Wanting and doing are two different things

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ID-10098825The saying, “It’s not about having the time, it’s about making the time,” is not a new idea. As I focus on the concept of balance this year and what it means for my life as far as work, play, fitness, relationship with self and others, as well as the pursuit of my dreams, I’m reminded that if I want to do something, it takes more than desire; it requires deliberate planning. When I don’t set aside time to tackle the task at hand, something else is bound to be more appealing or easier or convenient. Just like I make a regular commitment to practice the yoga, which can fill up 2½ hours of my day including the commute, I must pencil in time for the other priorities in my life—whether it’s journaling, deepening my connections with family and friends or decluttering and decrapifying my home and my life (see https://miscellany14.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/the-40-bags-in-40-days-challenge/). If it’s important enough, I will make the time.

What will you make time for today?

[Image credit Stuart Miles and FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Re-evaluate, release and repeat

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Re-evaluate repeat
With more than a week logged into the New Year, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate the resolutions, goals, lifestyle changes and [fill-in-the-blank] dreams many of us employed on the first of the month. My challenge—to focus on balancing it out—has turned into a juggling act of sorts. In a good way: It seems the more my passions and goals line up, the more I’m able to squeeze into any given day. For instance, the practice of yoga is an emotional and physical balm for me, but when I added a spiritual outlet into my schedule, my world became a little more rounded. Some days, however, it’s all I can do to shuffle vehicles after a recent car accident left my family with limited transportation, while on others I feel like Wonder Woman. And it also requires the conscious release (by me!) of preconceived expectations to “do it all” when time runs out in the day.

How is the New Year shaping up for you?

[Image credit: jesadaphorn, FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

It’s all a process: enjoy it

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Enjoy the process

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

With one more day to go of my “change your life in 14-days” challenge, I wish I would’ve seen more of an outward transformation. Actually, I’m kind of stressed out almost more than when I began. I’m at a point in my life—that mid-life point—where I’m questioning my destination. I have all these aspirations and dreams and feel like I’m getting no closer. Yet I also recently celebrated three years at my publishing position, the job that supports these aspirations and is in a field I’m passionate about. My boss treated me to lunch and we discussed my workload, education plans, career goals, etc. Over a balsamic spinach salad and lemon ice water, he advised me to give myself a break and, as much as I want to “get somewhere,” to remember to enjoy the process. As a yogi who knows living in the present is where peace is found (see “Practicing patience, perseverance”), it was a much-needed wake-up call.

How’s the process going for you?

How to live the life of your dreams

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Live the life of your dreams

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

 

I tend to gravitate toward articles and advice on how to be happy, to get what I want—to be successful at life. Don’t misunderstand—I’ve experienced happiness. I’ve also obtained a few things I want out of life, as well as achieved modest success. But, there’s a part of me I describe as restless, a feeling of inner turmoil. The knowledge there is more. So I keep shopping around, trying on new ideas, mixing and matching until the perfect ensemble comes together and I’ll be living the life of my dreams Someday. Here are five simple and commonsense steps, paraphrased from mindbodygreen.com, to get started: 1) make it a goal to actively change whatever you don’t like about your life; 2) find a way to make your goal happen; 3) surround yourself with positive people; 4) practice gratitude today—look for things that are right in your life—while actively trying to change things and 5) don’t be lazy!

Are you living the life of your dreams?

Whose idea was this anyway?

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Whose idea

 

[Image credit: cuteimage]

It is our choices … that show what we truly are,
far more than our abilities.

~ J.K. Rowling

Ever wake up and the solution to a dilemma is on the tip of your tongue? Or ever crawl out of bed and not have a clue as to what you’re doing with your life? Both examples are snapshots of me over the course of a few days. In one breath, I successfully solved a web-formatting issue, and in the next I can’t recall why I want to pursue my master’s degree. Something about time passing whether I’m in school or not. Which leads to my next question: Ever jump on the band wagon of someone else’s dreams and think, “Oh, that’s *my* dream!”? But then partway into the planning and prepping you realize yes, time will pass, but whose passion am I really pursuing? If that happens, step back. Regroup. Be gentle. And allow yourself permission to change your mind.

