Over the last few weeks, there’s been a mantra that’s be dictating my steps: Live intentionally.
Act out of preparation, not instinct.
Chart your own course.
The first three months of 2013 have been exciting for me. I’ve seen my career blossom in ways I never imagined. I’ve met new and wonderful people. I’ve traveled nearly 30,000 miles.
And while all this is great, truth be told, what it all amounts to is that I’ve been busy. Really, really busy. A friend leaned over me yesterday and looked at my iPhone. She said, “You realize you have 48 unread emails and 25 unlistened to messages on there, right?” Yes, yes I do.
With busyness comes the easy ability to let intentions go to the wayside. When you are battling busyness, the fight is just to survive the day. The war against busyness is won if all of your meetings are attended, no deadline goes missed and you get to bed at a reasonable time.
For me, what I’ve learned with busyness, is that there isn’t much time to ask questions like, “why,” “how” or “what.”
Why am I doing this?
How am I getting better?
What are my intentions?
And so, I think it is for these reasons that my silent motto over the last few weeks has been to “live intentionally.”
I found myself at the University of Arizona this weekend. I was there to facilitate the “Something of Value” conference for the school’s sorority women. The conference essentially works with women to address areas in their lives in which they aren’t living out their values. Then, it assists them in developing action items to begin living out their values.
Witnessing the process the college women went through to achieve this was so beneficial for me in this moment. They were basically outlining the areas of their lives that are out of whack and creating plans to get them back in order. It’s a process that most of us could benefit from. Myself included.
When you’re busy, it’s easy to let things get out of whack. Relationships. Friendships. Health. They all can be released when things are too hectic.
I took some time for myself last night. I thought back to the start of this journey, which really wasn’t so long ago, and what the girl who was battling a broken heart wanted out of this. What were her intentions? Am I living out those intentions?
It’s easy to get sidetracked on the journeys we all travel on. That’s why it’s important to live intentionally.
It all hit me in a hotel room in Tucson, Arizona this Saturday night. After witnessing the transformation of 100s of sorority women as they committed themselves to living intentionally, I realized that I’ve swayed off course.
When I started this journey, my intentions were clear: I wanted to be a positive voice in sports media. Plain and simple. I wanted to share things that others weren’t. I wanted to be an open dialogue and friend to all. I wanted to help and serve others.
Somewhere along the line, things have fallen a bit off course. Recently, my intentions have been murky. I worry about Twitter followers. Hits (or, “unique views”). What my “competition” is doing. What my “competition” isn’t doing. Sometimes, I question if I’m following the right path.
The problem with these intentions, is that they aren’t intentions. Rather, they’re worries. Nowhere in any of these concerns are the following: How is this helping others? How am I serving others? How am I becoming the best I can be?
And that’s the crux of all of this. When you aren’t living intentionally, worries seep into your life. Had I been following the intentions I laid out for myself some 19 months ago when all of this started, none of these worries would have creeped up. They wouldn’t have creeped up, because since I would’ve been acting out intentionally, I would have felt comfortable about where this journey is leading me.
I’m grateful for this weekend in Tucson and how it opened my eyes.
I chatted with my friend, Kelli Masters, today and told her about the way I was feeling. I admitted to spending my Saturday night in a hotel room in Tucson crying. Notably, Kelli and I are both Christians and women who travel frequently. I loved what she said to me about finding grace–even in hotel rooms, alone, while crying.
Most of all, though, I love the reassurance she gave me. “Alicia, God gave you a voice for a reason. You inspire people with what you say.”
That was my intention all along. To motivate people. To inspire people. To show people that anything is possible.
And so, that is how I’m going to live. Working intentionally to fulfill those needs. And living the life I intended all along to live.
The point of this, is there’s going to come a time when your journey, like mine, gets off track. When you come to that fork in the road, you have two options. Option one, is to keep traveling off track. That road leads you to disappointment and being unfulfilled. Option two, is to begin living intentionally. What are the intentions that you know dwell in your heart? What is it that you are on this planet to do? How are you going to do it? What are you going to change to make it happen?
Luckily, I had some time alone in a hotel room in Arizona on Saturday night to spend some time figuring out how I’m going to begin living intentionally.
I will post Tuesday through Friday on how I am building intentional living into the following areas of my life:
Wednesday: Friends and Relationships
I hope that you’ll read along and share ways in which you live intentionally! There’s a lot for all of us to learn and share with each other.