Our kids have gone back to school this week after the mid year break.
It's a classic time to be thinking about being half way through the year, reflecting on what's felt good, what's not (& needs to be let go) and what will expand my sense of freedom in the second half of the year.
I've been asking a few gal pals over the last few days what's on for them in this next school term and is there anything I can help them achieve? Question 2 was 'what would have you finishing 2016 like a rockstar?'
A certain wise soul sister in my posse was clever enough to weave her answers around Body, Mind and Soul outcomes.
This got me thinking and scribbling.
Devotion and Clarity are BIG for me. Supreme self care is also front and centre. There are plenty of 'actions' I will take these next 6 months but as always it's about being led by how I want to feel.
Freedom. Abundance. Connection. Nourished.
How about you? What's on for you in the second half of the year? Body, Mind & Soul? I would love to hear what you're focussed on to keep exploring what Freedom feels like for you!
As it turns out, I am a freedom seeker and people gatherer.
Both are hard wired in my DNA. Learning to be guided by how I want to feel everyday has opened me up and taught me a new way to live. Tuning in and turning on to how I want to feel has prompted some big changes for how and where we now live as a family. It was all about feeling FREEDOM…..
The most recent chapter of my life kicked off in April 2014 when my braveheart hubby Paul whispered his wish to me to wake up in Portugal every day for a year.
Short story – we did it.
Long story – it has changed us forever.
We went with wide open hearts to everything that would come at us knowing that it would be more than the places, the people, the food and the sights that would change us. It was all of those things and more. It was doing it together. It was having the courage to step away from everyone and everything we knew, loved and that gave structure to the running of our (awesome) lives with our three gorgeous kids. Enter Anneka (14), Fletcher (12) and Oliver (11).
The following is an excerpt from a blog I wrote as we were setting off that covers what happened in the lead up to leaving in December 2014…..
“It all started with a whispered wish one April morning in 2014 when Paul woke up, rolled over and said….”I just want to wake up in Portugal every day for a year.”
It took a couple of months’ worth of date nights to toss this one around. It’s worth noting at this point that we came very damn close to every sensible reason why we shouldn’t ‘wake up in Portugal every day for a year’ but when Paul simply said “it’s only fear stopping us” it was like a line in the sand had been drawn.
Which side of that line were we going to stand on?
That was it – both of us committed to living the biggest version of our lives possible…fear and all.
The rest of it became a matter of logistics…ticking off a very long list including selling our Sydney home, packing everything into storage and planning a year away. Turning one chapter of our lives ‘off’ for a bit and turning another one ‘ON’. Woot!
As a family of five we are now travelling with 7 suitcases, we have no address, no keys, no bills and no places to be on any given day (apart from the odd plane to catch that we have already lined up).
What we do have is each other – every day for the next 15 months! Stay tuned for how that rolls
We have our commitment to living by our dream of ‘location independent’ incomes because we know that equals real freedom.
We have open hearts to everything that lies in wait for us.
We have a deep desire for freedom running through our veins and have faith and trust by the boat load that ‘everything will figure itself out’.
This is our adventure.
This is us living with less ‘stuff’ and experiencing more ‘life’.
This is us living our best lives.”
Our pursuit of freedom called on buckets of faith that ‘it would all work out’! It also took the courage to breathe to life a long held kernel of a dream…a possibility that this might one day happen. Every dream needs to be fueled by the possibility of its fruition and the faith that if you take a step towards it, it will start taking steps toward meeting you. It happens. I know. We did it.
Freedom. Faith. Possibility.
We are now back in Australia after 15months away. We have been home for four months and we have made the move to a more coastal life on the NSW Central Coast. It has taken every minute of those four months for my soul to catch up with me being here. As a kiwi girl, I do call Australia home and love living here. It wasn’t coming back to live here that was hard, I just wasn’t ready to leave Europe. Whoever is!?!? The food, the history (more stories), the architecture, family and some of the most precious memories made.
I wasn’t ready to return to a life that meant we weren’t together all the time. There – I said it! I loved being us, together through the shitty hard times and the most incredible days of our lives. It was transformational and I didn’t want the transformation to stop.
I can now say though that I am truly here, mind, body and soul and in love with our new life. I make decisions every day based on how I want to feel. Right now, life is about seeking freedom the feeling, freedom the lifestyle and building my freedom business so that those I partner with can define what freedom means to them.
Having experienced what it took to make some significant changes in the name of Freedom, my greatest wish now is to have a conversation with you about Freedom.
I want to share with you what Freedom really looks like for me but more importantly what it feels like. I also really want to know what Freedom looks and feels like for you!!
This is a blank page for me right now. A new page in a new chapter. Let’s fill it together with our stories about Freedom.
Thank you for being here and to your Freedom!
PS – What would be the one thing you could do this week to take a tiny step toward a dream you have long held? I would really love to know because I know it’s the baby steps that get us there! Let me know in the comments.
