Have you ever done an exercise in a book where you were asked to brainstorm or choose from a list of words to capture your one word or phrase that best describes your theme for the next phase in your life?
I have seen this in several self-help books. The one that jumps out at me is SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Julie Morgenstern. In the past, every time I have done one of these exercises, my word or phrase has been inner peace.
Inner Peace & Transformation
In the past, I was pretty much constantly in a state of some combination of anxiety, panic, and worrying, so inner peace made sense for me as the thing that I most needed. I couldn’t imagine wanting anything else, like adventure, creativity, or any of the other theme words that were on the lists. Inner peace seemed like the best place to start.
And it was! I am so happy to now be able to say that, for the most part, I have it. After a long journey of developing a regular practice of yoga and meditation, I feel pretty peaceful most of the time. And I am starting to take back control of my own life that I used to so freely give away to the demands and whims of others. Yay!
Realizing that I have come to the place I wanted to be for so long is a great thing. I was driving the other night, and this idea came to me: what if one day I looked up to notice that my life totally transformed and I didn’t even realize it?
Isn’t that a cool idea? That your life could totally change without you even knowing it because you are so focused on feeling good in the moment?
I actually think that has happened somewhat to me when I think about my inner peace journey, although it was by no means overnight. And I have a feeling my life is going to evolve that way; that good things are happening and they are going to keep getting better and bring me to the point of my vision coming into my reality without me even knowing what happened until after the fact. Sounds crazy, but I am excited!
The Miracle of Clarity
Speaking of not noticing transformations until after the fact, I had my own transformational mini miracle happen this past week. Without even realizing it, I started noticing myself taking control of my kitchen. I will post the specifics of how that came to be later this week, but right now I wanted to use the kitchen as my example of the first area in my life that I am noticing has Clarity.
For as long as I can remember, the idea of being in control of a completely clean kitchen eluded me. I always told myself I would keep up with the refrigerator being clean weekly and the dishes being clean daily, but wasn’t quite there. With very few exceptions, the counter tops are completely cleared when everything is put away. We have a clutter-free kitchen; it’s when the dirty dishes pile up that the kitchen isn’t spotless.
After reflecting on my week of having the kitchen under control, it clicked that I somehow gained clarity on the whole situation.
I can now see into the short-term future whether we will be using a ton of dishes to make dinner that night, and plan when I will run the dishwasher accordingly. I can see that I want to spend minimal time cleaning up after dinner so I can both enjoy the evening and wake up in the morning to a clean kitchen with a clean coffee pot, and that I can keep the dishes processing through the dishwasher all day to make that happen.
I realized that that is what I want in all areas of my life.
The Expansion of Clarity
I want to be able to look at my email inbox everyday and know exactly what needs to be done to manage it. I want to look at our wedding plans, and take control of the situation. I want to look at the plans for our business ideas, and be able to see what needs to be done, when it will be done, and how all the pieces will fit together to bring the business into reality.
I am starting to realize that I am in control of my life. We are in control of our own lives. My to-do list doesn’t own me. I own it. Same thing with my email inbox, blog, finances, future business, even the laundry! And I am starting to differentiate for myself what are worthwhile pursuits versus the pointless and counterproductive.
Now when I meditate and do yoga, I am focusing on this new word for myself: Clarity. I want to clear the fog of cluttering thoughts and be able to focus on what needs to be done. And I want to be happy to do it.
What’s your theme word for your next phase? Please share your thoughts!