Which Constraints Are Ruining Your Life?

I spend a lot of time talking about making small changes so you can be happy right where you are, within whatever constraints your life has riht now. I realised recently that I talk a big game, but actually spend a lot of time trying to throw off those constraints.

constraints

But then, that’s living by the rules, right?

Living within your constraints must include trying to change those constraints whenever you can and wish to.

By their very nature, we often think of constraints as fixed, but can you find some flexibility within that.

I’ll give you an example.

The hub and I have a 2-year-old. So I’m married and have a kidlet, and hopefully neither of those things is ever going to change.

I also love to travel (not a constraint, more a wish for what my dream life includes).

Angkor-Wat

To many people, young child = limited travel. Constraint = life not being as good.

However in the past 12 months, the little dude has accompanied me and the big dude to
Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Bali, New Zealand, England, Portugal, Jersey, Switzerland, and Venice. That’s not meant to be a brag list, but it certainly shows what is possible even with a bambino in tow.

We changed the constraints, and decided we could do it with a kidlet.

Of course, travelling with an 18 month old isn’t the same as travelling solo or as a couple. I had assumed it would be just like child-free travel only worse, when in fact it’s much better in some ways.

  • Nonnas on the street in Venice never stopped to chat with me before I took the little guy there.
  • Cambodian fishing families we much more excited to see us when they realised the hub’s bicycle had a baby seat behind it, full of a baby.
  • I’ve never had so many conversations with other women about their families and their dreams.
  • The hilarity of a baby crawling along the floor with his knees off the ground and his bum stuck up in the air crosses language (and laughter) barriers in a way joking cannot.

I’ll give you another example.

I see lots of friends with kidlets rushing most of the time.

Rushing in the morning to get everyone up and out the door in time for work, rushing through the workday, rushing to pick up kidlets by the close of day care then rushing through the bath, dinner, bedtime routine before collapsing on the couch for an hourwatching tv, in order to rest for a moment and do it all again the next day.

Cuddle2But we changed the constraints and the hub and I are very flexible with when and where we work.

So sometimes, I spend half an hour cuddling the little dude in bed before we get up and eat breakfast at the outdoor table while the lorikeets chirp above, and I walk him to daycare to get in some exercise, arriving half an hour after opening time before turning around to walk home for a green smoothie.

Sometimes people (including the hub) say, ‘it can’t possibly last’ but I think, ‘it has so far, who’s to say it won’t continue to be just as flexible even if a little bit different to the current set-up?’

And because three’s a charm, I’ll give you one more example.

In a Flow Sessions workshop I ran, one woman said if there were no constraints she would take her family and travel the world together (but work, and school, and money, and life). So we talked about what she wanted from the travel.

Her simple answer? Uninterrupted, completed focused time with her family all together.

So how do we change the constraints to make that possible?

Prepare the family ahead of time, put the date in the diary and let them know an adventure is coming on Saturday afternoon.

For this woman, she was going to spend half an hour before family time started writing down every single thing she needs to remember to do, so she can let it be for the family time and know that the full list and all her reminders will be safely there when she returns.

Collect all phones, so that the family can focus on being right there together instead of checking Facebook. Then be together!

So it’s not a round-the-world trip, but it’s dedicated, focused, fully-present family time.

Where are you feeling constrained?

Where would you LOVE to make changes or live differently but you just can’t, because your life constraints get in the way?

Put a comment below and let’s see if we can workshop a way to get rid of the constraints!

 

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