09.07.2016

Life Under Construction: Lessons Learned in Gratefulness and Letting Go

I’ve been absent for some time because….construction. What started as tearing down a small wall and updating our kitchen turned into a much bigger (and longer) project. That never happens with construction projects, right?! Living out of a suitcase at my parent’s house the past two months – with two littles and a commute that has made me want to pull my hair out more than once – has been hard. Hard on my marriage, hard on my kids, hard on my sanity. And we’re still not done.

My husband and I looked at each other many times over the past 8 weeks and asked ourselves what in the world we got ourselves into. I heard the construction stories – the ones that warned me that construction is extremely stressful on a marriage. In fact, when a good friend of ours who is a general contractor told me that he’s had to recommend counselors to couples during construction projects, I laughed. That’s funny, I thought. I heard the stories that warn you that opening walls is like opening a can of worms. You never know what you’re going to find. Turns out, they’re all true.

We’ve encountered our fair share of obstacles during this project. But in the face of near-daily shootings, global immigration crises, devastating hurricanes and earthquakes – not to mention the physical and mental pain that so many face daily – I’m reminded that these are first-world problems.

My privilege is not lost on me.

I give thanks that we are in this position. I give thanks that we have a home, let alone the means to remodel it. Thanks that we have family who opened their doors to us for 8 weeks; that we have the ability to eat out when we don’t have a kitchen to cook in. It is not lost on me that while I stress out over cabinet knobs and paint colors, there are people suffering in so many parts of the world, including in my own back yard.

Perspectives on Privilege

My reality is put powerfully into perspective when I read the news. When I see the woman shaving her legs outside of Home Depot, living out of the duffle bag that sits next to her.  Or when I read about the 10 year old in Malawi who’s gone blind due to cataracts – an ailment that would have been caught early and fixed easily in the part of the world that I live in. It’s moments like these when I start to feel the tug and hear the whisper asking me what I plan to do with it, my privilege. How will I use it for the good of others? The dust, the paint samples, the torn up walls – these are not dilemmas or problems. These are opportunities to use what I’ve been given for a cause much greater than myself.

Let me be clear: I love my new kitchen. I really do. I’ve flipped through the magazines, pinned the pins, and watched my fair share of Fixer Upper, dreaming of the kitchen that I now have. I am oh-so grateful for the space that I come home to, even in it’s partially finished state. I’ve always loved aesthetic beauty – something I used to feel guilty for, which I now embrace. I can appreciate a good rug or living room design like a boss. But how quickly we become attached to our material possessions, seeing them not as gifts or privileges but as entitlements. I never want to take the gifts I’ve been given for granted.

Could YOU Let Go?

There was a moment in the tearing down of walls, the dust, and the subsequent putting back together that I asked myself how I would feel if this was all taken away from me. What if our house burned down tomorrow (it’s happened before to a friend of mine), or if God called us to a different part of the world? Could I let it go?

I’d like to think that the answer would be an exuberant, YES. Yes, I could let it all go, for I know that what awaits me is much, much greater than a beautiful kitchen. But in the meantime, I will open the doors of our home to the best of my ability, with open hands and a heart that is overflowing with grateFULLness.

Tell me, what in your life would be hard to let go of?

Life Under Contruction: Lessons Learned in Gratefulness & Letting Go. Read more at www.slowdownanddo.com

 

07.11.2016

Becoming A People Beyond Fear

Fear is like a disease. Have you ever noticed yourself becoming more anxious when you’re around an especially anxious person? It’s the same with fear. We become more fearful when we’re around fearful people. Fear spreads like wildfire, turning what was abundant and thriving into ashes. And our rash attempts to ease our fears only adds fuel to the fire until, eventually, our fear consumes us.

The climate of the world we live in (and I don’t mean the weather climate) has become, among many other things, a climate of fear. We are afraid of the “other,” afraid of ideas that aren’t our own, afraid of people who don’t look like us, dress like us, or practice religion like us. When we are steeped in such fear, it not only spreads but it multiplies, becoming bigger and stronger and more powerful as it picks up speed, like an avalanche.

