Living is an Intentional Action

Living and just existing are two different notions.

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Photo by Kid Circus on Unsplash

I read a quote that inspired me the other day. It is attributed to Oscar Wilde.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

Everyone exists, but not everyone chooses to truly live.

What’s the difference? I believe it is intention. Intentional action, to be specific.

Every single day you exist. You breathe, do things, go about your day, and exist. A lot of this is by rote, following routines and patterns that carry you along.

Living, on the other hand, is not simply existing. It is done with intent and purpose. It is experiencing what your day has in store for you.

The difference really does come down to mindfulness.

Mindfulness is awareness

When you practice mindfulness you practice being aware of the here-and-now, and being conscious of all that is happening with, to, and around you. That means you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the present.

Since the present is the only time that truly exists, this means your awareness of it gives you influence, control, and more to do with it.

This is about your ability to know where you are, see what you are thinking, what and how you are feeling, and what you are doing. Right now. That consciousness opens you up to control. If you don’t like any of the things you find in this moment you empower yourself to change them.

Life is always in motion. That’s because, at its core, EVERYTHING is made of energy. From the smallest subatomic particle to the largest galaxy in the cosmos, all of it is comprised of energy. Energy vibrates at a frequency. Vibration is a form of movement.

This is one place where science and the hooky-spooky agree. Mindfulness, thus, is a claim on the awareness of your vibrational frequency and a means to opening yourself to controlling and altering it.

Hence, choosing to live versus just existing. Living is applying some control to what you find when you are aware.

True, you can only control yourself — but that’s still a whole lot of control.

Your part of the big picture

The “big picture” is the overall notion of reality that has been accepted by the collective consciousness of the world. Within the big picture, we agree on the existence of politics, money, religions, race, nationality, and perceived differences and divides among ourselves. Even physical differences — skin color, hair color, genitalia, and so on become applied to notions of how we differ in the greater scheme of things.

Most people exist within this. They take a label and cling to it like a life raft in a stormy sea. Which is rather apropos in current times.

The pandemic is the stormy sea we are all navigating right now. The impact of that and how we go with it tends to be up to each of us.

You can lose yourself inside the “big picture.” That’s easy to do, especially given that those “in power” focus on labeling you so that they can maintain control. You exist within that big picture and your identity and awareness get swept away in the current.

However, you can choose to swim against the current. You can decide that you prefer to be mindful and rather than just accept existence within this big picture to stand-up and live.

How? Be being mindful and aware of your thoughts and feelings. When you practice this, you gain consciousness of the here-and-now, and that opens you up to choosing intentional actions.

Living is intentional action

For years, I accepted this idea that I was expected to follow the current. I went to college, got my degree, then hopped from unsatisfactory job to unsatisfactory job to fulfill the expectation of how I was to exist. Why? Because I accepted someone else’s idea that I could not succeed in any of my chosen desires. Theatre, radio, writing — it didn’t matter, success in those fields was the privilege of a chosen few. I was not one of them.

Then I began to unknowingly practice mindfulness. Not all the time, but I was opened to the idea by my best friend.

And then I got hit by a car and spent a year recovering — far faster and more completely than medical science expected. I started to see that living — especially after nearly dying — was a choice beyond and more interesting than just existing.

After numerous fits and starts over the next 5–10 years, I started to understand better what it all meant. In time, I began to practice making more use of mindfulness and choosing living along the way.

There are so many options, so many experiences to be had both tangible and intangible. I made choices to help me to have more of these.

Of course, there are times when you will just go with the flow of the current and exist. Extenuating circumstances outside of your control may cause you to choose this to clear your head or take a break in general. However, even then, you are choosing to exist just as you would be choosing to live.

What actions are you taking? Why are you taking them? How do they make you think and feel — or — are they a result of your thoughts and feelings? When you can identify and answer these questions you are choosing living over existing.

Intentional action is a gateway to positivity

When all is said and done, and we return to the truth that everything is energy and all energy vibrates at a frequency, low vibration is negative while high vibration is positive. Since most people prefer to feel good over feeling bad, a primary reason to choose living over existing is to blaze your own trail and do things that make you feel good.

Feeling good, in this respect, is more about contentedness and purposefulness. It’s that sense of control over your destiny.

This is how intentional action is a gateway to positivity. Making conscious, mindful choices for how to live tend to be acts of positivity. In a fear-based world the more positivity you can find and/or create the more you can be living rather than existing.

When more people live, they inspire others to make the same choice.

The individuals within the “big picture” of reality can only change it one pixel at a time. Do you want to just be existing while you are here, or living and experiencing all the wonder available to you?

Living rather than existing isn’t hard — but it does require action

Knowing that you can choose to exist or to live, you can make use of mindfulness to be aware of your conscious options and take intentional actions towards. When you work from a place of mindfulness you are aware of thoughts, feelings, and actions, which opens you to numerous options for living your life outside the collective consciousness — and that ultimately empowers you.

When you feel empowered, your mindfulness increases, you become more aware overall, and that can spread to people around you. It can create a feedback loop of awareness and positivity.

As such, you can build more positive feelings and discover more reasons to feel positivity and gratitude. That can be the impetus to improve numerous aspects of your life for the better, generating yet more positivity and gratitude.

Then, that can spread to change the world for the better.

An attitude of gratitude is an attitude of immense positivity that can generate even more good energies — and that, like you, is always worthwhile.

You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, and we get to choose if we are experiencing living life or just existing.

Originally published at on May 18, 2020.

Written by

I am a practitioner of mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. I love to inspire, open minds, & entertain.

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