Get Real: What does living with intention mean?

After I set this year’s theme to “live with intention” with the call to action to “get real”, I found the following poem from Mary Anne Radmacher whose book is actually called, “Live with Intention.” Obviously, I’m meant to share it with you.

Even if all we did was live by this poem, we’d be in a good place. Intention is the step BEFORE goal setting. Our intention is big picture – feelings based – whereas the goal is more actionable with smaller steps.

So for example my intentions for the year as I continue to be my AUTHENTIC SELF is to add more ADVENTURE, PURPOSE, CONNECTION. By staying AWARE (present moment) with the aid of living my life in meditation – always open, always listening, watching, seeking – I’m able to live my truth and make incredible discoveries that help guide my steps. I’ve added links to previous Get Real posts from this year if you’d like to explore it more.

So think about what YOUR intention KEY WORDS are and write them down – everywhere – on Post Its, on your mirror, wherever. Not only does this work in the way of the Law of Attraction, but it helps the subconscious work in your favor as you consciously set goals to bring those things into your life.

Here’s Mary’s poem and then I’ll post it again with ACTIONABLE ways we can live those things.


The poem is full of INTENTION words. Now we can put those things in action.

LIVE WITH INTENTION = do things based on enlightened action. What does your inner voice tell you to do – even if it might be hard or painful or uncomfortable at first? This is critical in creative expression, too. The more I express my true nature, the more joy I feel.

WALK TO THE EDGE = Don’t let fear hold you back. Step out of your comfort zone. Once you walk to the edge and take in that view, you’ll be glad you did. Just try. TRY.

LISTEN HARD = Do you talk too much? Try stillness and quiet and really listening when someone speaks to you. Listening is deeper than the physical act of “hearing”. It’s also great Present Moment practice and can improve every relationship. This means listening to yourself, too. Stop burying what your inner voice is telling you.

PRACTICE WELLNESS = love yourself enough to take care of your body from the inside out. Eat clean, green and lean. Drink water and forgo the bad shit. Exercise and MOVE every single day. Add both cardio and strength training into your routine. Take care of your mind and reduce stress with practices such as walking in nature, meditation and pilates. I’m a big pilates convert. It’s reshaped my body (in addition to losing the weight with cardio.) AND vigorous exercise GROWS your hippocampus, which is your memory center. All great reasons to take care of yourself. You have ONE LIFE, my friend. And even if you believe you’ll come back in another life, DON’T SQUANDER THIS ONE.

Love your body. Work it!
Love your body. Work it!

PLAY WITH ABANDON = simply play more. Do things you enjoyed as a kid. Add more recreation and pleasure into your life. Schedule it and stick to it. Play with others, too. And stop feeling guilty about it! In my quest for more adventure, I have to add more play and it’s working. Joy bubbles up when you treat yourself to pleasure.

LAUGH = be around people who make you happy (and conversely less time around people who don’t). Allow yourself to be entertained with music, movies and activities that thrill and delight you.

CHOOSE WITH NO REGRET = my favorite thing about enlightened action is even if my “mind” is telling me it’s a scary choice, if I’m listening and trusting my inner guide, I know I won’t have any regrets. Choose and go with it.

APPRECIATE YOUR FRIENDS = show gratitude with compliments and ACTION. Schedule time together and be a good listener. What do they need? When you give, you get it back. I would be NOWHERE without my friends. The more I’m letting my authentic self out to play, the more I’m seeing how valuable my true friends are. It’s such a blessing to spend my life with them. Closely look at your relationships. Are they in a rut?

Say yes to time with friends.
Say yes to time with friends.

CONTINUE TO LEARN = read more, do more outside of your “circle”. Expand your horizons with new people, new places – be open to new ideas. Know that you KNOW NOTHING. The beauty of zen is the unknown. Relish in possibilities. Growth happens because we are open.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE = in all activities, whether it’s a hobby or a job or a career or a project or a vacation, do what you love and start dropping what you don’t love. What are you waiting for? Do something you love EVERY DAY, even if it’s small.

LIVE AS IF THIS IS ALL THERE IS = don’t wait until tomorrow. Make the changes/pay attention TODAY. Start NOW. There will never be a “perfect time” for change or the You you want to be. The beautiful thing about living in the present moment is watching your life unfold in small and big ways without feeling the stress or anxiety of “acting”. I love the word “unfold”. Lessons and signs and connections are being made in our favor, whether or not be see it. I like to think of it as YOU in the middle of the stage with the red curtain behind you. The spotlight is on you yet what you don’t see is all the people backstage making that moment happen for you. They are working the props, the lights, the sound, all so you get your shining moment.

How beautiful is that?




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