I am not fearless, as it turns out.

I too, look at the reality of the world we live in and wonder how I could possibly raise my children in a place where the collective fear and hatred seems insurmountable at times. I listen to the political rhetoric and wonder what kind of leaders will usher my children from adolescence to adulthood – will my children even know what an honest, just, and moral leader is?

But we must be a people beyond fear. A community of people who does love. Love isn’t just a fuzzy feeling inside. It’s not a spectator sport. It requires full participation, dirty hands (sometimes literally), and these things: tolerance. empathy. understanding. grace. endurance.

“If we want to be a community of people unafraid of the future, unafraid to change the world, unafraid of doing the right thing—and here I’m going to define the “right thing” as being thing one that brings more peace, more patience, more goodness, more gentleness, more kindness, more joy to any situation—we need to be people who love well and love often.” -Melissa Camara Wilkins

Engaging Our Fear

We must operate out of a different space, a space of bravery. A space of humility and acceptance. We must step outside of our private, safe bubbles and into the world. Into conversation with our brothers and sisters. Into the (often) harsh realities of the communities we live in, regardless of how uncomfortable we feel about homelessness, drug addiction, politics, domestic violence or immigration, all of which stare us blankly in the face and ask, “What are you going to do about it?”

Progress never comes without difficulty. Peace never comes without tribulation. But the question should never be, ‘Is this easy or is this hard?’ The question should be, ‘What is God asking of me in this moment?’

How many times has fear held you back from fully participating in your own life? You hear the quiet whisper telling you to move (or rather, to stay put), to quit the job you hate, to speak up for that cause you care deeply about, to talk to the stranger on the street corner – but fear holds you back. Your fearful mind tells you that it’s not practical or wise or the right timing (news alert: it will never be the right timing), while your spirit tells you that it doesn’t matter.

I’m not fearless. I’m not. But I’m trying more and more these days to stare fear in the face and do something about it.

How are you overcoming fear? What are you going to do about it?

BECOMING A PEOPLE BEYOND FEAR

06.27.2016

Chase Less and Embrace More

Monday: Playdate + meal plan
Tuesday: Swim lessons + prepare class gift to teachers since you are, you know, the room mom
Wednesday: Work event + Happy Hour
Thursday: Volunteer + attend the event you RSVP’d for before your schedule got insane
Friday: Kid’s school event + prepare dinner for the new mom down the street
Saturday: Work out + Kid’s birthday party (+ buy and wrap the gift for the kid’s birthday party)
Sunday: Neighborhood block party (+ grocery shop and prepare dish for said party…)

Sometimes, I get exhausted looking at my calendar. I look at my commitments for the week – all things which I’ve planned, which I’ve said yes to, and I dread the week before me. Not because they’re things I don’t want to do – in fact, most of the things I say yes to are absolutely things I want to do. But because there’s just so many of them…and I can’t do all-the-things. In the past year, I’ve made a concerted effort to chase less and embrace more. In other words, I’m doing my best not to over-schedule and under-rest so my calendar looks less and less like this these days, but by no means am I beyond the “busy.”

Overcoming the Need to “Look Busy”

The other day, I ran into a co-worker on my way to lunch, and she casually asked me how I was doing. For some reason, I felt the need to launch into how busy I was. Tiny alarm bells rang inside of me: “Tell her you’re busy!” “You’re so busy!” The truth is, I wasn’t that busy on that particular day. I don’t know what got into me – I’m the kind of person that’s perfectly content eating by myself at a cafe or sitting on a park bench for no other reason than to reflect on what’s good in life. I don’t usually feel the need to “look busy” just for the sake of looking busy, but at that particular moment, I felt a subtle pressure to live the lie that busy = good.

