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This blog post is dedicated to a friend who asked me for advice on goal setting and living with intentions. We recently met up for coffee after a long while without much contact. You know how true friendships go – the authentic ones never go away, even when you live in different countries and sometimes struggle to find yourself. So we picked up almost exactly where we left off – minus a husband or two and a decade of change.

a strong friendship photo

This friend has always been an inspiration to me. She’s charismatic. VERY outgoing. Has an amazing laugh – so amazing! Lights up a room when she walks in. A really down to earth mom. And a damn cool chic. I’ve always been in awe of her. And we’ve always been on the same wave length when it comes to living our best life. But … we’ve both been human so sometimes we find it tough to know which is the right path to take when faced with walking away.

Given that we’re a lot older than we were way back then, I believe it’s even more critical to listen to our intuition (yes, we all have one) and remind ourselves what we want. Not what someone else wants. Not what “should” be best. Not what will save someone else pain, or bring someone else joy. Nope. At this juncture – we need to think deeply about how we show up in life and who gets to join us for the journey.

Life is not a dress rehearsal. 

It’s not easy to set goals for ourselves when others around us (those who love us and whom we might even love back) want something different from what we know to be true. We question our own desires. We fail to recognize our own strengths. We worry we might be wrong – – – and they might be right. But in all honesty, that’s impossible.

what brings you joyIf we wake up every day and listen to what our body, mind and soul tells us, then we’ll be on the right path (for us, mind you … not for anyone else, but isn’t that the point?). But we have to listen. And we have to be strong. And we have to take the time needed to really feel what brings us joy – – – and what feels like too great of a compromise. Rushing to get on with the day only forces us to listen to outside reasoning, instead of the inside voice of contentment. Overthinking is incredibly dangerous. Life is not that complicated. We complicate it by overthinking what we already know but are too scared to listen to. Staying in something for the sake of someone else’s happiness only leads to sadness.

whatever is good for the soul photo

Setting goals can be intricate and detailed and take up lots of time to write, describe and consider how you will accomplish them. But … they can also be simple. You can literally just wake up and listen to you own voice. And if you listen to that voice for a moment, or a day, and then a week and a month .. it gets easier. Much easier.

Because when it comes time for coffee, and you’re faced with everything the other person wants you to be, you best be sure that you are the expert and know without a shadow of a doubt what will bring you joy. Thinking anyone else knows better than you – well, that just leads to a decade later and a rehearsal that you wished you missed.

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Wishing you nothing but the strength that I know you have at coffee tomorrow. Your words were so consistent and your voice so strong the other day. Listen to your own voice and make the decision right for you.

Whatever directtion you take though, know this … I will always be there as your friend and mirror. Months, decades, countries and changes in our paths will make no difference on how I hold you as a friend and how much I will support you in whatever you need.

may your choices reflect hope photo