Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Intentional Living - What Does It Mean to Me?

Part of what this blog is about is intentional + joyful living." I realize that this phrase has taken on a trendy sheen in recent years, and I wanted to write a bit about what intentional/mindful living means to me, why I still think the phrase has value, and how I hope to carry out such a vague directive. This exercise is just as much for me as it is for you, dear readers - I need to be able to eloquently express and define what it means to me. If I can't define it for myself, there's no way that I can steer myself in the proper direction.

This is how I want intentional living to operate in my life: I want capital "f" Focus. I want to continue to be brave enough to jettison the things, people and situations that do not serve me, or that aren't in my best interest. For me, mindful living is all about defining what I want my life to look like, and being fully committed to making that vision a reality. It means ridding myself of excess and engaging in responsible self-care and self awareness.

I also think intentional living is about how I define my role in the wider world - how I fit myself into the fabric of society and where and how I direct my energies outward. In this sense, my personal definition of intentional living expands to include cutting down on consumption, being more involved in community locally and globally, generating less waste and being more environmentally mindful.

Specific actions I want to take include:

  • Engage in mindful consumption, where the focus is only on buying what I need, and only items of quality.
  • Minimize my belongings to only those that I find useful or beautiful.
  • Use less water and energy.
  • Cut down on meat consumption.
  • Be more active about recycling.
  • Minimizing waste.
  • Focusing and doing more of what I want in my life. Getting rid of the rest.

It's funny to think about all of this and, at the same time, reflect back on what I was like as a kid. It seems I'm coming back full circle. When I was in Jr. High, I became a staunch eco-activist of sorts. Well, as much as one can be at the age of 13. I started a recycling program at my church, became a vegetarian in support of animal rights, and participated in all sorts of environmental awareness campaigns and activities. Ultimately, due to some personal experiences, I became disillusioned by it all. But now, moving back towards this direction feels like the right thing to do.

In the past 3-4 years I've been working on a few of these projects, especially related to minimizing my belongings and consuming less. But I've still got a lot to learn and a long way to go! If you're interested in mindful living and learning more, here are a few resources I've found along the way that have been very helpful:

The Nife en l'Air
I adore Florie's thoughtful writing, and I really respect how much reflection she's put into her lifestyle choices. Though she now lives in France, her shift towards mindful living was precipitated by living in Japan.

Into Mind 
This is a great blog about how to build a minimalist capsule wardrobe that you'll love.

This is another one about creating a thoughtful wardrobe featuring clothing that you'll actually wear.

The Minimalists
This is probably one of the more well-known blogs out there about minimalism. And while I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes at the somewhat sanctimonious, arrogant tone (along with a big side helping of privilege) it can take, I also have to say that this is a solid resource for information on the minimalist lifestyle, and one of the blogs that has super-charged the current movement towards consuming less. So...that's something.

Mr. Money Mustache
Another blog that most folks either love or hate. The tone can be grating, but MMM is a valuable and unique take on money management and how to achieve financial independence. You might hate how he says it, but look beyond all that because MMM is full of great information on how to live on less. The forums are super useful too.

No Sidebar
This blog is new to me, but I like what I've seen so far. Lots of great articles about intentional living can be found here.