The one question that got me unstuck
I am pretty sure that you and I share a common fantasy. It's a place we go when life feels overwhelming. I’ve heard enough women confess this secret desire to feel confident that you dream the same thing on occasion. The fantasy? You want to walk out of your life. It usually unfolds with a desire to spontaneously head to the airport and purchase a plane ticket on the next flight to Europe. The destination might differ - you may be more Bali than Barcelona. But the dream is the same. We all have those days where the idea of leaving everything behind and starting fresh in a new location seems like the best conceivable version of the rest of our lives. I’m currently reading Women in Sunlight. This story is about three mature women who pack up and move to Italy for a year. The author, Frances Mayes, is best known for her book Under the Tuscan Sun. The women rent a home in Tuscany. (Of course!) It’s the perfect summer read celebrating the friendships of women and our shared love of good food, deep conversations and lived adventure. And it is kindling for that get away fantasy. I’ve been thinking about alternative ways we can have a fresh start in our lives. You know, in case, Tuscany needs to wait for a little while. How do you create a life where you are that feeds and nourishes you? I’ve been writing about soul-centered living for the past few months and at the heart of it is living aligned with your values. It’s about knowing who you are and what is important to you and living unapologetically (nod to Rachel Hollis) on your own terms. Like you, I want the life that fantasy plane ride across the ocean promises. I want to shed the stuff that doesn’t fit. I had a flash of insight this week and I want to share it with you. When life gets complicated we often focus on what needs to go. We start trying to eliminate things. We look our calendar or our closet and decide to declutter. And then we find ourselves holding on to things we don't use or want because we have some attachment to what they represent. I have been thinking about asking a different question. A question that reframes your choice. Instead of focusing on what needs to go. Try asking, "What do I want to keep?" Would you purchase this item now? Would you take on this responsibility or obligation (there's a word) now? Instead of focusing on what needs to go, what about shifting your thinking to consider the question, " What do you want to keep in your life?" What do you want to say 'yes' to in your life? It's far more empowering. It's about owning your life. It's about making space for the things that work for you now. I can’t promise you an evening of dining al fresco, eating fresh pasta and drinking red wine under the stars in Tuscany, but - you never know where things can lead.
It's time to get honest about what you are holding on to in your life. I'm inviting you to move beyond fantasy and ask ‘what do you want in your life?” Let the rest go.