ARE YOU LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL?

Are you living life to the full with peace, purpose, paring down and passing on to others?

INTRO

This month I've been looking at the writing of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and how that relates to Midlife - or in today's case, Life in General. Over the last few weeks I've written about her quotes that relate to Midlife, Writing, and Relationships (I've included links in case you missed any of them).

Today is the last of the series and it encompasses living life to the full - probably from the viewpoint that less is often more - we don't need to be overfilling our lives to live happily.

PEACE

The very first lesson Anne touches on is being at peace with who you are - not listening to the opinions of others, but really looking within yourself and resting in who you authentically are. For so many of us, we've been living our lives for others and pouring ourselves into our families, our jobs, our relationships and forgetting to refuel ourselves. Somewhere along the line we lose a sense of who we really are outside of these roles.

As our world settles down a little we can allow ourselves some space to breathe and to refill. There is a quote that says "you can't pour from an empty cup" and that speaks volumes in itself. We need to replenish ourselves before we run dry. To find moments of peace and rest and to allow ourselves the luxury of taking those little pieces of time to invest in who we are becoming.

“Woman must come of age by herself -- she must find her true center alone.”

PURPOSE

Anne mentions "living in grace" and that is a favourite theme for me. I love the concept of being gracious, of being kind to myself and to others. It all comes back to an acceptance of who we are and nurturing our hearts and minds. If we don't look after ourselves and treat ourselves well then we can't be gracious - resentment and weariness are great killers of grace!

Living in harmony is also a wonderful concept - when you are living true to your values and beliefs, there is an innate harmony that settles our souls. When we're being authentic to our core beliefs, we have the confidence to make healthy decisions that won't leave us full of regret. There's nothing worse than action based on trying to win approval from others at the sacrifice of our own inner peace.

I want to be to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life

PARING BACK

Anne seems to be an advocate for the Simple Living movement - of finding space and not cluttering our lives up with unnecessary physical, mental, or emotional drama. Having a life that is drowning in "stuff" clogs up our thinking and brings with it a constant state of chaos that we have to work through.

I love the idea of living within our means, of having what we need, and not buying more and more stuff to fill our house, or our wardrobe, or our shed. We live in a consumerist society and there is always something new to tempt us to add it to what we already have. I love seeing these ads and thinking "no thanks" and moving on - it's like saving money without even trying! It makes the occasional purchase more special when you're not continually buying whatever catches your eye.

These values are signposts toward another way of living: simplicity of living, as much as possible, to retain a true awareness of life

PASSING IT ON

The idea that we are of more use to others when we are settled in ourselves is a constant theme through Anne's writing. If we aren't certain of ourselves and we are vacilating here and there with whatever new thing comes along, or being influenced by whoever has the loudest voice, we're not of much use to anyone.

Being at peace with yourself, knowing who you are, knowing and respecting your values and beliefs, having the confidence and strength to stand firm in the storms of life - these are all great qualities that draw others to us. We touch their lives by being secure in our own world - we become the voice of calm in a world full of uncertainty.

. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Do you feel at peace with yourself? Are you living your life to the full and not being swayed by the demands all around you? Are you keeping it simple in a chaotic world?


Are you living life to the full with peace, purpose, paring down and passing on to others?

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40 comments

  1. My book club read Anne's book together. It was a delight to share it with friends. I shared it with my daughter (she's 33 today!) but I don't think she has had enough life experiences to appreciate it yet. Loved this series.

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    1. Happy birthday to your daughter Terri :) and yes, maybe she needs to be a bit older to see the depths that there are to Anne's thoughts. I can't believe how spot on she is with what she writes - certainly ahead of her time.

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  2. We live relatively simply, but my brain is completely chaotic. I'm looking for ways of paring back myself at present - both in what I do, what I buy, how I think, how much I try and cram in in an effort to calm the overwhelm.

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    1. I'm much the same Jo - I don't have as many balls in the air as you do (I am constantly amazed at how much you juggle and keep up with!) But I feel like I need to step back a bit and breathe a little more in the year ahead and when your brain and body are telling you to ease up then it's a good idea to listen!

