Recently, I took a road trip with my family from Los Angeles to Napa Valley, California. During my visit I learned that it takes a different environment (soil, temperature, irrigation) to grow different types of grapes to make wine. For example, you cannot create a great tasting chardonnay when you are in an environment that creates great Pinot Noir. This got me thinking about how important our environment is when we are creating something new in our lives.
We all have dreams and ideas that we want to manifest. It could be starting a new business, a new relationship, a fitness routine, a new career, etc. What I have observed in many people (including myself at times) is that we make a plan to accomplish our dreams and ideas, but often neglect to create an environment that supports our road to success. We have both an external environment and an internal environment. What’s the difference? Your external environment is your home, your office, the community where you live, and relationships you have with other people. Your internal environment is your authentic self, your internal voice – your core. Today I’m going to share some thoughts with you about your external environment.
As you reflect on your external environment, does it spark your creativity? Do you feel at ease and “at home” in these surroundings or do they create anxiety and stress? Three months ago, I would have answered anxiety and stress if asked that question. We moved into a new home in March and like most women who are busy wearing many hats – wife, mother, entrepreneur, etc. – a lot of things were not getting done. After some deliberation, Greg and I made a decision to hire a professional organizer, Julie Gardner (firstname.lastname@example.org) (www.julieagardner.com/GetOrganized.htm), to support us in creating an environment that provides harmony, respite, and a place where we can envision a future for ourselves and our children.
I’ve written about the process of “letting go” in previous articles. It’s something that many of us struggle with. You have to let go in order to create the space for something new in your life. A Smart Woman knows when she needs support. In my case, it was hiring Julie. Julie “interviewed” Greg and me to find out what we wanted to accomplish and if we were really ready to move forward in creating the environment we talked about. We were, and we recognized that we needed help.
One of the big reflections for me in this process has been learning how to navigate the past, present, and future. My challenge with “letting go” of things from my past was keeping me from stepping into my present life and my possibilities for the future. When we “hold on” to everything from our past, we cannot become fully present or envision the future. Why? Because we need “space” to allow us to create an environment which will support us as we step into a passionate, purposeful, meaningful future.
How about your external relationships? Do the people in your life make you feel calm, harmonious, and “at home”? Or do you find your current relationships stressful and anxiety producing? Maybe it’s time to go through the process of “holding on” or “letting go” of these as well. In order to realize your dreams and ideas, you need to surround yourself with people who champion you – people who think you hung the moon.
I invite you to take some time this summer to evaluate your external environment. Begin to create the home, office, and relationships that support you in becoming everything that you want to be in your life. You are capable of so much. It’s essential you create the space that allows you to bring all of your unique gifts to the world.
Next week, I’ll share some ideas with you about your internal environment. Until then…
Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.
© 2008 Joy Chudacoff
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Comments & Feedback:
Joy, I just finished reading Smart Women Create the Right Environment and found it to be so “right on.” As you know, my husband and I are going through a similar process in our home (I call it “de-crapping”); it was so liberating to go through 20 years of accumulated “stuff” in the garage and let go of bag after bag of meaningless items (including both of our old wedding albums from our previous marriages that ended over 20 years ago!) I am motivated to do more, and will take it one room at a time until there is breathing space in our home. I also find myself taking an inventory of my personal friendships/relationships. Sadly, there are a couple of non-nutritious people who I will have to say good-bye to after over a decade of friendship. They are no longer a “fit” with where I am in my life. We love what you do here at Women At Risk, and I’m grateful to be not only a member of your Alumnae Circle, but a good friend as well.