What is it about the tempting buzz of a busy life that draws us in? I find that so many people I know and work with are literally addicted to being busy. And I get it: being busy often leaves presence in the dust, and it can be hard to be present and mindful. Being present brings up feelings and emotions that we don’t always want to feel.

Our culture so often perpetuates the lie that more is always better. More friends. More time. More money. More house. More recognition. More respect. But when is enough enough? When do we stop the hustle and embrace the simple?

What is it about the tempting buzz of a busy life that draws us in? I find that so many people I know and work with are literally addicted to being busy. And I get it: being busy often leaves presence in the dust, and it can be hard to be present and mindful. Being present brings up feelings and emotions that we don't always want to feel.

Intentionally Busy vs. Unconsciously Busy

Being busy isn’t inherently bad. We all have busier seasons in life than others, seasons when we have to focus on the small things first. But there’s a difference between being busy just for the sake of having a full calendar and being intentionally busy. When getting together with a friend feels more like an obligation than an opportunity to connect, then maybe it’s time to think hard about what’s life-giving vs. life-draining. And that might just mean saying “no” once in awhile.

White Space Requires Saying “No”

Last fall, I was feeling really down. Around Thanksgiving, I realized that my downward spiral was affecting more than just me – it was especially affecting the kind of wife I was. I remember standing in my kitchen one night and telling my husband that I wasn’t in a good place. I was stressed out, lethargic, short-tempered….I was unhappy. And I was busy. Something needed to change. I prayed, I researched, I read, and by the grace of God, stumbled upon Tsh Oxenreider’s Upstream Field Guide.

It felt like a lifeline – a guide that literally walked me through defining my values, my core beliefs, my personal mission statement. How often do we dig deep and think about what we value and why? If someone were to ask you tomorrow what 5 things you valued most in life, would it be easy to answer? How deep would you have to dig?

When I think about what my own values are, they’re crystal clear.

But it’s one thing to know your values – it’s another thing entirely to live your values.

For example, one of the things I value most is authenticity in relationships. And I’ve found that for me, being authentic in my relationships requires plenty of white space. And white space requires saying no. Saying no to the volunteer opportunity, the baby shower, the 12th fundraiser I’ve been invited to, the school picnic, or the happy hour you know you’d enjoy but might just bring you to your breaking point. When I’m running from dance class to happy hour or from church to the baby shower to book club, it’s impossible to be authentic 100% of the time because I’m literally strung out. I’m stretched to my breaking point.

Being authentic requires me to s.l.o.w  d.o.w.n. And you know what? It turns out that I really love living slowly.

What is it about the tempting buzz of a busy life that draws us in? I find that so many people I know and work with are literally addicted to being busy. And I get it: being busy often leaves presence in the dust, and it can be hard to be present and mindful. Being present brings up feelings and emotions that we don't always want to feel.

Save

Save

06.14.2016

The Beauty in Letting Go of Control

I’m a planner. Not so much when it comes to the day-to-day, but I’m talking the big “life” plans. I love to dream about my future: living in another country, living in the actual country, having a big family…all of it. I love to have a plan, to know what’s coming next, and to at least feel like I’m in control.

But my reality right now doesn’t include any of those things – we live in a busy neighborhood in a large U.S. city, we are a typical family of 4, working 8-5 jobs, going through the motions of life while trying to do our best to be decent humans. And to be honest, as much as I like to think that I’m in the driver’s seat steering us toward our next move, rarely never am I ever in full control.

We often get caught up in a vicious myth of control. If I do “A,” then “B” will happen. If I eat healthy, I won’t get sick. If I work hard, I’ll get recognized. If I read the parenting books and go to the classes, my kids will turn out ok. But sometimes, B isn’t always a result of A. Sometimes, C or D happens, and we’re stopped dead in our tracks, paralyzed by the truth that our reality doesn’t match our plan.

Letting Go

I hold on tightly to my girls, wanting so badly to pave their future with kindness and gentleness and tolerance. I hold on to them in hopes that I can protect them from the violence which has become an all-too-common occurrence in our world, less shocking anymore than it is numbing.

