Women waking up—to wanting more, less and different

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One of my all-time favorite topics is the notion of waking up to the life you want to live. --What does it mean to wake up to a life not truly lived? A life squandered on to-do lists, mundane tasks, and just getting through the day. --What does it mean to wake up to dreams deferred? To a life spent drowning in a sea of Monday through Thursdays, coming up for air only on the weekends. --Do you have the courage to wake up and live life on purpose? To cast off a willingness to live small and go from merely surviving to joyfully thriving.

Text of Women waking up—to wanting more, less and different


2. jennifer bailey grace street groupWhat does it mean to wake up?What does it mean to suddenly or slowly realize how much ofyour life is being lived from anothers point of view? To experience the dailyache of exhaustion from trying to keep in the air all those balls being juggledonly to realize how many are shoulds and havetos. To feel bruised from brushing up against what you thought your life was going to be when your world is nothing as youimagined.What does it mean to wake up to a life not truly lived? A life squandered on to-do lists, mundane tasks, and just getting through theday. A life frittered away on worries, attempting perfection, a persistent sense of not being good enough, and trying to pleaseeveryone else before yourself?To a life spent drowning in a sea ofWhat does it mean to wake up to dreams deferred?Monday through Thursdays, coming up for air only on theweekends. To the realization that you no longer daydream because youve given up hope of your life ever beingdifferent. To the absence of meaningyou once had envisioned a purpose-lled life, but that now seems laughably lofty andimpossibly grandiose given the daily grind.2 3. jennifer bailey grace street groupId always dreamed of a different way to live. Then oneday I started questioning why it could only be a dream. Waking up is as personal and unique as our ngerprints, yet we see many of the same swirls and patterns among all those who awake. In my years of working with women who are waking up, there is uniqueness and commonality. Some of the common themes I hear among waking women are: I cared so much about what people thought of me and wanted them to like me, but was so seldom true to myself that Im not sure who they really liked. Life suddenly seemed so very short. I couldnt bear wasting another day living someone elses life. Everything in my life was about performance and getting ahead. Suddenly I just wanted to live. I didnt want so much pressure. It was this little nagging voice in my head asking quietly, Is this really what you want? The answer was no for a long time before I admitted it. Id lived so cautiously, so predictably. Done everything just as expected. Id made my world so small and comfortable that it was suffocating. What did I fear? Everything around mecareer, big house, spending my free time shopping and acquiring more stuffover time held less and less appeal. I didnt seem to want the things Id once thought were so important. 3 4. jennifer bailey grace street groupI had this superwoman thing goingcareer, husband,kids, perfect home...but I was so worn out, irritable, andunhappy that every area of my life suffered. Once I turned 40, I gradually began to care less and less about who I was supposed to be. My boss undervalued and undermined my contribution to the company; why was I letting someone else validate me? I knew my worth, but then continued to stay in a toxic environment that made me question my value. I just couldnt continue living only for the weekends. Twenty days a month of my life were spent in a depressing cube doing work I hated. I wanted more than that for my work life. I had all these things I wanted to do with my life, and I just kept putting them off. I really started to wonder, If not now, when?. My corporate life had become an existence, nothing more. I was ready to see what life outside the 9-5 box was like. There was such a disconnect between my life and what I really wanted. I got so fed up and angry that I just had to gure out how to make some changes.If so, are you Do any of these statements resonate with you? Do you see yourself in any of these women? ready to wake up to the gap that exists between your present-day reality and the attainment of your best life?4 5. jennifer bailey grace street groupDo you find yourself asking, Is this all there is? If so,theres a part of your soul that knows youre asleep. This book takes you on the journey of waking up to that gap and then bridging it to get to the other side. Its about casting off a willingness to live small and declaring that youre ready to go from merely surviving to joyfully thriving. Do you have the courage to wake up and live life on purpose? What would it take to quiet the voices of everyone but yourself and follow your own lead? What would it mean to reinvent yourself in your own image this time? I work with countless women who are waking up to what I call the more, less, and different. They want more of some things in their lives, less of others, and for some to be altogether different. Phyllis, a 48-year old pharmaceutical