A Life Lived with Intention

Practice how you play. Each task in life done with good purpose could change even the mundane.

So now that I’m on social media, I...like….follow people and stuff. I follow this woman who is hip, trendy, and intriguing. She shares her brilliant mind and living-well insight. I know this person’s parent so she replies to my questions regarding religion and foundation that I pose; presumably based on courtesy and interview status.

She’s smart and successful, yo! The I-was-googling-things-as-she-was-replying kind of smart. Although she wishes to remain anonymous, she is exactly what you’d like your daughters to grow up to be. Having the honor of her response is humbling. We talked (in Instagram chat) about this and that...her passion and whether or not it’s founded in a firm religious upbringing. Again dudes, I’m feeling super lost in this conversation as I google these hundred-dollar words she’s using.

As we’re chatting, one word just popped out at me. Boom! Intention.

in·ten·tion

/inˈten(t)SH(ə)n/. noun

  1. A thing intended; an aim or plan.

I think we all go about our everyday lives with things intended. Whether great or small, good or bad. Whether we intend to go to the party, or whether we can’t make it after all, we all intend in one way or another. I’m Catholic so I think about this A LOT. The word intention is used in the mass and describes the priest applying special graces from God upon that person or intention. Pretty much giving it his direct focus and prayer. Just like you might pray for a friend, but to me it’s more.

For instance, you can go to church every day and do all the things. In my church we stand, sit, kneel, stand, kneel….and on and on. If your intention is just to go through the motions so that you’re free from sin and safe from the fire, you’re not getting it. I’m probably not your average Catholic either. I’m that woman fervently nodding and amen-ing in a Catholic mass, guys.

I often get caught up in the Holy Spirit, and do you know why? Because before I walk into church either in my head or out loud I say “Let’s quiet ourselves for God.” When I say it out loud it’s mostly directed to my children, but still, it breathes the same breath. I intentionally direct myself to calm. I make myself into a human sponge.

Of course, this doesn’t happen every time. Sometimes we are running late and I’m tugging on a small person, urging them to hurry up before they lock the side doors and we can’t sneak in! On those days when my intention is not on absorbing the message in church, I’m all over the place. I’m looking around, shaking my foot, and sweating a little. On those days, I didn’t intend to be a sponge, I intended to get to church on time!

Here’s where that key word comes into play. My brainiac interviewee said something to me which blew my mind! “Practice is a way of living, but it cannot be forced. The intention with which we approach whatever we are practicing will ultimately shape the outcome and journey of the practice.” I would like very much for you to go back and read that line again. Better yet, here it is: “The intention with which we approach whatever we are practicing will ultimately shape the outcome and journey of the practice.” Boom!

So if you’re approaching anything in life with the intention of it being great or moving or life changing, then it will be every bit as much as you give it. But if you’re just being basic or mediocre, then you will earn your seat in the nosebleeds. If your intention in what you’re practicing isn’t even really intentional, then you’re just going through the motions.

This thing called life can be a monotonous thing we do. We wake up, we go to work, we cook the food, we go to bed, and on and on. But each minute detail, done with the right intention, gains the potential to turn into something much greater than we could ever imagine.

Be safe. Be great. BE YOU!

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. Like my loud amens in church, how can you show other people the joys of being intentional?

Q2. What are three practices in your life that you could give better attention to your intention?

Q3. Why is it that we just go through the motions? How can we spice up our regular?

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