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Warning of a warning

The below was written as a response to a post on lillepunkin.com (@LKnerl), about avoiding the ‘trappings of “intentional living”‘ – but I don’t think she approved my comment…read her post before reading my response below.

Her article is great, and, as I say below, I think she has raised some interesting points. I hope you will enjoy the discussion of the post and add your own thoughts in the comments below!

Great article Linsey, and congratulations on the arrival of your new child! I think you’ve highlighted some fantastic points, along with raising a deep philosophical contention (‘Are you capable as a human to do anything that isn’t “deliberate”?’). Without a lengthy debate whether these are indeed facts or not (imo: they’re not, they’re opinions), I would like to comment on a few of your points.

My main comment is on your title, 5 REASONS TO AVOID THE TRAPPINGS OF “INTENTIONAL LIVING”. Firstly, this is misleading. It seems your article’s main argument is in fact ‘not to change too much, too quickly’. Highlighted by your introduction & fourth point. As someone who embraces intentional living, I completely agree with you, one should not try to change everything all at once. Self-discovery takes time which should be allowed to naturally develop. This is exactly what intention is: an aim or plan. Something to work towards.

It is also deeply personal, your opening point, thus one should be careful to try other people’s methods of intentional living. If, for example, you don’t have “40 bags of anything to get rid of”, then don’t do it! If you have a house full of stuff that you can’t figure out what to do with, then maybe it is something to try. Most blogs I’ve come across are stories of personal journeys. The bloggers are sharing what has worked for them, and in many cases what has not! One must assess what is right for oneself and only then try them out.

Finally, I do not quite understand your (slightly judgemental) second point. Many people living intentionally choose to do so in order to stop comparing and contrasting with others. A massively liberating process. There is much research into how Social Media can adversely affect you (Sherry Turkle’s work comes to mind). What people are not saying is to ditch all digital life; but to re-assess how much of it you really need. I, for example, just deleted my Facebook account. Why? I realised that I hadn’t really used it in 2 years – never posting anything or messaging people. Twitter & Instagram on the other hand add loads of value to my life. Twitter keeping me up-to-date with trends and Instagram keeps me in touch with friends, photographers & other climbers. I don’t really post much on these sites either, but I still use them daily.

Your first ‘fact’ is the most interesting as it accounts for both sides of the debate. Indeed (intentional) living it is personal. Only we can best decide what is right and wrong for us. And bloggers, like myself, should not be here to tell people how to live. We can only share what we have found in our experiences. Through exploration, reading and trying things, we can decide what our version of ‘intentional living’ is. This point is in fact the definition of ‘intentional living’: don’t follow others’ values, but discover what you value. Then create your life according to them.

“Sometimes we do a thing in order to find out the reason for it. Sometimes our actions are questions not answers” – John le Carré. In this context, I read that as: ‘Try new things and discover whether it fits your life or not.’

Kevin – YoungMinimalist.uk