DESIGN YOUR LIFE: jessica of jessicagonachaswift


As I mentioned on Tuesday, three lovely ladies and I are starting a new video conversation called Spring where we will talk about passion, intention, and many ideas shared on these DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews each week. Carolyn and Michelle have already shared their intentions in previous DYL interviews, so I’m excited to share the fourth member, Jess Gonacha Swift’s intentions this week.

Some of you may already be familiar with Jess via her amazing artwork, etsy store, or blog. Though we are relatively new friends, reading her intentions makes me so appreciative of Spring (cuz I get to work with great ladies like Jess!). Given the opportunity to do my own DYL over again, I think it is definitely possible that I would have written five of her six intentions verbatim. Along with sharing the same first name, love of design, and life intentions we also have a dislike for washing dishes.

We’re definitely soul mates.


DESIGN YOUR LIFE: Jessica of JessicaGonachaSwift

Be grateful


Moments of real, true, deep gratitude for me are exceptionally healing and inspiring. It happens often when I’m out walking in nature– there’s something magical about being outside that helps me connect with how big and vast and miraculous our world and the universe are. When I can connect to this sense of gratitude for everything around me, I feel calm, centered, and full of believing that everything is exactly as it should be.

Trust and listen to myself

This is an intention that I’m really working on lately, as I have a real tendency to compare myself to other people and what they are doing, then turning it around on myself to feel as if I’m not doing enough, or I’m not doing it “the right way.” When I get sucked into the comparison/ego game, it zaps my energy and leaves me uninspired and gloomy. Lately I’m opting for the alternative: believing in myself and trusting that my unique path is what I should be striving to follow and discover– not the way that I “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing something, according to someone else’s rules. Trusting myself takes the pressure off and lets me ask the question “What’s right for me?” It feels good!

Say YES to life & reframe negative thoughts

You know those times when you don’t want to do something and you make it really dramatic in your head? Here’s an example, straight from my life: “Ugh. I so don’t want to do that sink full of dishes. I can’t stand doing dishes. It’s pretty much the worst thing ever to have to do. This is going to be really miserable.” I can be this dramatic about pretty much anything. So, I’ve been focusing on saying YES to these types of things instead, and it makes it so much easier, and, imagine this, even enjoyable! When I say yes to my life and everything in it, my days go more smoothly, I have more fun, and I have a way better attitude.

Don’t take myself so seriously & have fun


This is another intention that I’m actively pursuing these days. I am a worrier and a serious person by nature, and livening things up with a bit of goofiness is a great way to get rid of stress! Some ways that I’ve been adding fun to my life lately: playing music I don’t normally listen to and dancing around the house (often holding my kitty, Anika, and wiggling in front of my husband to make him giggle!), taking days off to read books/ take naps/ be a little lazy, jumping jacks (yep– I’ve been taking mini breaks to do a quick round of jumping jacks, and it lifts my spirits instantly and makes me feel energized and spunky!) I’d really like to up the fun ante in my life even more, so this an intention that’s at the top of my list!

Be Compassionate


I am often hard on myself and expect myself to be perfect, even though I know I’m not perfect (no one is!), so I can easily make myself feel guilty. I am learning to take it easy on myself and treat myself with compassion. This, in turn, helps me want to treat others with the utmost compassion. A friend once told me “you’re learning what you’re learning when you’re learning it,” and remembering that helps me focus on treating myself kindly and realizing that I’m a human being, that we all make mistakes, and that we’re all brilliant in our own unique ways!

Being able to say no & create boundaries from a place of respect

I have a hard time saying no to people and being honest about what works and doesn’t work for me. I often have to give elaborate explanations instead of just saying a simple ‘no.’ So my intention here is to be able to stick to my boundaries out of respect for myself, and communicate those boundaries to others in a loving and compassionate way. This is hard!! But ultimately this is a great lesson for me to learn, because I always feel icky if I’m not quite honest with someone, or with myself. I always admire those folks who have really clear boundaries and are confident about them. I intend to have that in my life as well.

Dream big


This might be my most important intention lately– I think it’s so so SO important to visualize the crazy success that I would like to have in my life (I mean really picture it- the details, the colors, the smells, the feelings, everything), and then, the most important part, do not allow myself to create reasons why I can’t have it in my life. Don’t we all deserve success and abundance? I think we do! So I intend to dream big, feel giddy and excited about those dreams, trust that I am on my path, let it go, and go about doing what I need to do. And by success I’m not talking only material success– I mean success in the broadest of terms. Financially, emotionally, in my relationships, spiritually, everything. Success to me means living into the life that I dream of, right now, in this very precious moment!

Check out past DESIGN YOUR LIFE interviews.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. So nice Jess. I found myself nodding along as I went through b/c many of things you mentioned I have also made a very conscious choice to do or to be either for personal growth or just wanting to feel like I was doing right by the world and my circle. You are such a genuine soul, and you elicit incredible warmth that makes everyone around you very comfortable. Thank you for sharing your intentions; it’s a tremendous reminder that there’s always something to be striving for to be a good human being.

  2. Stephanie

    I’ve been spider webbing it to different blogs all week (clicking on the blog links at blogs I read often); that’s how I found yours. It was such fun to come here today & read this interview, because I’ve been looking at HERS for months now! Funny how friendly and neighborly the vast, wide open spaces of the web can feel.

    I feel like every intention she stated could well be applied to my own self. It can be such hard work striving to see life & yourself clearly… I’m so glad there are people out there like you two Jessica’s who blog about it and provide such great encouragement by your examples.

  3. i have to say…while i completely love this series and all the incredible ladies who have contributed, this is by far my favorite DYL interview! what great intentions–each of them strike a very resonant chord with me personally. so lovely!

  4. These are great intentions. Really gets me thinking about what my own would be. I certainly don’t take enough time to be grateful or to suck it up and do the dishes!

    Now I’m just getting more excited for Spring!

  5. Whadda great DYL! I’ve gotten to know Jess pretty well over the past few months, & seeing all of her intentions (& the cute photos to go with ’em) laid out on one page makes ME want to say YES to doing the dishes (& to Spring, & to widening my circle to those beautiful souls that inspire me)!

  6. cindy

    i’ve followed jess, i mean mrs. swift, through her blog for a while now and all that she says here rings so true. she is such a talented and beautiful person and one of the most contemplative people i know. she always strikes a positive chord with me and gets me thinking about how i’m living my life. that’s pretty big. thanks!

  7. Thank you, everyone, for all your amazing and kind words! I’m so glad you can all relate to what I’ve written. Cyber hugs to all!

  8. Thanks for this post! This, and the other post with Michelle gave me strength to continue what I am doing. I do hear every word you say.
    Thanks again, Judit

  9. This so hits home “Lately I’m opting for the alternative: believing in myself and trusting that my unique path is what I should be striving to follow and discover- not the way that I “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing something, according to someone else’s rules.”

    Thanks for putting it in words I was unable to see. As an artist I struggle with thoughts of – will someone like it? Is it good enough? but in the end I ask…. does it matter? You summed it up for me and I thank you. Your words are always inspiring and refreshing. Keep up the good work.

  10. Jess

    @ All: Thank you all for such kind things about Jess! I am so glad we all have gotten to know her better.

    @ Jess: Thank you for participating. I still love our conversation the other day and I can’t wait to keep talking via Spring!

Leave a Reply