Hello, August!  Let's DO this!
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I don't know about y'all, but the last couple weeks have been mayhem for me.  I have felt like the frazzled hen in this henhouse.  Overwhelmed, anxious, sleepless, and drained.  Anyone else feeling this?
My body was tired, my heart was overwhelmed and a few days ago I had a good cry at my desk after everyone went home for the evening.  I was burned out and I didn't even see it coming.   I stopped and prayed and prayed and asked God to give me wisdom and true rest. Not "a few days off" or a "vacation" but real rest.  The kind of rest that transcends circumstances.  My soul needed rest.

I took a deep breath and started to feel something shift...

Through many mistakes and failures and falling down 7 times and getting back up 8, I've learned the not-so-secret secret to true joy:  contentment and realizing that our lives are not about us.  When I shift my focus to loving others instead of my own comfort and "happiness," I start to feel a deep joy that I cannot explain in words.  When I break out of my little busy bubble, I start to see the light through the trees.  When I remember that DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT, stuff gets done and surprisingly done well.  Letting go and letting God gives me my real happy back.

So, I've declared August #IntentionalAugust and I'm inviting you to join me.

Intentional living means you are focused on making conscious decisions to live out what's most important to you.  It means you are living on purpose.
My friend Mitch told me once, "Everyone ends up somewhere, but few people end up somewhere on purpose."  If you have been feeling like me lately, you have been overwhelmed with endless to-do lists and responsibilities and things that "have to" get done and paperwork and accounting and ... need I go further? When a business grows or when you experience major change (good or challenging), life can get -- as we say in the South -- caddywompus.   

BUSY is the enemy of peace.  BUSY takes us away from our purpose.  BUSY is not truly productive in the big picture.  BUSY means life's unexpected joys and surprises can't find a way into our lives because we're moving too fast to see and experience them. I don't want to move so fast that I miss my life! I'm going to say that one more time...

I don't want to move so fast that I miss my life.

I want to live on purpose with intention and focus on what matters most.  Anyone else feel this way?
Intentional living takes doing something completely counterintuitive when you are super busy - it means slowing down.  It means letting some things go and maybe letting yourself make a mess.  Maybe your laundry won't get done or you will miss out on an opportunity for work or you won't go to that networking event you think is so important.... but your kids will be loved on or you will have time to sit and have dinner with your husband (without your iPhone present) or you might finally start that book you've been wanting to read.  Maybe you'll take an hour to go to the park for lunch to get some fresh air instead of working through lunch at your desk, feeling drained.  Maybe you'll slow down enough to be able to listen to someone who really needs a listening ear.  Maybe you'll get out in your garden or paint or have a dance party with your best friend.  Maybe you'll call your grandma to tell her you love her instead of surfing Instagram.  Maybe you'll make her day : )

Whatever it is for you, make #IntentionalAugust happen.  Your life might just change forever.
Feel free to steal this graphic above for Instagram!

Make tough decisions for what matters.  Your intentional life is worth fighting for and sacrificing for.  Maybe a slower more intentional life means you will make less money.  Maybe an intentional life means you'll have less followers on social media because... you're not on social media much anymore.  Maybe living an intentional life means choosing to say YES to what fires you up and NO to the constant mental chatter in your head telling you you're not enough.

You are more than enough.  You were put on this earth for an incredible purpose (even if you don't know exactly what it is yet!).  You were made to be a light to the world and to use all of your gifts for good.  When I remember my own purpose and why God put me here, BUSY melts.  When I get out of my narrow "me me me" thinking and focus on how I can love others, my energy multiplies.  When I fight to be grateful (yes, it's a fight some days), I see just how loved and capable and ready I am to be a light in this world.  You are loved and capable and ready, too, my friend.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Marianne Williamson
I've been working hard in the last few days to live on purpose and break out of my normal routine.  I took a couple hours on one of my busiest days (when I truly thought I couldn't take even a minute to get lunch) and filled out my August PowerSheets to prepare for greatness this month.  I am SO glad I did.  Taking the time to slow down and get re-focused on what matters most was worth it.  

I woke up the next morning feeling like my reset button had been pushed and joy starting to seep back in like morning sunlight.  Faith Teasley was in the office that day and captured me at my desk enjoying a laugh.  I needed that laugh.  And apparently Grace and I are definitely related : )
So, let's do this together!  Living on purpose is worth the hard work.  Download your free #IntentionalAugust iPhone wallpapers here and share how you're being intentional this month using the #IntentionalAugust hashtag.  One person who tags a post this month will win a $50 shopping spree to the Lara Casey Shop for a friend -- because part of being intentional is giving to others! : )

To help inspire you and motivate you, I'm giving each of you 25% OFF (the largest shop discount we've ever offered) on EVERYTHING in the shop for the next 24 hours.  Use the code: INTENTIONALAUGUST.  

By the way, the wooden pen in the photo below was Ari's fifth anniversary gift to me.  We were at an arts festival in my little home town of Gulf Breeze, Florida, and Ari disappeared to "go get more candied nuts."  We all thought he was nuts for nuts when he was gone for a half-hour, but he was really just getting me this very sweet intentional gift.  I love it so much.  
Here's to a truly #IntentionalAugust, friends!  I can't wait to be inspired by what you do this month!  I'll keep you posted on my progress too...

With love and gratitude,

Lara

P.S.  You are awesome.  Go make LIFE happen today!  You can do it!

Photos by Faith Teasley.  More from this session and a full office tour coming in the September Newsletter!
Copyright © 2013 Lara Casey Media, All rights reserved.


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