The other day, I decided to abandon all plans of “productivity” and let the winds of motherhood carry me where they may. I’m all for spontaneous tickle fights, staying in pajamas until noon and enjoying unhurried conversations, but on this particular day, the “winds” of motherhood turned into a hurricane, and I felt like Gilligan’s little boat, being tossed to and fro — completely abandoning the three-hour tour.
One power of mothering is “Intention.” We’ve defined this as “living deliberately, choosing your path and moving forward with purpose.” If we don’t take charge of our lives and live with intention, what are the chances that we’ll end up where we really want to be? Here are a three ideas I’ve learned from The Power of Moms:
1. Balance self-discipline and moderation:
“Self-discipline means many things: being able to motivate and manage yourself and your time, being able to control yourself and your temper, being able to control your appetites (and here the companion word, moderation, comes into play).
“Self-discipline and moderation are two sides of the same coin. Self-discipline is pulling up and away from the laziness of doing too little. Moderation is pulling in and away from the excesses of trying to do or to have too much.” (Click here for the full article by Linda Eyre.)
2. Plan what the day will look like:
“Sometimes I rush so much or get so behind in the work required to make this house run smoothly or get so caught up in some project, that although it seems like I’m living a full life (using my talents and doing, doing, doing), I’m really not appreciating anything; not living life fully at all. … Part of achieving this peaceful, ‘life is good’ feeling every day (for me at least) is using discipline. Starting the day with an intention of how I want my inner self to look.
“If I know what helps me feel peace and happiness as a mother, then I and I alone have the power to create a spectacular day, every single day. It’s not that hard of a “recipe” to follow. It’s not asking too much. It’s not about what’s going on OUTSIDE of myself; it’s about the power I have WITHIN myself to feel like this everyday — no matter what the day brings. And for today, the slow and simple things are more than enough to bring me peace and happiness.” (Click here for the full article by Sarah .)
3. Figure out what it takes to thrive:
“One evening as my husband and I were trying to figure out our schedule, he said, ‘How can I best be of help to you this week?’ I looked at my calendar and then replied, ‘Well, to be sane, I need … ‘ and I proceeded to list a couple of things he could help me with, so I could complete all the ‘have-tos’ for the week.
“What my husband said next was so sweet: ‘April, I don’t want you to just be sane, I want you to thrive.’ That was a whole new perspective for me. After thinking about his question for three seconds, I replied, ‘WELL THEN … here’s what I need to thrive. I need 8 hours of sleep during each 24-hour period, four days of exercise, three hours at the library each month … alone, a date night once a week …’ and I went on for a while more. Nothing was unreasonable, just formerly unmentioned. I recognize that not everyone has the support of a loving spouse. We each have our own challenges, and we need to figure out how we can thrive in our individual circumstances.” (Click here for the full article by April Perry.)
CHALLENGE: Looking at your individual circumstances, what would help you live with greater intention?
QUESTION: What principles have you learned about living life “on purpose”?