“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”- Henry David Thoreau.
What does it mean to live your life deliberately, with intention? We have so many distractions, so many priorities, that it can feel like we run around every day trying and hoping that we will finally catch up enough to finally begin living the life that we intended and that we really want. Does that happen? Henry David Thoreau lived more than 180 years ago without all the technological interruptions that we have today, yet he needed to remove himself from the daily current of busyness to discover how to connect and enter the flow of a thoughtful life.
Now, we may not be able to spend two years, two months and two days in a hut by a pond in the woods, but we must give ourselves permission to detach for periods of time so we can discover and connect to a life that we know in our heart and soul is meaningful and fulfilling. One way to catapult yourself into giving yourself permission is to imagine a life six months from now where nothing has changed. You are still a spectator at your own life. How does that feel? Do you feel a greater sense of urgency? Even 5 minutes of stillness and reflection can start the ball rolling. The key is to begin NOW!
If you need a little inspiration to begin creating the space to reflect on your life, check out Marc Winn’s graphic interpretation of the Japanese concept Ikigai. Ikigai can be paraphrased as “that which gives your life, meaning or purpose.”