How did I get to this moment? This is something I have thought about a lot since I decided to bring A Crunchy Life to the world. I have realized that it has always been with me. Growing. Bubbling up to the surface. Just waiting for the right moment to emerge.
My dad was a businessman with a beautiful corner office – literally, the office was the corner of the building and the corner was cut away to create a window as long as the long wall. It was the third from the top so it was a great place to watch July 4th fireworks and the traffic helicopters in the afternoon.
My father did not pick his job because of a life mission to be in the bond department of a major insurance company. In fact, I suspect he did not like his job at all – he always wanted to be a cowboy living in the west. He got out of the Navy and went to college on the G.I. Bill, and when he graduated he found this job and gave them the rest of his life. His focus was finding a job and settling in, and so he did.
As I was growing up it wasn’t always easy. The stereotypes of the corner office were not true in our case. It was not always financially secure but my parents endeavored to keep all of that from us, as much as they could. But over time I saw younger men (yes, never women) brought into the company, mentored by my dad, and then promoted over him. I also saw the men (yes, again no women) in positions above him getting transferred across the country for promotions or dying of heart attacks. My dad always remained in the same position.
When I was in college my dad finally began sharing some of his thoughts with me. I learned he wasn’t passed over; he turned the jobs down. He made a conscious choice to turn each of those jobs down. His family came first he said. It was more important for his daughters not to be uprooted to another state while in school rather than for him to receive a larger salary. It was more important that he live a long life and not die at his desk. It was more important that our family’s social network remain in tact. It was my first, and only, glimpse into how he intentionally lived his work life.
He gave me something powerful that day. He gave me the foundation upon which I make decisions that help me live my life in a way that has meaning and that supports those I love. My own path shifted after that conversation. I began to really think about what I wanted for my life. I changed colleges. I changed majors. I changed life goals. I committed to living my life in a manner that was true to who I am. Intentional. Purpose-driven. I had no idea that this would be a lesson I would continually re-learn and refine throughout this life.
So, what is intention? Intention is purposeful attention, concentration. It is when we turn inward and let go of everything else. When all of the external distractions are silenced and focus is on connecting to one’s truth. From truth comes wisdom. From wisdom comes purpose. Then we know what we want and where we want to go. Consciousness.
In the Yoga-Sutra there is a powerful moment in one’s practice when one goes from distraction to direction. Like that moment in yoga, intention is a continuous daily practice that we strengthen with each little decision and each big decision. In my practice, I have turned my attention inward and focused my mind on my own truth. I listen to the wisdom that is within me, that I have never heard clearly before. I have come to understand that what fuels me is simplifying how our family lives and engages in the world while supporting others on their journey to intentional living. I uncovered the direction that has guided me thus far, and from which I will continue to grow into who I have always been becoming.