the other week, when i read elizabeth gilbert’s newest book, big magic, i found deep inspiration in her insanely dedicated commitment to becoming + being a writer. she writes that at an early age, sometime in her teenage years i believe, she literally had a little ceremony with herself and took vows to be a writer. not to make money as a writer, not to work as a writer, but to spend her life writing. doing what she loved… no matter what. i was totally impressed by her.
and i thought to myself… that is perhaps the ultimate intention-setting act: to take vows.
i want to take vows too.
the thing is, we often save this idea of being so committed and dedicated to something or someone that we leave the vow-setting to the nuns + monks + gurus. well, except for those of us who choose to take a vow of marriage. but, for everything else in life, we shy away from vows. that’s too hard core for us. i mean, a vow of poverty? a vow of silence? like i said, too hard core. and actually only for those who are deeply committed to some religious order or something. can i get an amen?
however, i really don’t believe that. any of us, all of us, can take vows and commit ourselves to something. and i have a sneaking suspicion that when we actually create our own little ceremony for taking vows, then it becomes something that we choose to faithfully live out. it becomes a priority, and an intention that we will not compromise under any circumstances.
in addition to taking vows to love and stand beside and share life with my wife, i want to make some vows to myself. to create a deep intention to love and take care of myself as well. to live the life that i feel called to live – no matter what.
for me, life isn’t always so easy peasy though. living the life i want, the way i want to live it, is no walk in the park. following through on what i want, what i dream of, who i want to be, and how i want to live, is tough. just when i get settled into living one way + feeling a bit more stable and secure, life throws a curve ball. the expected and unexpected creep up and give me a whole new perspective. a whole new challenge of staying true to the vision that i have for my life.
it’s sooooo easy to slip into just existing, just doing what i am supposed to do, day in and day out, and to let how i feel called to live just float away.
as you know, right now i am in the midst of readjusting my life. of discovering how to take all that i have learned over a long period of time, and apply it to my everyday life.
i stood by my window and gazed out a lot this weekend. thinking about all of this…
i have been in the midst of a very sacred, special, holy place. i have lived in this safe, nurturing, incubating space for years. but the height of it has been this past year. 2015. throughout the year, i deepened, grounded, filled, and surrounded myself with the magic that i seek in everyday life. i lived very slowly. very intentionally. i danced with the mysteries. i reveled in nature. i lived life fully alive. and i did it all in some sort of transformative cocoon that i had no real idea that i was in. only looking back now can i see this past year for what it has been.
actually, only now can i look back + see what the past 8 years have been. and they have been a very specific, very sabbatical-like time in my life. a time of learning how to truly be, how to truly love, anyhow to truly live. they have completely transformed me + my life.
one year ago today my love and i left asheville to move back to sweden. i have tried my hardest to avoid thinking about today in order to avoid feeling those feelings of sadness + heartbreak that i felt on this day last year. nevertheless, here i am. writing about it. totally aware of it. feeling the pain, and yet feeling the power at the same time.
moving to sweden again last year was the final chapter in a book that i began in the summer of 2007. i didn’t know it then, but 2015 would be the epilogue to my belovelive journey. my journey of discovering who i am, of how i want to live life, and of learning how to make that actually happen.
now, after 7 years of growing + learning, and 1 deep year of intentional, slow living, of letting it all become a part of me, it is time to take all of that which has taken root, all of that which has grown and sunken deep into my soul, out and into the world. it is time for me to apply those sacred, holy, fill my eyes with tears, take my breath away moments that I have learned as i have been safely surrounded as a seedling, and let them be lived in life.
It’s time to live my life as I have been trained. it is time to find the holy, sacred moments as i do every single little everyday thing. like paperwork. and meeting people. like making dinner when I’m exhausted. or getting up early to take a shower.
i have now emerged from this 8 year period of evolution, these years of letting life educate me, of learning to become who i truly am… and now i am ready to simply live. to take all that i have experienced and felt and discovered and explored and bring it with me into this next phase of my life.
today, in 2016, i begin a whole new volume that will stand on the bookshelf of my life. i can literally feel that i am writing the prologue right now. it is powerful. and it is completely unknown. the only thing that i have with me is my intention – my continued calling to live an inspiring life. to live an authentic, slow, mystical, adventurous life, always seeking peace, always spreading love, and always committed to creating that life day by day, minute by minute. and, finally, always supporting + loving + inspiring others all along the way.
i felt the calling years ago, when i was a teenager. the call to be inspired + to inspire. the call to seek + to wander. the call to be + to do. and, i lived that out in my own way for years. until one day, i felt called to live life even more deeply, to not just follow how i thought that i should live, but to discover for myself what it really means to live my life. from my soul. in my way. offering who i am. that journey of discover is what the past 8 years have been about. and, now that they are done, and as i stand at the threshold of the next part of my journey in life, i take all that i have learned and become, and i carry it with me. ready to continue this insanely amazing journey of life.
so, now, as i begin this next phase in my life, i feel that it is the perfect time to take a vow of commitment. a vow to live my authentic life, to continue my journey, to stay true to my calling without losing who i am along the way. so, today, right here, right now. i will make that vow. and i will celebrate it with my own little ceremony…
(i am literally going to stop typing this post right now n order to create a ritual + to take my vows in a made-up ceremony).
ok. i am back. ceremony done. vows made. here’s what i did: i bundled up + took a walk. nature has been so good to me over the past year, and part of my intention is to stay as connected and grounded in her organic beauty and inspiration. i walked for about 30 minutes, stopping on little hill where could look back towards the city. i soaked it all in for a moment. the sun. the view. the cold, fresh air. i planted my feet firmly on the ground and accepted this next step in my journey, a step back out into the world. back to the world of work and business and responsibilities. back to the world to share a bit or what i have learned. and, back to the world in a much more authentic, grounded, inspired, self-secure way.
after my frigid walk, and my near-running pace home because i was so freaking cold, i peeled off my layers, put on cozy clothes, sat on the floor, and lit 5 candles. no reason for 5. i just had five. i simply stared at them, felt their warmth, and breathed very deeply for a few minutes. silently, i committed myself to my calling, my vision of life. and made a vow to simply be true to that calling.
and that was it.
as i said before, it ain’t easy to live like this day in and day out. to stay committed. feeling so grounded and good and strong. some days are crap. some days are off balance. some days feel as if i’ve lost my way or forgotten. but, the thing is, that’s all part of the journey. and i would’t want every day to be a high. all i really want is to be faithful.
and making a vow, taking vows, committing myself, gives me that back-up reminder that i so often need. it is that vision that i have before me. my internal mood board, reminding me to keep on keeping on. that i have a purpose. that my life means something. and that it is all about the journey.
so, if you’d like, go ahead and dare to make your own vow to yourself. let it be whatever you want so badly that you will do no matter what. celebrate that vow in your own ritual made up of whatever means the most to you.
in the meantime, i wish you strength and power and love and peace – all of that stuff that you already have within you. now, get out there and live it, my friends.