After living in Prague for a little over a year I feel pretty confident to say that there are some notable differences between living in Prague (the capital of the Czech Republic) and living in Birmingham (UK’s second city). There are, in fact, plenty. When I moved from the Czech Republic to the UK I was barely 18. I’d never lived on my own, never had a proper full time job, never travelled anywhere on my own, never left a little small town bubble I grew up in. All those lessons that a grown up life gives you were my first, I had nothing to compare them to. Now the tables have turned and I moved back to Prague as a 28 year old, I can totally pinpoint a hundred little (and bigger) things that are so bloomin’ different that even a year on I still can’t get my head around them. From the lack of formal procedure when you’re signing up a rental agreement to the impossibility of buying asparagus at pretty much any time of the year but a few weeks in spring. Most of these make for fun stories over a cuppa however one that I’d like to start talking more about on (and off) this blog is the idea of intentional living.
What’s intentional living & why is it important?
Intentional living can be described as living with an intent or an awareness of a particular lifestyle, most often we’re talking about “green lifestyle” which comprises of concepts such as sustainability, zero waste, eco living, veganism, minimalism, and many more. In a way the idea of intentional living is a by product of all the plastic waste that has been floating up from the bottom of the ocean and being washed out on the beaches in Bali, it’s a by product of the water scarcity we’ve been seeing in the last years, of the allergies and tummy aches we’re constantly having, of all things we knew were coming but did nothing to stop them. Intentional living is a way of individual people to stop and think for a moment – what could I do to change my life for the better and whilst doing that also help the generations to come?
I’m not gonna lie – I’ve aways been a very consumerism based person. Despite living in a tiny village up to my late teens, throughout the years that were to come I managed to stay untouched by these ideas of better living. I literally never gave it a thought. I always thought that I had better, more important things to do with my life than to recycle and cook from scraps. Because EVERYONE is living like this, why would I change and why would even my actions change anything for the big big world? Well, I can finally say that I was WRONG. And I’m dead happy I realised this after just three decades of my life. Phew!
So why should you have an intent whilst living your life?
- living a less consumerist life means more experiences and memories of places, events, people and not things
- it also means saving money in a long run
- it has a positive impact on your health (for example chemicals often create rashes and allergies)
- it’s easy to say that policies should be put in place and the change should come from the top – but you ought to remember that the people sat at the top are also the people at the bottom, they are just regular people with regular lives having a little more power than the rest of us, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know more than we do and are bigger people than we are – the change should come from every one of us
- it has a positive impact on the planet (less waste, less chemicals in the water etc)
- you will become a positive influence on the people around you and can inspire them to live a better quality life
- you will have more time for things, activities and people you love
- you will feel like you have your shit together, not always, but sometimes – and that’s better than never ain’t it
How to start living with intent?
There are so many different things how you can start living with an intent, I wouldn’t even know where to start. And it’s not even like I’m very good at it, but after having observed people around me, be it my family, workplace, friends or just shops and people in the streets that I pass every day, I can tell you that pretty much no one’s very good at it. But we make mistakes, we learn and we grow as a individuals and as society. One of my new year’s resolutions is to learn more about how to live better. My aim is to understand what sustainable fashion is, how to cook with zero waste, how to clean our home with low impact on the environment. And how to recycle because I’m fucking shite at it (who ever thinks of taking metal lid off of a glass jar when putting it into a glass only bin? Oh for Flip’s sake, did you know that you can’t even put a paper tissue into a paper bin because it has your SNOT on it which apparently is a bio waste?).
This way I’d like to invite you on this journey to intentional living with me. 2019, here we come. And we can totally do it!
Oh, and I reckon my post about why you should start buying vintage editions of your favourite classics is a pretty decent intent to start with.
Do you live with intent?
What are your lifestyle “rules” to achieve this better, more wholesome, less harmful to the environment life?