Finding Gratitude Pt. 2 - Finding Choice – MyIntent Project Finding Gratitude Pt. 2 - Finding Choice – MyIntent Project
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Finding Gratitude Pt. 2 - Finding Choice

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was the catalyst for my Gratitude Journey, and it sparked reflection from a different perspective. If you haven't read our introduction and inspiration for this journey, you can read it here. After sitting down and doing the visualization exercise, my intention for this process was to LIVE GRATITUDE. Today, I’m sharing my journey in finding choice. Truly, this was an exercise in where I put my attention. I noticed how I was creating my self-image, from the outside in, and focusing on how I was not achieving what I wanted. From there I realized that the phrases, “I need to” or “I have to” puts my attention on the negative pressures I have in my life. “I get to” focuses on choice. I am choosing how to use my valuable time.

 

Notice Inner Conflict

The first step in my Gratitude Journey was to sort through my closet and keep the clothes I loved and that brought me joy. They were also the clothes that made me feel the most comfortable in my own skin. My drawers were stuffed. I had my seasonal clothing in bins, and I could barely pull clothes off the hangers. Needless to say, I had options when it came to how I styled myself everyday. Yet, I probably wore the same handful of shirts and bottoms week after week. I took all of the clothing items I owned, put them in a massive pile in my bedroom floor and held every piece of clothing into my hands to see if it sparked joy. As I discarded various clothes, I thought, “I remember when I bought that. I wanted it to be a goal when I got fit enough to wear it.” or “I’ll buy this because it’ll push me out of my comfort zone.” and on it went. It felt more like I was trying to change myself from the outside in. Then a question popped in my head. Where else do I do this in my life?

Oh my, everywhere! I am constantly making decisions based on what I think I am supposed to. Doing things because it’s what I think is expected of me. I thought of everything that I do in a day: work, errands, chores, fun events, etc. and a big motivator until that point was what I thought I needed to do to fit in.

 

Get to vs. Need to

I was already feeling lighter after I let go of the physical representations of all the pressures I was putting on myself ie. that crop top that I bought 4 years ago because I thought I would magically gain the confidence to be a cool fashionista who wore trendy clothing and a bare midriff. I let go of some expectations, and it was just the beginning.

As I discarded more pieces, I began to notice how I phrase things. “I need to go to the store.” “I get to go hiking.” “I need to purge my closet.” but “I get to go shopping.” When I phrased sentences with need or have to, they were obligatory. It felt as though I wasn’t making the choice. When I get to do something, there is excitement, and I am looking forward to it. So I decided to experiment with how I spoke. I switched my language on something mundane and routine in my life: I changed “I need to do laundry” to “I get to do laundry.” It felt awkward at first because I wasn’t looking forward to laundry. It needed to be done. As I said “I get to do laundry” more, I found that something shifted in my mind. When I thought “I need to do laundry”, I was picturing how much time it would take up. As I continued to say “I get to do laundry” there was a slight excitement that stirred in my belly. I started to picture how laundry straight from the dryer is so warm and comforting. I was getting excited about the smell of fresh laundry.

Of course, it takes practice. It takes practice to recognize when I am saying “I need to” so I could switch it. After switching a few “need to’s” to “get to’s”, I felt a sense of relief that there is less mental pressure now.

Let’s do it together!
Connected with your why, think about what’s stopping you from living the life that you visualized. This week, pay attention to all the times you say “I need to…” You can use your beautiful journal to keep track or maybe it’s one thing that comes up repeatedly, like laundry. Even if it’s just one sentence, try saying “I get to…” for that one task this whole week. See how it changes your perspective on the task at hand. Does it help you focus on the positive aspects of the task? Does it shift your attention towards your intention? If you wish to write down your own ah-ha moments, please do. You can always come back to see what you’ve learned. If you want to share your journey, or have a buddy to talk to, feel free to email us at reflection@myintent.org. We would love to hear from you!

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