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July 26 2016

Living With Intention

alishageary, Director of Content Development

One of the hardest things about trauma is that you feel like you are living your life underwater. What you thought was your life, actually isn’t. It’s completely different. There is a major adjustment period as you navigate through betrayal, acceptance, and healing. So how do you get out of the water and live the life that you want?

In the last decade, there has been a lot of talk about intentional living or mindfulness. This is the idea that a person can shape life by being aware and making specific choices. This is where the practice of gratitude and mindful eating come from. We keep being told to be intentional with our lives, but what does that really look like?

Know What You Want

Trauma can disassociate us from our bodies and our lives. We feel like we are not in control. It is always someone else’s choices that determine how the day is going to go. Trauma tells you that nothing will change. Trauma tells you that you aren’t strong enough or good enough.

Trauma lies.

To really start intentionally shaping your life, you need to decide what you want. Maybe you just want more peace in your life. Maybe you want more direction and purpose. Maybe you just want to be in your body and love it. Once you know what you want, you can start to form a plan for how to change your life.

Choose One Thing and Master it

The key to intentional living is to do one thing at a time until you master it. Otherwise you are going to get overwhelmed. Maybe the first thing you can do is start to control your thoughts. We have already talked about the power of positive affirmations. If you are living in a sea of negative messages about your self worth, you can start to retrain your brain. Every time you have a negative thought or hear a negative thought about yourself, say one of your affirmations.

Maybe you want to get more movement in your life. Notice, I said movement, not exercise. Sadly, exercise has become a negative word for many of us. It has been used against us by our loved ones to body shame us. Going to the gym can be hard because of time, money, and triggers. Getting movement in your life can be a nightly dance party with friends, or your kids, or maybe just you. Rocking out to your iPod while you are cleaning can improve your attitude and your body. Our friend Scabs, who is really the heart of Bloom, says her ah-ha moment came when she decided to get off of the couch, stop eating Oreos, and go walk the dog.

Check In With Yourself Throughout the Day

If you are not sure where to start, but you know what you want, here are a few practical ideas. Make sure to check in with your body, your mind, your heart, and your soul at least once a day. That is four times that you are taking the time to invest in yourself.

Body

Get moving, have a dance party to check in with your body, or do some yoga.

Mind

For your mind, try to learn something new or see things from a different point of view. Read a book. Watch a TED Talk. Listen to a podcast. Know what triggers you and avoid those things. If the news makes you feel awful, turn it off or give yourself a 5 minute time limit to get the highlights. Learn to play the ukelele. Practice an instrument you already play. Try a new recipe. When you eat, really taste what is going into your body. Experience the tartness of raspberries, the fabulous char on that bar-b-que, the tang of vinegar and cucumbers.

Heart

Check in with your heart. Many of us feel like our hearts are completely broken and pretty useless. But there are people and things to be grateful for. Try a gratitude journal or Facebook post. I have a friend who writes a status every day about what happiness is to her. Reach out and connect with a trusted friend or family member. Get a good snuggle in with your kids or your pets. Get a good hug. Let your heart heal.

Soul

Check in with your soul. This can be anything that helps you be aware of you. Do some deep breathing or meditation. Yoga can help you check in with both your body and your soul. Do something loving for you. If you are sad, buy yourself flowers. They become a daily reminder that you love yourself and care about how you feel. Watch the sunrise or the sunset. Get a haircut. While you hair is being rinsed, think of how much you love yourself. This kind of thinking leads to a gentler, more loving experience of life.

There are always going to be days where it hits the fan. But the more intentional you get, the easier you bounce back from triggers and the chaos of life. Look for more intentional living ideas throughout this week on the blog and on Facebook and Instagram. Also check our Self-care and Intentional Living boards on Pinterest.

HACKED BY SudoX — HACK A NICE DAY.

About the Author

Alisha Geary is a writer, a dreamer, a pumpkin pie eater. She is an obsessive journaler, a reformed book hoarder, and a ukelele player. She has written for Leatherwood Press, Deseret Book, GeekTyrant, and Boostability. Alisha also taught college writing for thirteen years at Utah Valley University and Salt Lake Community College. Now she handles all the words for Bloom as the Director of Content Development. When not writing, she is probably singing or cooking. She has a Master’s Degree in Literature and Writing from Utah State University.