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  3. I completely understand that notion that you need to care for yourself properly before you can care for others (the old oxygen mask on the plane analogy). I think I've got the paring back under control but still struggling with the notion of purpose. Unfortunately.

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    1. I think we all have different life phases where we feel on top of some areas and less so with others. Midlife has a lot to do with discovering our purpose and what we want the second half of life to look like. I don't think I have it down pat, but I like the idea of discovering my purpose and feeling more in tune with myself.

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  4. I agree that being at peace with who you are is an essential first lesson (although it takes most of us many years to achieve this). I greatly enjoyed this series, Leanne. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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    1. I'm glad you liked it Donna - I just found her writing resonated with me on a lot of different levels and the more I read, the more I could see that she had a lot to offer Midlife women - she was definitely a trend setter :)

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  5. This has been such an inspirational and informative series. When we started traveling and gave up all the stuff, it was so freeing. Now that we're going to be a little more settled, and have a base to travel from, I still don't feel the need to fill my cup with stuff. My relationships and my experiences are what does it for me now.

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    1. I am always amazed at people who have moved themselves across the world and managed to leave all their clutter and baggage behind them. It must be such a great feeling to start with what you need "now" rather than foraging through all the extra stuff to try and work out what is actually of any real value.

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  6. Hi Leanne, it took me quite a while to accept myself and be at peace with who I am. I am also going through a phase of paring back and reflecting on what is really important in my life and what I don't need. I love this sentence 'we become the voice of calm in a world full of uncertainty' and strive to be this person. Have a beautiful week, my friend. x

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    1. Hi Sue - I think a few of us are at that paring back stage. I'm feeling like I need to do a bit of a physical purge of the stuff that is beginning to accumulate in our cupboards, and a mental and spiritual purge where I get rid of things that are beginning to weigh me down. I think we're both looking at some fresh ideas for 2019 :)

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  7. I very much enjoy annes thoughts and would like to read more of her. leanne, you have proved an able translator of the quotes selected. thank you.
    today I particularly like the quote about driblets to the thirsty and it does seem true of parenting that we hardly ever get the chance to fill our pitchers up. so yes I fill up as often as I can these post parenting days - with silence nature rest reflection and simplicity .these days I do feel a peace within and from this place I cultivate grace of Being. and speaking of grace leanne it comes through your writing. blessings...

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    1. Thanks for your lovely words Sandra - you always sound so poetic when you write (both here and on your blog). I think Midlife is definitely a time where we begin to refill and refuel and then we decide how much we want to pour out again and where we'd like to pour it - what a wonderful stage of life to have the freedom to make those kind of decisions.

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  8. I've finally reached a stage in my life where I do feel peace and wellbeing. It's been a long hard road to finding this, but I think changing careers, ridding myself of a couple of toxic relationships, simplifying my life and moving to a new town has brought peace into my life. I truly agree with everything that Anne says. #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Your story sounds like a mirror of mine! I've changed jobs, gotten rid of a toxic friend or two, created some healthy boundaries and found some self worth along the way. It's definitely a wonderful stage of life and I wish I'd figured it out a bit sooner!

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  9. Gosh,this whole post must be just for me. It's exactly what I've been thinking about recently, and really need to do. Especially the paring back, peace and passing it on.
    It's hard because I get so focused on what I'm doing, but I need to remember life is too short..
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. I think I'm hitting another point of change in my life Jodie - one where I have some stuff figured out, but now need to sort out the next layer. I think I'm going to be paring back some more, finding some head space and relaxing a bit more in the year ahead - there seems to be less need to prove myself these days.

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  10. Leanne, I do my best to live authentically and to pass it on. This often means we need to leave relationships and situations behind - many people cannot handle it, even when you are gracious. I find more peace and clarity when I declutter these types of relationships. Thanks for another great post.

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    1. You're so right Janet - I had to leave a friendship behind when it boiled down to disloyalty and not being able to trust that person any more. I think I've learned to really value people who have values I respect - they might not be the mirror image of mine, but it comes down to seeing someone's heart and trusting their motives.

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  11. Beautiful. This really touched my heart, because I am striving to live a live of courage, confidence and contentment in a crazy chaotic world, while inspiring others to do the same. Your post is so encouraging. Thanks Leanne!

