B269EAC0-B22A-48D9-9B9B-7FC91133119C

Tag Archives: Dreams

Mountaintop Couples Retreat- Part II (why are we together & where are we going)?

 

image
Question #1. Why are we together?

What an opener.  How does one even answer that?

And yet for us, the answer came almost immediately.  Jarring in it’s truth, it is why we work as a couple.

We are together because we bring what the other needs to move farther into a deeper, more fulfilling life.  To evolve, if you will, from where we started in life.

I was raised with unconditional love.  For all our faults, my family gave me unconditional love from birth.  I’ve also had unconditional love spiritually, as I have had faith since early childhood.

My husband was raised with the mantra of “no excuses”.  It doesn’t matter what is thrown in your path or how hard things get, you are responsible for living the life you desire.

Combine the two and we can build a life that knows no limits.  We balance each other out and have the opportunity to raise children who are fully loved, loving, and self-responsible (responsible for own well-being).

Why are you together with your partner? I’d be interested in others’ answers.

image

 

 

Question #2- What direction are you going as a couple?

As we worked through the questions, a thought kept reoccurring.  My husband and I have been able to stay together as a team through the past decade because we asked most of the important questions when we were first getting serious.  We had a long distance relationship.  You can only use small talk and recounts of your day for so long.  To fill hours on a phone or pages in a letter (email was just beginning when we met), you have to get real.  We discussed everything from our values, to how we wanted to raise kids, to what old age would look like.  We have been through so much in the last 15 years, but through it all we have been generally heading in the same direction.

The beauty of doing a retreat as a couple (as opposed to a group) is you can start from where you are.  For some, this is will be the first step in determining the direction and mission of your family.  For us, rather than finding our direction, our goals became clearer, refined.  We focused on refining how our team works and treats one another.  The planning for our future was less a battle of what direction to go and much more a discussion of when to enact certain changes we knew we both desired.

Our direction is clear, we want a life filled with love, exploration, helping others and the freedom on make our own life choices.  We began this fifteen years ago.  We are now well on our way, living in our desired location, raising our two beloved sons, and saving for the day when we no longer need to work full-time jobs.

To achieve this, we need to continue to simplify our lives.  Avoid added distractions, expenses, and negativity.

The beauty of acknowledging our direction is how simple it is once again to say no to things that do not aid us.  For the past year we have discussed getting a camping trailer, it aids our goal of exploring and spending quality, family time in nature.  However, it hurts our savings goals and our simplification goal.  We would have to find a storage place and maintain yet another big purchase.  After our retreat, we no longer need to discuss it, it doesn’t fit where we are right now.  There is beauty in knowing your decisions are rooted in your life direction and you as a couple do not need to keep rehashing the same ideas.

What is your direction as a couple?  Are you beginning your journey or well on your way?

 

Success

 

imageThankful.

Retreat filled with beauty, comfort, deep conversations, life changing plans, and facing fears as a team. Including, my first mountain bike ride (pretty extreme, long and amazing- you can see a bit of the trail just above the raging creek).  More to come…

Cultivating Intuition

20c

As a child I grew increasingly frustrated that there were so many competing rules in life.  I thought there had to be one ultimate Truth regarding how to live.  Shouldn’t we all be taught it and live accordingly?!

A lifetime of experiences has tempered that frustration. Thankfully.

I now believe we each have our own path and what is right for me in this moment, may simply not work for you.  I hope to share tools and insights I have been given that have helped me carve my path in the hopes it may help you (or allow you to share something different that works for you).

The last post focused on imagining the life you want to live.  To move from the imaging phase to the enacting phase, something is needed to guide actions and thereby create change in your life.  The most direct way I have found to enact intentional change is to cultivate intuition.

From Merriam-Webster:

Intuition: a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence : a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why: something that is known or understood without proof or evidence:  quick and ready insight

The quicker we grasp the right action and respond, the quicker we can move on to the next lesson or stage of our path through life.  Some of us will spend a lifetime reliving the same lesson.   I hope to remain open, learn from my experiences and cultivate the changes I intuitively know I need to make.

One of the great tools I have found in ultivating intuition is explained by Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way.  She calls this tool “Morning Pages”.   Essentially, one writes free-flow of conscience (no self-editing, no expectation to ever share the words with anyone).  Why I believe they work in creating change? It gets annoying to hear yourself say the same things every day.  At some point, you decide to change the script and change is born. Here’s how to do them:

  • Begin with a blank notebook or journal and a new easy-to-write-with pen
  • Upon waking (this is the best time to do this, however if you cannot possibly do this, take your first opportunity), set a timer for 15 minutes and begin writing
  • Do not edit your work (I even ignore punctuation as it slows down the stream of consciousness flow of thought to paper)
  • Do not lift the pen from paper until the timer goes off
  • Do not read your work
  • Repeat each day
  • For more insightful tools check out Ms. Cameron’s book (and accompanying workbook), it is truly one of the best books I have come across for awakening your creative self and unlocking your intuition)

Talk back!  Do you have a strong intuition?  Do you listen to it? What has happened when you don’t?  How has incorporating Morning Pages changed you, your life? Do you feel differently?  Do you see your life differently?

Budget, once again (Part III) Self-Employment

DSC_0834

As soon as the jars were filled our budget drastically changed. What is the saying? Want to see God laugh, tell him your plans? Hubby received an offer that allows us to manifest a major lifestyle change. He will be self-employed, have greater flexibility and time with our family. So, how on earth does one budget with the variable income of self-employment?

After some research, the best way for us to budget a variable income is to set a realistic budget based on the known income and a reasonable expectation for the variable income. Then build in safe guards, re-evaluation periods and a plan for windfalls.

1. Safe Guards: Determine an amount we are comfortable using from our savings to maintain our budget for the first three months.

  • As checks come in, pay back savings first.
  • Keep reserves in the account to float future months.
  • Remember every day that his pay will be irregular. Don’t stress. Breathe and plan.

2. Re-evaluation Period: Check in at the end of the first, second, and third month.

  • Assess how realistic the budget has been and reallocate any money left over.
  • Discuss short term savings (upcoming expenses, desired purchases, etc.). Build these items into the budget and windfall plan.
  • After the first 3 months, switch to quarterly check-ins.

3. Windfalls: Any amount over the budget x 4 months should be distributed according to our “windfall plan”.

  • 50% to debt repayment (we took on low-interest debt for the home purchase and remodel).
  • 25% to the short term saving categories (vacation,snowblower,  furniture).
  • 25% to the cash jars for a bit of float.

This will be interesting to watch develop. I have a feeling the hardest part will be the psychological test of not knowing when the next check will come in, how much we will bring in a year, etc. That said, there is no great reward without risk. There is the real chance that our family will have more time together, more adventures and bring in the same amount (or more!) of money a year.

Talk back, are you self-employed or thinking about becoming? Do you budget? What is the hardest part of being self-employed? What do you wish someone had told you?

Enter to Win $4K Back-to-School Prize at Tea Collection