Inpower Institute Insights

Reclaiming Intentional Living

Written By: Amanda Tello  |  August 15, 2019

Mainstream ideas of “intentional living” fall short. It is not enough to be a “vegan,” with no understanding of food deserts and food inaccessibility. It is not enough to be a “minimalist,” if one neglects to acknowledge housing inequality and generational trauma among people of color. Living an intentional lifestyle is also living a socially conscious lifestyle.

For me, true intentional living includes all the ways I move through the world- everything from how I participate in capitalism, to how I eat, to how I manage waste. The most vital aspect is how my conscious living highlights and intersects with collective liberation.

“Intentional living” usually fails to identify those most directly impacted by the systems plaguing our land. I argue that living these lifestyles without considering colonialism, capitalism, structural hierarchies of race, class, gender, ability, and even citizenship status, is actually violent and contributing to the perpetuation of white supremacy.

We must all do the work to equip ourselves with the tools to deeply analyze the intersections of freedom. I believe it is our duty as a collective to rigorously unpack toxic ideology in order to gain liberation – which includes those who participate in “alternative” lifestyles, such as zero-wasters, vegans, minimalists, tiny-home owners, off-griders, and so on.