The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” ~Socrates
The idea of Unboxing Your Life, came up as I was feeling stressed about how to do more while maintaining the idea that they boys would still be homeschooled this year. Now, they are five, so homeschooling is a bit formal for our needs. We are working on reading and playing and that is our focus. We do lots of swimming, gardening, cooking, arts and crafts, and adventures.
What I realized quickly is that if I did not do a quick unboxing of all these new things, my little house of cards is likely to come crashing down around me and fast.
We all have boxes of things we do in our lives, a mommy box, a husband, a runner, an entrepreneur box, a work box, a wife box – okay, so I think you get the picture.
I am not an inside the box kind of gal, so I tend to live without a box, but this can get me into trouble. The way to make all of this craziness work is to unbox it all, and make it more of a curated collection of roles you feel compelled to fill because you find a need or three it fills for you. The importance of tying our needs to our roles in life, is the attached meaning. If it is meaningful, we make time for it.
Unschooling is clearly what we do at home with the kids, and in the fall they will attend a part-time Kindergarten homeschool program. My role is not as a homeschool mom, rather the director of their education. The way this gives me more energy to make sure it is a priority is to take it out of the to-do box, and place it in the box of love, connection, growth, and contribution. I fulfill all of these needs by putting their education and their personal development above every more convenient solution and to having to juggle our schedules.
Photography is another box. I love photography, but what if I saw it only as a way to make money? Would I tire of it? Would it still be a good reflection of how I see the world? I shoot all the photographs for this blog, as it allows me to connect you to my world and hopefully to inspire you in some way.
You can have any need met in a box, but they key is to filling the box evenly. Photography fills needs such as love and connection to nature or the people I photograph, but if I was using it as a career I might want to have it fulfill a need of significance too. It is all about balanced needs. An evenly filled box.
Now, as life has had some busier moments lately, I realized that I needed to be reminded of these needs. If I simply have this written down and quickly read through it each morning, I am much less likely let the stress of juggling schedules wash me away.
So, how can you go about unboxing your life? Let’s start with what are the boxes? Are you a husband, wife, daughter, athlete? Write down all the things you do, and put a quickly label on it.
Now, how do you feel when you do those things? When I am reading to the boys, I have many positive emotions of love and connection with them. When you are running for instance, how do you feel? Some people feel connected to the universe, nature, or they feel significant. It fills a need, your needs.
The key of unboxing is to decide if the role needs to be fulfilled at all. Do you start that business so you can homeschool your kids? If you do that will create another box, but what needs are you meeting by running that business? Understanding your six human needs and finding a way to fulfill them will enrich your life. It will also create a simpler less stressful way
I clearly have some unboxing to do, but I am so grateful to be able to have the freedom to decide just what this life looks like to us. What about you? Need to take some time to unbox a few things?