I hold on to my ego, unable to apologize when I know I’m in the wrong.

Mostly, I hold on to my own plans.

But maybe we need to let go of holding on so tightly. Maybe we need to surrender to the very moment we are in now.

Before I had kids, I used to take the bus to work. I loved my commute to work because I could sit back and relax. I didn’t have to worry about whether there was enough gas in the car or what the best route was because, quite literally, someone else was in the driver’s seat. I simply had to show up. How often do we just show up to life, without expectations or opinions or plans?

No matter how tightly we hold on, the sun will always rise in the east and set in the west. The Earth will always spin.

I’m learning that we gain so much by giving up, even a little. By opening our hands to what is instead of gripping tightly to what is planned. Little by little, I’m learning to loosen my grip and let go of control.

No matter how tightly we hold on, the sun will always rise in the east and set in the west. The Earth will always spin. I'm learning that we gain so much by giving up, even a little. By opening our hands to what is instead of gripping tightly to what is planned. Little by little, I'm learning to loosen my grip and let go of control.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

06.07.2016

16 Resources to Inspire Intentional Living

Living intentionally is important to me. There are so many resources out there, however, that it can sometimes feel overwhelming to know where to start. So, I've been working hard over the past few weeks to curate a list some of my favorite books, podcasts, blogs and apps that encourage intentional, mindful living.

Living intentionally is something oh-so important to me.

There are so many resources out there, however, that it can sometimes feel overwhelming to know where to start.

I’ve been working hard over the past few weeks to put together a list some of my favorite books, podcasts, blogs and apps that encourage intentional, mindful living. These are all personal selections which have inspired me in one way or another, and I’d love to share them with you!

To access the list, sign up for my quarterly Newsletter here.

Once a quarter, you’ll get an email in your inbox with inspiration, encouragement, and practical tools that inspire authentic, intentional living.

I would love, LOVE, LOVE for you to join me!


**If you have friends, family, neighbors (anyone, really!) who you think would enjoy this kind of info, feel free to share this post with them, pin the image above to Pinterest, or share on social media. Social sharing is the biggest compliment you can give!

Related: Chase Less and Embrace More

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

06.03.2016

How to Teach Kids Values That Stick: Parenting Beyond the Classes & Books

“Stop kicking your sister! Do we need to leave right this minute?” As we attempt a family dinner out with a 2 and 4 year old.

“It’s not ok to spray people with the sprinkler!” As the unassuming passer-by gets sprayed by the sprinkler as he walks past our house.

“No, you can’t grab our neighbor’s garden tools to play with. Careful, those are sharp!” As my daughter gingerly grabs the garden clippers and swings them through the air.

These are all true stories.

DSC_0889

It’s times like these when I start to feel the parenting overwhelm. I wonder if I’m doing this parenting gig right. Are my kids going to grow up without a basic understanding of manners? Am I raising entitled kids? Why don’t they listen?

But then I remember that they’re 2 and 4.

And that in between the grabbing and kicking and teasing, we talk about why who we are matters more than what we are.

About why it’s important to turn off the water while we’re brushing our teeth. About how we can be a good neighbor and serve in our community. About why it matters that we are kind to one another.

I often think about how to teach values to my girls – I mean, beyond the parenting classes and countless parenting books. How do I strike a balance of holding them tightly, but giving them wings to fly? At 2 and 4, they’re only capable of understanding so much about what’s right and what’s wrong. When the center of your universe is goldfish crackers and glitter pens, understanding values isn’t exactly a priority.

Teaching values happens at the edges of simple moments. It happens on the periphery of goldfish crackers and glitter pens. What I do has a far greater impact on my children than what I say. So instead of worrying about whether I’m doing a good enough job teaching my girls how to be good people, I’m focusing on being a good person myself.

Here are 6 ways to teach kids your values through your actions and not just your words:

1. Serve in your community. This could mean volunteering at a local non-profit, organizing a neighborhood block party, or putting together wound care kits for those in need. 

