Editor’s Note : This article was written by the very beautiful Annemarie De Seriere – see link below.
Sometimes I receive emails from people expressing their envy (in a nice way) about us ‘living the dream’, as we have been on the road now for 3.5 years. They wonder how we manage our gypsy lifestyle and how I stay happy while living with chronic pain. Let me first say that happiness takes practice – chronic pain has a way of taking prisoners and if I allow myself to be enslaved by it, I become miserable and life gets complicated. Practicing self discipline, keeping a positive mind and having a clear focus are just 3 essential ingredients that help me manage pain and maintain a happy balance … As for living the dream – yes we certainly love it but it does take effort, tolerance, lots of planning and preparing while remaining open to change. The ‘winds’ of life can suddenly turn a different direction and stress can take over instantly, if unprepared. The paradox between freedom and discipline is therefore worthy of respect, while understanding and appreciating the law of change.
The Law of Change states that nothing must and will remain the same! Having a purpose helps me deal with pain and continual adjustments in life! And yes we travel but we are not ‘rich’ as some assume. Like everyone else, we need to earn an income to sustain ourselves and to enable us to offer free community outreach programs along the way. We keep our lifestyle simple, economical and without any trimmings, in order to live our dream. Therefore planning and preparing (while remaining flexible) is essential. Having a clear visual in my mind is helpful (to have a dream is important), but I must work for it to make it real, it’s not just going to drop in my lap. To attract success in any outcome, I must be prepared to move towards it – to continually step out of my comfort zone and stretch my self-imposed boundaries. Action-taking becomes a magnet, a discipline we must afford ourselves if we want to LIVE any dream!
What gets me up each morning are my dreams and goals, and one of them is freedom! Freedom from the dictates of others, freedom from the pull of this materialistic world, freedom from pain, sorrow and any obstacles in my own mind… Keeping this aim and objective helps me create my own success (happiness) – I never give up on my dreams, no matter how outrageous they appear to others. If we have nothing to aim for – no dreams to chase – we wander aimlessly through life … A child without a dream is an adult without purpose – we may lose nothing but we certainly don’t gain anything either. You know, it takes courage to dream, to set goals, to think outside the box and to accept our mistakes. The only time we fail is if we don’t have a go! Learning from mistakes builds resilience, bringing with it clarity and determination to get up and to keep going.
We all need meaning in our life – a reason why we do what we do – it keeps us interested. Living on the road is no different, it requires effort and a clear purpose, otherwise the dream becomes boring and we go back to our comfort zone and back to wondering what life is all about. For example, we meet many people on the road – some love what they do because they have a clear reason for doing it, and their joy is obvious. Others find it all rather tedious yet are compelled to keep going. Moving between one comfort zone to another, without purpose or appreciation, they continue to wonder why they are still unhappy … A gypsy life is not for everyone, it’s pointless to do something you don’t enjoy, so don’t live someone else’s dream, live your own!
To fulfill a dream, I must keep this aim firmly in front of me and I must take daily steps towards it, while simultaneously letting go of the outcome. Knowing I am DOing all I can to move towards it, I trust what will be will be! If it is meant to be, I will ‘pull’ this dream towards me through my deliberate actions. If not, I trust that something else more aligned with my inner truth and learning will surface and become apparent to me… Goals start with a dream and end with letting go of the destination (without losing sight of it), in order to enjoy the journey at hand … Trusting that everything happens for a reason and that every situation has benefit, I understand and accept that happiness is within me and comes with me wherever I go
Question: Do I live my life with purpose, while embracing and accepting change?
Consideration: If not? Why not? Why do I struggle staying on track?….
Activity: Set one small short-term goal for the month ahead (starting small makes it achievable and gives us courage to have a go). Be clear on what you are aiming for, keep it realistic and doable. Set time frame to succeed in 30 days (it’s important to set a date to give urgency to your goal, or you will procrastinate). Then DO something practical (take action) EACH SINGLE day towards making this happen, this gives your goal momentum (even 1 phone call or 10 minutes of research is a step). Don’t think ‘it’s too hard’ or ‘I can’t’, just DO it! Don’t let mistakes put you off, learn from it, shake it off and simply keep going!
Hope you enjoyed 🙂 This post was originally published in July 2014 on Annemarie’s blog Will to Wonder. Annemarie is a mother, a life partner; a writer and self publisher; a meditation practitioner; and the founder of Resoulutions 4 Life, you can visit her at her blog by clicking willtowonder.com and at resoulutions4life.com.au