Intentional Choices

I’ve been thinking a lot about intention, whether it is intentions or intentional living. I’ve discovered this is a difficult thing for me to write. Not because I’m struggling with my own life in this area.

I’ve learned that I’m struggling to write about intentions because I have no words for intentions.

When I don’t have words, it’s probably because I don’t understand what I am writing about. I’m a bit concerned because intentional is in my blog title – I should know something about this.

The problem is that I have this picture in my mind that I am having a hard time translating that picture into words.

This week, I’ve decided that my idea of intentions has to do with living an intentional life. Of course, the following definition is subject to change as more lessons and thoughts come my way.

For better or worse, here is the definition I am currently working with:

Intentional is a state of being. It is making deliberate choices
to live in such a way that makes your heart happy.

Now, the idea of making your heart happy is one that may or may not require an explanation. It is a feeling that we know when we have it but putting it into words is difficult. For me, my heart happy has a resonating hum that I can feel in my body.

 

Here is something that makes my heart happy: 

 

Of course, a friend of mine has a different thought about intentions which I am adding to my thoughts. She said that intentions are like prayers, we send them out and let them go.

I like this idea too.

We all speak english and are fully aware of the different definitions for words, depending on usage and context. I think this is one of them. Perhaps I will add more definitions to my ideas of intentions as I go along.

How does living intentionally look in life?

In each moment we have, we can either see as in interruption or an invitation?

We all recognize interruptions. They are the things that cause frustration and dissatisfaction in our life.

Invitations are different. They require a new way of thinking. It is asking the question: How am I going to respond in a positive way?

For instance: This morning I was left in charge of #tornadoabel who is the cutest thing 2+ year old around. However, you don’t get your own hashtag for being cute. He is a bundle of energy and not all of it is positive.

This morning inspiration struck and I needed to write. Abel doesn’t understand the concept of work and thinks that is a jungle gym. I had a choice to make. Actually there were three choice I saw:

Choice #1: I could wait on the writing. The inspiration, though subdued, would still be there. I just wanted to hit the keyboard while I felt that rush.

Choice #2: Getting frustrated with Abel, thereby making the morning awful for the two of us. He argues back, you see.

Choice #3: Accepting that he is busy and not really trying to keep me from working.

The last one is especially difficult because this child will do things like go after the cat and when I get up to redirect, he will run to my computer, which he knows he isn’t supposed to touch. Yeah, just put this on endless repeat with some snuggles and tantrums and you will understand how he got his hashtag.

Living intentionally is hard. Making each choice deliberately to do the best thing for you is hard. Not falling into the bad habit of frustration and anger is hard, that is my go to reaction. I’m sure that you have other reactions.

I believe it is worth it. The difference between the days where I make intentional choices and the days I don’t are palpable. I prefer the days where I chose to the invitation.

What choice will you make today?

Coffee Time, Or Not

chalkboard-620316_1280I created several goals for myself this year. Most are still a work in progress, while some aren’t really working. It will be interesting to see how things end up as the year continues.

One of these areas was health. I had in mind to exercise a bit more, find balance and discover what was going on with me, health wise.

At this point in the year I haven’t truly achieved this goal at all. However, I have worked on it.

The problems I was having, I have found answer to, though another issue has reared its ugly head, AGAIN. It is my belief that many of our ailments are lifestyle ones. That means that I don’t always look for the answer to be found in a pill. It is my belief that health can be achieved through changes in habit, i.e. diet and/or exercise. I haven’t always thought this way but I have found myself to be much healthier and more at peace by this belief.

Except when I’m not healthier and things appear to be spinning out of control.

Except for times like now when I struggle to go for a walk or do yoga (which were part of my goals for this year) or to eat what I know I should be eating. Instead of what I know I shouldn’t.

Sleep has been disrupted for over a month due to GERD, which is for the most part, heartburn. I have struggled with this on and off for several years. Sometimes using medication and sometimes not. I’d really like to sleep all the way through the night and not have any pain throughout the day. Yep, that would be a good thing.

Well, and here is the crux of the issue, treatment for GERD involves taking medication and dietary changes. I’m on meds for a month to see how things go. Dietary changes include the following no’s:
coffee-750990_1280
Spicy foods
Alcohol
Tomatoes
Chocolate
Caffeine

Do you see the problem? Those who know me well understand the problem. I love coffee.

Last year at about this time I had a similar experience and was put on the medication, which worked. The only difference is that I didn’t change any part of my diet. I’ve decided that its time for a change, this has gone on long enough.

The new plan:

No more spicy foods – well this one isn’t too difficult. I haven’t been able to tolerate them for years though I like to play with fire on occasion.
Little to no alcohol – This one isn’t that difficult either since I have developed a reverse tolerance to the stuff. I just don’t recover as well as I used to and I have things I want to do with my life.
Tomatoes – While this one isn’t incredibly difficult, tomato season is coming and I love tomato sandwiches. I think this is left over comfort food from my childhood. Hopefully I will be feeling better in time for that.
Chocolate – Oh, here comes a tough one. I love chocolate and staying away may be problematic. Again, hopefully this won’t go on for long and I can once again enjoy the pleasures of a Dove dark chocolate bite.

And, here is the problem:

Caffeine – I almost don’t have the strength to go on. I repeat, I love coffee. And I am picky about it. I mean I prefer to make my own and I need a special creamer to make it just right. I’ve even been called a coffee snob. I will own that. This is a daily habit that I have been unwilling to change.

Until now.

How do I go on? How do I manage the massive headache that accompanies caffeine withdrawal? What about the social aspect of getting coffee every afternoon? How do I wake up each morning and write without that steaming cup?

It’s been two days without my normal cup of coffee and I’ve survived. The good thing is that everyone around me has too. I can only take this one moment at a time.

For me this is a choice. I want to be healthy and my body is less tolerant of the things I am putting into it than it has been. Not able to get a good night’s sleep has made me aware that I need to make changes. It is difficult to meet my goals when I don’t feel well.

So I go on sans coffee. But I go on to a better future, one where I am not in pain each day and am able to sleep at night. One where I am not required by my addiction to coffee to continually seek it out. One where I am healthy.

What would you give up to reach your goals?