We talk about slowing down as though it’s abstract. A pipe dream. Something we don’t have the power to do. Something the system needs to adjust for in order for us to accomplish.
We talk about wanting ourselves and our kids to have more time for rest. For play. More downtime.
But first we have to pack the lunches and finish the homework and win the Most Important Person trophy.
After that we will focus on rest. Then our kids will have downtime. Then we can learn what it means to live some of life together as a family.
Friends- the system is not adjusting in favor of this. Look around. Everything is going faster. Asking more of us. Requiring more of us to remain in the system.
There are no exit ramps along the way. We have to bail. Decide for ourselves. Figure out on our own how to create the life we want.
Will it be easy? Um, no.
As easy as staying in the system? No. Not at first. We have to relearn so much. Unlearn so much. Find different resources. Take charge.
Will it be worth it? How do I know? I couldn’t possibly answer that for you.
You know it was worth it for me.
After reading so many different peoples’ experiences and learning about what it means to be well I can say the following with some degree of confidence:
Intentionally deciding to take steps toward the life you want and then taking them can make life more connected, beautiful, easier, and bigger than we ever knew possible.
We can find a world we had no idea existed! A parallel universe! One that is filled with play and fun and laughter and mostly free of fighting and disconnection and harm and damage.
Perfect? Of course not. But closer than we’d ever been told was possible.
It’s On Us
Nobody can make this choice for us. If we want the life we’ve always wanted we have to take the steps to make it happen.
For my family and I it started one day when my kids were 4 and 6. My husband was commuting 45 minutes each way and had a traditional Monday through Friday, “8”-6 job. I loved my kids but I hated my life.
After a Sunday afternoon together as a family we pulled into our parking spot to start another week of monotony. I looked at my husband and said “this isn’t working”. As the breadwinner, it was impossible for him to articulate his agreement but he couldn’t disagree. It was the truth.
That was the beginning of our shift. And now, here we are.
Would I do it the same way again? It doesn’t matter. It’s how we did it. And it got us here.
It’s Not BS
Words like the ones I am writing can sound like bullshitting. Selling something. Trying to make my life sound a certain way to share on social media. I’m selling nothing. My self-worth is high. I do not need to share this with you to feel better about myself. To feel less shaky about my choices. To prove myself.
I am sharing this with you as a way to pay it forward. Because over a decade ago somebody else said something similar to what I’ve just said and in my heart of hearts I believed them. I believed this life was possible.
I Have Zero Answers
I don’t have a coaching program. A map to get you there. Anybody who says they do is lying. Nobody else can make this choice or do this work for us.
Something I have found helpful in keeping myself well, though, is being honest with myself. So if you are not ready to do the work or make the choice, admit that to yourself. Instead of saying that I’m selling snake oil, or that how I am living is impossible, admit to yourself that this is not the right time for you to take on such big work.
I have found that being honest with myself and articulating the truth is the change. I have learned that telling myself the truth is magic.
So whatever you are feeling after reading this- whether it’s sadness, fear, excitement, anger, or best of all, hope, know that there is a path. I don’t know what it is. They don’t know what it is. Even you don’t know what it is. But if you start whacking at those weeds that are right in front of you you’ll be able to see where to put your foot down next.
And if you keep doing that for a little while, you’ll be able to look back at all you’ve cleared, see how clear the path behind you is, and have some trust that the more weeds you clear, the easier it will become.
It’s not all bushwhacking. There is a clearing. A point to reach. It doesn’t mean you will stay in the clearing forever (you won’t want to!) but by then you will have so much experience!
You will know how to use the sickle, and how to identify what needs to be chopped down, stepped over, pulled from the root, or burned. You will know where to look to identify the things you can’t identify. You will know which resources are accurate, which are fluff, and which are simply wrong. You will gain muscle and strength. You will be less overwhelmed by the work and more excited by it- because now you know how spectacular the clearing is.
You will start to understand that there will always be stuff to clear, and even find joy in clearing it. Because it is this very work that brings all the beauty, ease, peace, and connection.
As overwhelming as it might feel, this is the truth: the first step really does have to be taken by you. And the next step. And the one after that.
And the first step is to take the first step.
Are you ready?
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