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Back in May, my son was the ring bearer in a gorgeous wedding at a bucolic setting in North Carolina. And in August, we spent a couple of days at a friends’ place in Maine, where I fell asleep to the hypnotic sound of ocean waves crashing.
But my top memory thus far is probably from one 12-hour stretch in July. The trip that wasn’t a trip, and a day I gave to myself.
Here was the genesis: I had learned that one key to the Law of Attraction is to live your life “as if.” This wasn’t a new concept, but maybe it had never fully sunk in.
What does your life look like in your ideal scenario? What would you be doing, who would you be doing it with? How would it feel?
Now do it. As much as possible. Live as if.
So what in the holy hell does that mean?
It means I treat my crap-tastic car with 207,000 miles and rusty rims the same way I would if it were new: keep it clean, wash it, vacuum it, handle it with respect. Same with the house I rent.
Find something positive to think about these things instead of wishing them away. Express gratitude. I love driving a Highlander. I am thankful to live in a house with a yard on a dead-end road.
Living as if doesn’t remove the current situation, but it helps to reframe it. I still want a new car and house, plus a bunch of other goals, but I might as well be more content in the place I’m at. As my father once said to me, “Don’t wish your life away.”
Living As If
With that in mind, I asked myself what I’d be doing if life looked the way I imagine I’d like it to. And one thing I’d be doing is taking more hikes, visiting beautiful places … breathing more deeply.
So that’s what I did on that Sunday in July. I lived as if. I wouldn’t wait for a soulmate to accompany me. I wouldn’t tell myself I had to work all day. I wouldn’t wait until I was 100 percent financially free. No more “I’ll do this when.”
I didn’t need to. This could be done NOW.
I made my plan at 10 p.m. the night before. I’d drive about an hour and a half north to the town of Northampton, Mass. It was close enough for an easy day trip and far enough away for the landscape to change, morphing from my flat shoreline town to an area that’s close to the foothills of the Green Mountains of Vermont. (Thank you, New England, for such variety!)
I probably should have listened to podcasts all the way up, but I listened to a local radio station’s acoustic Sunday show instead. I even discovered a tune that blindsided me with its oh-so-accurate depiction of what I had learned regarding a long-time relationship. I immediately found the song on Spotify and listened to it a half dozen times before turning the radio back on.
(Side note: Later, I found this great TEDx talk by Peter Himmelman in which he expounds on the topic and discusses the idea of being fully awake in our lives before performing the song Impermanent Things. Holy theme day! LOA at work.)
I’m a manifestation newbie but I felt like this must be what that vibrational frequency stuff is about. I hadn’t felt so clear-headed in years.
I briefly scoped out Sylvester’s, a famous breakfast joint in Northampton and passed on it after determining it would take me an hour to order an egg sandwich to go. But I saw it! Check.
Then my lab mix Lillie and I headed to J.A. Skinner State Park in Hadley, Mass.
There are a number of hiking options and one day we’ll return for the full butt-kicking experience of hiking the multi-peak stretch known as the Seven Sisters, but for this impromptu visit we went with a few hilly miles and several amazing views.
A few takeaways:
- It barely cost me a tank of gas. I packed water and snacks, stopping at the grocery store for fruit, cheese, and crackers, and tossing in a couple of protein bars from the house. I also made coffee at home and took it with me in a thermos. Then I parked just outside the park’s entrance and walked in so as to avoid the fee — totally easy in this case, and the parking was not that far away, which would have really tweaked me had I paid the $10. Afterward, I stopped at a dairy for ice cream, but passed and bought a bottled water instead (as repayment for using the restroom).
- I didn’t fall behind in my work. We tell ourselves we can’t step away from our desks and our laptops, but that really just means we’re mis-managing our time, doesn’t it? Instead, I took a full day off, got out of town, and cleared my head in a way that allowed me to attack work with more clarity and focus.
- I didn’t need to travel far. Hey, I love traveling to new states and cities and some of my favorites take a full day of travel just to get there. But it was significantly refreshing to also wander a new place just 70 miles away. I was in different scenery and in a different frame of mind.
- It made my goal-setting clearer. We can write our goals down on paper as much as we want, but if you don’t truly feel them, they’ll be nearly impossible to reach. I’ve learned that this has been a major mistake of mine in the past. I’d try, but it was incredibly hard to feel it. With this one drive, on this July day, I finally felt “as if.” My mind was calm, I wasn’t checking my phone other than for its camera, and I was present. I took in the scenery, chatted easily with people, and relaxed.
Now it’s your turn. Have you had a similar experience, and what was it?
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