via flickr by jesse.millan
I received an email last night from a sweet reader — it really touched a chord in my own heart. She had been reading some of my posts about my aspirations as a young girl and sent me an email sharing a bit about her own life:
Here are a few lines from her note:
I am a grown up and somewhere along the line I stopped going into that place in my own mind where grace and casual elegance lived. Things around here are in a dismal state of affairs. Really, my life is a little past the half way mark and I would truly like to live some of it the way my “little girl” imagined.
You have spurred me on to reach into my past and all the dreams and wonders of “how it would be when I became a grown up.”
She asked me how to start to live the life she imagined she would live. I’d love to help encourage her, I think this is something many of us can relate to.
So I am asking you, dear friends (especially those of you who are out of the ‘dreaming’ and well into the ‘real life’ phase!):
Do you ever go back in time to think about those little girl dreams
of what life would be like when you grew up?
via flickr by Jolante
I’m certain most of us didn’t imagine the struggles we’d face, the hardships we endure or all the dreams we’d set aside along the way. I’ll admit, being an adult is WAY more exhausting than I imagined! It is messier, more complicated, more frustrating and a lot louder that what I pictured in my dreams (I have three kids so peace is not something I often find, at least in this phase of my life!).
I know my own dreams of adult life probably looked a little more like a fairytale than reality. But why is that? Did I dream of beautiful things beyond my reach, things that are no longer possible for me, or do I simply LET those beautiful things slip out of my grasp in a frenzy of the urgent tasks of every day life? I tend to think I let them go.
How can we bring those moments of beauty and grace to our life, even as life hurls frustrations, stress, all sorts of messes, financial pressures and worries at us?
Where do we begin if we have lost sight
of our little girl dreams?
1Begin with some time in solitude.
Find a quiet place to dream. When life spirals out of control and I lose sight of what I love about life, I usually find I haven’t taken any time out for solitude. I need to get away to be alone with my thoughts and to pray.
2 Get a journal and make lists of things you used to love.
The simple process of writing things down makes a big difference for me in finding clarity of thought. Seeing the things I love on a list makes everything feel possible and doable. I love to make lists like my 20 Little Things to jumpstart my thinking.
3 Create daily and weekly rituals out of things you love.
Find ways to incorporate in to your life those things you love most. Make embracing them a regular part of living — don’t let any one or any thing stand in the way! When you take the things you love and elevate them to a daily or weekly ritual you’ll find all the more pleasure in them as you look forward to those experiences on a regular basis!
4 Slow down.
Fill your days with activities that slow you down (yes, the opposite of what we tend to do!) and allow you to appreciate and savor moments of beauty.
5 Embrace simplicity.
Life as we know it is continually filled with new and complicated things. Our phones, our computers, our calendars, our TVs, even our washer and dryer seem to require an advanced degree to be able to use them. And those are the things invented to make life better and easier! Just when we master some new electronic gadget, they crash or the new model comes out and we are frustrated again.
Move away from the complicated as often as possible and enjoy things in their simplest, purest forms. Go back to some of the rituals and pleasures your grandmother might have enjoyed, before life moved into the fast lane.
6 Live life on purpose — dare to incorporate the things you love into your life.
You can do this! Being an adult doesn’t just mean we can have dessert before dinner and stay up until 10PM. It means we can live out the things we’ve always wanted to do.