My cousin worked very hard to get her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is great with people, even better with young people. She was disappointed that she needed a master’s degree to practice as a psychologist. She has no desire to obtain that degree. As an unbiased observer who is listening, I understand that the story she tells herself is that she is not a good enough writer to go further and she thinks that she is better freelancing free of charge with friends who come to her for advice. I see this as an extreme waste of a gift and she is already invested, just go for it!
Of course, I am no different. I have registered for college every year and dropped my classes before summer hits. I have stories too. I am not able to keep a full time job working for others. I do not have adequate transportation. I will change my mind and waste tens of thousands of dollars on college tuition. I do not want any more debt. I won’t have time to focus on my farm. The list goes on. But if I were an outside observer, I would say, “Would you just go get your teaching degree already?!” I have been teaching in one capacity or another since I was seven years old. I love it. Naturally, I have run every worst case scenario through my head and have come out with a decision. Just go for it!
What stories do you tell yourself? Whenever you have a dilemma, think about it as if someone you love dearly came to you with the same questions and dialogue, what would you tell them? Your best advice for others is often perfect for yourself.
Living your most authentic, best life seems like it would be easy to do. The older we get, the more stories we collect. The more excuses we get. The more we try to fit into the status quo. Even our own self-made status quo. We must understand the varying facets of ourselves and embrace each one. Some days you feel Amish, some days you feel like dressing up and going to the theater. One part of your life might have been dedicated to raising children or in a steady career, and the next part of your journey may look totally different. And that can be scary. Unravel the stories. I’m too old to go back to school. Mascara is vain. It is too time consuming to start a garden. But they may not like me.
Whenever I pray for an answer or what I should do or what is the right path, I always hear back, “What do you want to do?” There are no right or wrong answers. If you have a passion brewing in your head, though, there might be something to that. So, maybe change jobs. Or relationships. Or maybe get rid of a ton of clutter and redecorate because tastes change over the years. Maybe get a new wardrobe, or color your hair, or change how you express your spirituality, or maybe get a bicycle, or start a garden, or paint the bedroom yellow, or splurge on great coffee.
Living our best, most authentic life is multifaceted and relies on bravery and a bit of spoiling of ourselves. We are here so briefly and our physical existence and desires are just as important as our spiritual journey. Living our best, most authentic life relies on us being in the present.
We cannot imagine what is to come, we can only follow the cues of our heart.
Yesterday, I was sitting on the back porch with my ducklings as they played and splashed in a casserole dish. Gandalf the farm dog slept lazily in the shade as my one month old goats grazed contently. The chickens wallowed in the dirt and dug for seeds and bugs. The mountains stretched out like a painted backdrop. The spring crops turned the red soil green. My goodness, five years ago we were on the cusp of losing everything and there I sat yesterday, on my own farm living the life I have dreamed up and feeling excited for what is to come. Whatever that may be.
What does your best life look like? Write or draw what makes you beam with happiness or feel great in your skin or what visions you have for the future. Living our most authentic and best life starts today!