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Tag Archives: Philosophy

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

 

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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.

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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?

 

Cultivating Intuition

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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?

The Imagining Process: Part 1

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With the budget firmly in place and the financial plan running pretty much on auto-pilot, I am shifting gears to a series on the first tenet of this blog: imagining the life one wants to live.  There is nothing so personal.  No one can create this for you and no two people have exactly the same vision. It is the result of a lifetime of self-exploration and discovery.  That said, there are steps and tools that have aided myself and many others to visualize a self-directed path through life.

I like to begin this process by creating a Life Manifestation Board.  This is similar in process to the money manifestation board.  Creating this physical representation of what matters most to you in life, makes life change easier and decision-making much clearer:

  1. Start with a pen, paper, scissors and any flat surface (poster board or wrapping paper will work fine). *( If you would like to start the process now and don’t have the supplies on hand, simply create these categories on your phone, computer or a piece of paper.  You can always recreate the physical board at a later time.)
  2. Cut approximately 30 cards large enough to write a word or two
  3. Write 2-5 “Core” values each on a separate card.  These are the essential beliefs/needs you have in life.  For example, these might be health, spirituality, passion, love, beauty, etc.
  4. Then list the Manifestations of the Core, the ways the Core are expressed or shown in life.  Examples include family, exploring, creating, children, work.
  5. Then list the Actions that carry out the Core and Manifestations in your life. Examples include, helping others, eating healthfully, exercise, gardening, etc.
  6. Tape or glue the cards onto the board.  Keep the Core at the top, Manifestations in the middle and Actions at the bottom.
  7.  Spend time looking at what you have created.  Is there anything missing?  Are there things in your life now that occupy a lot of your time and energy but to not fulfill your imagined life?  What can you cut out of your life today?  What can you add?
  8. Place the board either in view or somewhere you can easily access when in need of focusing on your personal map for how you want to live your life.
  9. Refresh your Life Manifestation Board over time.  You will learn and grow and this map of your path should change with you.

 

15 Minute Feng Shui

Www.lifeimagined.org 15 minute feng shui

Www.lifeimagined.org

New to feng shui?  Here is an easy introduction that provides a taste of the life changing philosophy in fifteen minutes.

Why feng shui?

Living a life surrounded by what you love and regularly use, leads to a simplified, intentional, and more harmonious life.

Let’s begin

Imagine a room, the blinds are drawn, the french doors are blocked by large furniture, piles of magazines, catalogues and bills to be paid.  On the wall is a painting given to you by a relative you don’t enjoy.  The coffee table is filled with projects you need to finish. How do you feel?

Now imagine you are placed in a different room.  The room is bright and open, with healthy plants outside the open french doors.   In front of you the coffee table holds a book you cannot wait to read, a card from a loved one and the walls are decorated with photos and art from friends and family who uplift you.

Again, how do you feel?

Which room inspires you to go after the life of your dreams?

By keeping only what you love and use, letting everything else go to find its’ home, life stays on a track of progression.   You are not stuck in the past.  You are free to live today.

15 minute feng shui exercise

Experience a feng shui energy boost in 15 minutes:

  • Set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes
  • Throw away/recycle everything in sight that you no longer need.
  • Reset timer for 5 minutes.
  • Put things away and make a pile (at the door) of things that belong in other rooms.
  • Reset timer for 5 minutes.
  • Place those piles in the rooms they belong in.
  • Time remaining?  Wipe down any surfaces in sight.

The more often you do this, the easier it will be to permanently clear your life of clutter.  The more you clear clutter out of your life, the more time and energy you will have to focus on your life goals.

Tell me, how did you feel after the 15 minutes?  I find that anytime I am stuck (work project, house project, creative project), clearing clutter and cleaning for 15 minutes releases newfound energy to tackle the project fresh.

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