Creating a Life to Love
Theresa Polley
January 5, 2020
October 17, 2023
Be Inspired
She created a life she loved. ~Unknown

Where do I start creating a life to love? 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 blissfully at the “Life You Love” destination. 

But, as I’ve come to realize, it’s not actually about creating a life to love. Rather, it’s accepting, embracing and finding gratitude for the life you have, right here and now. That’s what turns the “ordinary” into a life you love.

The First Step is Always Awareness

The key to anything is awareness. When it comes to creating a life to love, we need awareness to recognize what isn’t working, won’t work ever, and what has potential and just needs a tweak. Sometimes we can do this with journaling, meditation and reflection, and other times we might need to ask for feedback from a group of women we can trust.

Do you need help finding awareness? Find perspective at a retreat.

As a recovering control freak, I have struggled with wanting to control EVERYTHING. When I participate in our Letting Go Ceremony, I always always always let go of control. It’s something that I need to frequently bring to my awareness to be able to accept and embrace a life I love.

Keep Persisting, Stop Forcing

There have been times in my life when I’ve felt like I’m up against a boulder that won’t budge, yet I continue to push to try and get what I want. Starting and growing Retreat in the Pines was 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 I’m more than a little stubborn, and for years that was how I got things done.

But at what cost? There is a difference between persistence and forcing. For me, persistence looks like trying and trying and when that’s not working, taking a step back and assessing. Trying a different approach. Because the pushing, shoving and controlling that comes with forcing, depletes my energy and my resources and I’m still in the same damn place.

When I accept what comes my way, I also let go of expectations of how I want things to turn out. Letting go of control and accepting my circumstances 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 don’t have expectations of how things “should” go and I can embrace what comes my way. And there I find contentment. 

Accepting and Embracing is a Lifelong Journey

Several years ago my daughter Nina 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! When I finally accepted and embraced the fact that I couldn’t do everything myself and relinquished my grip, I discovered that my business began to grow. I am so grateful that now there is a talented team of women to cook delicious meals for you, lead you to a place of rest and renewal in yoga and meditation, and make sure the cabins are sparkling clean.

For me, accepting, embracing and finding gratitude to embrace the life I love is a lifelong journey. 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 - a 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 trying to find the perfect “life to love,” when you accept and embrace the one you already have, you’ll find 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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