What exactly is intentional living and how on earth do you do it when you have a chronic illness and nothing seems to be in your control?
By Mary J. Yerkes
Simple living can seem elusive. In a world focused on achieving and accumulating more and bumper stickers that read, “He who dies with the most toys wins,” the reality of simple living seems like some pie-in-the sky ambition, a trend. Despite the proliferation of products, books, magazines, classes, and organizational systems guaranteed to simplify our lives, most of us continue to hurry through live, pursuing activities and making purchases that ultimately add to life’s clutter. There has to be a better way.
As my rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases have worsened over the years, my desire for simple living has grown. It has become a quality of life issue for me; and if you live with chronic illness, it is one for you as well. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to spend my limited physical and emotional energy dusting rooms full of things I never use? How much physical, emotional, and spiritual space could I free up if I removed the clutter from my life?”
But how do you define simple living? Intentional living? What’s simple for me might not be simple for you.
I have looked for a satisfying definition for years, but could never seem to find one that fit. Until now. My thanks to author Tsh Oxenreider, who wrote “Organized Simplicity: The Clutter Free Approach to Intentional Living,” for her definition, which I have adopted for my life as well.
She says this, “It applies to everybody; it’s timeless, and it’s not bound by cultural trends or norms. It can be your definition for the rest of your life.” Her definition of simple living is this: “living holistically with your life’s purpose.” And I would add: life purpose is always directed toward others. [pullquote]Life purpose is always directed toward others.[/pullquote]
Holistic living means the different parts of your life all line up in the same direction-toward your life’s purpose. “All the independent things in your life–the items you own, how you spend your time, the relationships you cultivate, and the books you read–ultimately benefit your life’s purpose,” writes Oxenreider. “There is no clutter. The hours and days and weeks reflect your priorities, and so does the space in which you live.”
So simple, yet so profound.
Share below! How much physical, emotional, and spiritual space could you free up if you removed the clutter from your life?
Christian Chronic Illness Coach Mary Yerkes partners with the chronically ill to address issues related to living successfully with chronic illness, redefining purpose, and building a significant and meaningful life, of which illness is only a part. To learn more about Chronic Illness Coaching with Mary, visit www.newlifechristiancoaching.com.