THE BETTER LIFE
by Brenda Bergreen
I decided that I don’t think we spend enough time thinking about who we want to be and how we want to live. We run through life pursuing things that make us happy and avoiding things that disturb us. It is all very yogic, except that it just happens. Most of us don’t have a grand plan that we are practicing, following, and living out.
Today with my iphone, imac, and apple TV I have the whole world at my finger tips, but so much of it makes me want to put some parental restrictions on myself. I don’t have time for distractions. I don’t have time to keep up with the grandkids of the Joneses who happen to be on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Blogger, LinkedIn and who knows what else. I’m too busy trying to keep up with my dream.
As a true product of the Millennium I have embraced working from home. Not because I have a flexible job that allows me to telecommute. I am something way trendier and way more misunderstood. I am an entrepreneur. I run my own business. Well, I share it with my husband because after all what’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine, dear.
We run a photography business in pursuit of a flexible lifestyle. The idea of a flexible lifestyle is entirely misunderstood by our adult counterparts. To them, we are looking for easy street and the land of perpetual vacation. To us, perpetual vacation sounds like a great idea and we are willing to take the bumpiest, dirtiest, scariest, and most treacherous street to get us there. In our specific case, the street is vertical and lately it feels like we are free climbing in the middle of nowhere and our last piece of protection was placed in 2009 when we graduated college.
I know we didn’t grow up with dirt floors and walk fives miles to school uphill, both ways, in the snow. We sincerely and profusely thank our grandparents for that. In fact, we have made it our life’s mission to live life to the fullest and explore every opportunity that we have been given because of the hard work of our parents and grandparents. We owe them that; we have a debt to pay.
I love living at a time where we are not just working to put food on the table but where that work can be fulfilling on a deeper level. Maybe it’s a higher level? Deeper or higher, either way we are moving right along Maslow’s hierarchy. Our parents and grandparents achieved so much for us that we can repeat what they did or continue on. We can reinvent the wheel or start working on the hover craft. This is progress people. Stop hating the opportunities in front of us. Sure, they are scary. We are living in an era where we are running out of excuses. We are living in an era where we have the opportunity to think about the better life rather than just focusing on survival.
“I have to go to my job I hate today.”
No. You don’t.
“Security and stability are a necessity and hard to come by.”
No. They aren’t. Not for many of us.
Yikes. These are words from the crazy artist you feared. This is the dreamer who lives in the clouds. Sure, roll your eyes and keep your day job. I will climb my mountain alone, along with my climbing partner and the rest of my team of friends and mentors. It is not my mission to ask you to turn your life and career upside down. My mission is to encourage you to build your life (check out this free guide), find your own love, and discover your own definition of the better life.
It’s not as easy as it looks. You know how people tell you to do the thing you fear the most? The things that challenge you are the ones that make you better. I believe those people because that’s exactly how I feel trying to live a creative life. That’s how I feel trying to live a life with purpose, love, and adventure.
People look at creatives and sigh or laugh at our lack of responsibility, at our naïve optimistic outlook on the world. Inside, those people are jealous of how lucky we are to do something we love. I know, because I used to be one of those people. I used to put my creativity in a closet along with my dreams.
Now I know the truth. Following dreams is a misnomer. We have to climb toward them. We have to fight for them. Fear, doubt, and other challenges will try to keep us from doing this thing we love. We need to learn ways we conquer them; I’m talking about lessons like not comparing yourself to anyone, reminding yourself how far you’ve come, and listening to more supportive people. How we can keep climbing toward living the better life even on the days that everyone seems to be a better (fill in the blank) than us!
Brenda Bergreen is an photographer specializing in adventurous Colorado mountain weddings. She also teaches yoga in her mountain community of Evergreen, Colorado. Brenda is passionate about rock-climbing, her new role as a mom, and building a life filled with love and gratitude.