2. Compost your food and explain to your kids why you don’t throw food scraps in the garbage.

3. Pray at the dinner table.

4. Take the city bus as a family instead of driving to your next outing.

5. Take good care of yourself (without your kids) – do yoga, go for a walk, or take a bath and lock the bathroom door. 🙂

6. Go on dates with your spouse! Hug and kiss in front of your kids! Show that you might actually like each other.

When I think back on how I learned my own values, you know what? I don’t remember a single conversation with my parents about being a kind person, taking care of the environment, growing my faith, or being a good steward in our community. But I do remember going with my parents once a month to a local women’s shelter and serving food. I remember going to church (nearly) every Sunday, and I remember a whole lot of community involvement. I think that’s a pretty good place to start.

Tell me, how do you teach kids values that stick? 

How to Teach Kids Values That Stick

Related: It’s the Simple Stuff They’ll Remember

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

05.24.2016

Rooted in Being

I’m a thinker. I over-think, worry, analyze, daydream, plan…think, think, think. It’s exhausting. It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, the reason being that my hubs and I had the opportunity to travel for 10 days, kid-free, thanks to some pretty fantastic family who watched our girls for us. During those 10 glorious days, I had a lot of time to think. And I also had a lot of time to read, to soak up so.many.words and let them rest on my soul.

On this trip, I brought with me a book which I had read before. This was a book which I first read 8 years ago, a book which was put in the vault of books to keep for life. The book, “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, talks about our thinking, unconscious selves – our egos. Wow, those egos are strong, friends. My ego is strong. And it worries. It worries about what my purpose is, whether I’m a good enough mom, wife, or person in general, how clean my house is, how I can be a more useful human being, how much (or little) time I have to do all-the-things. Oh, how it worries.

Understanding the Truth of Who You Are

But we are not our egos. We are not the worry, the fear, the frustration – or even the mom, the wife or the friend. We are the awareness that is aware of our ego….I know it’s a mouthful, but hear it with me: we are the awareness that is aware of our thoughts, our opinions and our emotions. What a freeing concept, right?! We are not the incessant stream of thoughts that flood our minds every second of every day. When I accept and know that the deeper, true me is not defined by what I do for a living, who others say or believe I am, what popular culture says I should be, what happened in my past, or what I believe “my story” is – I can rest in the truth that I Am. That’s it, I AM. I can honor my thoughts and feelings, but when I accept that I Am, without all the junk, these things lose their heaviness.

“That’s the peace of God. The ultimate truth of who you are is not I am this or I am that, but I Am.”  –Eckhart Tolle

Really knowing that “I Am” takes a lot of presence; it means rooting myself in simply being rather than getting lost in thinking. Not easy to do with toddlers. Not easy to do at work. Not easy to do with my husband, or my to-do list, or my calendar, or the million other things that consume my thoughts and fragment me rather than make me whole.

Being Present

I love this idea, the truth that I Am. But really, how do we be at peace, right now, right where we are, right in the thick of life? How do we make peace when cheerios are stuck to the floor, when office politics consume your work life, when toddlers are in a fit of rage over the pink plate vs. the yellow one, when the car battery dies?

“By making peace with the present moment. The present moment is the field on which the game of life happens. It cannot happen anywhere else. Once you have made peace with the present moment, see what happens, what you can do or choose to do, or rather what life does through you. There are three words that convey the secret of the art of living, the secret of all success and happiness: One With Life. Being one with life is being one with Now. You then realize that you don’t live your life, but life lives you. Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.” –Eckhart Tolle

Beautiful, and yet. I am not above stress, above worry, above judgment, above anger. I am human. We all are. I can accept these parts of me and honor the feelings I feel.

But it’s not just about me, it’s about the people in the ripples of my life, those closest to me, under my own roof, and those who I share a human connection with across the globe. Can I be kinder to those people? Can I overlook the same things in them that are undoubtedly in myself as well? What if we all tried a little harder to look not at each other’s egos, but instead at each other’s essence? The part of us that is made in the image of God. What a kinder, gentler, more peaceful place the world would be.

