Days 252 to 260 I Love My Life!

20121017-230009.jpg I love my life. I don’t even know where to start telling you about why. But what I do know is that there was a little bit of guilt when I started to write this:

“I love my life.”

There’s a small voice that says I shouldn’t write that when so many others are unhappy. Like I’m bragging. Or like I’m going to make others feel bad about their life.

But that’s not why I’m talking about how much I love my life. I’m talking about it first and foremost because I want you to know that it is indeed possible to be this happy. That happiness is not elusive, or some kind of Hollywood bullshit ideal that we need to let go of. I want you to know that you should not settle, because you may be missing out on the ultimate happiness.

I have indeed settled before. And settling is sometimes a stepping stone…a way to feel safe before you take the next leap. And sometimes it is simply what we do because we’re scared to want what we really want.

I’ve been married to a perfectly cool guy and had a pretty sweet life with some travel and adventure and a beautiful home on the hilltop. I had “nothing to complain about,” except for the fact that I had a nagging feeling that there was more.

Then I felt guilty for wanting more. Like, “Girl, you grew up in the ghetto and you’re complaining about this?!”

(Guilt sucks! I’m getting better at not giving it so much power…)

In any event, I made some pretty bold decisions once I realized I was settling – and I define “settling” based on MY terms. I was settling not based on what other people wanted, because many wanted exactly what I had. Instead, I realized that I was settling because MY definition of happiness wasn’t being met. I was an unusual cookie, and my life wasn’t in alignment with ME.

Here are some of the bold moves I took once I realized I wasn’t living life to the fullest:

- Years ago, when this realization first hit, I got a divorce when I realized my partner and I no longer helped each other grow. As time went on and my need for freedom grew:
- I quit my job
- I put my awesome house on the market
- I disappointed someone who really really loved me because I knew that this time around, I wanted to choose to be with someone with whom I had NO DOUBT that we would live lives of freedom, adventure, and purpose together…with ease
- Let me say that again: I chose things to be easy in my relationship. I had lots of opportunities to be happy with a man, but work really hard at it, or have to go through so much bullshit in order to get there. I decided that was not how I wanted to roll.
- I started my own business
- I decided to move to Alaska for the true love of my life
- I committed to living Full On for 365 days in a row (the idea that spawned this blog) after I had another cancer scare (I’d already had cancer twice before). I realized that I was settling once again and wasn’t even aware – even after my previous wake up calls. Settling can be sneaky…

I also set clear intentions for the type of relationship, lifestyle, community, and spiritual evolution that I wanted, and made a commitment to myself to not settle for anything less – AND I allowed myself to be happy even before those things manifested.

Settling does not mean being content. Settling is letting go of your dreams. You can be content with life and not be settling for what you currently have.

For example, I was single, and while I longed for my soul mate, I was able to be happy while not in a relationship. I actually believe I had to reach that state before the Universe brought us together. We had to show we were ready, because any truly kick-ass relationship doesn’t require the other to be the cause/source of your happiness. That’s too much freakin’ work and responsibility for anyone who has any big plans for themselves in life. A relationship is more like the cherry on top…your playmate and partner for this wild ride called Your Life.

I do want to emphasize that getting clear about what I wanted and committing to it was paramount in manifesting my life as I love it right now. If you need to get more clear yourself and find yourself saying, “I’m not even sure about what exactly it is that I want,” or “I know what I DON’T want, but am not sure about what’s next” (great place to start, by the way!), download my free eBook. Pronto.

In any event, I want to let you know that I was also scared…but in a good, about-to-drop-off-the-rollercoaster kind of way. I also had people tell me – very nicely – that I might be making a mistake. They asked me if I was sure I wanted to do such drastic things before I was “sure” all was going to be OK.

Folks, just like waiting until you’re ready before having a baby – you are never going to be “sure” that things are going to be OK through assessing external circumstances. Being OK – feeling content, confident, “Ziji” – is an inner state of mind.

I also had to let go of my specific ideas for what I wanted, like where I wanted to live, or my specific soulmate. I held them in my mind, but focused MORE on asking for a way I would FEEL and BE in a particular scenario like a relationship (then, of course, my specific soulmate arrived;).

I had to learn how to say, “No,” because saying “No” to some things meant I was saying, “Yes!” to others.

I did deep work, reaching out to friends, mentors, my coaches (yes, I have more than one!), and immersed myself in reading and movies and experiences that fully supported my mindset and my choices.

I surrendered.

I asked for help.

So, you might be wondering:

What was the result of those bold moves and deciding that I didn’t need to settle because I was capable of making myself happy without choosing security over freedom and following my bliss?

- I accepted my Renaissance Soul instead of listening to everyone who told me, “You need to focus!” and crafted a lifestyle where I am a Life Coach, Guide, and Mentor to women all over the world; a Nurse-Midwife working in three different states; a Family Nurse Practitioner who works in remote villages and volunteers in refugee camps (I’m on a flight to Entebbe, Uganda as I write this); and an avid blogger who loves to inspire others.
- I am engaged to my soul mate (we met 12 years ago!), who proposed to me as we watched the Northern Lights dancing above us…We were lounging on the sailboat we have dry-docked on our land, surrounded by friends at our yurt as we celebrated our departure to Africa.
- I am taking prenatal vitamins with an actual intention to get pregnant instead of for fabulous hair and nails
- I live a rich lifestyle without the burden of needing “stuff” to feel abundant
- I am amply rewarded – financially and spiritually – for the work I do in all my multi-passionate jobs
- I am surrounded by a tribe of friends that also love to dance, play music, and howl at the moon
- I took five months off this year and still can afford the mortgages on my home in Oregon and my ski condo in Telluride, as well as sushi and wine and those other luxuries I adore;)
- I have a deepening relationship with my mother as I learn more and more how to let go, forgive, and trust – all of which is reinforced as I live from my heart

I am sure there is more, but that is what I wake up feeling gratitude for each day.

I write this for YOU, that you may be inspired to manifest your dreams, and actively create a life lived YOUR way. That you can say, “I know about this chick who grew up in the ghetto. She wasn’t rich or Caucasian or privileged, and she still manifested all the shizzle in life that she wanted. And she was whacky and didn’t play by the rules. She said, ‘No,’ and disappointed others and thought WAY out of the box. She didn’t always do what was safe. She took big risks and was scared, but took risks anyway. Everyone, especially her mother, thought she was crazy.”

And this I say to you:

This mean YOU CAN TOO!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Responses to Days 252 to 260 I Love My Life!

  1. Kimberly October 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    Awesome, awesome article! :) So happy for you, dear Ana!! Live big in Uganda. xo!

    • Ana Neff November 5, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      Wow thank YOU, Kimberly! Thanks for your wishes…and I am psyched to hear about the new developments in your biz too, bella!

  2. Heather October 18, 2012 at 5:03 am #

    I love this.

  3. Amanda November 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    I love how we ‘find’ just what we need, when we need it, and reading this today Ana, was just what my soul needed. AMAZINGLY helpful, inspiring and comforting. I applaud you woman!!! And all of us who are on our journeys. Much Love.

    • Ana Neff November 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      Amanda, I am so glad you “found” this right when you needed it;) I can’t even count the times my life has received important messages and affirmations just when I needed it, so I guess this is a classic case of “What goes around, comes around!” I bow to you and – as you said – to all of us who are on our journeys. Play on, badass!

  4. Natalie November 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Ana…you are such an inspiration to me! You GO, you amazing woman!

    • Ana Neff November 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

      Back atcha, you fairy angel, you!!!!

Let me know what you think and share your thoughts with the tribe