I’ve been very inspired lately by some great vloggers (namely: Melissa Alexandria, Muchelle B, and Sarah Nourse) who focus on minimalism and intentional living in their videos. Intentional living is a relatively new concept to me. I discovered it through my interest in veganism, minimalism, and ethical consumerism. Intentional living is the idea of being conscious of all of your choices and why you’re making them, from what you buy to what you eat to how you spend your time. It’s not about always being in control; it’s about always being willing to question things, even those that you’ve always considered to be the truth or your only option.
For example, if you always buy bread at the store and that’s what your parents did growing up, you can now reevaluate this choice and think: Is store-bought bread the only option, or can I make cheaper and more delicious bread myself? Another question is: Do I really enjoy eating bread, or do I just buy and eat it because it’s what I’ve always done? You may realize you prefer to make your own bread. You may realize you don’t even like bread (a crazy thought, but I’m making a point). OR, your answer may be that you enjoy store-bought bread and feel that you’d rather buy it than use your time and energy to make your own bread. Intentional living is not necessarily about changing your choices. It’s about understanding that the things you buy and eat and say ARE choices, not inevitable occurrences in your life.
I find this concept to be rather earth-shattering. Questioning the “facts” we are taught from adolescence and into adulthood is definitely not something we are often encouraged to do. Here are some of the ways intentional living and questioning my status quo have affected my life so far:
- I baked my own bread instead of buying it (that earlier example was based on personal experience)
- I experimented with wearing no makeup for a while and then started wearing much less than I used to
- I stopped buying clothes unless they’re second-hand or ethically made
- I stopped playing games on my phone and (mostly) stopped playing online Tetris
- I started making my bed in the mornings (usually)
- I started scheduling in more electronic-free quality time with my husband
- I started setting monthly goals and really trying to meet them
- I started focusing my free time on introspection and self-discovery
- I generally became more productive
If the idea of intentional living interests you, I recommend all of the YouTube channels I mentioned at the beginning. Even if you don’t check those out, I recommend putting a lot of thought into why you’re doing what you’re doing. You can try it just for one day. Why do you always buy that brand of toothpaste? Why do you always have the same fight with your brother every time he calls? Why are you working somewhere you don’t like and is it something you can change? You don’t have to change your life, but you might become aware of some aspects of your life you didn’t think about previously. People can’t have total control over their circumstances, but they can take the dozens of choices they make every day into their own hands. Even the ones they didn’t know were choices. This is a very overwhelming concept, but we can always start with bread.
Love and light,