Wisdom Wednesday: 5 ways to fine tune your life

September 10, 2014 | Uncategorized

gratitude journal

I love to read about how other people have transformed their lives into something more manageable, less stressful, more satisfying. What steps did they take? How do they maintain it? I’m always curious, hungry for information. Even if I’m not going to go off the grid, live in the mountains, sail around the world, homeschool my kids, start canning my own food, whatever the particular path might be, I can learn from every single person. There’s always a morsel of magic to be obtained, a nugget of spiritual gold hidden in every story.

So when I came across this post yesterday on the Tiny House page (I dream of living in a Tiny House some day when the kids are grown), I knew I had to share it today. So much goodness, even if you live in a big house crammed with stuff or a city apartment amid the noise and smog. 

I think this post — “Five Ways to Start Living the Life of Your Dreams” — hit home for me because some of the practices have worked for me in the past, and I’ve just lost sight of them. The practice of gratitude, for example, is something that was a daily and centering practice for me for a long time. (That’s my gratitude journal in the photo above.) The practice of yoga was once something that kept me anchored, although I haven’t done it in months. (No wonder I feel so scattered.) This post reminded me that I should get back to those things, but it also hit on some new things Dennis and I have been trying recently, namely “clearing excess” and exploring our relationship with money and spending.

Here’s the post. Five things. Quick read but lots of nuggets to be mined:

No matter what you dream of, the key to living your dream is to start today. It might be a long, slow walk, but you have to start walking and keep walking. Small steps will get you there.

In August of 2008 my husband, Karl, and I lost our restaurant and then our home. As we shaped a new life out of the dust, we dreamed of debt-free home ownership and a simple homesteading life in the mountains. The odds were against us. We lived in a rental in Florida. We had $300. The whole idea of building without a mortgage seemed revolutionary since no one I knew had ever owned a home without a mortgage. In spite of the odds and the difficulty, we set out on our path. It has been a slow walk (sometimes through mud,) but we keep walking. Along the way, we’ve learned some valuable strategies to make things happen. I wanted to share some of them with you.

1) Practice gratitude. Lots of folks are talking gratitude these days and for good reason. Taking the time to practice gratitude helps train your brain to look for the positive. I’m sure you’ve noticed that what you focus on expands, so focusing on gratitude makes sense. Start with gratitude for this journey. Getting where you are going is a process, and having the choice to consciously create your own pathway is a right not all humans know. I keep a section of my journal reserved for my gratitude lists. I aim to write at least 5 things in my dated list each day. It’s a fun section of my journal because I can look back on the moments of my life in the context of my gratitude. It’s amazing to find that some of the hardest moments hold the deepest blessings.

Keep reading HERE. But before you click away, take a look at the collage below. That’s something I did years ago, at a time when I was being much more mindful about my daily life and much more protective of my practices of gratitude and yoga and prayer. I’m going to spend some time looking at this collage today and thinking about where I wanted to go when I first made it and what my collage might look today — if only I had any magazines to clip beyond Vegetarian Times. What would your collage look like?



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