Paint Your Life

“Abandon all attachment to the results of action and attain supreme peace.”

-Bhagavad Gita

When I moved into my current home I unpacked the boxes that needed unpacking in order to function and sort of gave myself permission to tackle the rest on weekends. Well, 18 months later I am finally done unpacking. Aside from realizing how much junk I brought with me from home to home and didn’t actually need, I found treasures.

I sat on the floor of my guest bedroom the other night surrounded by journals filled with ink, post it notes, doodles and quotes. It was like a box filled with gold. I started writing when I was thirteen so you can imagine some made me giggle, some were insightful, some were laborious, but all showed me how far I’ve come from the girl with ink-stained fingers who simply wanted.

Wanted to be more. Wanted to get out. Wanted to grow and be and if I could’ve sprouted wings I would have done it fifty times over.

I grew up very poor. I fondly remember digging through bags of hand me downs from the older girls in our church. They were pretty cool so by default having their clothes was pretty cool. There was always at least one treasure in each garbage bag of clothing and I didn’t care what size it was, a Guess t-shirt? I will wear it at least three times a week!

Although we lived in a very bad neighborhood with murderers and drug dealers and prostitutes, oh my, when I went through my writings there were no Dear Diary, I can’t wait for a designer dress and a Tiger Beat or Dear Diary, when I grow up I’m going to have (enter material item here).  

My lists and scribbles included the places I wanted to see and those things that were important to me. I wanted to be published. I wanted to see France. I wanted to ride in a hot air balloon and make a certain annual income that was something I never thought I could achieve cross-legged from my bunk bed on Richmere Street, the house with the bullet riddled cement block walls, when I wrote it in my journal.

The only thing I’ve yet to accomplish is a ride in a hot air balloon. I’m now published and not only have I seen France, but I’ve seen Italy and a host of other beautiful countries. I’ve doubled the annual income I scribbled in my very naive sixteen year old scrawl, this is what rich people must make. 

I found other entries and journals that included characteristics and goals that were answers to a couple of key questions that I apparently ask myself here and there throughout my life – What Do I Want?

I didn’t even realize that this has become a practice, but as I was writing this I scrolled through the Notes app in my phone and I have a What Do I Want entry from last year.

My list?

Success, Happiness, Peacefulness/Calm, Security, To be an amazing mom, Confidence, Love.

I seem to lose the lists, but Apple is apparently trying to hook me up.

Here is the magical part:

Everything I’ve written down I’ve accomplished.

Well, aside from the balloon thing, but I’m pretty certain I can knock that one out.

What I find so fascinating is that I detached from the end result. I didn’t worry about how I was going to make any of the things happen. I just concentrated on the values that were important to me, the characteristics I wanted to model and it became. Organically.

So, I made a new list this week and I kind of cheered myself on as I thought of how we have the ability to shape and form our own beautiful lives with a little thing called intention. Some women look to vision boards, some morning affirmations, but the one thing I’ve noticed is that if your intention is around the person you want to become you will get there because you’ve put it out there in the world. You subconsciously take it on as a goal. My lists are not grocery lists. They are soul lists. They are the things I wanted deep down and simply required acknowledgment before they became.

My daughter recently read The Magic Paintbrush which is the story of Ma Liang. It is a beautiful old story about a poor boy with a kind heart who had a magic paintbrush. Anything he thought of and painted would come to life as long as it was for good.

Think of  your words and your intention as the magic paintbrush. If you paint the life you want, as long as it is for good, whether it be through words in a journal, in your Notes app, a vision board, be it Pinterest or poster board, you have the power.

So, paint your life.

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