Do you hear a voice in your head whispering?, “I need to be free.” Is there a secret part of you that yearns for more adventure in your life? If money was not a factor would your life be dramatically different from the one you’re living today?
If you said yes to any of these three questions you might need to seriously reexamine your values and the life path you’ve chosen.
I’ve always known deep down inside finance wasn’t the right fit for me, even when it came to simply filling out my tax software, but for some reason I was driven to do it. With each successive year I felt myself exerting more and more energy to squelch the voice that was screaming, NO, NO NO!
When I was growing up I dreamed of being a writer.
I’d read many of New York Daily News journalist, Jess Stearn‘s books and longed to travel around the country to interview people and write books on metaphysical topics. He wrote best sellers such as, Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet, Yoga, Youth and Reincarnation and Alpha Thinking.
I would see myself writing and I could feel how happy I would be doing it too. Intuitively, I always knew that’s what I was supposed to be doing. But, somewhere along the way I got the notion that it was too risky. I opted for the safe thing, the sure bet. The job with the steady paycheck and my little dream withered. Everybody said I had a head for business didn’t they? At the tender age of 21 I figured that’s the way it was supposed to be. You took a job you were good at and you stuck to it until you retired. The only problem was that my job never made me happy nor satisfied.
They say there are no mistakes.
I feel I had to learn to be a business person and earn a living in a very conventional manner in order to complete my education on the earth plane this time around. But at this point in my life I can honestly say: Okay Universe I get it now! I now know how to navigate the material world. NOW – can I please finally do what I really want to do?
I feel ready to redesign my life in way that allows me to have more freedom to experience and do what I enjoy and to help others through my writing as well.
To finance my new lifestyle I’ve decided that my house has to go.
When I think of my dilemma: Big House vs. Big Life, a scene from the film The Wizard of Oz comes to my mind. You know the one where the Wicked Witch of the East is crushed by Dorothy’s house and all you see are her red striped stockinged legs sticking out from under it? Dorothy is given the dead witch’s magical Ruby Slippers and toward the end of the film the Good Witch Glinda tells her that all she ever had to do was click her heels and she could have gone home. Like Dorothy, I realize I had the power all along too. All it took was my accepting that it was okay to sell my house and downsize. So, I’ve clicked my heels and decided, “There’s no place like home – and home is wherever I choose it be!” Now that I’ve accepted that this is the right decision I feel lighter and freer already – my house is no longer crushing me.
Over the last few years I’ve been reading more and more about the minimalist lifestyle.
I first encountered minimalist living 2 years ago on a blog called Zen Habits, written by Leo Babauta. He had this cool site with a picture of stones stacked on top of one another – that I absolutely adored. I became so enamored of this guy from Guam with all this simple wisdom – who was he and how the heck did he get so damn smart? Anyway, at the time I had another blog about personal finance and one of the topics I wrote about was scaling down and paying off debt in order to enjoy your life more. I thought I was writing something so new and innovative – me the money lender telling others to quit borrowing so much money and live within their means.
But, when I discovered Zen Habits I learned there were people who were actually doing this already. They were living with less and finding the joy in having more freedom and less stuff to maintain. Having all this stuff to contend with and then needing a big house to store all the stuff in created a vicious cycle of having to work and work and make more money all the time. I realized my stuff was running my life instead of the other way around. It was then I started seriously thinking of downsizing.
I took a long time to come to terms with it though. Part of my accepting downsizing meant I had to reject all the “conventional” ideas of what it meant to be living an adult life. Weren’t you supposed to go to school, get a job and then buy a home and stay there until you were really old and then you downsized? How could I explain my desire to go smaller when all my friends were trading up to bigger homes? Could I go back to a small condo, or worse still an apartment after owning my own home? It was a lot to process – which is why it took two years to wrap my mind around it emotionally, but having come to terms with it I now feel at peace.
I’ve come to realize I’d truly Rather Have a Big Life Than A Big House.
Having a small home with little to no debt means freedom. The freedom I crave to recreate my life – my way.
No more taking jobs I hate because I have to make enough to maintain a big house.
It creates the freedom to freelance, to write what I please, to work on the book I’ve been thinking of in the day time when I work best instead of the evenings when I’m tired, to attend writer’s conferences – and not ask permission to take vacation time, to dream and contemplate and to allow my creativity to expand without restrictions.
And, the greatest benefit of all, so far, of reaching this decision has been the invaluable sense of peace I’ve gained by finally listening to my intuition – instead of fighting it – and acting upon my heart’s desire.
I’ve taken back my life and it feels good.
That’s my story. What’s yours? Are you ready for A Big Life?
What’s your idea of a Big Life? Have you already scaled down? Share your experiences, or what you’re going through.
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