Well…by far the #1 Question I received in 2012, after selling my three fitness centers was: What are you going to do now?
The first answer that always popped into my head (but was rarely shared) was “recovering my sanity.” Yep, that’s what I was up to… sanity recovery. I was President and CEO. I usually framed my response in a lighter and more inspiring way like the title of this writing, Simplify Life, Magnify Living. Sounds beautiful right? Don’t get me wrong, I love Simplify Life, Magnify Living. It was my 2012 mantra. It was beautiful, it was powerful, and the results so worth it. It was also exhausting and honestly, a few times, it was “knocked to my knees” painful.
Simplify Life, Magnify Living could have just as easily been named: The Smackdown of 2012.
Regardless of what I called it, what was driving it all behind the scenes was a call, a force, a cry (a surrender), and a deep soul level desire to dismantle everything I had built and start over. I needed to recover my sanity, my peace, my happiness, and a different kind of freedom. Soul freedom.
It all started like this:
I woke up one day and was done. I mean SO done. Done with the life I had created. Uh-oh. This wasn’t the first time I’d experienced this feeling, this knowing. It doesn’t feel like a decision, it feels more like being compelled forward or drawn into something bigger than myself.
I knew I was going to make some radical changes. It was already in motion. The words and desires that floated through every cell in my body were: Clean sweep. Less is More. Simplify Life, Magnify living.
It was no longer about the freedom to do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. It was about the freedom and space to do ONLY a few things (very few things) that were deeply important. My definition of freedom had profoundly shifted under my feet. Freedom was now about simplicity, meaning, space, creativity, and an aliveness and engagement at the soul level. It was about much less. It was about having less. Doing less.
Crap. I had a lot of work to do before I could do less. The journey ahead felt overwhelming, heavy, and long.
I had built way too much. I had too much. I did too much. Six businesses, two homes, and far too many things to manage, hire out, delegate, clean, keep up with, dust, fix, insure, and remember. Too much.
And there was more: relationships that drained, resentment and non-acceptance in one area, information overload, and way too many distractions. Too much.
I made a commitment to let go of EVERYTHING that no longer served me or my life to its highest potential.
So it began….The Smackdown of 2012.
It required getting really honest and really clear on what truly mattered to me, what was meaningful, what filled me with joy, what made my soul come alive. There were very few things that made the cuts. I decided to keep: 1) My daughter (her Grandma is so relieved!); 2) My home is Salem which had been my sanctuary and my absolute favorite place on the planet for 12 years; 3) My company Wellness Spark, Inc. which was the only business that allowed me to create, share, and inspire with the greatest alignment and integrity; and 4) my favorite mountain bike. 5) My cats, Yin and Yang. Everything else was up for grabs.
My goal was to clear as much physical, mental, and energetic space as I could before the close of 2012.
First, I decided to sell my 3 fitness centers. It was 6 months of hell (and that’s the positive spin) to close the deal. It wasn’t easy or lucrative, but it was done. I also let go of any remaining dreams I had with a 4th business venture and allowed acceptance and peace that divesting out of it was 100% right for me. I put my vacation home on the market which was also a 5th business (happy to report it is currently under contract!). I sold or gave away computers, bikes, clothes, books, and “extra” everything. I purged photos, letters, and jewelry from past loves. I drew a line in the sand with a relationship that drained and let go of others that I had outgrown. I cut what I allowed into my inbox by 95%. I cleaned computer files. Organized years of writings. Declined invitations. Emailed less. Reduced social media to 20 minutes a week. Closed every account not absolutely essential. I was passionate in my pursuit to simplify life to magnify living.
Along the way, I experienced challenges, setbacks, sleepless nights, unknowns, and a few meltdowns. One thing is for sure…. this simplicity business is no joke. And it’s probably safe to say I delved into a little more insanity before being free of it.
It is insane, right? What we think we can get done in a day, a week, a year. The amount we allow into our lives (even the good stuff). How we define success. Where we spend our time. The amount of information we allow into our minds. This is your life, my life…our time is precious…our energy is precious…our lives and loved ones are precious. Every breath, every minute, every sweet moment…we don’t get back. What are we exchanging our lives for? Is it worth it? Or is it insane?
Right now, close your eyes and let the words “soul freedom” gently wash over you. What would allow you to feel more free? What does your soul really desire? How do you really want to spend your time and your energy? Don’t edit yourself. Honestly, what do you desire?
When you hear the words, “Simplify Life, Magnify Living”, what do they mean to you? What areas, things, relationships could you let go of to create more space, more time, more money? What experiences and feeling do you want more of?
Is it Smackdown time? Is it time to simplify so you can truly live?
Kate Northrup says, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary may speak.”
My 2012 mantra Simplify Life, Magnify Living was necessary to unload the unnecessary. I heard the call. I answered.
As this year comes to a close, I feel grace and gratitude. I feel free. And I’m already hearing clearly what my soul is calling in for 2013. I am listening. I am answering. I am ready.
Do you hear your call? Are you listening? Will you answer? I hope you will.
Please know it is so worth it. You are so worth it.
A toast to you: Here’s to simplicity, soul freedom, and magnificent living! And a crazy amount of love! From my soul to yours…. Happy New Year Dear Friends!