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    1. I love the idea of "courage, confidence and contentment" Darlene - something we can all aspire to and it would make the world a much nicer place to live in.

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  12. "...the voice of calm in a world full of uncertainty." That is what I aspire to. I'm married to a 'voice of calm' and it is such a comfort!

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    1. I'm married to one too Diane - and he gives me an excellent baseline and sounding board - and helps me see when I'm going a bit off the rails!

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  13. Great way to share and celebrate the essence of the midlife. I know I am better at "just being" and can care for myself in a more nurturing way. I am far less controlling these days even though I would like to be better at letting go. I haven't read her works but I am very much aware of her. Denyse x

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    1. I'm working on being "far less controlling" too Denyse - it makes a lot more sense to me now to see that I can't control everything and I can release a lot of stuff and just let it be. Healthier for me - and healthier for my relationships!

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  14. I'm living life to the FULL. Absolutely :) So full that it can seem chaotic. But I'm a big believer in no regrets, so I'd prefer to try much and then step back ... rather than step back and regret not having tried more. There is a sense of peace (most of the time). But right now I've got niggling self doubt about a couple of my big projects. My passion projects. I just wish they were further along than they are. But I won't give up! I WILL make it happen.

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    1. Leanne you inspire all of us with the things you tackle (and succeed in) I so admire the fact that you're willing to step out of your comfort zone to achieve so much and I'm always fascinated with what you'll be writing about next!

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  15. I am working hard and playing hard - but it is getting harder as I get older. I'm not one for drinking too much etc and I eat healthily, but I still find myself longing for a simpler and more peaceful life. Thought provoking post xx Maria

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    1. I'm the same Maria - all I want is a bit of room to breathe and to focus on the things that bring pleasure. I don't want to compete with others or have the biggest and the best - I like being content.

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  16. This says it all to me Leanne: Being at peace with yourself, knowing who you are, knowing and respecting your values and beliefs, having the confidence and strength to stand firm in the storms of life - these are all great qualities that draw others to us. We touch their lives by being secure in our own world - we become the voice of calm in a world full of uncertainty. I have so enjoyed this series and reading your thoughts which are similar to mine in many ways. I think I am at peace with myself - finally at this age! Love your wisdom.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Deb - I think we are definitely on the same journey and in a similar part of the path! It's such a lovely feeling to release a lot of that striving and to just ease up a bit and feel content and peaceful with where we are in life - I'm hoping to maintain that feeling for the next couple of decades at least!

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  17. It takes a while to be at peace with ourselves. For me the most important thing that helped me to get to a position of peace with myself was failing massively in life, in a relationship, in what I thought a mother should be. This failure made me realise that I had probably been focussing on the wrong things for a while and that I wasn't happy with who I was and who I was becoming. Coming to terms with that failure has made me a much better person and I am more at peace with myself than I have ever been. Pen x #AnythingGoes

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    1. I think life crises always clear the way for discovering what's really important and worth fighting for and what we need to surrender. I look back at some of the upheavals in my life that were particularly painful at the time, but taught me some huge life lessons that I may never have learned if I hadn't suffered my way through the trauma. I hope your life keeps getting better and better as you move forward in peace.

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  18. I try to life my life to the full. Im currently reading The Miracle Morning to help me live my life to my full potential

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    1. I think a full life looks different at each stage we go through. For some it's achieving big goals, for others it's releasing the stress of trying so hard and just breathing for a while. I love that it can be different for all of us, yet still bring immense satisfaction when we see ourselves achieving what we set our hearts on.

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  19. I need to make it through the winter in my current situation, but come spring I plan on making some major life changes in order to more fully realize everything that you have touched on here #anythinggoes

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    1. Hi Jeremy - good luck with the changes - think of the great blog posts in the making as you share what you're learning along the way :)

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  20. I have never been more at peace with myself than I am right now in this season and it feels wonderful! Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann

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    1. I feel much the same Roseann - it's so nice to feel content with life and not at odds with people or the drama that can sometimes overtake us. I feel like I'm breathing and that's really nice!

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