Sometimes themes and lessons get presented to us numerous times before we get the message and do something different. This time the message for me is about being intentional. It’s so easy to cruise through my day on autopilot, automatically doing the next thing on my to-do list.
It’s not that those days are bad – hey, I have a great life, including a wonderful husband, two awesome kids, great friends, a loving extended family, a career that I enjoy, a house that stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and a cute, goofy dog. So in no way am I complaining about my life.
What I’m saying is that I believe I can make a great life even better if I take the time to focus on what I’m doing and pay attention to my mood and energy as I do it. For example, before I meet on Mondays with friends who are exploring spiritual ideas, I can take a moment to visualize each of them and imagine the very best outcome of our discussion for each of us. And as I imagine Katelyn coming home Friday night to celebrate my birthday (!) I can focus on the kind of interaction that I want us to have – positive, loving, and authentic, and recognize the actions I can take to make that happen.
Setting an intention for a task or interaction is as easy as knowing what you want and stating it as though it’s already true. As I wait for Katelyn to arrive home, I can picture her beautiful face and say to myself, “I am enjoying a meaningful, loving conversation with my daughter”. Then if she comes in the door feeling out of sorts from her drive home in rush-hour traffic, I can maintain my positive mood, making it easier for her to let go of her negative one. In other words, by making my desire for the situation conscious, I can affect the interaction in a positive way.
Being intentional about our actions and interactions also makes them more meaningful. It helps keep us present in each moment, instead of worrying about the future or regretting the past.