Living in a pandemic-stricken world sure gave us plenty of realizations. Along with many things like a simple walk in the neighborhood or gathering with friends on a weekend which we took for granted until we were deprived of the opportunity to do them, there’s an indifferent outlook to the mundane activities we do day by day among many of us. It’s as if we perform the same things every day on auto-pilot mode–wake up, freshen up, eat, work, tend to our kids, and rest with no definite grasp of why we do this, and with no guaranteed sense of where we’re headed in the future with these repetitive activities.
Never has the contrast between existing and living been more apparent than now. We are too familiar with merely existing, working day after day to secure that paycheck to afford us a living, too focused on surviving. When we pull ourselves out of the endless cycle, we realize that to even consider doing something recreational could feel pointless and just like another task you need to tick off your list. In other words, we forgot how it is to live at the moment, how it is to take things slow and appreciate everything that crosses our sight or grazes our fingertips.
Perhaps, it’s the unfortunate result of being exposed to overwhelming mass media that all promote a materialistic lifestyle. With advertisements demonstrating supposed trends overflowing our social media feeds, we’ve gotten so used to being dictated how we should look, think, live, and be that we no longer had the opportunity to seek our true self and purpose. Sad, but even our kids can only succumb to the same pressure and, most often, to the detriment of the entire family’s relationship.
What Is Intentional Living?
On the other hand, the term ‘intentional living’ is gaining traction recently as more and more people, having grown tired of a life that has ceased to give them fulfillment, are woken from a dormant soul that’s been missing a lot of nourishment. If anything, it encapsulates what living truly is and what merely existing isn’t. It is regaining control of your whole being, your body, and your soul and detaching yourself from that auto-pilot mode that for so long held you and your emotions captive.
This year, you want to live more intentionally and include your family on that same journey. We want to break away from a world where we’re so used to glorifying the filthy rich and ridiculing even ourselves for being average, find contentment with ourselves and appreciate the things that are more precious than wealth, and acknowledge that we can all make a difference. But how? Here are some of our tips on how you can live more intentionally with the fellowship of your family:
We’ve all volunteered in school and at work–donated our old things to charity, planted seedlings in a nature park, participated in coastal cleanups, and worked some hours in a nursing home, for example. While it’s fulfilling that we offer hours to render community service as required by our school or company, nothing is as soul-enriching as volunteering out of our discretion and, this time, with our family. Radiating out the love we have within our homes, as cliche as it sounds, multiplies it and enhances our bond with our spouse and children.
Hopping on your luxury recreational vehicle for road trips to different vacation spots is all good and fun. But, you can always switch it up and make trips more meaningful by making stops by the beach or the park and picking up trash. Or, why not visit low-income neighborhoods and help improve their communal spaces, for example, by repainting structures such as worn-out or vandalized murals, fire hydrants, street poles, and benches?
Unclutter your cupboards, sort your closets, and, in the process, reassess your priorities in life. Is your priority accumulating as many gizmos and clothing? Going through that mountain of online-shopped goods will make you realize that owning this much has little to no bearing on your growth or success and that you’ll do just fine without many of the same things. If anything, you’ll realize how you’re encouraging a wasteful lifestyle that your kids will eventually imitate.
So, while you’re at it, let go of the same water bottle of other colors and keep one, box up that cutlery you know you wouldn’t even use for the life of it, and figure out how you could get in touch with a local organization to whom you could donate all these things later for the use of those in need. Seeing your less cluttered living space where you have everything you need will help you appreciate a simple life, one that’s not dictated by fads but more in tune with an ultimate goal you and your family all share.
These activities that keep you grounded in societal realities can help you become more intentional and stay motivated. This helps instill in you the idea that every task you deliver isn’t just for yourself or your family, but it goes beyond the greater community. Your kids also come back humbler and more appreciative of the many things they’re endowed with.