“Living the Dream.” It’s that fantasy that so many of us work for. We strive for the high paying job, achieving optimal health and falling in perfect love in hopes that we will finally wrangle happiness after a long hot pursuit. We want to build the the life of our dreams, but so many of us end up stuck in the dream phase, unable to make the transition to fully realize the vision we have in our minds.
So what is Lifecrafting, exactly?
It’s a deliberate method in designing a lifestyle based on meaning and purpose using a creative approach. The design is intentional. At the end of the road there is no “Hey, how did I get here? Letting the days go by…” You know how the song goes. Even if you get a little side-tracked along the route, the overall objective stays clear when you start with a deliberate approach.
Lifecrafting is creating a purposeful lifestyle based on your values. Not only are you creating something intentional, it goes beyond keeping up with the Joneses. It’s not just about collecting, having more, winning or following the American Dream, per se. It’s based on the personal values and feelings that are important to you. For example, if independence is high on your priority list, you may be drawn towards self employment or travel.
The other key theme that defines lifecrafting is that there is a craft to it. Call it an artistic flair, or artisanal approach to the process. Any life coach or advisor can sit down with you and help you outline your life goals, but the method in how these goals are achieved is part of the concept. Artisans produce quality craftsmanship and lasting work with a personal, human touch. Isn’t this what you want for your dream life? When you put your personal touch into the design of your life, it’s the icing on the cake to make it uniquely yours.
My Lifecrafting Story
It’s all good to theorize about this as an idea but how does it pan out in real life? To start from the beginning, I need to go back several years to the time before I met my husband. I was at a crossroads. I was ready for change. I was craving a new job. I felt ready to move and start over. I was also yearning for a new relationship, but I was afraid to hope for too much at once.
My girlfriend suggested the idea of making a vision board for helping me get clear about what to do. Although I think of myself as a creative person, the idea seemed to be more fun than practical. I didn’t really see the value in cutting out pictures and words to help shape my future. But it did create a pretty nice piece of artwork though. I was quite pleased with the end result. There was a good balance of seeking my dream job meshed with my desire for a healthy lifestyle and creative hobbies, a single man in the picture, winding his way through the broccoli stalk forest. There was even a picture of two kids, a girl and a boy, which was added hastily after my friend noticed my vision board seemed heavily work focused and not much detail for family life. Interestingly, over the course of a few years, everything depicted on my vision board came to life. I got my dream job. I met and married the man of my dreams. He had two children, a girl and a boy. I ran a marathon. I got back into making arts and crafts. It was spooky, but also compelling. It got me thinking about the power of suggestion, the power of intention and the creative way my brain and subconscious worked together to help manifest the images on my poster.
My Lifecrafting Story continues…
So phase two occurs after getting married and having a partner in the picture. I’m always refining the ultimate vision of my ideal lifestyle, and it seems to get clearer the better I know myself. I realized that I had many interests that demanded my attention, including getting into beekeeping, jewelry making, arts and crafts and spending more time outside. Given that I was working full time, commuting an hour and traveling out of town periodically for work, it didn’t leave much time to spend enjoying the hobbies that enriched my life. I felt like I needed to make a change and shift towards a more balanced lifestyle. I wanted to spend less time in an office and more time creating things. My husband and I wanted to live in an area that energized us. So we made our first vision board together. We focused on mountains, rustic living, active lifestyles and making our life as hand crafted as possible. The board is still in our living room beckoning our subconscious minds to manifest into reality.
I do believe that lifecrafting is a process, not a magical manifestation trick that can be rushed. You still have to do the work and let things play out in the natural course of time. But what happens when they do play out is fascinating. It’s eerie how many of the details align with the original design of the vision board.
Fast forward a few years. My husband and I are still working towards living in the mountains living that rustic, active lifestyle. But now, the process seems to be speeding up. Some of the details have been refined to reflect more of our core values. Instead of taking out a huge loan to buy land in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, we’ve discovered an alternate location just as enchanting in Nederland that costs a fraction of the price. Instead of building a mammoth log home, we are going to start by building a timber frame style “tiny home” under 500 square feet so that we can have a place to live while we take the time to build our dream home without going into debt. The dream and design phase has been fulfilled and now the manifestation phase is starting to come to life. Not only are we saving money but we are doing the work ourselves It’s adding meaning and purpose to our lives. We value the pride and satisfaction that comes from our own labor of love.
So now, if you’d like to follow the rest of the journey stay tuned. There are still several details that need further attention, but I can feel the lifecrafting process come alive. It’s like all of the actions I’ve taken in the past few years to choose the lifestyle that is most meaningful to me are converging to create the dream life I thought was only available on vision boards. It’s like my husband says, “We’re living the dream, baby!” And it’s happening right before our eyes.