Inside: In just one heartbeat life can change forever so I choose to live each day as though it could be my last, imperfectly on purpose I declutter my life to make space for what I truly want and need.
Despite the imperfection, grief, and messiness of it all, I love and feel deeply grateful for my life. But loss reminds me every time I walk through it that life is far shorter than we often realize. In one breath or one heartbeat, life can change forever.
I want to live each day imperfectly on purpose
I choose to live this way because the alternative generally means missing out on life waiting for one imaginary day that life feels perfectly neat and tidy. But there’s always struggle or challenge of some sort to contend with and I want to show up fully to life NOW. Today.
I show up fully to each day like it could be my last – focused on the work that matters most to me, the people I love, and in a way that honours my core values and priorities. I want to release anything that adds clutter to my life, that used to serve me but doesn’t anymore, or that was never mine to carry.
In the Brave & Beautiful Community this month we’re talking about MAKING SPACE in life for what we truly want and need. After a long season of pain, loss, and uncertainty, this topic feels spacious and inviting, like a nice deep belly breath and long exhale.
11 IDEAS THAT HELP ME show up to life imperfectly on purpose
The following is a quick post for discussion that I shared recently in the B&B community to illustrate how I’m practicing “listening in” and taking note of what I want and need to make ongoing space for in this season of life. I hope it offers you food for thought as you do this work for yourself.
1. LISTENING TO WHAT I’M NATURALLY DRAWN TO
I have been paying attention these past two weeks to what I am naturally feeling drawn toward (planting some edibles in my yard, puttering in the kitchen, ample time to read, playing with words for the pleasure of it, laughter and connection with my family, regular walks in the woods, extra rest) and I notice that these activities reflect my core values of freedom, compassion, community, curiosity/becoming, integrity, mind-body-spirit wholeness.
2. CORE VALUES
I note too that right now these activities are not just nice but critical for my mental and physical health – and that unless I tend to myself well I lose joy in my work and have less to offer others even though I value contribution/compassion.
3. MIND-BODY-SPIRIT INTENTIONS
I check in daily with my mind-body-spirit intentions (whole, brave, rooted, authentic, unshackled) and use this morning check-in (part of my daily dawn ritual) to identify my top three priorities for each day. If I feel anxious or drained in the day, I pause and check-in again and ask myself what I want or need to feel whole and rooted.
4. WEEKLY RHYTHM
I printed a new weekly rhythm worksheet and blocked out time blocks for the activities that lend to optimal health (ex. the activities I already mentioned above). I know very well that work can creep in to fill those spaces and keeping my weekly rhythm on the side of the fridge (and updating it seasonally) helps remind me of who and how I want to be AND of my power of choice.
5. NAMING MY DAYS
Each day of the week on my weekly rhythm has a name. In this season of life, Monday is for admin and soul care, Tues is for writing, Wed is for connection, Thurs and Fri are for client work, Sat for rest, Sun for Home Management. This is not the only thing I tend to on these days but naming my days helps provide direction.
6. MONTHLY/YEARLY RHYTHM
In addition, I ponder other habits that have fallen to the wayside lately or which don’t show up on a weekly schedule but help me walk out my values and live aligned to my mind-body-spirit intentions. Things like time for friend chats, taking a bit of time off work every 6-8 weeks for purposeful rest, a monthly Rest & Reflect & Redirect date once/month to check in with my goals or intentions /finances/notice where I’m doing well and where I need or want a shift and to set my priorities for the upcoming month.
7. WHITE SPACE AND WORK HOURS
I leave plenty of white space/breathing room on my weekly rhythm worksheet and one day/week without obligation (on occasion I do some work on the weekend but I want this to be the exception, not my norm). I see that realistically, in this season I only want to make space for at most 20 hours a week to work in my business. I need to be very intentional then about how I use this time so that it reflects the work that lights me up, makes best use of my strengths, and makes the biggest impact in terms of my mission and also my income goals/needs. This isn’t always easy to navigate but healthy boundaries are essential.
There are so many things I can feel I “should” be doing or “could” be doing and being super honest about how comparison, perfectionism, and fear show up for me helps me to sift through all the noise and my competing tensions and desires. I remind myself that not everything is for this season, at the end of each day I notice what I have done well (via my 3/2/1 exercise – part of my dusk ritual), and I continually remind myself to be kind and gentle on myself because I have walked through some incredibly hard things and need time and space to heal.
9. SUNK COST FALLACY/PARETO PRINCIPLE
I think about the idea of “sunk cost fallacy” (is there something in my life that I’ve invested in so have felt obligated to continue but which I can now release?) and also the “Pareto principle” (what are the top 20% of work and life habits that yield 80% of the positive results in my life?). I let this simmer.
10. THINKING AHEAD 5 YEARS
I spend some time thinking about where I am heading – keeping my bigger life vision before my eyes. Life is not “normal” right now but overall, is how I’m spending my time, money, energy moving me closer to or further from who and how I want to be/want my life to be in 3 or 5 years? I am aware that even in liminal space or seasons of being hidden/going deeper, this is an investment in my future self.
11. MY LIFE IS MY MESSAGE
I remember that I am building a life. A full, beautiful, imperfect, messy life. No one else can do this work for me. I don’t want to live distracted or perpetually trying to “keep up” to anyone else. I want to savor the gifts of each day. I want to mine for the wisdom in every season. I want to live every day like it could be my last – and to me, this means not giving the best of me to things that matter little or even to worry about all the inconsequential tasks that I never get to. I think about how “my life is my message” (Gandhi) and what I want to communicate especially to those I love most.
I hope this post feels helpful as you do the work to contemplate what you want to make space for or what you’re ready to let go of as you build a right-sized life that reflects the truth of who and how you choose to be and of your core values and priorities.
Don’t wait for a “perfect” someday life – show up imperfectly on purpose to the messy and beautiful life in front of you.
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The Brave + Beautiful Community is for growth-minded women in the middle season of life. Members learn to befriend themselves and deepen self-trust, and show up fully to their messy and beautiful lives with freedom, health, and joy.