see my family, I chose a few smaller freelance gigs where I could work my schedule around the kids school. This meant less money for our family, but in cutting out some extracurricular activities, I made it work. Choosing a simpler lifestyle made my life richer by putting my family first.
I have a long way to go with my intentional living. Tonight, for example, Im on my second cup of real caffeinated coffee (something I’m not supposed to be drinking after 2PM to get good rest). I have another hour of writing left to do. My kids are watching movies way past their bedtime. My husband is on his computer. (My husband? Who is that guy? I haven’t seen him in a few days.) We’re hardly the picture of a simplified, peaceful family. But life isn’t perfect. There are no shoulds. I am doing the best I can. Every day, with intention, I remind myself of this last thing: I am enough.
And so are you.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on living with intention in this fast paced world of ours.
Andrea Frazer for SimpleRx
Andrea Frazer is a writer, wife, mom to two Tweens and a rescue dog. Check back for more of her posts and tips on healthy living, healthcare awareness as well as the latest news and ways to benefit from SimpleRx Prescription Discount Program.