What choice(s) are you at odds with today?

A soul-weary, dried-up muse

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Soul-weary_dried up muse

 

[Image credit: digitalart]

My muse is dried up and I feel soul weary. I want to write, I need to write … I have to write. But I don’t know what to write. So what is the remedy? Do I force myself to stare at a blank computer screen/piece of paper until inspiration strikes? Do I chalk off my dreams as silly whims? Do I give myself a break and identify that what I’m going through is a season and all seasons eventually change? Each of us processes setbacks differently. Reading, for me, is a perfect escape from reality. I think I’m going to read until I can’t read anymore—or until my muse is unstopped and I can fill up that one void only writing can satisfy. And just like anything else I’m going through—whether an emotional, mental or physical challenge—I need to remember to be gentle with myself. It could be that my soul is simply preparing for a much-needed breakthrough.

How do you recover from setbacks?

Aligning our beliefs, actions

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Working around a state of flux

 

[Image credit: digitalart]

If the things we believe are different than the things we do,
there can be no true happiness.
~ Dana Telford

Sometimes we must adjust one or more of our priorities, hopes, dreams, opinions, etc., in order to realign our values or goals. And sometimes that can be scary, painful and not without second guessing, remorse, self-doubt, etc. But if you find yourself in a near-constant state of confusion or conflict, then it’s wise to re-evaluate the things you’re doing to get where you think you want to go. Or perhaps what you believe about others, a situation or yourself is misinformed or untrue. Wherever you find yourself today, know it’s temporary. And be assured our lives are always in a state of flux. If not, we’ve ceased to grow, advance ourselves or contribute meaningfully to our small piece of society. When we’re able to align our beliefs and our actions, even for a day, all feels right—and happy—within our world.

What makes you truly happy?

The possibilities are endless

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The possibilities are endless

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

It’s the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee.
~ Nicholas Sparks

The old saying, “there are no guarantees in life except death and taxes” is a bit depressing. And true. Lately, I’ve been tempted several times to give up on my dreams for Someday, thinking I may be better off abandoning Tomorrow’s long shots for Today’s status quo. After all, if there are no guarantees, it seems pointless to hang on to a vision that may never grow into fruition. Cue in Sparks’ quote here. Reading it was like an epiphany. Because it says to me that even though there is no assurance of what Someday will look like, I only need to keep the hope alive. I imagine this is accomplished by doing the things daily that advance my goals. And when I do this, much like the seedling taking root through tender loving care, the possibilities are endless. Even when there are no guarantees.

Do you need the guarantee, or is the possibility enough?

Someday is Today

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Someday chart

I talk about Someday. A lot. It’s the place I fantasize about, strive for, count on, pin my future hopes to and hang out in my imagination. One night my daughter texted me the above image with the words, “Saw this and thought of you.” Except for running a marathon Someday, everything else has been me at least once. Cue in the words of Dr. Seuss: “Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” He doesn’t say, Someday is your day. I may not be living the full reality of my dreams. Yet. But Today is the day to start making things happen. Because Today is the only thing I have to work with. And if I don’t put some sweat equity into it now, when Someday arrives, I may be left behind. Wait, I never … Do you want to plan for retirement? Change your career? Return to school? Fill in the blank? Today is your day.

What are you waiting for?

Midlife what?!

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Midlife what

[Image credit: Stuart Miles]

While chatting with another writer the other day, I mentioned my ever-present feeling of restlessness and suggested I was having a midlife crisis. She prefaced her response with the words, “I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but …” After talking to several people, she concluded that, as writers, we constantly strive for more—for change, for adventure. Because we spend a large quantity of our time observing the world around us, this causes us to feel as if we’re missing out on something bigger than our little lives. And it becomes challenging to go about our daily routines because our inherent longing prevents us from truly living in the present—unable to release the past in our personal lives and constantly focused on our future dreams … our Someday. Well that’s encouraging. Not. But at least it’s not a midlife crisis. Just something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life.

Do you feel restless, like you’re missing out on something?

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