I have a love-hate relationship with the word intentional.
Intentional: performed by or expressing intention, deliberate; of or relating to intention or purpose
I love thinking things through, planning and making lists. But I worry that too much planning can make life boring and staid with no room for spontaneity.
So I have struggled with it for a long time. But even as I continue to fight against planning inwardly, I am finding that being intentional brings clarity and space.
Last Friday I set aside a day to go down to a creative retreat. We planned for it, organised for Mr to take leave to be with the girls and I went away.
We intentionally created space for me to have time to reflect on my creative goals for this year. I used that day with the aid of a mentor to reflect on last year, dream for this year and create some concrete steps for my blog.
This is not the first time I have done this! For one so worried about being intentional, I am starting to make a habit of thinking intentionally. Here are some other examples:
I have thought about my home, the kind of place I want it to be. I have a few words that define it. This enables me to I think carefully about how I organise and decorate that space for the benefit of my family, and those that enter our home.
Mr and I have also written out our family values. We know what values are important for our little family unit and make our decisions from that basis. This helps us understand how we organise our weeks, months and year.
Let me be clear, tackling life with intention, is not an easy thing. It requires some deep reflection, posing probing questions to discover our values. There is some hard internal work that goes on to create these value statements.
Yet by thinking about all these things, we are operating from a space of clarity and freedom. We know what we say “yes” to, and what we say “no” to. We create space in our lives by not filling it up with stuff that does not meet our values. And surprisingly that freedom and space leads us to spontaneity. So the paradox is by being intentional and planning, we have the space to be free.
So on Friday I set aside time to go on a creative retreat.
The amount of clarity I have had since, the motivation, the sense of inspiration and the amount I have done in just one week is amazing!
But it’s because I made the time and put in the effort to dream and plan.
Is there anything you need to tackle with some intention? Set aside the time, do the internal work required, make some plans and create the space. I promise, it’ll be worth it!