Designing My Life With Intention: A Personal Manifesto In Detail

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I wish I could remember how I discovered Jess at Make Under My Life. From the first time I clicked over, I’ve been addicted. Her motto to “design a life with intention” captures perfectly how I want to live.

Her blog reads like a diary slash guidebook slash how-to slash inspiration well on how to consciously carve out your best self.

By far, my favorite is her Design Your Life series which features interviews with folks looking to design a life with intention. It is crazy inspiring to read through the archives and discover how different people pursue the life of their dreams.

Today I’m excited to be jumping in on the Design Your Life fun and taking part in Jess’ Do-It-Yourself Design Your Life series. I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately about crafting a waking life so this comes at a perfect time.

I wrote about my personal manifesto here but today I want to get into the nitty gritty.

Respect and honor this body. It’s the only one I’ve got.

Original photography by Philippe Halsman found via Pinterest.

Breastfeeding my daughters, having a c-section with my first daughter and then a drug free vaginal birth with my second daughter has taught me my body is capable of anything. My job is to nourish, strengthen and pamper it so I can vibrantly enjoy this journey. To do: return to hot yoga, get dancing, keep at the detox plan, sleep more, pamper yourself, listen

Be a student for life. There’s always more to learn.

Original photography by Alfred Eisenstaedt found here.

When I’m not challenged or learning or questioning, I’m just not having fun. It’s my nature to question and explore. Curiosity is my middle name (not really, how weird would that be!). Thus my major in Philosophy. To do: read more, pay off your library fines, take a class, ask those who know, challenge, learn and share it

Smile through it. I’m still breathing, right?

Found via Krissy R‘s Pinterest board here.

I can’t tell you why but I’m an eternal optimist. In the worst of times, I’m the one most people want to punch in the face. I don’t see the point in worrying or stressing out. Life’s too short to waste time on things that don’t move you forward. To do: keep smiling, up and onward, surround yourself with positive people, focus on what you want to have flourish, ixnay on the negative people-ay

Write through it all. It’s how I highlight the pages of my story.

Found via Nikki Rappaport’s Pinterest board here.

For a few years there I let writing take a back seat to the rest of my life. Who am I kidding, I kicked it out of the car and made it take a bus. The ride was never right without it. It was like driving with crappy windshield wipers. I want newbies. Like I say in my about page, “I write to remember…cherish…breathe…it’s the only way I know how.” To do: write

Pursue simplicity. Less is more.

Found via Leah Williams‘ Pinterest board here.

This little nugget of wisdom hit me like a ton of bricks. There was a fire drill in our condo complex over a year ago and as I rushed out the door, I realized there was nothing I’d truly miss if it were to burn to ashes. My most prized possessions – my husband, my daughters and my wedding ring – are all I need. Why then is our house always a cluttered mess? Who/what is all this stuff for? I’m realizing it applies to all areas of life. To do: toss it, donate it, reimagine it, check yo’self before you bring it in the house/into your life

Experience beauty everyday. It feeds the soul & inspires.

Photo found via MissBGD’s Pinterest board here.

Shortly after college and just after entering corporate America, I stopped looking for beauty everyday. I never actively sought it out but in college, with time and leisure on my side, it seemed to be at every corner. I’d find myself at the museum or at a great indie film or in a beautiful garden or with amazing people. Inspiration was in abundance. I realize it’s necessary for life. It makes me smile brighter and dream harder. To do: read more, drown yourself in poetry, lock yourself up with beautiful movies, take a walk without a final destination, look around, twirl, dance when you hear music, smile at strangers, create beauty and you’ll find beauty

Share this ride with people who light my fire.

Photo found via Caroline Richards’ Pinterest board here.

I’m lucky beyond the stars for the loves I have in my life. Luckier still they never abandon me despite my bad friend M.O. No time to be pulled down. No time for drama. Only time to support, encourage, listen to, cheerlead for, lend a shoulder to, high five and be nothing but silly with the ones who matter. To do: call, email, facebook, lunch, cocktails, sleepover, shop, getaways – on the regular, let them know you love them, let your daughters learn from example – friends and family are everything

Surrender. I believe it’s my big life lesson.

Image found here.

Motherhood has been such a great teacher. I’ve learned surrender is the lesson of my life. I’m a control freak. Parenting and marriage have been my greatest teachers. I have to focus on me and let everything else be. To do: live and let live

Inspired? Share your intentions for a waking life.

Like I said before, if you don’t put it out there into the universe, no one – not the universe or even yourself – will know what kind of life you’re trying to live.

Declare it, then live it.

ps. doing this DIY DYL made me realize I don’t really have many pictures of myself…add that to the life list…but I’m a real person, pinky promise…if you must here’s a pic my mug
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  1. Carla, what an amazing, personal, and also inspiring DIY DYL! I love the way you see life, it’s bold and playful at the same time.

    I’m also going to be doing a bit more “surrendering” in my life thanks to your DYL as well!

    1. I’m dying to read Cutting for Stone! I’ve heard incredible things. I’m waiting on our library to have it available so maybe I’ll read along =)

  2. I hear you on the surrendering! I call it letting go, same thing, but yeh, this has been my lesson this year, to learn to just let go and breath.

    I posted my DIY-DYL just now and I wrote another post on surrendering earlier called The Art of Just, I hope you enjoy reading them 🙂
    The Dame´s last blog post ..Designing My Life With Intention

  3. Thanks for stopping by! I’ve found some great blogs thru Jess’ site. Love how you say – institutionally declared purseaholic! A girl after my own heart =)

  4. Love the post, Carla! You write with wit and charm, which I adore. And your images are perfect. I’m happy you stopped by jenniferunwritten.typepad.com – now I have a new blog to visit!

  5. Hi Carla,
    Loved your post. I hope you don’t mind me quoting you for my next Thursday Rhapsody, my regular wrap in praise of thinkers and doers I’ve found inspiring.

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