My family is thinking of moving to a different area of Austin. This is part of a larger plan we’re piecing together around how we want to work, play, connect, foster community, generate revenue and “be” in the second half of our life. (Read more about making hard life choices from my blog last week.)
We’re doing this slowly, intentionally and purposefully, and there’s a lot more inner work happening around this decision right now, than outer work.
I rolled very differently in the first 30 years of my life. I often made decisions–such as buying a house, a new dress or a car, accepting a work assignment, taking a trip–because an opportunity was presented to me, it was something I thought I should do, or I got caught up in the momentum of doing and never questioned, “Why?”
I was living more outside-in, than inside-out. Looking back now, I realize I often created more work for myself than was necessary because I rarely stopped to ask, “What do I *really* want?” I was too caught up in not missing the train.
One definition of intention is “An anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions.”
To live intentionally, we have to first know what we really want. What we most desire. We have to be willing to ask and sit with big life questions. And for me, that means lots of belly button gazing and a commitment to living life from the inside-out (read more). It requires me to question rather than follow conventions and preconceived ideas of how things should be … and to continually turn inward, before I leap.
Some of the questions we’re asking right now as we consider this move (which is bigger than just buying a new home) are:
- What do we ultimately hope to accomplish through this action?
- Is there another way our desired outcome can be accomplished? What are we not seeing?
- What do we want our living situation to look like in one year? In six years (when my son graduates)?
- How can we do this in a way that is most supportive to our family?
- Where/how/who do we need to tap for help and support?
- What is my Wise Self (my inner guidance) telling me about this proposed action?
I believe my external world is a reflection of my inner landscape. That means regular weeding, pruning, tilling and watering are essential to clearing away internal clutter so I can hear what most needs to be heard and ensure that important action blossoms from a place of clear intention. Living intentionally also means that I’m mindful and protective of how and when I use my energy and I remember that just because I can … doesn’t always mean I should.
P.S. Are you navigating chaos and overwhelm right now? Read 10 Ways to Become Comfortable with Chaos from our Career Strategists coaches and consider joining me for one of my upcoming retreats where I’ll support you in learning to tune inward, listen to your Wise Self and live from the inside-out.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by work-life balance speaker/author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning curriculum. She is the author of The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 12 year-old son. More on her background here.
Photo: While hiking on the Barton Creek Greenbelt last month, my son and I discovered a sea of rock statues (some were as tall at 8 feet!) that has been lovingly and intentionally designed for hikers to enjoy. Cool!