Tests of life

This quote by John Irving is probably one of the most powerful bits of mind food I have encountered. The two big aspects of this quote involve 1) being mindful and purposeful enough to create the life of your dreams and 2) having the courage to live it. The reason I feel called to write this post is because these aspects are in high demand in the world right now and I have had many conversations come up recently that highlight this very concept. Let’s dive into each one.

Creating the life you love takes intention and, most of all, focus. There is another amazing quote shared by the modern guru of marketing Seth Godin (author of Purple Cow and Permission Marketing): “You don’t need more time, you need to decide”. I have been hearing a lot of complaints from people that they do not have the time to do all the things they need to do. I used to be that person. Overwhelmed and scattered, I would have no structure to my days and would just grab one task after another, being bounced around by external demands on my time and other people’s agendas. I would get so overwhelmed that I would just end up scrolling social media or watch an episode after episode of Netflix as a numbing mechanism. And then kept complaining how I didn’t have enough time for anything. It wasn’t until I participated in the Beautiful Life Lab program by Ange Peters that it all changed. Ange is a Double Diamond in doTERRA and a prolific entrepreneur, a mom of two and a devoted wife. She made all of us in the program track a week of our time in 30 min increments to see where our time was REALLY going. Wow. Was that an eye opener or what! I thought I didn’t have enough time… In fact I wasted more time than I used with intention. In the program, creating a yearlong vision for self-care, relationships, career, and personal development, breaking those down into quarterly and then weekly goals made sure my day-to-day activities align with the bigger vision – so I do not get distracted by random things popping into my space. And this is where one major key of designing your life comes in – trading. What are you willing to trade in to design the life of your dreams? Sleeping in? Netflix marathons? Hour long social media scrolling sessions? Foods that do not nourish you? All these things are distractions. The program helped me create what is called “day by design” where every day I know exactly when I: get up, have deep work focus sessions, have loose creative work sessions, exercise, do errands, engage in personal development, what nourishing foods I eat that day. I created this together with my husband and it has been a GAME CHANGER to have his buy-in and make sure we do it together. You don’t have to do the same program specifically, but some kind of process where you track your time, create yearly vision and break it down into daily goals and have a way of doing weekly reflection and planning may just be the way you stop complaining about not having enough time and start using the time you have with intention.

The second aspect of this process may even be harder than the first. Having the courage to live the life of your beautiful design is something different altogether. I first encountered the concept of “tests of life” while doing a personal development program with a psychologist from Russia. He said that every time we embark on a journey of up-leveling ourselves (whether in health, career, or relationships) we will meet initial pushback from the Universe. It is a test of life – do you REALLY mean it? Are you REALLY in it 100%? Will you REALLY stick with it? Life tests our resolve and the strength of our “why”. Some of the most common examples from my own life are:

  • deciding to start going to the gym then slipping on ice, twisting an ankle – now I have the excuse not to go!
  • deciding to take a personal development program – something breaks and I have to buy new/repair so I no longer “have the money” to purchase the personal development program
  • deciding to start my business and immediately hearing a ton of doubt and negative opinions from people around me

This last form of life testing is one of the most frequent ones in my experience. There is a really cool allegory of “crabs in a bucket”. When there are many crabs in a bucket there is a lot of movement and commotion but no real progress is made. When one of the crabs realizes there is no lid on the bucket and tries to climb out – what do you think the other crabs do? They grab onto it and pull it down. This is what happens frequently when you decide to up-level an area of your life: you decide to eat healthy and get pushback from your spouse who is used to bonding over pizza and burgers, you choose a career path and start hearing people tear down your choice – whether they know anything about this path or not. I can personally attest the EVERY SINGLE PERSON on my doTERRA team who has declared the decision to build their business with doTERRA got attacked by someone: friends, relatives, coworkers, even strangers. When I got started, the first item of feedback I got was a coworker’s wife sending me an article of how dangerous essential oils are for children. A few builders got torn down by friends and acquaintances for joining the “pyramid scheme”. I have been repeatedly attacked while taking my herbalist certification training – by other herbalists – for working with essential oils. My latest instance is that of a smart, capable, motivated woman who wanted to share the oils because she believes in them and the help and hope they can offer people – and the deciding not to because of other people’s opinions of network marketing. Most will fall. Some will stand. This is the courage to live the life of your dreams, the life of your design. This is life testing the strength of your “why”.

Few things are as scary as living your life based on “what will they think”. This mindset keeps you small, away from your potential, away from shining your light. When you live your life constantly looking over your shoulder and worrying about the opinions of others – there is a small part of your soul that dies. If I worried about the opinions of others I would have never left academia, never got into YTT and became a yoga teacher, never started to create a wellness community through my doTERRA work. My life would have been pretty miserable. In Ukraine we have a saying: the dogs will bark but the caravan moves on. I LOVE this one 🙂

So, are you willing to trade in distractions in order to have enough focus to design the life of your dreams? Is your “why” strong enough so you have the courage to withstand those tearing you down and live the life you know should be yours? It is up to you to decide.

If a life by design, filled with passion for helping others, community, and growth is something you feel called to – drop a note in the contact form and let’s chat about getting to know how owning a doTERRA business may just be the thing you’re looking for.

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