A Year Of Living Intentionally Day 1: Starting at the Beginning

Erin Roberts
June 19, 2024
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“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

— C.S. Lewis —

Today is my birthday. Another trip around the sun complete. Another year on this rollercoaster we call life behind me. And if I’m lucky, a lot of life yet to live.

I’ve never been a big fan of birthdays. They’ve tended to remind me that time marches on (if you believe that time is linear). But this year feels different. This year I feel so immensely grateful. Happy to celebrate and be celebrated. Not looking back as much as looking forward

In the lead up to this day I have reflected a lot on where I’m at. The person I’ve become. The change I’ve made in the world. And I feel proud of all of that. But I also feel — know perhaps is a more appropriate word — that there is so much more that’s possible.

Because if I’m honest I’ve been a little lost lately. Like I’m still finding my feet in the world. Figuring out who I am. I’ve been charting a new course this year. It’s brought a lot of new beginnings and has also hastened the closing of chapters that no longer serve me.

While I still love my work and that’s not one of the chapters that’s closing, climate policy research feels less alive for me than it did a year ago. What lights my soul on fire now is helping to create a healthy community of change makers. My own struggles with burnout last year led to a new theme in my life: wellbeing. But so much of the old conditioning remains. In truth, it’s hard to leave the grind behind. There are still many moments each day when I let that conditioning take over and choose work over wellness.

So a few weeks ago I started contemplating what might help me overcome those hurdles. How could I challenge myself to really be intentional about wellbeing? To prioritize it above everything even when things are difficult. Especially when things are difficult. And then it came to me: what if I dedicate a whole year to being intentional about wellbeing? And what if I wrote about the journey to keep myself accountable?

It seems simultaneously like one of the best and worst ideas I’ve ever had and I’m sure I’ll oscillate between the two frequently over the course of the next year (if I”m honest I’m already regretting this a little because I’m also kinda lazy). But the truth is that I need something to push me out of my comfort zone. Get me out of the rut I’ve been stuck in.

So here we go . . . .

Over the next year, I’m going to dedicate each month to a theme and set an intention around that theme until my next trip around the sun culminates on this day next year (i.e. my birthday). Every month will build on the next until I’ll have 12 foundations which I hope to carry with me into the rest of my life. I’ll write about my experiences as often as I can — noting I’ve got two day jobs.

This first month is going to be dedicated to presence. My intention is to be present as much as possible. To live in the here and now as much as I can. Because as the great Eckart Tolle teaches us: there’s power in that! And I’m about to find out just how much! I hope you’ll join me what I expect to be a wild ride. More soon . . .

Erin Roberts is a climate policy researcher and a curious human whose life is dedicated to making the world a little better every day. She is the founder and global lead of the Loss and Damage Collaboration and the founder and convener of the Climate Leadership Initiative.

Originally published on Medium here: