Do you believe that you have to work 60-70+ hours a week, buy all the nice things and have a steady job with a salary (and benefits!) to be fully happy? Got the whole work hard, live hard thing a bit backwards? Feel like you always need to do more, more more?
I sure did. I thought that if I worked really hard, made good money and got a “real job” I’d be all set for life.
Only problem? I was listening to everyone else, except the most important person: myself. Rather than listen to my heart & keep the whole “In think I can” mentality, I allowed others to constantly tell me I “can’t,” I’m crazy and that my big dream, entrepreneurial ways are “not the way to make money.”
But is there more to life than that? I have a tiny voice is my head saying there is… and I’m willing to take the risk and get super vulnerable to find out.
The other week, I gave my notice at my “real” big girl job (with salary and benefits and the whole sha-bang!) to pursue my dreams in working for myself again. The thing is: I loved my job, I adored my coworkers, and on most days I considered myself quite lucky. However, it quickly became my life & I was literally living to work. It’s almost like I was consumed by it, and I just couldn’t put it down.
When I took some time + got real with my emotions, it was clear to me that I had to let go…I had to trust in the universe a little.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that way of thinking…more power to the 9-to-5ers and those who’ve found work they truly love! But for me, it just never felt quite right (even when I actually landed my “dream job.”)
During this exciting (and anxiety-ridden!) transition, I was given the opportunity to preview the documentary “A Small Good Thing” by Pamela Tanner Boll. With tears in my eyes and my heart wide open (aka I was an emotional mess) I decided to pop it on one cozy evening to watch with my husband. After all, what did I have to lose?
Wow. All I can say is wow. Talk about good timing!
The 70-minute film is set in the breathtaking Berkshires, and follows the unique story of five people who have chosen a “simpler” path to life: a yogi, a social work student, a farmer, a community activist, and a beautiful couple raising their family on a farm. It takes you on a journey from start to finish, flashing back and forth between the stories highlighting their personal way of living + “day in the life” sort of speak.
The whole premise of the film is that in a material world where everyone feels the need to follow the “American Dream,” there is indeed another way to do it. (Oh, and make enough money to get by too.) The experts discuss that while our standard of living has improved over the past few decades, unfortunately our happiness levels have indeed plummeted.
My favorite part was the story following a husband and wife duo — Jen and Pete Salinetti — who live on a farm as way to connect with the community + make a living doing it too. Maybe they aren’t millionaires…but they are happy. Maybe their kids don’t have ALL the toys…but they are overflowing with joy + a zest for life. Maybe they don’t shop at Whole Foods and fancy boutiques daily, but they are full with an abundance of love (and farm-fresh food waiting for them at the table). Maybe they don’t work stressful, long hours in an office…but they are changing the world one day at a time.
Maybe less really is more…and there is more meaning to this crazy, beautiful life of ours.
After watching the film, I went to bed feeling incredibly moved, inspired and a sense of comfort. It was almost like a little voice was telling me, “Hey Rach, it’s all going to be OK.” Simply put, those people were “my people” and it totally spoke my language…big time. (Just watch the trailer and you’ll see what I mean!)
I truly don’t know where this next chapter in my life will take me, and I’m slowly becoming more & more OK with that. In the meantime, A Small Good Thing gave me that extra reassurance and boost of confidence.
What I do know for sure: I’ll write a heck of a lot and will probably go ahead and finally self-publish that book that’s been on my vision board for years. Maybe I’ll kick off this new journey with a retreat to Kripalu in the Berkshires to simply get a way + “digital detox.” And there will most definitely be a lot more laughs + love with my husband.
The rest is still uncertain, but I do know I’ll be living hard…and that to me is priceless.
P.S. Want to get your hands (er, eyes) on A Small Good Thing? You’re in luck. It’s playing next weekend Sunday May 31st at the Berkshire International Film Festival. Snag your tickets here! (Trust me, it’s worth the $12 + so much more!)