Working through this Collected Challenge has taught me about how to make space to feel the way I want to feel by being more mindful of what I pick up and carry with me day every day.
After a few weeks, feeling collected has taken on a new level of meaning.
It used to mean feeling put together and centered, which is a great way to feel. But after thinking about what I’m picking up in the first place, I see that collected goes beyond feeling put together. It means curating my experiences and my expectations to create the kind of life I want to live and make space to feel the way I want to feel.
What does collected mean to you, and how do you want to feel?
It may sound obvious, but after going through this challenge, I wholly believe that knowing where you want to go is the first step in actually getting yourself there. If you don’t know where you want to go, how do you get started? How do you measure your progress? How do you know when you’ve arrived?
Even if you don’t know all the details of how it’s going to look (and how many of us ever do?), knowing how you want to feel and what you want to make space for makes all the difference.
And as hard as it can be to know what you want and not be there yet – it’s even harder when you don’t know. There have been so many times where I’ve thought “this is not what I wanted,” but I have no idea where to go from there. It’s frustrating and confusing, and it just adds to that pressure to take on everything trying to make it better.
Over the last two weeks, the words light and intentional have come up again and again. That’s where I want to go.
I want to make the space for lightness. Not everything need to be so darn serious.
I want to make space for focus and intention, too. That scattered, rushed feeling comes from forgetting my intentions and holding on to too much.
Taking things (and myself) too seriously while I’m also rushed and scattered absolutely does not make me that calm, patient, present mom I want to be.
As I move forward from this challenge, I’ll be practicing checking in and asking if I’m unnecessarily holding on to something that makes me feel frantic and off-balance, and I’ll be keeping the words lightness and intention at the front of my mind – not buried away somewhere in the dark corners where they’ll see the light “some day.”
I’ll be practicing this because I’m ready to feel the way I want to feel, and overwhelmed, I’m-too-stressed-to-think-straight is not it.
I want clarity in place of confusion.
I want to hear my own voice through all of the noise out there (and in my own head).
I want to squeeze out every last drop of joy from life, not stomp it out.
If I want light, then I need to bring in the light.
Light will be my watchword as I move forward. It will be my compass as I embark on this next leg of my journey as a person and as a mother of three.
I will follow the light, even when it’s only at the very end of the tunnel.
I will make room for lightness when my hands are beyond full.
Why follow lightness?
Lightness is a beacon leading you to inspiration, joy, and courage.
Light is the feeling you get when you finally get around to wiping the spots off the mirror and sticky hand prints off the windows. Everything looks so much brighter and more clear, and you wonder how you ever got used to the view before.
Light is the opposite of that walls are closing in feeling you get when there’s too much you’ve convinced yourself is a top priority.
Light is showing up the way you want with the people you love most, even if it means dropping some expectations along the way.
With so much that we could all worry about, so much sorrow and pain in the world, we could all reserve some energy for lightness.
Next time you’re feeling guilty or inadequate, the next time you’re overcomplicating a situation or convincing yourself that there’s no time for what you really need, remember this: you have the power to choose where you spend your energy.
So, be selective about what you collect and carry with you.
Conserve some of your energy for feeling the way you want to feel. Leave some room for whatever it is you want to come in, unpack her bags, and stay a while.
Make the decisions every day to let the light in so you can let your light out.
In this adventure of navigating life with kids, there’s plenty to keep us busy and stressed out. The constant messes, nonstop auditory stimulation, responsibilities, and uncertainties are quite enough without our a collection of added worries, doubts, pressures, and obligations.
So, I’ll be leaving some space to feel the way I want to feel, and right now, I want to feel light, focused, and intentional.
As we wrap up this challenge, this is what I want, and I’d love to hear from you about what you want.
Leave a comment and share: How do you want to feel? What do you want to make some space for?
And then grab the fun fill-in-the-blank Collected Manifesto to describe what you want and how you want to feel. Grab it in the free library with the rest of the collected challenge materials.
Are you ready to stop feeling so scattered and start feeling the way you want to feel? Get all of the journal pages and other goodies that go along with this Collected Challenge in the Year of Happy Free Library.