This week we’ll be discussing a PIVOTAL moment in our lives - and how what we learned could possibly help YOU create powerful change in your own life.
A year and a half ago, our lives looked completely different. Daane was hustling hard climbing the corporate ladder, on the road constantly for business and rarely ever home. He would go months without seeing friends, miss every fun event, and his body was literally beginning to break down from all the discomfort and stress of travel.
At the same time, I was a newlywed wife, home alone. So lonely that we adopted a dog to keep me company. And as had been my “normal” routine for the last decade - I was burning the candle at both ends running my photography business AND pursuing a career in Hollywood. As any entrepreneur can tell you, running ONE business is hard enough. Running TWO… by YOURSELF… not recommended. It’s basically a recipe for an inevitable nervous breakdown.
To be honest, we were far from happy. The strain of all the time apart, the stress from constantly hustling, and just generally feeling unfulfilled, were putting a noticeable strain on our new marriage. We never had a chance to just be newlyweds.
We definitely knew something needed to change but… I honestly didn’t know what. I didn’t know if it was our jobs that needed to change, or where we were living… or what. I was so stressed out and overwhelmed with the busy-ness of my life and the craziness of his… that I just - I just knew we needed to get away. I knew that if we could just get somewhere peaceful, and disconnect from the constant work emails and the day to day stresses we might possibly have a shot at figuring it all out.
So, I asked Daane if we could go on an intentional camping trip. I wasn’t sure what that was going to look like, or what that even WAS really, at the time I suggested it… but I just knew in my heart it had to happen.
And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. He was heading to Jackson Hole to host an event for work just before the 4th of July… so, it made it easy and affordable to just fly me out once his event was over, and extend the trip into the holiday.
Daane found the most AMAZING secluded little spot at the base of the Teton Range at Bearpaw Lake.
We rented a car and a canoe in Jackson, and we drove out to Jenny Lake. We paddled the canoe all the way across the lake, pulled the canoe out of the water and had to portage 2-300 yards to String Lake. Then we paddled all the way across String Lake and Leigh Lake, before we stashed the canoe at the ranger’s cabin. We then hiked in about a mile and set up camp at Bearpaw Lake.
It was Amazing! Our very own secluded little spot overlooking some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. No WiFi, no cel coverage… nada. It was perfect. I had some time to think as we were paddling and hiking in… so by the time we settled in around the campfire that night, I was ready to ask Daane the big question:
“If you could design your ideal life right now, and time & money were no obstacle - what would it look like?”
I remember telling him to think about it… not to say anything right away.
It was a new moon so the sky was just lit up with stars. More than I’ve ever seen. We let the fire die down and just stared at the infinite possibility above us, and started thinking about what was TRULY important, and how we really wanted to live our lives.
And the surprising realization, for both of us, was that our present dreams - what we wanted NOW - was not what we wanted in our early 20’s when we first set out on our career paths. And that realization alone was like: *MIND EXPLODES*. We were like “WHAT are we DOING? WHY are we killing ourselves trying to chase dreams we don’t even care about anymore?”
And beyond that, the realization that the paths we were on, the paths we had chosen as kids, were taking us in a completely different direction than where our PRESENT adult selves really wanted to go. We realized in that moment, we were going to have to LET GO of a number of things in order to create the space for our new lives to unfold.
For Daane, it was about adjusting his priority list, letting go of outdated goals, and realizing that a dream “job” doesn’t always translate to a dream “life”. Regardless of what society taught him, he wasn’t put on this Earth to WORK, to be another cog in a wheel. He was put on this earth to live life to the fullest and create meaningful impact. Yet, the nature of his job demanded that it take priority over everything else. One New Year he had a goal of spending 20 nights in a tent while out backpacking and adventuring throughout the year. Then, he landed his dream job, and spent ONE night in a tent that entire year. He needed to find balance.
