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
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!
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.
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.