Give your family lifestyle dreams a try out.
Now it’s time to get your feet wet.
Up to this point, everything that you have done has been in your head.
You have imagined your creative family lifestyle involving your family in all sorts of adventures together. You have visualized a more proud, more alive you living a new life of real meaning.
When you imagined your new family lifestyle, what, exactly, did you imagine that you were doing?
Were you traveling, like us? Were you working with others? Doing charity work? Taking a family course in martial arts? Living on a farm in the mountains?
Whatever you imagined, now it’s time for a little taste of your new life.
Look around for opportunities to test out your fantasies. Maybe it is a trip with your family? Or a family Saturday at a soup kitchen? Or renting some rooms at a working guest farm somewhere?
Whatever it is, you need to test your expectations against reality.
Just because you imagine these activities to be exciting or fulfilling doesn’t mean they actually will be. I will tell you from personal experience that your imagination is probably right on. But you have to prove this to your reasoning side.
This is also a chance to introduce the rest of your family to your dream.
Whatever you do, don’t just announce, “Hey guys, I hope you like this because it’s what you are going to be doing full time from now on.” You will need to be much more subtle in how you introduce a new direction for your family. And that introduction happens much later. For now, just tell them that this is really important to you, and it will be really cool to do together as a family.
You will now discover where the major resistance in your family will come from.
If you have one or more teens, they may see this as mandatory family time and resent the time away from their burgeoning social life.
Unfortunately, there is no certain way to handle teens. They are on the brink of forming their own dreams and lifestyle, so they naturally resist be imposed upon by yours.
You might just tell them that you’d like to live a dream, if just for a few days or weeks, and, if nothing else, it just might inspire them to discover their own dreams or learn something about themselves that they never realized. If you can afford it, you might let them bring along a pal.
In this experience you will also discover just how far apart your family has drifted. And what the current level of comfort is for spending time together. Some people are going to be afraid to discover this fact. It is easier to pretend that all is well and everyone is close and loving, than to possibly discover that your family members really don’t care for each other’s company much right now.
Well, this is reality. If you want your dreams to stay in the realm of your fantasies, then you are already done. If you want to make them real, then finding out where your family stands together (and apart) must be experienced.
Understand also that your first journey together may be a bit awkward, and even stressful.
I promise you that it get’s better. You are all figuring out your comfort zones. You are getting used to being close again. So don’t give up on this process too soon.
Anyway, if any of you are or were at this stage in your family lifestyle journey, I’d love to hear from you – good and bad. Please post a reply to this post about your experiences.
Hang in there. Turning your life around is like turning a big ship. It is slow. It takes time. But it will turn.
All the best,