A month ago, Mr. Lively asked his company if he can work remotely so that we can move to Austin, Texas.
Our Chicago apartment lease ends in August, and we want to start renting in the city where we’d like to buy a home. At the same time, Mr. Lively would like to stay at the company that he loves.
After considering all the usual “tech cities,” like San Fran, New York, and Seattle (remember that whole thing last year?), we have settled on Austin. Austin is a great possible place for us to settle down – its a tech hub with warmer winters, a slower pace, and more affordable homes compared to my beloved Lakeview neighborhood.
Ever since last year’s Seattle experience, I have struggled to stay put here in Chicago. Obviously I’ve “stayed here,” but this year’s hellish winter served as a brutal reminder that I would still like to experience something new – and warmer!
However, we knew that finding out if Mr. Lively could get remote worker status would take a while. We figured it would take about two, maaaaybe three weeks.
But we’re now inching closer to 30 days of waiting.
And last week, the patience I set aside to cheerfully move through this process… ran out.
I got really upset that after all that waiting, we still didn’t know whether we were moving across town or the across the country.
I started to feel like there was no other way in the world I could be happy, joyful, and fulfilled if we were told that we had to sign another Chicago lease.
Meanwhile, I was busy working on outlining the new curriculum for Life with Intention Online. I was spending afternoons with a curriculum expert, Megan, to make the program on par with the quality, depth, and value of the content itself.
Basically, I was spending my time working on building the very thing that could have helped me deal with my own frustrations.
I felt like a fraud.
There I was, getting emails all week from clients sharing the wonderful breakthroughs they experienced thanks to the concepts they learned in the class — yet I myself was an egoic mess, future-tripping and “expectation letching” like crazy.
Which sent me into another whole tailspin of suffering.
Rule #1: Practice what you preach. Right?
Eventually, the pressure culminated last Friday with a mini breakdown and a major sinus headache that landed me in bed.
After a lot of reflection (and some tears), I finally came to grips with the fact I need to live from my Values, not my expectation of leaving Chicago.
Though I still don’t know if we can move to Austin yet, I do know that if we are told we must stay, I can still embody our home intention here in Chicago.
We can find a quieter place in a calmer, more affordable neighborhood. Staying here longer could set our home buying timeline back a year or two, but it is possible to embody our Values in many ways right where we are.
And though I’d have to experience another Chicago winter, we could perhaps work remotely from a warmer climate for part of that season.
When I no longer demanded something completely outside my control, I realized I am still able to live from my intention — no matter what happens. Even when it comes to choosing where I live.
Since this realization, a huge weight has been lifted.
I feel calm, peaceful. And though I’d still like to know where we will live, I’ve experienced an intense amount of presence, joy, and fulfillment.
Meanwhile, I also had to address my ego’s doubt:
Who would want to learn from someone who still struggles with this stuff sometimes, too?
Well, I’ve come to realize, the answer is simple.
Rule #1 is “practice what you preach,” right?
Well, when I work with clients I never expect that they’ll do things “perfectly forever.”
I simply ask them to recognize when things go off track, to return to the present moment, and go back to living from their Value-based intentions.
No shame or guilt required.
But I wasn’t giving myself the same grace.
The same patience.
The same understanding.
Even though I have transformed many, many parts of my life with this powerful approach and I am lightyears from where I was…
I still struggle sometimes.
I still get caught up in something like an exciting move to a new city.
And that’s okay.
I’m a student, too.
Together we can continue to return to the present moment, live from our Values, and support each other whenever we struggle.
Continuing to grow in this work doesn’t make us bad.
It makes us human.
We must be gentle when we fall.
Otherwise we won’t be able to get back up.