And for me, it was letting go of acting. That career path was something I chose when I was in High School. I deeply loved the craft of acting, and I still do… but as a career, it simply wasn’t a lifestyle I wanted anymore. As an actor, you’re auditioning ALL the time - taking on the emotional lives of characters that are usually going through really bad stuff - like losing a child, or a husband cheating, or being raped… and you have to put yourself in those emotional situations week after week, character after character, audition after audition... and it’s exhausting. It’s really emotionally taxing. And, while some actors can totally take on those emotions, and release them as soon as they walk out the audition door - that was never the case for me. And I needed to honor that about myself. I knew I needed to find a new career path that would leave me feeling energized and fulfilled rather than emotionally drained.
These big “Ah-Ha!” moments, led us to ask ourselves a few other key questions that IMMEDIATELY got us off the old path and we began forging a new one. We definitely didn’t want to wait for another fork in the road to reveal itself - we just made a hard right and started blazing a trail for ourselves that didn’t exist before.
And from all that, only a year and half later… we find ourselves pursuing Eco-Entrepreneurship & living in a Tiny House in Topanga Canyon. We left our luxury Santa Monica bungalow in favor of our sweet Tiny House, we both left our old “dream jobs”, and we are venturing into eco-entrepreneurship with our company Wildland Organics (more details on that later).
We are fully committed to our NEW vision together as a team. Committed to creating a life of location independence, eliminating the excess, creating a business that will leave a lasting, meaningful impact on the planet & society, and becoming what we hope will be a source of inspiration and knowledge for other people seeking to live a more mindful and fulfilling life.
It really is one of our greatest dreams - to get out there in the world, and take leaps, and show others like YOU that it’s totally possible for you to do it too. You can live tiny if you want to, you can start your own business if you want to, you can quit your job and start a new life if you want to… you can do ANYTHING. You just have to make your mind up to do it.
So, if you’re interested in making this kind of life change for yourself…. If you want to get off your current path and onto a NEW one that will serve you better and allow you to be your best self...
Here are 3 Key Secrets for Planning a Life Changing Adventure:
- # 1: Disconnect. Go somewhere you can truly get away from it all - where wifi and cel coverage aren’t even an option. This way, you can be 100% present and focused with no distractions.
- Secret # 2: Ask yourself these 4 Key Questions:
- If you could design your ideal life right now, with no restrictions - what would it look like? Chances are, what you really truly want isn’t what you thought you wanted years ago when you started on the path you are on today.
- What are you currently doing NOW that is NOT in alignment with that ideal life you described? What are you pursuing that is taking you AWAY from what you want? (the answers can be circumstances, a career path, habits or all of the above.)
- What does the path to this NEW IDEAL look like? The path that will take you toward the dreams you have NOW (rather than the dreams of the past)? Identify at least 3 major milestones you would need to achieve to be well on your way to living your best life.
- What is ONE thing you can change about your current habits or circumstances RIGHT NOW to get you on the new path? Not next year, not in a few months - RIGHT NOW? This is key. It forces you to take action. And sometimes all it takes is the decision, TO ACT, and all of a sudden you’ve created the momentum that will lead you where you want to go. Whatever it is, hold yourself accountable to take your 1st step IMMEDIATELY. Get friends and family involved - ask them for their support & encouragement - and ask someone you trust to help hold you accountable. It’s hard to do this on your own, but speaking it into existence and allowing the people you love to be your cheerleaders truly makes it a reality - don’t be afraid to ask for support. And finally,
# 3: Take Time to VISUALIZE.
As you are enjoying the blissful state of vacay mode - take at least 10 minutes a day to truly visualize your new Ideal Life. Close your eyes and visualize yourself taking your first steps toward change, and how beautifully everything falls into place. See yourself there - living the life, you truly desire.
And we’re always here too. If you want to reach out for advice, just leave your questions in the comments below and we’ll be happy to help.
We invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you’re interested in coming along on our journey as we continue to learn, and grow. We’ll be sharing advice, all the ups and downs, and lessons we learn along the way.
Stay tuned for next week's post where we will get SUPER vulnerable and reveal the rare, but ugly downsides to Living Tiny.
Until then, we hope you will Be Well & Live Light.