2017 is upon us and here at With Every Intention, we truly have every intention to make 2017 a year to remember and we want to invite you to join us. This isn’t a sneaky ploy to get you to make and keep resolutions. It isn’t a goal-making guide or a step-by-step solution to being more organized, more perfect or even healthier. It is a journal of our individual journeys, our swim upstream that we want to share with you. We want to show you that intentionality breeds beauty, truth and goodness and we want to show you how we strive each day to live our moments with every intention. We want to encourage you in your own intentional journey.
I am not a resolution maker. In fact the few times I made resolutions, I sat down and demanded goals of myself. I waited for the first of the year and then I sunk under the lofty weight of my own goals. It felt like so much pressure.
But while I fail at making and keeping resolutions, I am learning to excel in living intentionally.
The root word of resolution is resolve, which, by definition, means to decide firmly on a course of action. On the other hand, intend, by definition, means to design something for a particular purpose.
I delight in that thought…to design something for a particular purpose. It sounds poetic and lofty without the weight of a firm decision. My mindset morphs from something to struggle beneath to something to strive for just by changing a word.
Living intentionally isn’t the same as carpe diem. Carpe diem is a Latin phrase meaning seize the day, but the meaning is meant to apply to the present only; to not be concerned about the future, whereas living with intention is living with a purpose. Living with a purpose implies that it isn’t just about the here and now, but it’s meant to lay the path for future days.
So what does living intentionally actually look like? For me, sometimes it includes lists of intentionality (the act of being deliberate) such as the books I plan to read, the projects I mean to complete, the design I hope to follow, the food I fill my body with; other times it is as simple as being present in the moment, delighting in the idea that as I live deliberately, I am marking the path for my future, the future of my marriage, the future of my children. Living intentionally is an opportunity to slow down and savor the goodness, the beauty and the truth of all that surrounds me. It is an opportunity to cultivate gratitude as I appreciate the little moments that mark the passage of time.
One of my favorite stories of all time is The Three Questions, a story by Leo Tolstoy. In it, there is a king who realized that if only he knew the right time for every action, the most necessary people and the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he undertook. So he called for all the wise men to come forth and answer his three questions. After listening to these supposed wise men (and all of their contradicting answers), the king decides to go and seek the wisdom of a hermit. After various events that day, the hermit concludes with this advice:
“Remember then: there is only one time that is important–Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else: and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!”
There it is. The heart and soul of living with intention: being present in this moment right now, being present with the people you are with at this moment right now, and doing good at this moment right now. In other words, living this moment with purpose and intention.
A lofty goal, but an achievable one that reaps rewards through every fiber of one’s being. Mind, body, and soul.
Please come and join Leslie and me this year as we begin a new year filled With Every Intention.