We are not the worry, the fear, the frustration - or even the mom, the wife or the friend. We are the awareness that is aware of our ego....I know it's a mouthful, but hear it with me: we are the awareness that is aware of our thoughts, our opinions and our emotions. Really knowing that "I Am" takes a lot of presence; it means rooting myself in simply being rather than getting lost in thinking.

Save

Save

04.19.2016

5 Ways I’m Finding my Spirit in the Messiness of Toddlerhood

Raising toddlers is no joke. If I’m honest with myself, having “me” time is one of the things I miss most about my younger, pre-kid years. I love my girls fiercely, I really do, but finding time to cultivate my spirit between diaper changing, crumb-sweeping, tantrum calming, and teeth brushing is hard work. It’s difficult to hear the still small voice within us above the “Mommmmyyyy’s!” and “Nooooo’s!” and “Miiiine’s!” I recently listened to a podcast with my all-time favorite blogger/writer/podcaster/traveler, Tsh Oxenreider, and she interviewed pastor and writer, Katherine Willis Pershey about everyday spiritual practices. Katherine said something that really resonated with me. She said that one of her spiritual practices is, wait for it…reading.

I love reading. Settling into a cozy chair with a blanket, a hot cup of tea and a good book is like waking up on Christmas morning to snow on the ground. Practically. 🙂 Part of my excitement over settling in to a good book is because it doesn’t happen often, at least not the way I described it. It usually goes more like this: I step into bed after the dinner, bath, reading, brushing teeth, and tucking-in routine, pick up the book on my nightstand (the one that’s been on hold at the library for 6 weeks and is due in 1…), and anxiously open it and begin reading. 4 minutes later, I’m asleep. So when the vision of the blanket, the tea, the book I simply can’t put down actually happens – it’s a big deal.

5 ways I'm finding my spirit in the messiness of toddlerhood

During this season of life with small kiddos, practicing spirituality happens in small ways. It happens in the fringe hours, between responsibilities and commitments and errands.

Here are a few ways I’m finding my spirit and tuning out the noise:

Dinner Time

Growing up, family dinner with my parents and sister was standard. I give major props to my mom and dad for making that happen as regularly as they did, because the reality for my family during this season of life is that “family dinner” happens less rather than more often. The consumerist, over-scheduled, workaholic culture we live in often pulls us away from each other more than it calls us together. Therefore, I hold family dinners hallowed. They’re an opportunity for 20-30 minutes of the day to pause the demands of our calendars, phones, and laptops and simply enjoy being together. When I sit down at the dinner table with my family and hear the clanking of silverware and the giggling of two sweet voices, I’m happy. Plain and simple.

Driving

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m an introvert and I love quiet time every once in awhile. Because quiet time is harder and harder to come by these days, my solo 20-minute commute to work has become sacred. I sometimes often find myself smiling as I get into my car after dropping my girls off at preschool – not because I don’t love them dearly, but because it usually means taking my first sip of (lukewarm) coffee and a 5-minute stop at one of my favorite viewpoints in Seattle. Driving is often my prayer time, my time to acknowledge 1 or 2 or 3 things which I’m thankful for. It’s an opportunity to go through my mental rolodex of people and things I’m grateful for and also an opportunity to keep myself in check. What am I struggling with? What am I focusing on? In what ways do I need to shift or change?

Do I do this every morning on my way to work or every time I’m in my car alone? No, but whether it’s once a week or once a month, it’s time well-spent.

Reading

I love reading. I’ve always said that if I could have any super-power, it would be the power to touch a book and instantly know it’s content. Reading is two-part: there’s the content, which can be exciting or inspiring or astonishing or interesting or a million other emotions, and there’s the actual act of reading. Both what I read and how I read matters. Books impact us – some in such a way that we put down a book and never again want to pick it up, and others so poignantly that we are changed individuals. Reading is good for the spirit.

