I make no excuses for the fact that I love motivational quotes. On Pinterest I have a board dedicated to quotes, I favourite and retweet them on twitter and like them on Facebook. I love the inspiration and the momentary feel-good buzz you get from reading someone else's inspiring words and I really try to remember moving words during difficult situations.
One of my favourites is by Steve Prefontaine -
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
These words are so simple and obvious but I often forget their power. We all carry gifts with us. Our true talents, and yet without the proper attention they go wasted. It is so easy to become distracted by what we deem as 'real life'. If our focus is on getting through the day without checking in and deciding how to create or do something with ourselves that allows us to truly use our gifts are we living our lives to its fullest potential?
Over the past year and a bit, I quit my full time job and am now working part time. I am fully acknowledging that this decision is not for everyone and was certainly not something I had envisioned myself doing three years ago. But sometimes, life presents itself in a way that we have no choice but to wake up and make a change.
These changes are often not easy to make, however, for me, my health and my family life were suffering. I made a decision between choosing to continue on a path that really wasn't working for one that was completely unknown. And it was the scariest thing I have ever done. The fear that I have made a decision that could be wrong is still very present today.
My biggest fear, like for most of us out there is financial. If I don't have the stability to support my family and provide the comforts for my children that I had growing up, then I must be a failure as a parent. Or at least that is what a small part of me thinks when I allow the 'money fear' to sink in.
But my kids aren't suffering if I look at the bigger picture. When I stopped working full time, I cut back on expenses and I didn't feel deprived doing so. The things I cut back on were dinners out, I now have the time to shop for groceries and cook. I don't have to pay someone to clean my house because I am home to do it and the whole family pitches in. I also stopped shopping for entertainment. I don’t need a lot of the unless things I was purchasing and have a less cluttered house for it.
But the biggest difference from these changes is that we are ALL more relaxed. Our mornings before and after school aren't rushed. The kids have their homework done because we've been able to establish and stick with a routine. We prepare and eat our meals together. When my daughter wants to show me something even as trivial as a hula hope routine, I have time to actually pay attention and watch her because my mind isn't thinking of all of the other things I feel pressured to do.
We still have money for things we consider important such as travel and sports but as a family we choose to make those activities a priority. While my bank account may not see the influx of cash it has in the past, I have something I consider far more valuable. First I am regaining my health. But secondly and more importantly I have the gift of time. I have gained the freedom to choose where I focus my attention.
My family is the most important part of my life and I am able to spend my time there. I am not sacrificing the gift, because all of my attention is focused on it.
I have the space to create a new start for myself. Each day I remind myself of how blessed I am to have this opportunity to start again. I am learning that the stability from money is nothing in comparison to the riches you experience when you have the space to follow the passion that truly ignites you and has the ability to touch others.
We have been given one life to live. This is not our practice life and for me I am living it to its fullest.