I’ve fallen into the trap of the treadmill of life. The one where you find yourself trundling along in your familiar routine.
You know, the one that feels safe and comfortable. The one you don’t have to think about. For me that means getting up at 6am to do 2.5 hours of exercise before work. It means not allowing myself any rest days. It means busying myself with all the stuff on the to do list. Tidying, cooking, cleaning, doing. The stuff that ‘has to be done’ before I can get on with everything else… and the stuff that goes straight back on the to do list every single day. And if I’m honest it’s felt like an impossible balancing act. One full of compromise where the stuff I want to do gets pushed out. And if I’m really honest (terrible confession), one that has seen me slightly fall out of love with my own life.
It’s so easy to fall into this trap. To drift into routine and lose sight of the things we really love. But today I was reminded of the importance of rebalancing. Of being intentional about the life we want to create. Of taking proactive steps to move towards that every single day. It’s easy to make a load of excuses, fall into passivity or make it all seem pretty complicated. But as one of our brilliant coaches said today, ‘it’s pretty simple really. You need to change from ‘I wish’ to making the choice to change. Then you need to decide when. Then you need to act on it.’
What I know to be true is we have a choice over the life create. But that doesn’t just happen. It’s not just gifted to us. We have to be intentional about creating it. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, but when we are clear on the vision for our life, on the one that we really want to create, we can take proactive steps towards creating it. It all starts with the decision to start owning our lives.
Perhaps then it was a gift from the universe (or as was actually the case, my mum!) that this evening I was then sent a Home & Gardens article to read. I devoured every image and was transported into a world of creative possibilities for our house. I was inspired by the artwork, the colours, the patterns and the textures and started planning my next painting. I read about how to plan the perfect extension, and was reminded of our plans to save up and build the dream kitchen. I noticed my heart beating faster. I noticed the return of the little smile and distant stare I always get when I’m dreaming up my next project. And, in that moment, it was like a little crack appeared and the light came in. I remembered what it’s was like to feel excited for the possibility of life. Reminded of the things that bring me joy. And of the importance of proactively living from that place every single day.
So here’s my pledge to myself, and my offering to you, 3 things I’m going to do to keep me moving towards the life I really want…
- Create a vision for my life – Elke once said to me, ‘To achieve your dream life is almost impossible without a vision for what good looks like. You need to have a vision that is so clear in your head that you are almost magically drawn to it’. I’m not sure I’ve ever been 100% clear on that vision. What it looks like, how I want to feel, who I want to be surrounded by. It seems so obvious to me now that it’s pretty difficult to keep moving towards the life you really want until you have that vision, so that’s where I’m starting.
- Create more space – it’s so easy to get sucked back into doing. I for one have always rolled my eyes at those people who talk about ‘creating the space to just be’ *cringe*. My view has always been if I’m not doing something (or if I’m honest, several things at a time), it’s time wasted. But it’s not wasted. It’s not a luxury. In fact, if I’m really going to get off the treadmill (literally and figuratively), I have to get comfortable with this… and notice what comes up in the space. Now for a woman who doesn’t sit down from 6am-11pm I want to be realistic about this. I’m starting with a commitment to 5 minutes of ‘not doing’ a day. That might be a walk with no music or sitting on the sofa without a phone or tv to distract me. I feel weirdly nervous about it, but also pretty excited!
- Reconnect with the things that make my soul sing – At Ivy House we always talk about soul signing – the activities you do that make time fly and bring you joy. Most people that know me would be able to reel off a list of my soul singing activities… mostly involving painting and drawing. But reading the interiors article today I was reminded of how much I love reading. Of my love of interior design. Of rearranging my house. Of dreaming up the projects I might one day get to. It sounds silly but I’d forgotten about all of those things. I’d lost sight of the little things that bring my moments of joy. So, my final pledge is an exploration. I’m going to replace (some of) my 6am daily gym sessions with a voyage into the things that bring me joy and sparkle. And commit to making the time to do more of those.
So that’s it. They’re not the most ground breaking of actions, but they’re small promises to myself to keep me moving towards the life I want to create. To ensure I never again fall out of love with my life and ensure I am doing everything in my power to live a life filled with more space and sparkle.