A Life to Love
Theresa Polley
January 5, 2020
January 17, 2020
Be Inspired

“She created a life she loved” has always resonated with me. But I’ve come to realize, it’s not creating "a life to love." It’s accepting, embracing and finding gratitude for the life you have right now that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Creating a life to love - where do I start? On this career path? With that partner? With these friends? With those hobbies? I wish it was as easy as choosing a path and setting off on the journey. Then zigging and zagging and hoping for the best - to arrive at the “Life You Love.” Sometimes all you need is perspective to find that the life you're living is the life you love. Find perspective with your tribe at a retreat.

When I accept what comes my way, I also  let go of expectations of how I WANT things to turn out. As a recovering control freak,  I have struggled with wanting to control EVERYTHING. Easing up a bit doesn’t mean I just sit on my couch and wait for opportunities and relationships to come my way. But when I loosen my grip and go with the flow, I accept and even EMBRACE what comes my way. And there I find contentment.

There have been times in my life where I’ve felt like I’m up against a boulder that won’t budge, yet I continue to push, to get what I want. Starting and growing Retreat in the Pines was definitely pushing a very large boulder up a very tall hill! And every romantic relationship I’ve ever had has been an exercise in futility, trying to get Person A to conform to My Plan A. Pushing and shoving is physically and mentally exhausting, but you may have heard I’m definitely more than a little stubborn, and that was how I got things done for years.

But at what cost? There is a difference between persistence and feeling like you’re beating your head against a wall to no avail. For me, persistence looks like trying and trying and when that’s not working, taking a step back and assessing. And trying a different approach. The pushing, shoving and controlling, depletes my energy and my resources and I’m still in the same damn place.

If you’ve ever been at a retreat with me and participated in our Letting Go Ceremony, you’ll know I always always always “Let go of control,” during those burning ceremonies. 

The key to anything is awareness. Awareness to recognize what isn’t working and won’t work EVER versus what has potential and just needs a tweak. That’s when soliciting feedback from your tribe comes in handy.

My daughter Nina, who worked with me for several years, helped me realize letting go of control of Retreat in the Pines, was a GOOD thing. It was physically impossible for me to do everything myself. But that didn’t stop me from trying! So I relinquished my grip on doing everything myself. And found talented women to cook delicious meals for you, to lead you to a place of rest and renewal in yoga and meditation and to make sure the cabins were sparkling clean. That was the exact moment my business began to grow.

And I finally found a relationship that works for me. I tried to dictate how things should be, he told me no and I, of course, immediately broke up with him. THAT didn’t work out at all as I went right back into the world of online dating - which is NOT for the faint of heart - and after enduring more than my share of rude, crazy and desperate men, I realized I’d rather spend time with R, even as friends, well the friend thing lasted one night and that was almost four years ago. I firmly believe you have to find out what you don’t want, to know what you do want.

My life today certainly isn’t what I expected it to be. Four years ago, my youngest moved out and I was ready to embark on my plan -  single woman running my business and living my life. That lasted about a year, then in August 2017 Mason came to live with me.

And while caring for a newborn at 54 was incredibly challenging and isolating, we soon got into an easy rhythm. I loved that it was just Mason and I. So here we are in 2020, thriving and growing together. Now I share custody of Mason with my ex-husband, the same one I divorced 10 years ago and now enjoy holidays with him and his first ex-wife. That’s another blog!

One thing I know for sure - while you’re out there searching for the perfect “life to love,” it may just come find you when you least expect it.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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