As I was thinking about what to write this week, I kept coming back to reflecting on what I have learned on my journey so far and how that has helped me be a better wife, have a happier marriage and fall back in love with my life over the last few years.
There is so much beautiful wisdom in this world, this is by no means an exhaustive list, but these ideas have been some of the inspirations that have led to the deepest shifts in my way of thinking, which in turn have influenced my actions and my results.
As I started putting this list together, I realized there was so much I wanted to include that a series was born. We will start with the first 3 this week.
So here they are, 3 Sparkling Thoughts that have lit my way. You can pick up, try on, and look in the mirror and see which one(s) look best on you and keep them!
1. Dream deeper.
Millions of words have been written, journalled, spoken and sung about dreaming bigger. Bigger house, bigger bank account, bigger car. For years, so many of us have been hamsters on treadmills looking for a bigger, extra-large, super-sized life. Then when we actually achieve all that we have been striving for, we realize that bigger isn’t always better, it’s just more. And when you look up more in the dictionary, it is not listed next to happy or fulfilled or at peace, it’s just a larger number.
My biggest breakthrough in happiness, satisfaction and joy in life came when I started to dream deeper instead of bigger. I started to ask myself, “deep inside, what would make me happy?” Guess what? It wasn’t a new purse – though I love purses and I smile whenever I see beautiful ones.
Dream deeper means thinking about what you value, what makes your heart sing, what gives you peace. It means not looking outside to TV, magazines or anyone else’s idea of a dream life. Dreaming deeper is asking how you would like to spend your time, not your money, and then finding ways to do more and more of that every day.
How to do it: If you journal, set aside some time this week to ask what is the difference between deeper and bigger FOR YOU? If you dreamt deeper what would that look like? If you are not moved by writing, then think about this as you commute to work this week, let your mind wander and daydream. Listen for the answers.
Also know that the answers will change over time. This is a great way to connect with your spouse – ask them what they are thinking about and loving that they would like more of in their life. Together, see if you can find ways to dream deeper and then take action on those deeper desires.
2. Follow the feel good.
This year I have embraced a new mantra: Follow the feel good. I take it with me everywhere I go, along with my wallet and fabulous sunglasses. I think I might have a crush on my sunglasses, but that is a blog post for another day.
Follow the feel good does not mean “don’t have discipline” or “stop doing things that need doing.” It doesn’t mean “recklessly indulge.” Because, honestly, it feels good to complete what needs to be completed and it feels bad to be reckless.
Follow the feel good means – check in, pay attention, listen to your intuition, your heart, and your discerning mind. What is your body – heart *and* head telling you?
Remember every single time you have ignored that feeling, the inkling that it might be the wrong direction and then things didn’t work out?
Follow the feel good is the antidote to that. If you are offered a promotion at work that comes with tons of extra money but also countless extra hours – does that feel good? Sometimes it might, sometimes it might not – it depends on the chapter in life your are living and what your deepest desires are.
If you start dreaming deeper, the very next thing to do is follow the feel good, let it lead you to your very next step.
Give yourself permission to embrace what feels good and forgive yourself for not wanting things that other people may want for you.
How to do it: Start small. This doesn’t mean quit your job, die your hair purple and go on tour with the garage band. But it can mean, leave early once a week to spend more time with your band, or your kids or your husband.
My favorite thing to do when I need to check in is take a deep breath and put a hand over my heart and ask: Is this right for me? What should I do here?
Are you going to do this 100% of the time? Probably not. When you get an answer, will you choose to follow it every time? Maybe not at first – your company might have rules about purple hair, thought it may be your dream to change it. But if you start small and you do this over time. You will find yourself feeling good more and more often and that’s the idea.
3. Doubt means no.
The natural consequence of dreaming deeper and following the feel good is learning to manage doubt. We all have doubt no matter how successful or happy we are. New things come our way every day.
There are new choices to make, new ideas to embrace or discard, and with every choice there is either certainty (I *know* this is the man I am going to marry.) or doubt (Does this dress make my hair look green?).
Among the many wonderful lessons I have learned from Ms. Oprah Winfrey, I learned and have embraced this little, yet powerful phrase: doubt means no. Do not move, do not decide, do not act, or in some cases, don’t agree, don’t go, don’t sign, don’t offer, don’t accept.
The more I build trust between myself and my intuition – by dreaming deeper and following what feels good, the more I also build my Hesitation Index aka the stronger the doubt, the louder the no.
How to do it: Define the nature of the doubt. If it’s a voice in your head telling you that you can’t do something, question that.
If the doubt is disempowering to you, it might be a lie that you should ignore. The only way I know to tell the difference is to practice.
The more I follow what feels good to my soul, the more I can recognize when the voice of doubt is real – as in, “don’t sign that contract” and when it’s a lie, as in, “you can’t write a blog and work full time and spend time with your husband, so don’t even try.”
Sometimes the only way to bust the doubt is to take the action – so you write the blog and see that you do indeed still work and your hubby still smiles when he sees you walk in the room.
Do any of these resonate for you? Are you already doing this? Any stories to share about your results and experiences? Choose one to “try on for size” this week. Then write down how you feel – one word, one sentence or a whole story. I would love to hear your results! Please share in the comments.