We often go through our days following routines and patterns we’ve developed over our lifetime. The motions of home, school and work life become comfortable without requiring a lot of effort or thought. Now, contrast this with the idea of intention. Everything you do is done with mindfulness, a consciousness of fulfilling one of your core values such as love or compassion.
While many activities of daily living are initially done with intent, once it is figured out, we tend not to think about it and it soon becomes lost in the repetition over time.
What if you could change that? Creating a mindful intention with your actions can transform each day and perhaps your life.
The next time you have a load of laundry to wash, say to yourself that you are doing this as a service to your family, to make them happy and as a form of meditation to practice mindfulness. Doing the laundry will take on much more importance, and would cease to be mundane.
The only difference is intention.
What if driving to work was done after affirming an intention to help your co-workers, to make people happy and to find satisfaction through your work? The drive might be much happier, and you might be less likely to get irritated when someone inevitably cuts you off in traffic.
This is the Intentional Life.
Leo Babauta, author of Zen Habits practices living life with intention and finds life more purposeful, lived more consciously and ultimately, finds greater contentment. Before you start your next project whether at home, school or work, pause a moment, close your eyes, and mentally affirm your intention. Why are you doing this? Is it out of compassion for others, or yourself? Is it to make someone happier? Out of gratitude for the work and kindness of others?
As you begin the task, be mindful of your intention throughout. This is a small step, but in those few moments, you will be living an Intentional Life.