We all want a beautiful life. And we may have one. But life can change in the blink of an eye. One day we are moving through our day almost in automation mode. The next, Poof! Things are changing. We are now faced with a ‘Change Your Life’ situation.
We struggle to find necessities in the grocery store. We are facing a pandemic, and masks have to be worn. And our familiar and normal life has changed into something unknown. The comfort level we once knew is no longer there.
We begin to wonder how to move forward. Where do we go next? Very little of what we have done in the past applies anymore.
As the dust begins to settle, our minds wander backwards to the days of old. We think about our moms or grandmothers who stayed home while our fathers or grandfathers worked. The apron she wore is a bright spot in our minds.
Then our old goals, aspirations and dreams we once had start to surface. Would they work now, we wonder? Is living a life that simple still an option?
How did Life Change so Drastically?
If you think about it, our busy, hectic, fast-paced lives are, to some degree, the results of societal and peer pressure. Our desires to have more, keep up with the Jones’, and stay busier is what ‘others’ will tell you makes a successful life.
The cost of living also plays a part. Prices are getting higher, but unfortunately, pay checks are not. We feel that we need at least a two-income checking account in order to pay our bills.
Before you know it, our materialistic natures have driven us to working over-time, and in some cases, taking on part time jobs just to pay the credit cards.
And when we feel as if we are always one step behind, that is when any shift in life can create havoc. It may only be a small shift, or something as major as a pandemic. Either way, we are left on shaky ground.
Stop for a minute and think hard about this. Is having all that ‘stuff’ – constantly going, doing, working, – really worth it in the long run? Is losing our balance because of a constantly hectic lifestyle really worth the effort?
And what are we sacrificing to have that life?
The Sacrifices it Takes to Create a Beautiful Life
The biggest sacrifice we make in a hectic, material-based society is the loss of family communications and relationships. Instead of writing a letter, which can be enjoyed time and time again, we short cut our communications through texting.
Instead of sitting down with a friend to work out a difficult hurdle in life, we offer emojis to tell them how we feel.
Phone conversations are usually quick and to the point. We no longer take the time to truly listen, because we are distracted by ten other things we feel need to be done and done now.
Our children are sent off to any number of after-school activities. It gets to the point where teachers and coaches spend more time with our children than we do.
Another sacrifice is ‘self’. We stay too busy to stop and enjoy quiet time. Our thought process leans towards ‘where am I supposed to be next’ rather than, ‘who am I and what do I really want’.
Our faith is also sacrificed. Spending time with God is shuttled to second, third, or even fourth place, just so we can maintain that tight schedule we have.
In the busy process of life, our health is also sacrificed. We eat on the run. Fast food is easier than healthy home-cooked meals. And resting our bodies just didn’t make the schedule this week.
Can we Change Back to Create a Beautiful Life for our Future?
Absolutely. You really can change your life and look forward to a better future. Living a slower paced life with a simpler approach is very much so doable.
It does take some adjustment, thought and planning. It also may mean making a few sacrifices of a different kind.
These sacrifices may mean less after-school activities. Meal planning, doing without so credit card debt can be reduced, or better yet, eliminated.
It may mean learning how to live on one salary, instead of two or three. To do so, you may have to dust off the budget and do some financial planning.
And it will not fit into the ‘instant gratification’ column we have gotten used to. Making a lifestyle shift takes time and effort. But it is well worth it in the long run.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking, even for one second, that it just cannot be done in your own life. It can. You can have a beautiful life – one that provides for a better future. And you already have the strength, courage, determination and tenacity to make it happen.
So, How to I Make these Changes for a Beautiful Life?
There are many ways you can do this, but first, you need to know what your ‘new beautiful life’ should look like. It means carving an hour or two a day – or at the very least, a week – to do some heavy thinking.
It means identifying dreams, goals and aspirations. Once you know what you want, you will need to determine what obstacles and fears are in place that you will need to overcome.
And you may need an accountability partner – someone you can talk to, who can act as a:
- Listening Ear (to help you ‘hear yourself think’)
- Sounding Board (to help you ask the deeper questions, or offer encouragement)
- Devil’s Advocate (someone who will ask you the hard questions, to help you think rationally)
I am Here for You
If I may, I would love to have the privilege and honor to act as all three for you. I am willing to listen, ask, encourage and help. Over the years, I have already asked myself some of those hard questions, so even if I don’t have the answers to yours, I know which ones should be asked.
Some of us may be reluctant to talk to a friend or family member, out of fear they will think we have ‘lost our minds’. One benefit to our visits is they will be absolutely private. I may offer a post on a certain area you are struggling with – if others are having the same struggles – but will never, ever, share your name, specifics or information.
And the last thing I will ever do is tell you that I think you have ‘lost your mind’! Remember – I dealt with that when I completely changed my lifestyle. I was a ‘died-in-the-wool’, ‘deeply rooted’, ‘born, bred and raised’ city girl most of my adult life.
