In exactly one week, I’ll be on a plane, traveling to southern France. Once I arrive, I’ll begin a 500-mile walk to Santiago, Spain and then on to the Atlantic Ocean on Spain’s west coast. I decided to go for my 40th birthday, but it’s turned into a much bigger journey.
You may not have any interest in this ancient pilgrimage, or Spain, or even travel, but I will tell you that this leaving is a remarkable accomplishment for me — even before I’ve left.
Not only have I whittled my essential belongings down to about 47 basic items, but I will be unreachable by phone or email the entire time I’m away. My life has never been this simple.
Despite this, the lights will stay on at Inspired Home office. Every important business operation, from email to customer service will still be up and running in my absence. Classes will be offered. Newsletters will be sent monthly. Support will continue.
How is it possible for a girl like me — once cluttered, creative, overwhelmed, and over-scheduled — to successfully plan a trip of this duration and simplicity? Four things, to be exact. And you can do them too.
Create conscious systems
All these years of self-employment, no one has ever seen how I “do” email or pay my bills. In releasing these tasks to others while I’m away, I’ve discovered I have decent systems! I feel proud of the tools I’ve created that help my business run well.
You can get there too by treating every new system as an experiment. Write down the steps and try it out for a while to see what works. If it does, you just keep following the steps!
Cultivate willingness to delegate
Ever feel like you want someone to help you, but you want to manage every aspect of how they do the things you delegate? (Or is that just me?)
At some point (last month, probably) I realized that if this pilgrimage was to be a success, it was imperative that to choose to release everything to others. From feeding the cats and leading classes, to paying the bills and addressing customer questions — I needed to let go of doing it all myself.
One of the illusions of self-employment is that the business can’t run without me/you. Turns out, if you plan well, it can! The key is willingness.
Is there anything in your life or work you want to delegate? What if you tried it?
Create clarity about what’s important
Whether you’re sorting through an old pile of papers or deciding what to put in a 45 liter backpack, both offer an opportunity to practice discerning what is and isn’t important to you.
For your home office, perhaps it’s important to enjoy your surroundings and have space to do things you love. If you have a bunch of baby elephants on your desk, you’ll eventually realize that they’re keeping you from what’s important to you.
As I prepared for this pilgrimage, I decided that simplicity was the most important thing for me. I decided to put as little “stuff” and weight in my pack as necessary and create as little waste as possible. I also decided that giving you, dear reader, a positive experience in my absence was important too.
Clarity helps you act meaningfully.
Choose to act on your dreams
This month in my community, the Creative Haven, our topic is Vision. We’re diving into our dreams and wishes. We’re following our inklings of inspiration.
Sadly, many of people gave up their imaginations in childhood, but if you give it a little space to come out, you’ll discover that your inner wish machine is still vividly alive inside of you. It’s just gone into hiding.
What do you dream of? What, in your most private moments, do you wish for? What idea feels so tantalizing that you feel a thrill just thinking about it?
I had a dream to do something BIG for my 40th birthday. I had no idea I’d be flying halfway around the world to walk my tail off, I just wanted to do something significant to mark the transition. If I look even further back, I remember that had a dream of going on regular retreats to nourish my spirit and reflect on my life. And I did it… but I wanted more.
This journey I’m about to take is a giant-sized retreat. It came from a butterfly-inducing idea. I dared to dream for it and now (holy cow!) it’s miraculously here.
I chose it.
You can do this
If you’re looking at what I’m about to do with a little envy… If the idea of taking almost 3 whole months off from your work appeals to you… Do it. I’ve done nothing exceptional except write it in my calendar and decide to make it happen.
And once I decided, the miracles showed up — the right shoes, 15 generous friends’ contributions, an amazing assistant, a talented best friend, a powerhouse group of gifted volunteers, a willing and supportive spouse, and encouraging community of friends and family, and divine encouragement in times of doubt that I could get there.
Yes, I’m doing this. And so can you — whatever you dream of — if you choose it.
Know this: At the precise moment that you choose to act on your dream, not only will decluttering and organizing get easier, but a million angels will line up behind you and fan you forward with their wings. As they have with me.
Want to share your dream? Or cheer me on as a plan to meet mine?