Are you a creature of habit? Or someone that needs constant change?
It doesn’t really matter which camp you fall into as long as you know which makes you feel most content.
I’m both. I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch pretty much every single day. I go to the same yoga class with the same teacher twice a week (ideally Bikram) and I cycle the kids to school and back twice a day in our dutch cargo bike (aka our wendy house on wheels). I don’t go out that much so that my introvert is satisfied and I feel calmest when my surroundings are neat and tidy. All these things make me feel secure and grounded. This is my bourgeois side.
But I also need adventure, freedom and times during which I have very few possessions. I thrive on being The Other, on not knowing what might happen next; I love having my core beliefs challenged and having to think on my toes. This my bohemian side.
I need variety to be content. And I like to know that either routine or adventure is on the horizon because having something to look forward to makes it easier for me to be present.
I haven’t always known this though. It took a while to work out. Just over 40 years in fact.
Indeed, it wasn’t until halfway through our 11-month family travel odyssey across SE Asia last year that I realised that NEITHER FULLY SATISFIES me: too much routine means that I get bored. I feel stifled. And too much wild not-knowing and not being surrounded by the familiar (things, actions and people) leads to exhaustion.
This was a considerable eye-opener for me. And I’ve tried to adapt my lifestyle to this particular piece of self-knowledge ever since.
I haven’t yet been away since our return to the UK last July because I’ve been slowly recharging my bourgeois batteries. Re-acclimatising myself with my adopted culture and remembering why I chose this country as my base. They’re pretty much full now though (a long, wet, winter and a broken boiler didn’t help) so the urge to discard everything that has grown comfortable, dig out the backpack and jump on a plane is growing daily. My itchy feet are calling and soon I won’t be able to ignore them.
Which is good. It’s a reminder to listen to my needs. To follow my dreams. To do what makes me feel most alive. Because when I am in this space, I am open to life and its possibilities, I am better able to give to the kids because I am feeling complete and I attract the right people into my life.
Everything flows more easily and life feels like less of a struggle.
So in the end, it’s all about knowing yourself:
Are you content with the way that you are living your life right now?
What makes you feel fulfilled and alive?
What can’t you do without?
And what would it take to introduce this if it isn’t there now?
Commit to observing what makes you feel expanded and in awe and watch what brings up feelings of containment and frustration.
Do whatever it is that creates the former state in you. We only have one life – you deserve to enjoy it!