Just down the street but if feels like a whole new space. A new space in our life. A space that allows us to live simpler and truer to our dreams. And not the big dreams of blockbuster movies and a bustling business but the dreams of having more time doing the things we love.
Of course those BIG dreams are still alive, but they are now anchored by living in the present. We’ve chosen to be more aware of where our time and money are going. To have intention with every decision we make.
Our intention is to spend more time with our children, friends and family and to travel… a lot. To see the world with each other and to experience as much as we can together in new cultures and environments. Because we’ve realized that life isn’t slowing down. Our kids are growing up, we’ve lost loved ones and we’ve had health scares and in the end what matters to us is what we are doing with our time.
I’d like to think the change towards a simpler life started just recently but as with any change it’s been a process.
I remember a pivotal discussion I had with my therapist last year when I was in the thick of chaos. I was dealing with PostPartum hormones (after the birth of my 3rd daughter), running a business, dealing with financial stress and my husband was away on a film project. I discussed with her how when my husband is home he is all in, the most hands on husband and father, but when he is on a film project it is just a 180 and all of the sudden it is chaos. He can be gone for weeks at a time and I’m left to handle three kids, a household, work, being alone and a whole host of emotions.
We talked about how growing up in chaos creates this “normalization” of stress and and as you get older you can subconsciously create a chaotic life, even if it isn’t the way in which chaos was created as a kid. It can manifest in your neglect of health, time management, relationships, finances, career choices. Your body needs “chaos” to feel normal and until you get a glimpse of what a non-chaotic life looks like, you don’t know any different.
And then she said something that stuck with me. She said “You have to have systems in place that create a soft landing. You have to have tools in place to sustain the ups and downs of life (and the industry).”
It was then that I realized I wanted to create a life of soft landings. I started with speaking out loud my intention of finding the tools to live simpler and to be open to whatever came my way. As I look back now I realize I was first led to the tools for my health. I discovered yoga (again), meditation, nutrition, and the right doctors to give me the answers and medicines I needed.
And then as my health started on track my heart and mind must of known I could tackle other aspects of my life. I started to get more and more interested in living minimally and began to search out articles, movies and books about living simpler. I gained an understanding that all of the “stuff” that was taking up space in my home and life had to serve a purpose. I committed to being more intentional with what I was keeping and allowing in my house and the more aware I became the more I realized that so much of my precious time was spent cleaning, managing, and organizing our “stuff.”
Although it felt overwhelming at first I started with just one room at a time and I began to dejunk/de-clutter our home. Over the next few months I realized a lot about what I truly needed in life. I also learned that there was no reason we needed 6 airplane pillows, 5 pairs of scissors, 10 extra blankets or a rice cooker that had been used twice in thirteen years.
I also started to see and FEEL what it meant to live simply and with intention. And then, as often happens once you’ve evolved into another way of seeing things, another change presents itself.
The decision to move. This was like any other moving decision we had made before. Our moves, since moving to L.A. 12 years ago, were always a move up in home size. It was what our growing family needed, until now.
Now we had to really look at what our intentions were and how our current home (and rent) were serving us. We quickly realized that the beautiful pool and large yard would be the hardest to give up. And not for us, but for our children. It gave them space to be a kid, space that is hard to find in a big city like Los Angeles. But was it serving our intent?
We had gone back and forth on whether to just continue to stay in the house for the kids or make a move. And then, as the universe does when it sees you teetering on a decision, it sent us a sign. An email from our landlord that said our rent would be going up 11%. Eleven percent already on top of an extremely high amount of rent we pay. And then we knew. We knew that it was time for us to find a home that was what we needed and wanted.
And within days we found a home, right down the street, that is just right for us. After all of our fears and sadness that our children wouldn’t have “the pool” or the “big yard”, we realized they were exactly that.. just fears. They love our new place and are calling it their mini-home.
And for the first time in a long time it feels like this is our soft landing. A “rent-controlled” apartment, that is smaller (and half the cost) and simpler. And it feels good to be intentionally creating a lifestyle of simplicity to make space for the things that really matter.