When you have a profound realization like I had in that car, it leaves a mark.
But of course, a miraculous recovery from years of self-destructive behavior is (most likely) not gonna happen.
So, what did happen?
I stopped fighting myself.
I had lived for so long in various states of chaos (and modes of survival) that I couldn’t wrap my head around contentment.
I mean, what was life if not constantly trying to save myself from myself?
I had to break apart years of self-learned, self-sabotaging patterns. But slowly… I started to let good things and good people into my life.
And then I created real space for them. I let them to take their coats off and stay awhile. I even gave them a drawer.
This is the result of setting just one intention—to accept happiness—in the span of one singular moment. Imagine what intentional living could do…
The concept of intentional living was introduced to me when I began decluttering my home and adopting a minimalist mindset. It’s essentially the idea of making deliberate choices from one situation to the next based on added value.
Take the controversial topic of collecting books, for example. Books are a big deal to a lot of people. We had a huge shelving unit FULL of books, from our favorites to those that we hoped to read one day.
But what were they really doing there?
Sitting on a shelf. Accumulating dust and stagnant energy.
And every time we had to move (which felt often enough), we packed them all into boxes, brought them to the new place, unpacked them all, and set them back on a bookcase, where they sat until the next move.
Collin and I loved having a large library, but what were we really hanging on to? Were they really adding value to our lives? We eventually realized that holding these books hostage was not in our (or the books’) best interest.
We deserved the extra space and clear energy, and the books deserved to be read and enjoyed by people who would give them attention.
And so, we separated the books into categories: keep, sell, and donate. Some we kept for sentimental reasons, others we were able to sell to bookstores, and the rest we gave away to libraries and donation centers.
By considering book after book, Collin and I were able to make intentional choices about how to give each one a new life.
Thus began a new flow of energy.
It’s truly amazing what the simple act of letting something go can do—especially when it’s backed by the intention of potentially adding value to someone else’s life.
After considering the things that are already in your possession (i.e., furniture, decor, clothes, accessories, etc.), it’s easy to apply this mindset to new items that you’re thinking about bringing into your space.
Generally, I ask myself clarifying questions to help decide what things come into my home:
- Do I need this?
- No, seriously, do I actually need this?
- Would it add value to my life?
- Would it bring me joy beyond finding, wanting, and buying it?
And let’s not forget Collin’s favorite questions to add into the mix (often delivered with a judge-y face):
- Where would it go?
- Do we have space for that?
It’s always a fun back and forth with that guy. (The answers are usually “yes,” in case you’re wondering. And he knows it. 😀 )
Managing stuff is just one way to practice intentional living…
It can also inspire major personal transformations if you choose to incorporate it into your daily life in other ways…
To be continued…