Being someone that's a little more introverted than out, I need my personal space to function properly. However, sometimes giving into my desire for solitude, can be limiting towards my true experience of life and connection with others. How am I suppose to live, love, and make memories if I'm in isolation all the time?
Something that has helped me stay mindful and aware of the importance to engage in the moment and not always give into my natural inclination of retreating, was making an affirmation to always show up with an intention; whether I'm taking a new class at the gym that I'm a little iffy about, reading a book that isn't immediately peaking my interest, or attending a gathering when I don't really feel up to it. Setting an intention allows me to view each moment as an opportunity to gain something, to fully embrace it without any premeditated limits attached. It provides a purpose that keeps the focus on experiencing, rather than just going through the motions.
Recall a time when you attended an event, when you would've preferred to stay at home...maybe it wasn't the type of crowd you were most comfortable with, or maybe you just had a long day. But for whatever reason, maybe you were bored, you already paid for it, or just out of sheer obligation, you attended anyway. Instead of showing up with an "I'd rather not be here" attitude written all over your face, set an intention and use it as an opportunity to simply connect, learn something new, and if nothing else, as a chance to do some building on the inside.
You can even decide to show up with an intention at work. Maybe you're completely over your job and the people that you work with, and as you're sitting there staring at your computer, your co-workers, and the clock...think about what you could be gaining in that moment. If you're going to be there anyway, use it as a resource and a stepping stone to help get you where you'd rather be. Approach your work with the mindset that it's an opportunity to perfect and build your skill set.
You can show up with intention in your relationship. It's easy to get into the habit of the day to day and forget that sometimes those unspokens and lack of physical exchanges, can create distance. Set an attention to be more expressive, or a better communicator, or a better listener.
The truth is, you can decide to show up with intention in just about everything you do, and it can impact a moment or a lifetime. Just ask yourself, what do I want to take away from this moment...what do I want to gain from this experience? Setting an intention adds purpose to any given situation, but more importantly, it allows you to clear your thoughts and open your heart and mind.