Growing up, going to school, marriage, giving birth, all these things are the building blocks of our lives.
But what happens when you realize that you aren’t happy with the structure of that life? What if that structure you built is taken away from you?
I was left with these questions a few years ago. The structure of my life was so out of balance it would have made the Leaning Tower of Pisa look stable. There wasn’t one simple brick I could point to and place all the blame on it for this imbalance. From the bottom up, my bricks had been placed slightly off from the one below…over and over and over again. By the time you’re 40, your life is a pretty tall structure. It didn’t matter how hard I worked to hold up my precarious life. It was going to crumble one way or the other.
When I finally stopped trying to hold it all together, I took a look at the foundation and found the problem. It was missing. There wasn’t a foundation at all. Just a pile of borrowed beliefs and values from others.
I found that me, myself, and I were missing from this huge structure I had painstakingly built.
After all, you yourself are the foundation of your very own life.
A New Year is just about upon us. Many people are going to make resolutions to “change” their lives by losing weight, paying off debt, and finally getting organized. In fact the media, and economy are betting that you will choose to do that very thing come January 1.
Is your weight, your debt, or your clutter the foundation of your life? They were a part of my life structure, but I believe they were not the foundation of my problem.
All those problems were just symptoms of what was really missing: my beliefs, my dreams, my values.
Tracy and I have teamed up with Lee Chinshue Coello of Becoming Unencumbered and developed what we believe to be a better path to change.
All three of us reached a point in our lives where something just wasn’t working. We had reached a plateau in our fulfillment and personal happiness, and the only fix was to make real changes in how we approached our lives.
While this can happen to anyone, we know this is a particular problem for women. We’ve heard the stories of exhaustion, desperation, and confusion from other women as they try to understand why their lives are not on the track they want or expected.
Having been there, and with the gift of experience we can confidently say that there is an answer. But first, there must be an honest examination of just how your life is working for you…or is it not? Better yet, what do you plan to do about it?
For all of us, the answer was simple: we had lost focus. Focus on who we were as individuals, instead of mom, wife, career title, etc. We had lost focus on what delighted and moved us. We had lost focus on living our unique life experience and not just the one defined by the social worlds we lived in.
The best and hardest part was that the solution was even simpler – get focused. We needed to make choices about our priorities and what we valued beyond the necessary roles of our lives. At first, just the thought of doing so brought on its own emotionally overwhelming experience. Guilt, denial, apprehension, and insecurity all reared their heads and made decision making and taking action a tense process. But it was necessary and ultimately manifested amazing experiences and opportunities for each of us.
Though we each arrived at our refreshed and clearer lives by differing means, it all boiled down to the same thing: focusing on one small area or action in our lives that became the starting place to anchor our daily lives. From there we continued to take measured, mindful steps in each area of our lives.
Our experiences have culminated in the three of us joining together, sharing the perspectives we learned on our individual journeys, and designing a way to help others also take those little steps toward changing their own lives.
The 30 Day Focus is a whole life retreat designed to help you rebuild the structure of your life by building a foundation that includes YOU. We have developed a year of classes, focusing on one area of your life one month at a time so that you may explore the possibility of rebuilding a life that includes you and your passions. Each workshop focuses on one small monthly goal at a time.
We will help you to fine tune your systems, sharpen your focus, and integrate new methods for living your priorities.
We hope this inspires you to make the new year a time to focus on yourself. It matters, because you matter.
We’d be honored to share in your journey.