I wrote a guest post for Laura Simms at Create as Folk, Becoming Who We Know We Are. The picture above is the one she created to go with the post. I’ve been thinking (and writing and talking) a lot about this lately, how important it is to just begin, to give yourself permission and make space, to go ahead and start.
The prompt this morning from my 5 year journal was, “If you didn’t have any responsibilities for the day, what would you do?” The list I made was exactly what how I plan on spending my time when we get to Oregon in a few weeks: Sleep in. Write and meditate. Do yoga. Eat good food. Nap. Read. Watch TV. Sit in the backyard. Take a walk.
This reminded me of an article I read over 15 years ago on Escape from America, a magazine dedicated to helping people relocate to other countries, live as expatriates. I was reading it at that time because Eric and I used to fantasize about moving to another country, specifically Australia. In an article about making a big move, a huge change in your life, the author recommended that you live as closely as you can now to the life you dream of, rather than waiting. Don’t wait until you retire or move to Australia. Start living as close as you can to your dream life now.
The argument the author made was if you do this, you’ll be happier now, rather than later — and we all know that none of us are guaranteed a later. The author explained that maybe you’ll find out that you don’t really like what you’ve imagined and save yourself from waking up on an island somewhere with no electricity having sold and changed everything only to find yourself missing your old life, still unsatisfied with where you find yourself. Or you might make some changes and live that dream life now, realizing you don’t have to move or retire or make any other drastic change to have what you want.
It’s a good lesson, one that I encounter over and over: don’t wait. In my own words from my guest post, “Stop thinking about it, stop wishing for it, and start.” I also wrote a piece for Mabel Magazine about beginning (the issue comes out in June), and said something similar:
What tiny step can you take today, right now, towards your dream? What can you do to begin to live a life that reflects what matters to you, what you love? It can be the smallest thing, but that action is like a prayer, a promise, medicine and magic. Give yourself permission, kind and gentle reader. Stop waiting for something to happen and happen.