Create a Life to Love
Theresa Polley
January 5, 2020
May 14, 2024
Be Inspired

You may already be living a life that you love. But do you realize how amazing and wonderful your life is?

Or do you find yourself comparing your life to your best friend or a family members? It's easy to get distracted by what you don't have and others do have. A blissful marriage. Travel to an exotic destination. A cute puppy or kitty. Your dream job. Perfectly behaved children.

Or maybe you're so busy and exhausted living the dream, you don't have time to stop and smell the roses. 

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 I have, right here and now. That’s what turns the “ordinary” into a life you love.

Comparison is the thief of joy. ~Teddy Roosevelt

The First Step 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 good friend or a therapist.

My favorite way to drill down into what is or isn't working in my life is to drill down into the bedrock of my life.

  • What am I grateful for?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What is making me crazy?
  • What can I do without?

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 stubborn, and for years that was how I got things done. I don't recommend it!

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.

Live in the Flow

When I live in the flow, my life feels doable.

Plans fall through. The weather doesn't cooperate. ? No big deal. 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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