Living with intention

October 29, 2012 in Life,Philosophy

My friend Ashlee (whom I met on Twitter before it was cool) wrote an incredibly sweet post about me. One thing she said that resonated with me is that I was intentional in pursuing our friendship.

Heart-shaped leaf in the Bowery, New York City

It got me thinking about living life with intention, about striving to be intentional in my relationships, my physical health, my mental well-being, my writing and photographing and working.

In yoga, we’re often asked to declare an intention for our practice. Sometimes it’s a word, sometime’s it’s a mantra. Other times, we think of someone who could benefit from our practice, someone in our life who needs an extra hit of energy, clarity, strength. It’s a practice that I’ve tried to carry over into my every day life: the act of taking a moment to decide what exactly it is that I want, the decision to radiate positive energy and effort.

At the beginning of 2012, I chose three words that I wanted to define and shape my year: dare, grace, balance. I wanted to take more risks, to push myself out of my comfort zone. I wanted to be more quietly elegant, to give every movement a purpose. I wanted a life where work, play and relationships all have equal footing and where they’re often interchangeable with one another.

Ashlee’s intention is to choose joy. I think it’s a beautifully simple mantra, a conscious decision to focus on the good in the big and the little things in life. It’s something that I remember when I smell fresh-baked bread, when I feel the sunshine on my face, when I hear a child’s laughter, when I see a couple exchange a look of love on the street. I try my hardest to remember it when I walk onto the subway platform just as the train leaves, when my alarm goes off in the morning, when the rain starts to pour the moment I step outside.

Intention is defined as an aim or plan, an agent’s specific purpose in performing an action or series of actions. In many ways, I try to live my life very free of intention. I love that I don’t know where I’ll be in a year or two, that I have a five-minute plan instead of a five-year plan. But I try to craft each day with intention, to create the habits that become a life: to make time for a yoga class most days, to cook and eat fresh and simple whole foods, to put away my iPhone and be fully present when I’ve made the time to meet someone.

Traveling itself is an act of intention, a conscious decision to go and see the world and open yourself up to new experiences. It’s a time when you can develop habits, if not routine. You choose what’s important to you: museums or restaurants, beaches or mountains, people or places. It’s a decision to let yourself be changed by what you see.

How do you live your life with intention?Β 

  • I love reading Ashlee’s blog as well and had to live a very intentional life this year by, as she says, “choosing joy.” Living intentionally makes all of the difference. Your post makes me seriously want to get into yoga btw!

    Anyway, beautiful words and wise thoughts, Miss. Christine!

  • ‘Intention’ and ‘mindfulness’ are two big things that I have been contemplating, pursuing and trying to be more aware of in my life this past year and a half. Living in a country where mindfulness, meditation and the idea that everything is connected has made it easier to living with mindfulness and intention easier to practice, but I’m still working on it…

  • This is a good eye-opener. I love both of your blogs and I find it funny because I have molded my intention for many different things, but two of them are thanks to your blogs! I do try harder to “choose joy” always now, but I also try to be very mindful for my surroundings. Every day is a journey. I have a “home base” in Wyoming right now and travel from here. It’s sometimes difficult to enjoy any of the nature and beauty in Wyoming because so I’m excited about and focused on the next place, but I know it is important so I’m working hard to enjoy and take something in no matter what I am at the moment.

  • Clay

    Very inspiring post! My own life intention is to “live life wide”: no barriers, no fear, I just choose to achieve what I dream about without restriction, and I hope to inspire others as well πŸ™‚

  • Ashlee Gadd

    Obviously, I love this. I’ve found that when I am intentional with my TIME, I tend to be intentional with my relationships. Thus, I am always trying to be more intentional with how I spend my days. Love you, friend!

  • Since traveling to India my life has changed and I have quite a new perspective on life or perhaps an intention. I love that you mentioned the things that make you happy and bring you joy. Sometimes when life gets crazy and you want to have a negative attitude you have to put things in perspective. My life compared to most is easy, and I need to value that and use my place in this world to bring joy to others. So I guess my intention is to give back and love.

  • camorose

    Thank you lady! I swear, yoga is one of the best things I do on a weekly (I wish daily!) basis. So incredible for mental calmness and physical well-being.

  • camorose

    I think it’s one of those things that you can never master, but you can always work to improve it…

  • camorose

    Ohhhh I love that one! Such a simple but inspiring way to live your life.

  • camorose

    I could definitely be utilizing my time more wisely to focus on more important relationships–that’s a brilliant way of putting it. Can’t wait to see you when I’m back in Sacramento xoxo

  • camorose

    It’s so important to be able to laugh off the little things–I try really hard to keep those sort of things in perspective and remember what’s really important in life. Love your intention πŸ™‚

  • “I could definitely be utilizing my time more wisely to focus on more important relationships”

    Agreed. That’s a huge reason I’m working on Oh Hey World – one of our big goals is to maximize your in person time with those who truly matter.

  • Hopefully Q & I will be one of your 5 minute plans to catch up in NYC. We get there at the end of the month. =)

  • camorose

    Absolutely! Shoot me an email so we can put something on the books πŸ™‚

  • prime_sarmiento

    Such an healthy article very inspiring lot of tips and information that could lead to success..Great post

  • camorose

    Thank you!

  • Azyyati Elias

    Love this article. Give so much inspiration to me. Thanks. πŸ™‚ Love from Malaysia.

  • camorose

    Glad you liked it πŸ™‚

  • Pingback: Looking back on 2012 | C'est Christine()

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