2017 Focus on Living Intentionally

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As the New Year approaches I have been contemplating what I would like my focus to be for my daily living.

I am not a resolution kind of gal. I find that resolutions feel binding to me in such a way that I feel a weight of responsibility that is unneeded and often times shaming in my life. When I forget about a resolution and come back to it later I feel like I am a failure because I wasn’t able to stick to my determination of, say, not drinking Mt. Dew anymore. So instead, for the last few years, I have created a theme for the year to put my energies towards.

Last year my theme was: to embrace vulnerability and all that it implies. To that end, I embraced my feelings more, expressed them more, wrote about them more, and cried with them more. I revealed my low self esteem issues to my then boyfriend, and now husband, and was dumbfounded when he embraced me instead of mocking me like I had experienced from others in the past.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves. That process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do” – Brene Brown

I continued my personal counseling journey and worked through shame issues surrounding past traumas, and personal life decisions that came back to haunt me at a later date.

I embraced my lack of confidence in my own ability to be a successful counselor, and when I was fired from my first counseling job, I embraced all the feelings that surrounded that. I spoke with my now fiance, about the shame of being fired, my even lower lack of confidence in my ability, and the fear that I had made the wrong career choice.

I wasn’t able to embrace all of my vulnerable spots this year though. Life was challenging and I suffered bouts of depression, and ignored major health issues. When I was diagnosed with diabetes the same day I was let go from my job, I went into shock and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t embrace both the loss of my job and my new life changing diagnosis at the same time. So, though I went to doctors appointments, I found a “great” excuse to ignore the diabetes. The doctors had seen indications that my old cancer had also come back. So I grabbed hold of that familiar rod and clung to that instead of meeting and embracing the challenge of diabetes. Even when I was cleared from the cancer scare of 2016, I was able to continue making excuses as to why I ignored the diabetes.

It is impossible to be everything, do everything, to be aware of everything, and to be accepting of everything. Yet I tried, and I am okay with the areas that I did not focus on as much because now the time is right and the focus is there.

During this past year, I noticed that I struggled to make decisions, which is a part of depression. I often became overwhelmed with the process and even angry when others pressed me for them. It was much easier to go with the flow. However that is not really living. Living requires engagement.

Alan Wilson Watts once stated “This is the real secret of life – to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now.”

To that end, I have made the decision that 2017 will be the year of Living Intentionally.

“Many times busyness is often mistakenly equated with productivity. But those words are not synonymous. Just because we’re spinning our wheels, rushing from one commitment to the next, doesn’t necessarily mean that we are doing anything worthwhile.”
― Crystal Paine

“Living with intention means saying no to the things that aren’t important to us so we can say yes to what matters most.”
Crystal Paine

“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.”
Richie Norton

“Intentionality fuels the master’s journey. Every master is a master of vision.”
George Leonard

“One lives in the very present moment; lives intently. There is no urge to be doing: being is the highest good.”
Patrick O’Brian

All of these authors encapsulate portions of my intent for 2017.

These intentions include:

  • Embraces decisions and being proactive in that process.
  • Giving focus/intention to each process that I am engaged in. If I am knitting I will place my intention and energy on knitting, if I am talking with my husband he will be my sole focus, all things will be intentional, even down to washing the dishes and taking my dog out to releave himself.

I guess another way of putting things is that I want to live in awareness. I do not want to be driving from point A to point B and get there wondering how I did it because I went off into  dream land as I drove. I want to embrace life and all the decision making, engagement that goes hand in had with it.

There are so many areas to look at for living intentionally that once again I became overwhelmed at the prospect. So instead of taking it all in at once I have allowed myself to peace parcel it out over the coming weeks, and months.

My first is to look at knitting intentionally. I will be posting another blog post around that topic however in the meantime here are my goals in that area.

  1. Finish the 2 sweaters I have on the needles.
  2. Knit scarves for both my mother and my mother in law
  3. box of socks for my husband and myself
  4. New sweater for my dog.
  5. knitting from stash: yarn and patterns
  6. Remove distractions from the process.

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