This afternoon on my commute home, I was listening to the ‘10% Happier with Dan Harris’ podcast. Dan was interviewing another one of my go to thought leaders Gretchen Rubin and they were discussing her new book ‘Outer order, Inner calm’ which I have yet to read. The gist of the book from what I understood is how de-cluttering and organising the stuff around you can contribute to a less stressed and anxious you. It had me reflecting on how my internal voice is sounding these days and I realised it’s a whole lot calmer.
The question I asked then is ‘why’? It’s not like we haven’t got a tonne going on. My family is on the other side of the world to me while I anxiously await all the documentation needed for my green card, we have had to try and find childcare to cover my absence, we are starting a new business, I’m working full-time in a new role and trying to organise it so that continue the contract from the US, the list goes on and on.
Some might say that not having the day-to-day work of looking after two small people lends itself to a less frantic mindset and I’m sure it is part of it. Eliot might not be feeling quite so peaceful solo parenting at the moment but I also think it might be bigger than that. I believe after the huge transition we made from Australia to the US developed a feeling that no matter what happens, we can handle it. That feeling of confidence that I’ve gained by overcoming the challenges we faced during our move is undeniable.
In addition to confidence slowing down the pace of life has contributed to this feeling too. Fewer people, fewer possessions and fewer activities. Fewer people in that not only our community has shrunk somewhat, there really are fewer people around and more space. No crowded commuting or busy shopping centres, even the grocery store is less congested. We definitely have less stuff, we got rid of a lot through garage sales, donations and a giant skip (which breaks me a little as that is all going to landfill). I still feel like we have a lot of things but it may just feel that way because we also have less space to put it in. And we are just doing less. Fewer breakfasts out, fewer sporting activities, fewer appointments and meetings. I know this will increase again as we settle more but right now, I really am enjoying the slower pace and more family time. It is one of the few times in recent years that I have actually been bored. I don’t think of that as a bad thing at all. Boredom also inspires creativity.
I want to hold on to this feeling and sense of peace and resilience. It will definitely be interesting to be back with my family and see how my inner voice will sound. Above all though, one thing that I will do is make sure I continue to take note of how it is sounding and make sure I remember this time and figure out how I can get back to it if it starts to sound a bit frantic again.
My questions to you are, when was the last time you took note of how your inner voice sounds? Is it calm and confident or is it busy and bothered? What might be causing it to sound that way? Are there any changes you might be able to make in your head or your life to get it to be more like how you want it to sound?