What to Ask Yourself to Have a Meaningful Life

Ten years ago, loss of loved ones, health challenges, motherhood, financial concerns, isolation, humiliating mistakes, and impending move across the country to a harsh climate left me feeling drained and lacking clarity for my life. Glimpses of what I wanted for myself and my family disappeared. I felt angry, lost, blessed, confused, excited, afraid and eerily untethered.

How I Created a Meaningful Life (The MESSY Version!)

We settled in an unfamiliar land. I unpacked. I journaled. I cleaned my house. I washed laundry. I cried. I unpacked more boxes. I drank hot tea. I fed the dogs. I paid bills. I took deep breaths as I stared at bare refrigerator shelves. I created art. I got quiet. I got frustrated. I went back to school. I studied. I cared for my family. I worked at a low paying job. I took one step at a time. I had faith that a staircase to my life existed. I stopped taking steps. I doubted myself. I reconsidered. I took more steps. I learned from mistakes. I got inspired. I connected with others. I listened to Spirit. I ignored Spirit. I made more mistakes. I listened again. I took action. I realigned with my values. I rinsed and repeated over and over again.

The Daily Question

When I asked myself open-ended questions, I noticed deeper clarity and focus, tapping into solutions and ideas. My daily question became:

What is the next right step for me DESPITE my obstacles?

Despite lack of clarity or certainty.

Despite my plus-sized jeans missing a button.

Despite people who didn’t believe in me.

Despite my lack of knowledge.

Despite my fear.

Despite where I lived.

Despite my exhaustion and crappy thoughts.

Despite the amount of money in my bank account.

Despite my emotions.

Despite my imperfections.

Despite the distance from my loved ones.

Despite my messy house.

Despite the weather.

Despite busyness of having young children.

Despite my self-doubt.

I get teary-eyed thinking of all the times/places I asked myself that question. Now, fast-forward ten years, I get to do what I love, enjoy a loving marriage, be with my children, have wonderful friends/colleagues who support me, create art in my studio, and experience life in Big Sky country, while enjoying healthy habits.

Is life perfect? No way! Do I still have moments of frustration or self-doubt? Yes! However, I hit the reset button and consider the question that invites fulfillment and meaning to my daily life.

Your Turn

So, how would YOU answer this question, even if life is raining problems and a lack of clarity for you?

What is the next right step for me DESPITE my obstacles?

Dr. Brene Brown talks about how to have courage despite imperfections in her book, Daring Greatly. She also challenges the reader to consider what would be worth doing even if you DID fail! Shauna Niequist writes about creating a more soulful way of living in her book, Present Over Perfect. Now it is your turn.

Get quiet. Momentarily suspend distractions. Determine the next right step for you DESPITE obstacles. Listen to Spirit. You won’t regret it!


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