"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
I think about this quote often. A big part of my work as a life coach is helping my clients take control of their life by helping them understand that what we experience is a choice. Each emotion, when attached to an event is an unconscious habit borne from a lifetime of teachings that may not have any bearing on what we want in our life today. So much of what we feel, what we do, our micro habits, our choices, it all comes 'naturally' to us. We don't have to think about them. Or rather, we don't consciously think about them. Yet those micro moments, when added up, create our reality. We start to become aware of our reality when things go wrong or when things just don't feel right anymore. And we want to change. Or we want to achieve a goal and wonder how we can either maximise our strengths to make it happen or how we can change our habits so that we can get out of our own way. If someone ever asks me what I would do or change about my life today if I won the lottery, my reply would focus on one thing: my family. I would bring my parents, my brother and his family geographically closer to me, if not full-time then at least multiple times a year. I would also make sure that those I love would never have to worry about their finances. Everything else, for me, would stay the same. I wake up every day feeling like I have won the lottery with the life my husband and I have created. It isn’t flashy, we don’t go to fancy restaurants or live in a mansion nor do we drive expensive cars or fly first class. When scaling back on the things we don’t really need to invest in a life we do need, nothing feels like a sacrifice. For those of you who have known me for a long time will know through our many conversations over the years that the life I live now is one I never thought was possible but was one for which I always yearned. What my family and I have today is a beautiful little bubble nestled in a part of the world where I feel at peace with who I am, where I’ve been, and where I am headed. I feel all the heartaches suffered and sacrifices I made over a 20 year career led me to this point. But it didn’t happen by magic. Was it something I manifested? Absolutely. But it took work. Deep emotional and mental work for me to get clear on what it was that I wanted in my life, what was actually important to and for me.
This photo attached to this post is of my husband and our son on one of our walks near our home. I have many such photos. They are moments captured that fill my soul and remind me how the choices I made consciously (and then subsequently made with my husband) led me here. The choices to:
release myself from patterns that didn’t serve me
prioritise my personal life after decades of always putting my job first
be clear about what it was I wanted in my life and not being afraid to have ‘difficult’ conversations with my boyfriend (now husband) about marriage and children and being ok if it wasn’t what he wanted (thankfully he did). It taught me to trust my voice, always trust my voice.
redefine what success meant for me; what it actually looked and felt like including how did I want to feel every single day?
take a risk on a new career and bet on myself
trust that everything will be ok if I do the work beginning with the work on myself
There are many things I still have to work on, many things I still have to learn. There are anxious days and challenging days, frustrating days and emotionally exhausting days. There are days when I wonder if we’re on the right track. But amidst all of this there is a little voice inside me urging me to always go back to the evidence of my life thus far and know that all will be ok because it already is.
This isn’t a message to shout about the wonders of my life. What you see/read isn’t heavily filtered like the curated images we find on Instagram. The intention of this message is to share with you the possibilities of what you can feel when you stop to pay attention to what is happening in your head and in your heart. It helps for anyone who wants to make changes in their life to see that there are those, like me, who understand where they're coming from. The details of our lives might be different but the emotions we all want to feel are the same. How we choose to navigate our way through our emotions is what will define the quality of our experiences in this "one wild and precious life". Mary Oliver wasn't talking about checking off the experiences on bucket lists. Rather, she wanted us to appreciate our time on Earth by living it with awareness and with purpose. So how do we do that? Start by learning your emotions, understand what they're trying to tell you. Explore what you want to feel more of every day and how you can achieve that. What small things can you start doing today to strengthen that feeling inside you? Most importantly, be kind to yourself. You can appreciate where and who you are while at the same time want something different or something more. Respect that you've begun the process of wanting to understand your life choices and wondering if they're aligned with what you want to feel every day. If you're feeling good about where you are in life today, respect where you are, feel empowered by your choices ifthey've been made consciously, and don't feel you need to apologise for that. Finally, remember, you're not alone. If you want to explore this in a deeper way and feel working with a life coach will help you do that drop me a message. Let's have a conversation. I want you to feel great about your life too. I want you to know it is possible. First you have to know what you want and why you want it.
So, tell me, what is it you plan to do with your "one wild and precious" life?