I’m going to rewind oh, about five years. My then-husband and I were on the verge of a big move and I had narrowed our house search to a five-mile radius based on school district. I remember thinking to myself, “I want to change my life but I don’t want to change where I shop for groceries or get gas or drop off the dry cleaning.” When I wrote this in my journal later, I realized how silly it was. All those moments… grocery shopping, and getting gas and dropping off dry cleaning… add up all those moments… that IS life. Those were the activities that happened to fill mine at the time. If I wasn’t willing to change them, was I really willing to change my life?
That internal dialogue was what began my life-altering journey to… NOW. It has been a gradual process but looking back on the path that I’ve traveled, I’ve realized that all the stuff I read… you know, from Marianne Williamson (The Gift of Change) and Sarah Susanka (The Not So Big Life) were actually true! My external life reflected my internal one and I had a lot of cleaning up to do. One of the biggest lessons I learned… and there were quite a few in rapid succession was that in order to really live, I had to be willing to BE PRESENT in my own life. Self-evident? Perhaps for those who are much wiser than I.
I realized I had been sleeping… oh, for almost my entire life! I was quite adept at pressing the snooze button whenever an alarm would go off. It must have been because I had it set to a really mellow smooth jazz station. But I wasn’t going to get away with that forever. Apparently, I needed the hard rock station. I needed something loud enough to make the hair on my arms stand up, something big enough to knock all the crap that I’d packed away in boxes to come tumbling out so I could look at them.
Guess what? Where I was filling my gas tank was NOT really the question that was going to lead me to happiness and fulfillment. But it was a lot more comfortable to ask that question than the ones that really mattered, like “Who am I being?” “Who and what do I want in my life?” and “What gives me purpose?”
These are the questions that you shouldn’t ask or fully engage if you are NOT willing to invite change into your life. These are the questions Susanka asks when embarking on her life re-design project. Because these questions require you putting that stake in the ground… which means dirt gets under perfectly polished fingernails and lots of people (and/or circumstances) attempt to knock it down.
You ready for that?
Interview with Sarah Susanka (VIDEO 30 min) where she discusses Counterfeit Love Objects, The Hall of Mirrors, the Waking Dream and many other concepts she writes about in The Not So Big Life.
Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.