At this moment I am bathed in the warm light of the Autumn sun as it flits and dances through the few brittle leaves still clinging to the oak trees standing proudly in my backyard. My backyard on this mountain we have moved to. My backyard on this mountain that we have moved to that still feels wild and new and strange and foreign.
We moved here this past spring and quickly went about settling in. We mowed lawn, weeded flower beds and tended fences. We organized our kitchen and made plans for the gardens and the chickens and the life we would create out here on our new homestead. We quickly learned many lessons about living far away from civilization that seem so silly, yet profound and abundantly obvious, in hindsight — raccoons love trash and stray cats linger where there is abundant food, of course they do. Spiders can be scary when you aren’t expecting them (black widows?!) and gnats and stink bugs and crickets are incredibly persistent critters, darn bugs. Campfires are soul medicine, oh yes. Trips to the grocery store need to be made with intention because a week without coffee is just painful. Long car drives can be miserable unless you have a great book to listen to from the library.
The darkness and silence and stillness of the woods is magical.
Making new friends is really hard work.
The stars are brighter here.
The lesson I have only recently come to realize I was learning has been the hardest one of all to acknowledge and accept. I have learned that it is easy, way too easy, to get wrapped up in the commotion of everyday living — in the new job and the new school schedules, in the activities and the errands. It is far to easy to loose your way, to loose sight of your goals and your dreams and your inspiration, even when, even when, you have done so much souls stretching work to center yourself in a simpler, more grounded way of living.
An intentional life takes, well… intention.
I, we, forgot about that for a while. But my body remembered. My body made me, forced me, to slow down. It made me rest. It made me get back inside myself. I know better than to ignore the messages my body sends to my consciousness. I at least remembered this lesson that I have been taught oh, so many times in this life. I know to trust myself. For days, maybe weeks, tears have been close to the surface and my bones have been aching. My sleep has been restless and my hands have been fidgety. My smile has been slow in coming and my stomach has been angry… Why?
I have found that this space, less & more, has an incredibly grounding effect on me. My soul finds its way here every year as the weather cools and my thoughts turn inward. This last week I found myself slowly re-entering this space and re-engaging with some of the last pictures and words I shared here. I was taken aback when I was hit, by surprise, with wave after wave of anger and sadness and tears and disappointment and longing. My body finally released so much that it had been holding down. What a mess and what a relief.
I immediately began to ask myself so many questions as I wandered around this space — What happened? Where did that person, that family go? What happened to all of those plans that we made? We had worked so hard to simplify our life. To evaluate everything and to eliminate so much that weighed us down and bound us to mediocrity. We worked so hard to nurture creativity and love and balance and joy. How have we become so busy again? How have we gathered so many new belongings? How have we once again lost those deep, hard earned connections to ourselves and to each other? How have we moved so far away from everything that brought us to this place, to our house in the woods on this beautiful mountain?
How is it possible to be living here and still feel so disconnected?
What am I so frightened of?
When I sit with these feelings and experiences long enough to let go of the anger, disappointment and sadness, I recognize that we are simply humans. That I am simply human. This is such a humbling human experience — getting distracted, loosing focus, reacting to life instead of setting forth with intention. Failing, faltering, these are the moments that will lead us to our greatest potential if we are able to learn from them. We must accept our lessons with humility, then gather ourselves up, reset our intention and move through this period of discomfort and growth with our heads held high. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I absolutely do not. I do, however, have a lot of evaluating to do and some hard decisions to make. Thus begins a new leg of my, our, journey to regain the joy of an amazing and abundant and simple life.
We are forever on this journey to intentionally simplify our lives. What really matters, our family, our happiness, our ability to thrive regardless of circumstance, is now our mission.
Whoa. These are ground shaking, soul rattling words I wrote here in this space. I feel these words in my bones and in my breath. I feel them wash over me and bathe me in new energy. I feel the tingle of change dancing around the edges of my being. In this moment my words resonate more deeply than ever in my core. They are my lifeline. They are my hope. They are my truth. Once again it is time to evaluate everything. It is time to think creatively and to reassess our values. It is time to rediscover what really matters — Work? School? Family? Food? Creativity? Fun? Laughter? Music? Joy? Silence? Stillness? Silliness? It is time to let my soul stretch back out into all of my self, to let it fill in the nooks and crannies and small spaces. It is time to let it shine light into the dark places and to listen to it, even when it whispers. It is time to be mindful. It is time to just… be.
This journey is not new to me, to us, anymore. I know that the work ahead of me, ahead of us, is tough stuff. There will be tears and hard conversations. There will be changes and growth and discomfort. There will be triumphs and revelations and epiphanies. There will be incredible joy and laughter. There will be moments of fear and despair and sadness. There will be moments of success and satisfaction. There will be moments of pure gut-wrenching realization. We will laugh again. We will dance again. We will find our way back to ourselves and and to each other. We will create. We will discover our bliss… again and anew.
I’m so excited to share this journey with you once again. To dig into this most important work. To demonstrate through our successes and failures, through our messy not-so-perfect life, through our mistakes and our detours and our adventures, that creating a life of intention is possible. We took our first steps on this journey years ago, we got distracted a bit along the way, but we have found our way back to our unique path and recognize that we still have many years left to travel. That’s really the best part anyway, isn’t it?
Please, walk with us.
This journey, this transformation to a simpler life, cannot happen overnight. This is lifelong work. Your support and encouragement mean more than words can express. Walk with us for as long as you like — an afternoon, a day or two, a week, a month, the entire way — as long as you feel pulled to journey with us you are most welcome. In many ways, we are starting over, but we have knowledge and experience this time around that we didn’t have before. We have this space, less & more. We have you, our fellow seekers and dreamers. We have our home in these woods on this mountain. We have beautiful oak trees dripping brittle Autumn leaves and we have each other.
My hope, my heart’s dream, is that we can once again navigate our way toward a simpler life filled with less stuff and more more family, and that you will be there right along with us, laughing, learning, and changing your world one step at a time.
Welcome back to the journey…