Back in 2017, I got dangerously sick and almost lost my life. That experience has been the single most impactful event in my life to get me thinking about living an intentional and on purpose-life. At 34 years old, completely healthy, I contacted the viral flu and pneumonia and my life has never been the same (you can read more about my sickness here).
Surviving that sickness, knowing that 3 other people entered the hospital with similar or the same symptoms and I was the only one who came out alive, has been a humbling point to get me thinking about really squeezing out all that life has to offer. As I spent time healing, I really started thinking seriously about what I wanted my life to look like, what I wanted people to be able to say about me should I suddenly perish and what principles would guide me from that moment on.
I sat down one day and worked backwards, as I do whenever I am planning a talk, presentation, or trip. I think about what it is I want to feel, what I want people to say and the type of experience I want people to walk away with after interacting with me or anything I do. In this case, it wasn’t about thinking through a single encounter but really the sum of many encounters with me and once I narrowed in on those key ideas, I started thinking about how to get there. How does one live their life day to day if they want the end result to be XYZ? I came up with a few words that I want to define my life, words I want to live by, and words I want to raise my children up hearing and knowing and relating to as they grow and find their way toward adulthood.
When I look back on my life, there are 5 general themes or values that I want it to represent and you can find those below.
Adventure - I want my life to be an adventure. I want to live every single day as the blessing that it is. I also want to seek adventure, in the tiny mundane things and in the life-giving, out of this world, bucket list check off things and I want my girls to see me living that way, so that in turn they will choose adventure and be open to life happening versus life happening to them.
Health and Healing - I want to always want to seek my health: physically, mentally and spiritually but I don’t want to be in battle for it. I want to maintain my peace and my joy and learn to flow like the water does. Ebb and flow, up and down, its water and its just flows with wherever life takes it. Life may not always bring things that I can control but I want to always show up to the game prepared to win, at any size and in any state.
Happiness- I want to pursue happiness and I believe happiness is a choice (for most people). I want to choose happiness and I believe that choice comes from being grateful. If you are grateful for the big and small, I think being happy can follow that.
Relationships- I want to always seek to cultivate and nurture the people who trust me enough to be a part of their life. I want to see them. I want to hear them and I want to honor the time that they place before me by showing up and being present with them. I also want to take relationships as they come, with no expectations and to allow people to do the things I mentioned previously for me.
Abundance - I want to live in abundance and that isn’t necessary financially, although I am after that too, but I want to constantly assess the goodness of my life and honor it by enjoying it. That could be good food that fills my belly, or sun against my skin with sand in between my toes or the laughter of my children. I am truly rich and I want to walk in that until the wealth comes.
Do you have values for your life, or your family? Have you ever thought about creating some? I hope by sharing mine that maybe I have given you something to think about and I hope that you will consider carving out some time to create your own. These values, over the last two years, have given me such great things to think about and have guided every decision I have made for myself, my family and my business. I feel so much more rooted and grounded knowing how I am seeking to live and the type of mark I want to leave on this world. If you’re in search of that, I hope you find that for yourself as well.
With strength, courage and wisdom,