This is part two of a three part blog series. All about slow living, with intention - as for me, this is the essence of feeling calm and ease, connected within myself, confident in how I choose to be and live my own unique life, with meaning and purpose. Not dependent on the fast paced, outside world, or feeling influenced by the stress or becoming involved within it, or any one else's way of being and living. Slow living with intention, I feel, is truly knowing our own values, making decisions and choices aligned with these, and choosing this, every day, in every way. You can read part one here and I'm adding to this, with a few more ways to share, below.
Be honest when things aren't working for you, or aren't supporting you - as intentional living is so much about living aligned with our values, in every single way. A huge part of this is honesty within ourselves. Knowing how to listen to ourselves, our intuition, and to really become attuned to the messages and ways our bodies express our feelings and emotions. Becoming honest with how we feel, within ourselves, and - if it's a value for us - being honest with others, even when it feels hard to do so. We can spend so much time doing things for the sake of it, or because it's expected, or we feel we should or must and it's perhaps too hard to change things, or we don't want to create discomfort for someone else. Becoming intentional about our lives, means deeply listening and living in true alignment with how things feel, what they mean for us, and coming back to our own values and purpose. When we are honest within ourselves, we feel connected to what's true for us, we feel self assured in this, and we also create far more ease calm within and around us, by being true to ourselves - and to others in our lives with all that we do, too.
What's truly important to you? How do you desire and choose to feel? - I feel it's so valuable to know what feelings we truly choose and desire to embody - to seek these, to find these, and to know ways that these are attainable and available to us. As unique individuals, it's so personal and different for us all. But I do feel that so much hype can be placed around themes of happiness or fun, or even endless positivity, as being states to achieve and always strive for. When truly, if we talk about slow and intentional living, I think it's deeper than this. Happiness and fun, to me, are beautiful feelings and states of being to embrace and love when they're present. But are always attainable and available, as the only ways to truly enjoy our one precious life? I don't think so, and I feel so often, that these can even be superficial and not fully embracing of all the richness of human experiences, feelings and emotions, in our ever changing lives. I've reflected on this a lot, and I encourage you to do so - for your own intentional way of being and living. For me, I come back to the feelings and emotions that I feel are attainable, available - even through some of the hardest, and even darkest of times. I think of feelings such as joy, and contentment. As I know that through pain, sorrow, and adversity - we can find, seek and choose these ways of being again - open to opportunity and possibility - even through uncertainty and change. Happiness and fun might be part of this too. But the essence of what's truly important and how I choose and desire to feel, in my own intentional way - is joy and contentment. And to know that I have these always within me, and available to return to. They've become a natural ways of slow living - embracing the simple and small things, and all that's truly important - what truly matters, at the heart of it all.
Deepen, strengthen, and give your time and energy to those relationships that feel mutual, for these to flourish - quality, meaningful, and mutual relationships are so vital for our whole wellbeing, and as part of choosing a slow and intentional life. If you have read the first part of this series, I talked about 'presence' and the beauty of this, in all parts of our lives. This is so true within our relationships and connections. Become discerning and wise about who you feel truly yourself with - who allows you, encourages you, welcomes you and embraces you to be your true authentic self - and know that these are mutual too. We can spend so much time giving our energy to connections and relationships that might feel one-sided, or just not as easy as we might hope for, and we keep trying for things to feel easier and better, but we only end up feeling resentful, or unsettled. Become intentional with your presence in relationships and communicating with others. Learn and know ways to listen to how your body feels, how your heart feels, within these relationships. I often come back to this intuitive feeling within me and ask myself - does my breath feel easy here? This is a practice that I lean into, very honestly, within myself. And very intentionally, it supports me to slow down, to simplify, to enquire, to be curious - and to shift myself from giving so much of myself to relationships or connections where I can't breathe so easily, or I just feel a little unsettled or uneasy - or I just am not feeling my true self. If I choose to live a slow and intentional life, I choose to be myself, in every way. And I know to honour my heart and how I feel in each moment, and to make choices aligned with this. Be discerning with your energy and your time, and your heart. We can be kind and giving people in beautiful ways, but more intentional with our presence to those relationships that bring us so much meaning and purpose, and enrich our lives in so many ways - we can strengthen, deepen and keep tending to these, for these to flourish. I'll write a little more about intentional and compassionate boundaries, tomorrow - as a flow on from this.
Practice intentional gratitude - I wrote a blog piece on this, which you can read here
all about why gratitude is so beneficial - but intentional gratitude, even more so. An attitude of gratitude is part of slow and intentional living - becoming present within our lives, and all the we do have. It doesn't dismiss or take away any feelings of loss or grief, or past experiences, at all. It just supports us, so deeply, to open our hearts even more, to what we have, right now, present to us, all that fills us, delights us, reminding us of the beauty and gift of just being alive. I always feel that gratitude can shift us away from the pressures and expectations of a sometimes busy, external world around us - allows us not to get caught up in the stress or the need to do so much, or to be a certain way - but brings us back to what's important to us, to connect within ourselves, to know and feel beauty in the simple and small things.
Slow and intentional living brings us back to our values, our own heart space and our own knowing within - an intentional gratitude practice supports us, and others around us too, to feel more uplifted, optimistic, hopeful and just to be in each present moment, now - to let go of any need for anything other than what we have, how blessed we are and feel, right now. There is always something to feel grateful for, and this can shift and open so much.
These are just a few more ways, to practice slow and intentional living, that you can start and begin today, or even right now. Or just to reflect on, in your heart and life. I'd love to hear how these ways of being feel for you, what they would mean for you, and how they might shift and change the choices and decisions you make, in living your own slow and intentional life. I can promise that you'll feel the benefits for your whole being, when you begin to practice and embrace these ways to slow down, to live more intentionally, and the joy you'll find in creating and designing your own truly aligned life, from within.
I look forward to sharing part 3 of this series tomorrow. And if you'd like to work with me and to have my support to feel more calm, connected and confident, and to carry these ways of being through all parts of your life, then I'd love to support you - https://www.katiejanewellness.com/coachingsessions.html
ps. have you signed up to receive regular Letter of Support? You do so through this link and receive a free ebook to download as a gift too -
Katie Jane is a Holistic Therapist, Life Coach, Health Coach, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Meditation teacher, writer and author. Katie has been working in the wellness industry for over 15 years, in private practice and online, and brings all of these qualifications and skills, along with her own lived experiences through challenges, changes and transitions. Her approach to life and wellbeing is truly holistic and unique for each individual. She supports and coaches clients to make powerful changes, to feel calm through uncertainty and change, to embrace self care as a way of being, and to thrive through life transitions.