This month, we are talking about what makes us come alive. Well, it brought to mind one of my favorite books when I was a small child, Where the Wild Things Are.
If you’ve skipped this one, here’s the recap: a tale of a boy named Max who runs away into the woods and meets a group of “monsters” that declares him the WILDEST of them all and their King.
Now, as a kid, this book was just a fun tale to me. However, recently, I learned my beloved book is now on a BANNED BOOK list in most public schools. Record scratch, what?
You guys…cancel culture is killing us slowly!!!! Why? Why would this story all of a sudden be “dangerous” to our kids??? Umm, I don’t know. Maybe being an individual who hates labels and trends is scary to those that can’t benefit from you living outside their box? Whatever it is, it’s gone too far.
Ok. So I know, this blog is supposed to be about “coming alive” so stay with me….
What makes me come alive is seeing people try to do the unheard of….being WILD!!! No, not “bad”…WILD. Somehow, being BOLD and WILD occasionally get mixed up with a negative connotation. I’ll never believe that lie, ladies & gents. And you shouldn’t either.
Life is not cookie cutter. Your secret to happiness will never be found in anything materialistic, or even in stable (safe) jobs, or (dare I say it) lots of extracurricular kid activities that become meaningless after high school.
It’s sad but it has to be said…We’re being sold a lie about what “living” really looks like. Don’t believe me? Go sit with your elders and ask them if they are happy now? Yes? How’d they do it? If not, why? Still don’t believe me? To test this “coming alive” theory, I want you to do something…
On a piece of paper, write down the 3 things that you do to seek happiness daily…for you? What about for your kids?
Now 3 things that you do to find happiness yearly…
Now 3 things that you do to find happiness in a lifetime…
Are the things you listed daily going to help you get to the things that made it for yearly? What about over your lifetime? No? Not really?
Then I ask you this? Why do we spend our lives chasing short term goals with short lived “happiness” when we could reprogram ourselves to only live for those lifetime goals?
Let me check myself right here. I haven’t always been like this. Nope. This is a new mindset for me. Two years ago, I lived “in the moment” so much that I got to a point where every moment felt never enough. I had to put my entire life on pause and ask myself, what in the (sorry Mom/Nana) F*** was happening to me?
It’s like I woke up and realized that somewhere along the way, being WILD was replaced with being effective, strategic, perfect…everything in its place & orderly. One mess to the masterpiece I made, my fragile “perfect” world no longer brought me happiness and I just would decide to work more, organize more, plan better, adult MORE. Gross, huh? Yep. Agreed.
You know what made me stop dead in my tracks and look long and hard at myself in the mirror? My kids. One day, I noticed the way they talked to each other. They were dictators to each other. Non-compliant and just…as sad as it is to admit…they weren’t happy either. And yet, they had routine, structure, and manners most of the time but everything that was different than their preferred POV was aggravating. Just like it was for me.
I had become so efficient & diligent to hit MY goals that I forgot I made them for “us”, not me. I was unhappy because I believed the lie that only I could pull these goals off accurately so I had to do them solo. Here I am teaching this to my kids too? It was enough for me to slam on breaks and just, for lack of better analogy, torch the car.
Yep. I burned that version of myself down like a true Phoenix does. I took those ashes and used them to plant a new version of myself. I soul searched. I prayed. I waited. I listened. I asked over and over “where should I truly be on my journey?”.
Point is…I didn’t change. I just shedded the parts of my spirit that slowed me down from gaining traction on those lifetime goals. I want to live a good life every day of my life. Regardless of what material things I own or the job title I have on my email signature. Not “one day”, not “just today”, but EVERY day.
How do you do that? For me, there were a few things.
1.) I admitted I wasn’t happy in the city anymore and moved. I now commute a few days a month and work from home. That took time to set up, but it gave me more flexibility with my kids schedules.
2.) I admitted I needed to change my diet and workout again. It’s nothing yet, but day by day / choice by choice, this one is really helping the happiness AND healthiness circle back into my life.
3.) I admitted I can’t do it all alone. I have to trust that I have a rockstar team/family that’s got my back and wants to help. And that it’s ok to be helped. This, this one is the true stability I’d been missing in my old ways. For myself and my kids.
I don’t know. What makes me come alive is never letting that untamed spirit get fenced in for too long. Life gets messy. Family gets messy. This world has so many demons to face and pitfalls to avoid. But if you want to overcome them, you better get a few WILD, OUT OF THE BOX methods to get you there. Reinventing your life is one of the WILDEST, yet crucial things you’ll ever do for your happiness. No matter how crazy the transformation is, if it brings you any form of understanding and awareness after it’s done, THAT’S LIVING!!