This month I'm doing a 30-Day Blog Challenge. Each day I will offer up a serving of what's in my heart in the moment. My wish is for you to receive a delicious blessing, and my hope is that you will feel inspired to leave a precious morsel of that in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!
In many ways, when I show up in my life, I appear to be just like everyone else. I dress in fairly typical clothes and move through my day doing many of the tasks that any small business owner or any middle-aged woman does.
However, that's where the similarity ends. I am NOT typical. Not by a long shot. I'm living WAY out on the fringes, though to spend time with me, you might not know it, you might not detect the subtle difference between me and you.
You see, even though I've been pretty quiet about it, I'm living very, very close to the edge. Actually, I'm the closer to the edge that I've ever been in my life.
What do I mean by that?
Some might call it living on a wing and a prayer. Others might say I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Still others might say I'm a gypsy or a fringe dweller or trailblazer or maverick. I've been called brave and courageous. Behind my back, I know I've been called crazy.
I'm none of those things and I'm ALL of those things. I'm a paradox because I have one foot in the traditional world and the other foot in the outer banks of a world that most consider wild, foolish, unsafe and insane.
I'm testing the waters of living in total alignment with the Divine, living on faith and trust. I'm giving myself completely to Life and believing wholeheartedly that I'll be taken care of. But let me tell you, it ain't easy flying without a parachute or a net underneath to catch me if I fall. I do my best not to look down, but sometimes I can't I peek and end up dizzy with paralyzing fear and a question, "What do I think I'm doing?"
Once I recover a bit from the terror, I grab some tools from my spiritual toolbox to coax myself away from the ledge. Then I remember the bigger picture and start breathing normally again. Whew!
So what does living close to the edge look and feel like?
- Imagine having no money in your savings account.
- Imagine having no paycheck.
- Imagine not knowing how much money you'll have next week, next month or next year.
- Imagine having no health insurance.
- Imagine having no home of your own.
- Imagine most of your possessions fitting in the back of a four-door sedan.
- Imagine having a twenty-year old car with over 180,000 miles on it.
- Imagine having just enough clothes, most of them second-hand
- Imagine having restrictions on meals out, entertainment, dental appointments, car repair, haircuts, gifts, medical appointments, classes and workshops, etc.
Not easy, is it? For many people, I’m living people’s worst nightmare and they wouldn’t ever consider stepping into the life I’m living. Ironically, some people have written to me and said I’m living the life of their dreams—this was, of course, before they read this post. The reality, I assure you, is quite different from the fantasy.
But thankfully, that’s only half the picture. Those are the things I currently live without. The other half of the picture is filled with the blessings I’ve received. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing it—I’m not a martyr, after all).
Imagine a life filled with these blessings:
The freedom to be, reflect, meditate, pray, walk, read, practice yoga and write more than I ever have in my life.
The chance to spend extended time with family and friends rather than brief visits.
The option to move when I want to move.
The opportunity to meet interesting new people in usual settings and circumstances.
Very few responsibilities and therefore, not being burdened by constant chores and domestic tasks.
A heightened awareness of how precious everything and everyone is.
A strong sense of gratitude for each meal, each day my car runs and each night I have a warm bed and roof over my head. I can no longer take any of these things for granted.
Encounters with many wonderful new animal friends.
Extended time in beautiful natural surroundings including beaches, forests, mountains, farms, prairies, rivers, lakes, ranches, deserts, etc.
The chance to live in spiritual communities, community households as well as a motor home, and now house sitting—all of which have helped me evolve in ways I didn't expect.
New perspectives about money, time and the currency of our precious life hours.
Learning how access to life experiences is more important than accumulating wealth and possessions.
So you see, even though I've given up a lot, I've also gained a lot!
You know one of the biggest things I've gained?
FREEDOM! (Not just a little bit, but bucketfuls.)
Another wonderful gift I’ve received is discovering that life will absolutely, positively take care of me! I'm still here, aren't I? I've been traveling around the U.S. as a digital nomad with no home base for over almost two years and I’m feeling great (and outrageously grateful)!
Of course, I always welcome and appreciate more resources, however the boot camp of living on very little has been extraordinarily empowering! Plus, 95% of the time, I'm not afraid! I can sleep at night and not worry. That is huge! The other 5% as I mentioned, I use my tools and move through the fear.
I try not to over think things...instead, I prefer to live in the moment. Every once in a while though, it's nice to take stock, reflect back on the journey, how it all started, etc. This helps me realize just how far I've come, how much I've accomplished and maybe even how brave I've been.
Right now, I’m spending time regrouping on the west coast, feeling intensely curious about what's next. I haven't a clue, and that excites me. I know it will be an adventure, whatever unfolds. Until then, I'm enjoying the ride!