For a long time, I felt like I didn't have my poop together in life.
Until I actually stopped and asked myself the question...
What does 'having your sh*t together' even look like anyway?
The 'traditional' life route of going to Uni, getting a good 9-5 job, getting married, getting a mortgage, having 2.4 kids, a nice car and going on holiday once a year until retirement... Etc etc etc...
Well let's just say, that didn't appeal to me AT ALL.
I wanted love, and FREEDOM, and to enjoy my life NOW, not at 65+ once retirement had kicked in.
So if that was what 'having your sh*t together' looked like, I wasn't interested. And realising that gave me all the 'permission' I needed to go and do what I wanted, how I wanted, and to finally let go of the idea of 'having it all together'.
But it did make me think, well, what DO I actually want then?
What does REAL 'success' look like to me?
Spoiler alert: I also pretty quickly decided I didn't like the word 'success' either, especially when later looking up the actual meaning and seeing the definition of...
'the attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like'
That word made me feel like if I didn't become 'wealthy', or have a high status position or some kind of honours I somehow wasn't successful... And if you're not 'successful', then what are you? A failure?!
Personally, I'm good, and totally up for rewriting the rules on that one.
So I switched out the word 'success' and 'successful', and began to ask myself two questions instead...
What would it look like to live a really beautiful life?
And, what would make me fulfilled, and like I'd achieved something worthwhile?
Those questions felt far nicer, and kinder, and like whether I achieved each of my 'big life goals' or not, I could still live a really rich and beautiful and blissfully rewarding life.
So I played with those questions for a while, because at the time I didn't know. I mean, I knew I wanted to be happy, and I also know I wanted to be financially secure (and free), yet giving myself permission for that to come in ANY way, shape or form I wanted, to redefine it so it was simply what felt good and whole and nurturing to me...
Well that needed a little thought, because I really didn't know.
My fellow entrepreneurial friends would talk about how they'd love to sit on Oprah's coach and be interviewed by her, or be featured in a high end glossy magazine, or help a million women achieve 'X', or earn $$$ amount each year.
Yet none of those gave me the warm and fuzzy feel goods.
I mean, don't get me wrong, if Oprah asked me... I'm there 😉
Yet, that wasn't my goal, my dream, or my definition of success.
So after sitting with those questions for some time, these are what I came up with. These are the things that do feel REALLY good to my deepest of insides...
I wanted to share them to show that really, the whole 'success' thing (or in my words, living a truly beautiful life) can be ANYTHING you want.
1. To write a book (maybe books - plural), and see it/them being enjoyed by women around the world.
When I originally knew this was a dream of mine, I thought I wanted to say... 'to write a book, and see it in a bookstore one day...'
And yet while that would - really would - be awesome, actually seeing it in someones hands, being used and read and loved, THAT'S what feels good to me, and what I dream of seeing.
It's like when I made the 'Love' Tee - it wasn't in some high end boutique, yet being tagged in photos by women around the world and seeing those little notifications on Instagram and Facebook pop up... EVERYTHING.
2. TO CREATE BEAUTIFUL JOURNALS, AND AGAIN, SEE WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD ENJOYING THEM, AND HAVING THEIR LIVES CHANGED BY THEM
I believe one of the most powerful things you can do for someone, is to ask them a powerful question and guide them to their own answer (and ultimately, their own intuition).
Seriously, there ain't nothing smarter, or more wise than that intuition of yours.
Yet so many people get disconnected from it. Usually by fear or doubt, or by their head taking over and mapping things out 'logically' for them. Or sometimes by other peoples 'expectations' or other well intended advice...
Knowing how that feels, and the difference it makes (being able to listen to and trust your own intuition), passing that on in the way of some beautifully designed journals (and the guided questions they'll include) to use and love and adore writing in each day...
THAT feels a beautiful thing to do.
3. To create a space (and a community) for women to design their most beautiful life
Just over three years ago I purchased a domain - www.TheLifestyleDesignersClub.com.
I didn't know exactly what it was for, I just KNEW I needed to buy it. I was open and flexible about exploring what it would be, and over time it's evolved, from simple blog posts and free challenges, to what it's about to become now...
A beautiful, supportive online Club where I get to share my life's work, and pass it on to women who also want to design, live and enjoy their own most beautiful of lives too.
And that 'Club' part was REALLY important too.
Even at the start, when I didn't know exactly 'what' it would be, I did know it would be a place not only to share what I knew, but also a place for real connection, support and friendships with other women who were also side stepping the 'traditional' path, and becoming their own Lifestyle Designer too.
And while we're talking all things Club, this one gets to become a reality next month, when The Lifestyle Designers Club officially opens. You're welcome to check it out over here if you've been longing that kind of community and connection.
4. To collect, create and share as many beautiful moments as possible
How can I make today beautiful?
It's the question that guides me each day. It might be to have an extra long hug with my guy, to enjoy the sunset in the evening, to feel my feet in the sand, to take a gorgeous friend out for lunch... Big or small, it doesn't matter.
Simply asking that question each day makes me find and enjoy something of that day, and to me, if I carry on doing that each and every day, whether I 'achieve' anything big in life or not (and I plan to), I'll still have lived one truly beautiful life.
...and what more can you ask for than that?
5. To see my words on great big walls
When someone tells me some of the words I've written/shared are beautiful, it gives me a feeling I can't even begin to describe, yet it's one of the most beautiful and rewarding feelings I've ever felt (I think maybe it comes from the years of being told I'm not good enough, and then finding my voice again...)
And the idea of getting to see some of them beautifully painted BIG, BOLD AND ARTFULLY for all to see (and enjoy) on walls...
YEAH, that I'm up for.
Now, who's got a wall than needs some meaning (and art)? 😉✌🏼
6. BEING FINANCIALLY (AND TIME) FREE
Whenever I've tried to 'follow the money', it's never worked. Like, yeah, I've made money, yet not as much as when I've followed my heart (and created from that loving, passionate, 'I'm so excited I can't NOT do this' space), so I don't have a specific... 'I've made it and I'm successful once I've made/make $$$ amount'.
Instead I have an amount that'll give me both financial security (knowing I have the money for everything I need in life), and financial freedom (knowing I have the money for everything I want in life). I don't need more than that.
So following my heart and creating from that space gives me all the income I need, plus the rewarding feel good fulfilment I want (PLUS, I've never seen a person yet who's truly fulfilled only going after the digits).
And it goes hand in hand with feeling free. Having my time as my own, without having to 'clock in and out' on someone else's schedule.
If I wanna go to the beach of a Tuesday afternoon, or go our for lunch with my guy on Thursday, or take a whole month to travel and explore and enjoy life, JUST BECAUSE...
That feels like success to me.
7. BEING ABLE TO GIVE BACK
And the above also leads me nicely onto giving back. Having both the financial and time freedom allows me to give back where it feels good and important and meaningful, both in terms of time and money (as well as the daily love and kindness and compassion).
Living beautifully to me not only feels like 'what can I get', but also... 'what can I give'.