From 1995-2015, I found myself working with a population that had completely lost trust in a system they perceived viewed them as expendable as throwaways. These beliefs manifested themselves in survival instincts that were no longer serving to protect these men, but resulting in a complete loss of freedom, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
As I found myself further immersed in teaching the disenfranchised and marginalized in various institutions, the precepts and coursework for Intentional Living materialized before me. I developed this curriculum for the purpose of instilling in my students, a sense of their intrinsic value as human beings and the knowledge that as valuable human beings, they had something to contribute to their families and communities. Their existence and presence were vital to those same families and communities! They each had an influence over what happened to them and they were capable of great things. They came to adopt these truths and to own their destinies.
I never expected to see this material translate to the community at large; however year after year, I am privileged to witness more and more lives touched by these simple, yet powerful truths.
Through Intentional Living, my clients come to embody a newfound sense of their intrinsic value and find themselves presented with opportunities big and small, but always significant, to enhance not only their own lives, but the lives of those they encounter at home, at work, at the grocery store; their communities. These communities are better off, because they exist and they show up in authentic ways; not to play a role, but to shine and to be.
According to the teachings of William Glasser, the greatest human need is the need to be needed and to have a sense of belonging. When that sense of belonging and deservedness is embodied and felt, my clients develop a sense of purpose. When this sense of purpose is kindled in them, they are unstoppable in their eagerness to take action to heal themselves and assist others in that same quest.
What does Intentional Living look like;
Clients embody an intrinsic self-value.
Clients develop awareness of the value and necessity of their contributions to their communities.
Clients discover their power to influence what happens to them and recognize the power of choice.
Clients transition from a state of reaction to positive, intentional action.
Adoption of these principles, creates space for growth.
I view my role as a catalyst that is bringing the awareness of marginalization from the streets, institutions, and clinics, to the community. Recovery is a voluntary process. Intentional Recovery, using the Intentional Living model, takes the guesswork out of the recovery solution.
Update: Most recently, I’ve found this model not only serves individuals, but also mitigates burnout in the clinical and healing communities.