I haven’t always loved my life. Even now, when I do love it, when there is so much that lights me up—morning walks on the beach and the endless energy of Murphy when I toss a ball, having my daughter here in Wellfleet with me this summer, catching up with old friends all together again, a swim in the lake, a bike ride with Chip, a client telling me how they’ve reconnected with old friends and mentors after writing with me—even now with all that, there are things I don’t love.
Endless house projects. Crises that pull me away from what I want to do. Knees that won’t let me run as often as I want.
And then there are my parents’ health issues, which consume more time than I’d like. I’m missing having them in Wellfleet with me this summer, my first without them here. I’m slowly losing my mom and trying to help her and my dad and supporting my siblings as we all navigate this rough terrain each in our own way. I wonder about whether I should give up this business I’m building, give up on helping people write their stories to better understand themselves and connect with others.
But ultimately, the answer to that is no, because I love this work that I do. Just as I love my life with its ups and downs and challenges along with its little joys and big triumphs. It wasn’t a direct route to where I am, but writing definitely helped me find my way.
Creating Your Own Roadmap
Today, I’m hosting Write into Joy, an online writing workshop. We’ll be writing and sharing on the theme of travel and adventure. Back in July, we wrote about friendship, and next month we’ll look at resilience. All of these topics deserve exploration. All of them have something to teach us.
Writing is the best way I know to design a life you love. Writing helps us clarify what we think and get really clear on what we want. When we write about dreams and goals, we help solidify them and make them something we are more likely to work towards.
And when we write about questions, sometimes we find surprising answers or perhaps not answers, but directions or clues. We may find ourselves admitting to a course of action we are reluctant to say aloud or we may come to a new understanding of a situation past or present. Answering the question what do I want more of in my life a few years back lead me to create live online workshops so I could reach a broader audience. I knew that the work I did – helping wise elders to write for themselves for self reflection, resilience and joy – would be fabulous for a younger demographic as well. Now I can reach people outside Marin County and work with people of all ages. Writing showed me how much I wanted to reach more people, which helped me get over my fear of technology.
The more we know about ourselves, the more we can focus on what we want and to create a life we love. The more we focus on our own deep knowing, the more we can let go of the outer voices that tell us we “should” do things a certain way.
When we come to a cross roads or pivot point, we can turn inward to see which direction feels right. We can connect with our core values as a north star. And we can reflect on what we’ve done before that can help and serve us in this current situation.
Start creating your roadmap today. Try the prompts in these posts to get you thinking:
- Explore your core values
- Focus in on your inner voice
- Examine a pivot point
- Look at your story with fresh eyes
Or simply ask yourself these questions:
- What do I love in my life right now?
- What do I want in my life (or want more of)?
- What’s getting in my way?
Your roadmap to a life you love won’t be static. You’ll reroute yourself just like GPS when you get off course or choose to change your destination. But whenever you do need to make a change, writing your story is a tool you can turn to to help you find your way.
Excited about the idea of creating a more meaningful life? Upgrade your roadmap with my free guide, 3 Steps to Having a Meaningful Life You Love to start designing your best life—a life with more energy, engagement, and clarity.