WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
Warriors, it’s a new decade and I have an exercise for you. At some point in the next week, please set a timer for 8 minutes, and answer these questions:
What were you doing ten years ago?
Where were you living?
What were you doing for work?
What ages were your kids?
What were your relationships like?
What was your health like?
What was your sleep like?
What were your eating habits?
How were your spending habits?
What kinds of things did you think about yourself?
Reflect and Feel
I did this exercise in November at a business conference and it was incredibly emotional for me. Ten years ago I was a different woman. When I reflect on these questions I feel deep emotions, the primary ones being pride, sadness, and regret.
I am proud of the actions I’ve taken in the past 10 years. I’m proud of the choices I’ve made. I’m proud of the fear I’ve moved through to take the risks I’ve taken. I also feel regret that I didn’t make those choices sooner. I feel regret that I waited until 2014 to move my kids from an emotionally charged and unsafe home. I regret that I waited to set boundaries with my biological family. I feel sadness for all the humans involved in my experience of waiting too long to set up boundaries. Because of actions by the adults in their lives, my children suffered and struggled.
Live and Learn
Done well, life is all about living and learning. About looking back before moving forward. If we skip this step, we keep recreating the same reality over and over again. When we pause to look back, reflect, and feel all the feels we learn from our behaviors. When we choose to see all emotions (sadness and joy, regret and pride) as a part of life, we grow and have the option to create new futures.
And so I find myself looking back over the past decade feeling the feels: deep sadness and even deeper pride. Pride for where I am at the cusp of this new decade: for the safe home I’ve created, for the business I’ve built, for the deep and fulfilling second marriage I’ve fostered, and I am beyond proud of the young resilient men my boys are growing to be because of their experience, not in spite of it.
Side Bar: Divorce Benefits
I want to pause and do a little shout out on the benefits of divorce here. Yep, I linked those two words together: benefits and divorce! I hear from a lot of divorced people about the shame and stigma they feel with their divorce. Personally, I received a lot of sharp criticism couched as advice from people in marriages that were unfulfilling and soul-sucking. They said things like “you made a vow”, “this is your role as a woman”, “you’re happy enough”, and “who are you to ask for more”? They were so afraid of me stepping up and saying: “This marriage is not acceptable and I will not settle” because if it was possible for me, maybe it was possible for them.
Warriors, lets be clear: divorce is not the goal. It’s messy, hurtful, and sad. However, it’s also not the goal to tolerate life or live 1/2 fulfilled lives in ‘happy enough’ relationships. Get a coach and get into therapy if that is the state of your marriage. Do everything you can to save your marriage. And then….learn from my regret of staying too long. Of not sticking up for myself and my kids sooner. When we choose to live a life in alignment with our inner warriors, things begin to change. Yes some marriages fall apart but I’ve seen far more come closer together. When you are showing up as your best self, you get so show up as a better spouse, mother, friend, human.
When you live intentionally and in alignment with your values, you end up living a life you LOVE. When you bumble along, doing things others want you to do or doing things you think you “should” do, you feel unfulfilled, resentful, and empty. Did you skip over the questions at the beginning? Why? If you don’t stop to reflect now, when will you? Do you get into your car and turn off the GPS? Many of us go through life that way.
We are conscious beings for a reason. Intentional living is all about living life with our eyes wide open. We are gong to experience sadness, regret, disappointment. We will also experience joy, deep connection, and profound gratitude. I encourage you to enter this decade open to feel the feels with full and vibrant dreams of what is possible for you. If you believe it is, it is. If you believe it isn’t, it isn’t.
Believe in Your Best Possible Life
Why hold yourself back? Why not dream? As Oprah says, one thing in life is certain: we all will die. Let’s not die before we’ve lived. Do you know what the number one regret of the dying is? According to hospice nurse Bronnie Ware it’s not having the courage to live a life true to themselves but living the life others expected of them. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you. The more you can reflect on what you want, the better.The more clear you get on how you want to feel, the better.
Living a life in alignment with your values is how to live a life you love. Your small choices matter. If you believe you can have a certain kind of life, you can. If you believe you can’t, you can’t. This is your one life dear warrior. Start it strong with a couple more questions:
Flash forward to 2030:
Where do you see yourself living?
What ages will your children be?
What will you be doing for work?
What will your relationships feel like?
What will your health be like?
How will you be speaking to yourself about yourself?
Where Are You Going?
How do you want to feel warrior? What’s your best possible vision for your next month? Your next year? Your next decade?
One way to get started bringing this all to life is to choose a word to guide you through this year. Get your guide here and get started. Having a word to keep you centered and intentional is an uplifting and life-changing way to move through life. If you believe you can, you can.