PPS - If you want to know more about the freedom business that played a significant role in us taking a year away with our kids that I have built with a team of Wellness Entreprenuers in the health and wellbeing industry, click here! If you have questions and want to know more about how we did this, drop me a line and we can schedule a time to talk.
Our trip… the series that answers the most asked questions.
If I had a dollar for every time we have been asked the following questions, I would be jetting my sweet self back to Portugal this very minute…probably for good ;-)
Why did we go?
How did we do it?
What was toughest time/thing to cope with/situation?
What are we doing differently (now that we’re back) as a result of going away?
So I figured I would crack it all wide open and answer those questions. My next few instalments are going to answer those questions.
Why did we go?
Dreams are a beautiful thing. They are also very easy to have, speak of and say you will ‘do it one day.’ It’s quite something else to take a step toward a dream and get serious about making it happen.
Quite simply, a serious chunk of time in Europe with our kids to introduce them to their UK based extended family (including grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins) had been a long held dream. Paul and I have both lived and worked in Europe, love it and have always wanted to return for more than the regular four week holiday.
The heat went under this dream when we caught ourselves hearing our kids talking about all the privileges of our lifestyle and neighbourhood like they were common place.
We decided it was time to bite the bullet. If we wanted our kids to know that the sun didn’t rise and set on our neighbourhood in the leafy upper North Shore of Sydney then we were going to have to show them something else!
This decision was also compounded by hearing our kids make more and more requests for ‘stuff’. Can’t blame them. It’s all they knew and were surrounded by.
Don’t get me wrong. We loved where we lived. We loved all of those very privileges that made our life as wonderful as it was. We also very much loved our close friends and the tremendous sense of community shared in that neighbourhood.
What we knew was we needed to shake our cage. We wanted to strip back all that ‘stuff’ (house and everything in it and in our lives) to just us and the glory of a shared adventure exploring a fair slice of Europe together. No address, no keys, no bills, no place to be except because we chose to be there.
I am super clear now that we went to step away from the noise of our lives and to see what would bubble to the surface about how we wanted to live from there on. Our hearts were wide open and curious to whatever was in store.
Lessons learnt and what I know for sure....
Please share with me your dream and what you are maybe already doing to get closer to it. Perhaps there is one small step you are committed to taking to breathe some life into a precious dream that you know you just need to make a move on. I would love to know ‘cause I’m a 'dream coming true believer' and want you to be too!
Let me know in the comments and join the conversation.
Our trip….the series that answers the most asked questions.
The second installment that answers the question : how did we do it?
If what you want to know is how did we manage the logistics of leaving Sydney, the simple answer is we had a master list with our initials against various tasks and we just kept ticking stuff off (inc selling the house and all that goes with that), adding new tasks and more ticking off. This process was surprisingly cathartic as we threw out everything that didn’t warrant paying to store. We filled trailer loads, gave to charity and passed stuff along. It just kept feeling lighter and lighter until we were down to us and seven suitcases. More on the ’less is more’ theme to come!
If you’re a planning nut and are curious about how we mapped out and organised the trip, we broke that down into the next 6 weeks at a time. We left Sydney with the first three months nailed down but nothing else. We really wanted to be able to ‘make it up’ as went along. We knew we had a base in Portugal to come and go from and that we would have 4-6 week trips on the road. Of course, when you’re travelling with three kids, you need to know where you’re going to sleep at night! We would plot this out in chunks in advance as we were planning each ‘roadtrip’. The rest we let fall into place. Plenty of letting it all just happen, figuring out what we wanted to do with not much more than a few hours or days’ notice.
More often than not however, the greater curiosity about ‘how’ we did our trip has been around how we funded it. Did Paul leave his job? How do you just walk away from ‘life’ and take that kind of time away?
You may have already read some of my scribblings about choices. I am a signed up and wholehearted believer that everything is a choice. We made the choice to hoist the anchor on some of our savings to make this experience happen.
In addition to using some savings we have a residual income that shows up every week from my freedom based, wellness centred network marketing business. I started building that business 7 years ago and can hand on heart say it has been a game changer.
Today I collaborate with an incredible team of like-minded people all over the world who share an ethos that we call ‘heart centred network marketing.’ Together, we are making a difference in the lives of others so that they can live their lives on their terms. That’s freedom right there!
Having that income show up every week equals freedom to me. Having it show up while we were spending quality time with our kids and sharing that extraordinary experience of being together for 15 months was priceless. Learning that ‘work’ can be wholeheartedly collaborative, joyful, challenging, good for my soul and has shown me the way to my freedom has changed me like I would have never imagined.
I adore these words from Kate Northrup, author of ‘Money – A Love Story’
“Divorcing your money from the amount of hours you can spend making it, is one of the most critical steps for creating the ultimate luxury in your life – choice.” - Kate Northrup
I’m curious – what moves have you made on getting closer to your definition of freedom?
Please share in the comments – there's every chance you will inspire someone to take a step toward their freedom!
"What I now know to be true is that the key to creating freedom is accessing choice and the way to create more choices is to have more of the resources that allow choice, namely time and money."