Then Life tossed me a curveball, stuck me in a new vat of dye, yanked me up by my roots and sent me to live on a farm. And not just any farm. This one is rural enough we are 10 to 15 miles from the nearest grocery store. No malls. No movie theaters. No plays. No NOTHING.
Not only have I survived, but I am thriving. I do have a beautiful life now and am always looking forward to the future. There is a sense of joy and contentment that filters so deep, I can no longer even imagine myself living in a city again. (I cringe when I have to go into high traffic places now.)
Before We Get Started
It may be a virtual thing, but my porch is always open. There is a space at my table for you, and I will gladly offer you refreshment – if not literally, then refreshment for your mind and soul.
But before we get started visiting, there are a few preparations you may need to make. These preparations are in the form of some soul searching to get ready for some of the questions I am going to ask you.
It may also be helpful to have a few things written down. The Simple Life Workbook is designed with information and worksheets to help you think through planning your new lifestyle and become the beautiful person you were meant to be.
As for the questions I will be asking, you don’t have to have the answers to every question or know the details of how you want to proceed. Once you have read them over, then we can work together to ‘fill in the blanks’ during our visits. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know you are stopping by!
Are you ready?
My ‘New Beautiful Life’ Questions:
What Do You Dream About?
When you were growing up, you may have dreamed of becoming a doctor or ballerina. Age and circumstances may prevent those dreams from coming true.
But as you grew older, other dreams that are more realistic may have developed. What are those dreams? If you need some help with that, read Daring to Dream.
What are Your Goals and Aspirations?
Having goals and aspirations are one of the key steps to creating a beautiful life. You may already have a few goals and aspirations in mind.
Grab a notebook and write them down. Once you have your list, we can discuss ways you can reach those goals, or bring those aspirations to light. To get you started, consider starting a Journal.
When it Comes to Having a Beautiful Life, What are you Most Afraid Of?
Making a switch from one lifestyle to another can be frightening, if not downright terrifying. Take a deep breath and identify those things that are scary for you. Sometimes, putting a spotlight on your fears can make them less intimidating.
Send me your list and let me play Devil’s Advocate for you. Maybe we can dispel some of those fears together.
What Is Your Biggest Obstacle?
For most of us, our current schedules and lifestyles are our biggest obstacles. And following closely on those heels is finances.
This is where finding a quiet place to think things through comes in handy. You need to identify those obstacles and determine ways to overcome them.
What Are You Searching For?
What is the one thing that will help you find your mind, heart, and soul in a place of total contentment and joy? Remember, no one’s life will be a constant source of peace. We will still have to face heartbreak, hardship and frustration.
But once we find our source of joy and contentment, we can still face the lions in our lives, and learn how to tame them. But first, we have to know we have become the person we have always known we are meant to be.
A ‘Beautiful Life’ Challenge
Often when we need to do some deep thinking, it helps to clear our minds with something new. We start to focus on the challenge, and this allows our inner minds to process our questions and quandaries.
So – your challenge is to choose one skill you have been meaning learn. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you have been wanting to learn how to do it, then get started.
If it means doing research first, do an internet search or order a few books. Gather supplies. Talk to someone else who does it.
Then carve out some time every day to work on it.
Once you have chosen a skill, let me know what it is. I will either offer some tips (if I know how to do it), or offer encouragement (whether I know the skill or not).
Are you ready to Change Your Life?
Then it is time for a visit. Get the answers to your questions ready and send me an email at email@example.com. Let’s plan on visiting once a week (more or less often as you have questions or need encouragement).
And let’s work together to help us transition from our current lives to one that can help us find a path through all of these world and societal changes.
By putting minds like ours together, we may just make some great changes in this world and can offer joy and contentment to others!
Thank you so much, Julie. I’m sharing your awesome post and kindness at this week’s TFT party Thank you for joining us! I truly enjoyed reading your wonderful perspective on things and agree!
And thank YOU, Theresa, for sharing!!! I am so glad you enjoyed reading my post! Life is beautiful – sometimes we all just need a reminder!
What a fantastic thing you are offering! Hanging out with you and your wisdom will be just the ticket for so many people. I know I am constantly having to adjust not only my expectations but my plan for getting where I want to go! I can be a bit intense, so when I set a goal I really go for it, sometimes the ones I set the goal to benefit initially get left in the dust. It’s always good to have an honest, objective friend to lend their insight and I can’t think of a better person for that than you!
Thank you, Joy. I keep saying you and I need to sit down for some coffee one day, and just have a good old fashioned visit. I really (strongly) believe in living a quiet, simple life, and if I can encourage others – and help them on their journey, I would consider it an honor. Now – get ready. One day we are going to have that visit!