sales representative, describes waking up as a coming to terms with how she could live with less money and fewer material possessions in order to have more of a life. On the road three weeks of every month, Phyllis nancial health was great, but the rest of her life had suffered. She says, Id sacriced so much in terms of relationships and my physical health. Waking up meant facing the reality of the choices I was making and how much Id let earning a big paycheck take priority over so much else.5 6. jennifer bailey grace street groupMany women are asleep at some deep level of Self. They have lled their days with to-do lists and the belief that getting things done is where their worth lies. They believe that striving for perfection is a worthy goal. That merely getting through the day on a regular basis is good enough. We must wake up to the realization that we have but one life to live and this very day is not a dress rehearsal for something to come. Thisright nowis life. Waking up requires a high degree of self-love. Because its only through loving and valuing ourselves that were able to feel worthy enough to recognize our own needs and acknowledge our own wants. When we shed the misguided burden thats inherent in living someone elses life, we metamorphize into the strong women we were meant to beand, in reality, really are. 6 7. jennifer bailey grace street groupWhat have you given up even attempting that youreally wanted to do because it was too impractical? How much of your life today, right this very minute, is about pleasing others? Are you living up to some idealthe origin of which you arent even sure? How much time do you spend (i.e., waste) caring what others think about your choices? How much time is squandered in the lonely, sinking trap of attempting perfection? How many decisions do you make based on whats expected? Or perhaps even more maddening, you have no clue what it is you really want to do because youve never taken the time to hear your own voice. Instead, listening to the voices of everyone around youfriends, family, co-workers, the media, even society at largehas become the easier, softer way. But its an illusion.7 8. jennifer bailey grace street groupMany women are masters at the business of life,but not of living and thriving. While on the surface it may appear to be the easier, softer way to do whats expected and go along to get along, the price you pay is dear and deadening. You pay with yourself. It may not be a pound of esh each time you veer from your authentic Self, but it is a pound of your soul. Its all too easy to live a lifetime never allowing yourself to hear your calling, to honor your purpose, to pursue your passion, to hear the sound of the universe speaking directly to you. You, in turn, speaking back, participating in the conversationloudly and clearly, with condence and conviction. When asleep at the wheel of life, many women tell me that it has become only about the business of lifeof getting through a day of work, marking tasks off a to-do list, of satisfying and making others happy, of keeping the peace, of going along to get along. These women echo a common themefeeling as if their lives can be boiled down to a reduced state of working, taking care of others, paying the bills, buying groceries, cooking, cleaning, laundry, carpooling 8 9. jennifer bailey grace street groupLets wake up to the sweetness of a life truly lived. Lets wake up! Each of us is unique and when we default to a life that doesnt celebrate that uniqueness on a daily basis, we lose the opportunity to bring ourselves fully into the world. The light thats uniquely our own never truly shines. Lets grow into ourselves and each of us nd the path thats ours alone to walk. Let us silence every voice that says we cant. We shouldnt. That says were not good enough. That well look silly or stupid. Or that its too difcult or were too old. That says how dare we. That talks us out of our dream before its seen the light of day. Let us quiet the part of ourselves that says we dont deserve more. That says we should count our blessings and be content with the life we have. That voice that keeps us small and inside ourselves and living from fear. 9 10. jennifer bailey grace street groupIts so easy to be afraidof failing, of rocking theboat, of what others will think, of living a big life. But that fear keeps us rooted in our smaller selves. It keeps us from wanting more and attaining it. It keeps us blind to the possibilities that are right in front of us and cut off from the dreams in our hearts that we dare not share with others. It keeps us from charting our own course, instead keeping us rmly rooted in following the rules and others lead, and living small and scared. One of the rst steps of waking up is not caring what others think more than we care about our own thoughts and opinions. When did we quiet our own voices and hand our very compass for living over to others? When did that happen for you? Was it as a young child growing up in a household where your thoughts and feelings werent allowed to be expressed or werent important in comparison to those of others? Was it later in life when you gave yourself away in a misguided attempt to keep a relationship from going sour? Was it gradual as