At the Grocery Store

One thing I’ve tried to be especially intentional about in the past six months is seeing the person behind the counter. It’s easy to develop a sense of entitlement toward those in the service industry, to reduce our relationships to transactional rather than personal. We try so hard to be kind to our friends, our neighbors, and our co-workers, but how often do we go out of our way to be kind to the person bagging our groceries or cashing our check? When I slow down and really see the individual in front of me,  Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words become more than a catchy Pinterest quote and rather, a way of living.

We may all have come in different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

So, how does this play out? It could be a comment about how much I love my cashier’s name, asking how their day is going and genuinely wanting to know the answer, or asking them about the symbol they have tattooed on their forearm. The point is, we belong to each other and we’re here to take care of each other. If not us, then who?

Slowing Down

I’ve always been a fast walker, but a few years ago, I attended a yoga retreat and one of the activities we were encouraged to do was to walk a labyrinth. The point was to feel every step, to make each step really count. It was difficult for me, I’m not going to lie – I was amazed at how hard it was to literally slow my body and even harder to slow my mind, which is often one twelve steps ahead of my body. But walking the labyrinth was such a good exercise in patience, intentionality and mindfulness. Since then, when I catch myself walking fast, I literally slow.my.roll. And when I do, I see so many more things and faces and beauty. I smile more at the people around me. I see buds on the trees and stories behind the faces.

Slowing down has become an act of gratitude. I encourage you to give it a try. Your soul will thank you.

In what ways do you find your spirit?

During this season of life with small kiddos, practicing spirituality happens in small ways. It happens in the fringe hours, between responsibilities and commitments and errands. Here are a few ways I'm connecting with my spirit and finding ways to tune out the noise.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

04.05.2016

Your Inner Whisper is Telling You to Fly

Sometimes, my husband laughs when I tell him about a new idea I have. I understand why. I have a lot of ideas! I’m a dreamer, and he’s the epitome of a realist. It can take him a month to decide on a pair of shoes to buy, and then once he decides, he’s perfectly happy waiting another 3 months until they go on sale. And then once he buys them, they could sit in his closet for years until the just-right time to wear them. True story.

I love my hubs, but let’s be honest. I buy a new pair of shoes and they’re practically on my feet as I’m walking out the door. I want to break ’em in, wear ’em out. I want to enjoy them!

It feels so easy to have a “seize the day” mentality with a pair of shoes because the stakes are so low.

But when it comes to the important parts of life, the stuff that really matters, I’m not always willing to “do,” to just wear the shoes. While I wholeheartedly embrace and subscribe to s.l.o.w.i.n.g down, I also believe that sometimes, we need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and do that thing which pulls at our heartstrings. Do I want to live more simply & slowly? Yes. Do I also wish I had more courage to just “do” – not all-the-things, but some-of-the-things? Yes. When it comes to the bucket-list things in life, I wonder, second-guess, settle, and wait. Instead of trying them on for fit, I store my dreams in the back of the closet until the just-right time.

We all know the saying, “Get your ducks in a row. ” You know the gist of it: get your act together before starting something new.

But the ducks will never be lined up. One of them stops. One of them waddles sideways. And one simply wants to fly.

I often focus on getting everything in exactly the right place before putting myself out there, on getting my ducks in a row. Who might I let down? What will others think of me? All the while, my heart whispers the truth. We all have an inner whisper, the one that tells us to forget about getting our act together – to start flying! We are meant to fly.

We protest,

“But I’m so comfortable here!”

“I don’t have the energy to fly!”

“I need a little more time!”

But life keeps going, regardless of whether we’re ready or not. Life is what happens while we’re busy planning it.

I’m trying to listen to my whisper more often, but it’s hard, friends. “Slow down and do” is my whisper these days.

What’s yours? What’s that quiet voice in your heart asking of you?

 

Slow Down and Do | The Holstee Manifesto

The Holstee Manifesto

Save

Save