Who says I can’t walk around with bed head all day?  I mean, come on, doesn’t this look kind of suit me?

I find myself in a difficult, weird place – like major shifts and big transitions are just around the corner.  And for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m being forced to change.  The changes I am experiencing are forcing me to take a good look at the messages I’ve adopted from the world, and the self-imposed, limiting thoughts I think.
Hmm, how do I say this?  Well, first off, I’m tired of rules.  I’m tired of worrying about what other people think of my choices.  I’m tired of people, society, they, telling me how to live.  Conformity, fitting in, being like everyone else – I’m so done with that.  Seriously, who are they to tell me when it’s appropriate to stop nursing my child, or that my socks should match, and that I can’t wear navy with black or white after labor day, or that I should keep my mouth shut and not speak my truth, or that I should own two cars, or that I should color within the lines, and seek out the best preschools, and wear the best clothes, and buy the newest cosmetics, or that the more money or credentials I have will add value to my self-worth, or if I discover a gray hair I better find a chemical to cover it up, or that I should brush my bed head and be like everyone else?  Let’s conform, shall we?  Let’s hide our true selves so that the people around us won’t think we’re strange.  Let’s keep up with the Joneses because they sure know how to live the perfect life.  Who the hell are the Joneses anyway?  And heck, I kinda like my bed head.
Where is this all coming from? Well, although my last blog post was entitled Summer Time and the Living is Easy, I have to say that living isn’t always easy.  Some days are fantastic, and other days are hard and challenging. That’s the nature of life, the yin and yang, the night and day…  My challenge lately has to do with old feelings of lack and new feelings of abundance and gratitude.  My old way of being -focusing on lack – is what’s feeling forced to change, because old habits like to have their way.  They are stubborn and when faced with change they kick and scream, “No, you can’t change me!  I like feeling miserable and sorry for myself!”  However, my new abundant self is rejoicing, “Yes, you are so close.  The struggle you experience now will change you forever.  And you have such gratitude for all the little things around you.  You’re blessed in so many ways!  Let go of lack and celebrate the changes you are experiencing.  Life is so good.”

My husband and I are in a place where we’ve made some major decisions about how we want to live and raise our family.  With our second baby on the way and our desire to be fully present parents, we have decided to simplify our working schedules to provide more hands-on love, learning and experiences for our family.  This means that I will be working less to focus on staying home, and my husband will balance his work schedule to be home more in the evenings and weekends.  This also means a cut in monthly salary – and it’s this shift in the amount of money coming in that is triggering old thought patterns and deep behavior changes.

We’ve decided to say good-bye to our TV.  What?!  Now I know some of you probably don’t have TV’s.  I’ve never experienced this luxury before.  And I’m serious when I say luxury.  Although my old, lack-self wants to scream and say, “How will I survive not seeing every episode of Project Runway?!” My new abundant-self is secretly excited at what this change will bring.  I see the stack of books I want to read, I hear my deep desire to paint more, and I love our quality family time of walks, playing at the park and caring for our community garden.  So letting go of TV is actually creating space for the things I want more time for.  And, it’s going to save us money.  All good things, right?

Other changes we need to make include cutting our grocery budget, reducing the personal money we pay ourselves for clothes, yoga classes and little splurges, and reducing our entertainment budget.  Again, my old lack-self says, “Guess we’ll be eating mush every meal and I’ll be wearing the same clothes everyday and if it’s not a free activity then forget about it.  Sounds like we’ll be hermits the rest of the summer.”  But my new abundant-self is rejoicing, “Wow, here’s an opportunity to get creative with buying bulk and playing with recipes (like finding a gluten-free pizza crust that’s only $2.50 per bag).  I can now clear out my closet for just the essential (maternity) clothes and getting dressed each morning will be much easier!  And, there are many free things to do in my area – it’s going to be really fun to seek them out!”

I never knew when I started the Reduce Clutter; Create Space challenge for 2010 that it would lead to reducing the amount of money coming in.  I always thought that the more money we had, the more abundance we would experience.  Now I’m learning that it’s not about the amount of money, but rather the ability to live more fully, boldly, freely and presently, despite the dollar amount.  Happiness truly does come from within, and the more I embrace the abundance around me, the more joy I can experience along the way.

So returning to my original question – who are they to tell me how to live?  The more aware I become, the more I realize that they is really me.  Sure, we are raised with societal norms and we have the media pressuring us on how to live and conform – but I have the freedom to choose.  I can choose to not let they become my thoughts.  I can change what I think about myself and the world around me.  I can stay curious and ask questions.  I can face my fears and take risks.  I can choose to be confident and clear about me and how I choose to live.  I can be different.  I can embrace authentic living.  I can practice living from a spirit-driven place, rather than letting my ego guide the way.  I can know deep down in my heart that no amount of money or things will define who I am or bring me happiness.  I can choose to be happy from the inside out and I can love being ME.

So today, and every day, I am letting go of my old feelings, thoughts and behaviors around lack and I’m not listening to themanymore.  I may not know where this will lead, but my new way of being is to TRUST that everything is unfolding as it should and I’m right where I need to be in this moment.  I am on the right path, because the right path for me is MY path, just as the right path for you is YOUR path.

Change isn’t easy, that’s for sure.  But the alternative – repeating the same pattern over and over and wasting energy trying to fit in – just ain’t for me anymore.  I say stop.  And I’m truly excited about what this new space and simplicity will bring.
Now, I better run. Kestan’s taking a nap and here’s my last chance to watch TV before it’s turned off tonight!
Your Personal Reflection:  How have you allowed they to define how you live?  Do your thoughts create self-imposed limitations in your life?  Can you choose, today, to let go of lack in your life, and celebrate abundance and gratitude?
Grab a piece of paper and write down three things that you are grateful for in this moment.  Try this practice daily and you’ll start to notice some shifts in the way you think, the way you see yourself, and the way you see the world around you.
Abundance is not something we acquire.  It is something we tune into.” -Wayne Dyer

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