I have to tell you, being away from home these past few weeks has made it very apparent how flat-lined my life was before I got here. I knew I was craving adventure and growth, but I didn’t understand the extent of why until I actually stepped away from my life in Chicago and spent the last 5 weeks in Paris.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m a happy person. I was enjoying life in Chicago. I have a great social life, I’m close to my family and I’d created a nice little daily routine of work and play. But it was flat. So incredibly flat.
It took me fully stepping out of my routine to really understand just how boring my life had become.
If the life I was living in Chicago is compared to the horizon; my life in Paris is much like the waves of the ocean. There are highs and lows. And I’m right in there surfing all those waves.
I’ve had moments of total body joy walking along the Seine looking at iconic Paris monuments. And I’ve had other moments where my heart ached because I felt off my center and a bit like I don’t really fit in here. But, I’m feeling it all. And I’m growing. Oh, but it’s been real. And mine. And so exhilarating.
You see in order to truly feel the ecstatic highs, you also have to be willing to feel the lows. And I realized I’d been protecting myself from having to feel anything negative. I’d created this safe life for myself, which isn’t a bad thing. For a while it served me and was what I needed. But when it stopped serving me, I ignored the signs. I ignored that I felt stuck and stale and even suffocated at times. And I just kept plowing away and looking to the future, hoping for it to change. But I know now that this was my ego keeping me safe from having to really feel any of the discomfort that comes with change and expansion.
Taking this leap has changed my perception on playing it safe with my emotions. Because the good feels so good and the bad in a way feels good too, because even though it’s uncomfortable, I know I’m learning and growing and experiencing more of myself. And, the result is that I’m able to teach others to do the same.
So here’s my challenge to you…
Can you relate? Do you feel like you’re living a flat-lined life?
What is your greatest desire? Most people answer this with something vague like wanting more happiness or money or peace. But our dreams don’t manifest without clarity. They manifest from being very specific about what you desire. Like “I desire to live in Paris for 2 months!”
So give yourself some time and really sink into what you really want from life. What is your dream? And when you figure it out write it down. Think about it. Visualize what it would feel like until it becomes a burning desire. And just see what happens!
Photo credit: Antonio Ponte via Flickr