My husband and I were a couple of simple-living individuals when we were young. Our VW Van, a cottage on the beach, and hours filled with soul-nourishing activities. Long runs together and my husband reading novels to me as we snugged by the fire were staples of our daily life. We clammed, we fished, we forged mushrooms, and we grew vegetables. In the summers we climbed mountains, in the winters I wrote. Simplicity ruled. Health wasn't a struggle to achieve, because every aspect of our life supported our health. Friendships weren't challenging to maintain because there was plenty of time to nourish them. We never even worried about how much sleep we were getting, because we rested when we were tired.
About a year ago I suddenly looked around and realized that our life looked much different than it once had. While our life was still amazing, it had taken on a quality of "busy" that didn't feel good. I saw clearly that the speed at which we were living wasn't serving us. We felt like we were chasing our health, because we never had time for exercise or eating right. Our community had become sparse because we were both exhausted after working 60 hours a week. We stressed out about getting enough sleep because we were always tired.
I began to look deeper and notice other ways in which our life had somehow become out of alignment. We didn't eat locally grown food, we no longer composted, instead of taking the time to fix something, we just threw it away and bought something new. Even though our family had fairly strict house rules on electronics, we still were spending more time on our phones and laptops than we wanted to. Our time was filled primarily with work, and less time with our family and friends. We no longer played everyday, and fun seemed to have been reserved for vacations and long weekends.
For the majority of my life I have taken pride in living by my own rules, but as I took a deeper look, I realized that I had become a slave to cultural norms of what constituted a "good life". I could see how the circumstances of life had slowly moved us into the "mainstream" way of living. This awareness awoke my 14-year old hippie, dreadlocked & barefoot self. I wasn't having it. It was time to get back on track.
As I began to reach out to others to talk about my experience, I realized that I was not alone. There were a ton of people that were awakened by the global pandemic. While there were tremendous tragedies and hardships endured (many that we are still unpacking 2+ years later as mental health data continues to show alarming statistics of people struggling mentally, emotionally and spiritually), there were also gifts that came from this time. In fact, I am wondering if the mental health data is actually a sign of increased health and wellness to come. For when we are healing, we must go through the darkness to get to the light. For many of us, the pandemic was a pause long enough for us to wake up - and this awakening is being seen and felt throughout the world right now. Rather than falling back under the spell of consumerism, disconnection, and the great illusion of the hustle, I hope we (both individually and collectively) more fully embrace the discomfort of change long enough to attain the 'better' on the other side.
For my husband and me, we're all in. We have a history of leaping and having faith that the net will appear. It's scary, certainly, but we know how to sit with fear without moving to hide it, fade it or fix it. We started shifting the pieces of our lives a little over a year ago, juggling jobs and wellness, kids and responsibilities, and moving forward with intention and trust. These next few months, we are inviting bigger change around the pieces of our lives. The momentum has caught... and the change is imminent. We're not sure how it's going to work out, but we know - without a doubt - that if we keep our intention strong and our hearts open, there is something better than we could have ever envisioned on the other side.
The part that has been most interesting to me, throughout these past several months, is my own inner journey. Even parts of simple, slow, connected living that I year for are challenging to step into because over the past years, as my life has sped up, I've also attached to ideas and identities that are hard to let go of. Busyness as a badge of honor, self-worth tied to production, always being rushed - these have become deeply ingrained in me over the years, and now I must take time and care to unweave them. This process doesn't happen overnight, I assure you. As humans, I feel that all of us expect something to change immediately after we think it. It just doesn't work that way. Thinking isn't knowing. Knowing takes times (you can read my theory on the 3 levels of knowing here).
I'll be sharing more of my inner process and our outer process in this blog and in my newsletter (you can sign up here), and I'd love for you to join me. For now, my heart wants to tell your heart: Rest. Trust the change that is happening right now, and lean into it. Find the new version of yourself that wants to emerge by shedding away the old skin that has become stiff and suffocating.
Mindy Amita Aisling
Life Coaching for Big-Hearted Overthinkers & Entreprenerds
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Mindy Amita Aisling, is a professionally trained and board-certified leadership, authenticity, and entrepreneur coach.
Mindy exceeds all requirements set forth by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) for Master Coach certification.
Mindy is also a licensed mediator, communications coach, and conflict resolution practicer. As a mediator, she has worked both in private practice and as a court appointment mediator at her local county courthouse.
Through her innovative approach, she assists clients in examining their limiting beliefs, questioning their assumptions about how the world works, and releasing the notion that they are anything less than perfect. As a result, individuals who work with Mindy cultivate the ability to stand firm in their beliefs, live authentically and decisively, and discover an experience of life that is easy and graceful.
In 2021, Mindy founded How to Be Human and Entreprenerd. These programs have enabled her to share her wisdom and knowledge with a broader audience in service of her vision of helping others live authentic lives This, in turn, has empowered more individuals to lead their most TRUE and COURAGEOUS lives.
When she is not working, Mindy can be found playing outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, creating art, spending time with friends & family, or with her nose deep in a book.
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