Above is a question that I received earlier this week. And it came at a great time. I can honestly say (hold on, there may be a bit of feisty-ness in this post) that this question relates to a whole myriad of lessons I’ve been learning since April.
Since I really want to address the idea of intentions being a burden, I’ll quickly say that I don’t specifically design intentions around spontaneity, though sometimes I do find it helpful when I get in a rut.
Okay, back to intentions and burden.
To be honest, lately I’ve noticed a ton of self-imposed burdens in my life that in many ways, relate back to intentions I have set. And it has caused me a significant amount of stress, worry, and in recent weeks, anxiety. I actually spent Monday worried that I may have been stressing myself to the point of stomach sickness, only to find that I had ab pain from a strenuous Saturday ab routine. Even my worries about worrying were upsetting.
Though I don’t want to get too deep into the specifics, I can say much of the stress was inter-personal, and totally self-imposed. I was worrying about a relationship in my life and whether it was going the way that I envisioned it (code for: imagined it).
I’m sure I’m not the only person who has a general “plan” in the back of their minds about how their life is “supposed to go” and “when things were supposed to happen.” For Ms. Intention here, I have taken even those general ideas and have held tightly to them and tried to force my gut to agree with My Plan. And when I got little feedback from my gut, I fretted and fussed. After all, My Plan is “right” and my gut should obviously agree with me.
After several months of stress, I finally realized that when (or if) I can have children, when I get married, and when I know that the time is right, is completely out of my ego’s control. For me, I see these areas controlled by God, while other people may see it may as fate or luck. Sure, I can take steps towards those things, but I hold myself accountable for following my intuition first. And in order to do that, I need to listen to my gut and be peaceful in the process – not try to force my gut to know things prematurely.
Then I went to Lifebook and thought about the intentions I have for so many areas of my life. And while the overall process is great, and healthy. I took my ideal vision for my life to a very negative place in my own mind. I started to live my life and comparing it to how I wanted my future to be. Which lead to over-analyzing most areas of my life and made me feel completely dissatisfied, discontent, and “important.” I wanted my future life to be NOW, dammit. I was in a very negative mindset after a few weeks, and I’ve only just recently started to unravel and relax again. I was hyper-critical of all things in my life that were not “exactly what I wanted.” And I developed a perfectionist perspective on life, relationships, and my business.
Just because I know what my dream house looks like, doesn’t mean that I need to be upset that I am not living in it now. And I should also realize that my dream house may not actually happen – that is beyond my current control.
… And who knows if that dream house is the one I’ll want later anyways.
An ideal vision for one’s life is great, but the pursuit of perfection in every area of life is impossible. Though I knew this mentally, emotionally I was not accepting and honoring that fact. Further, relationships with other imperfect people are inevitably going to be excellent, but never perfect. Perfection in relationships with family members, friends, or co-workers is not possible. Thinking that it is possible to have perfect relationships, only ensures that I will never have relationships at all.
I also took a glaring view of the business. I started to get frustrated with the product development of the new collections and contemplated kicking them to the curb a few times. I thought, “If they can’t be absolutely perfect, I have no idea whether anyone will buy them at all. I might just be wasting tons of my own money on imperfect stuff that no one will want. Oh, and working with the people to get that stuff made, well, they should be perfect too. And if they aren’t, maybe I should just go find other people to do it for me.”
Ugh. My whole mind was pretty polluted.
But recently I’ve begun to slowly awaken to the fact that there is so much of my life I cannot control. And to try, as hard as I can, to keep coming back to the present moment and be here. I don’t need to be over thinking my long term life intentions. I have thought about them, I know what they are, and I can let them manifest as time allows. I don’t need to circle around and around in my mind evaluating whether the actions and people in my life will be able to make them happen.
That part is up to God. I just need to do the best I can in each moment and take