I am consumed with how to live a good life, with the question: what makes a good life?
I am re-searching what is my core passion and desire in terms of making a positive diference in the world.
I’ll tell you something: helping people who want to take better care of themselves is a cover for something.
I really want to help people who want to live a life that speaks of who they really are, that radiates their best self. I’ve known this but I’ve been afraid to take responsibility for it. What if someone wants to quit their job or leave their marriage and I support them and then they view their tumbled life as a disaster and blame me? So I ignored the calling.
The truth is, wanting to help people discover their values and gather the strength, courage and willingness to live accordingly is what everything I do comes down to. It’s invariably the subject of my blog posts and it’s a main theme of the memoir I am writing.
But there’s more. It’s not just about following your heart. It’s about living a life connected to nature. Not just appreciating it but living with it, in relationship with it, with respect. I call it “living a simple life.”
Not Seeing the Forest for the Trees
I’ve been spending weeks trying to understand social media and how to gain a presence on the internet so that people all over the globe will find me and I can offer my coaching to them regardless of location. Bent over my laptop for hours on end, miserable and depressed with the seeming shallowness, speed and strategicness of social media communication I feel less powerful, less me, impotent. I’ve been so fixated on the livelihood I imagine the reach and opportunity internet can afford that I neglected those in my midst.
So, I’m now turning towards the community around me to see how to serve right where I am. Moving and frightening, this will create community connection, which I’ve heard some say is true abundance, but the story in my head says it will be at the expense of earning a comfortable livelihood.
I return to the searing question, “what is wealth?” Is it free time? Health? A quiet, safe life? Freedom? Having a roof over my head, clothes and food in my belly? The support of friends and healers? How much of wealth is dependent on and defined by money?
I confess: have it and I’m still looking for it, rubbing my eyes with fists of disbelief, for what I have is not what my culture nor my parents told me is what success looks like.
My passionate contemplation of true wealth officially began when I left my marriage over twenty years ago and founded a Voluntary Simplicity Support Group in order to provide support to myself and others in the quest for a meaningful, authentic–to–the-core life. It continued when I left my excellent life to follow my heart to Latin America almost eight years ago.
Overall, I am profoundly grateful. I have found what I was missing in my life: a deep connection to the nature where I live and a place where the traditions are alive. Ecstacy is punctuated by angst in different forms and two of these are the questions of wealth and success, which I still grapple with. I’m not supposed to admit that, I think. But I also have seen and learned that our greatest struggles are our greatest gifts.
What is Wealth?
Jumping off the Cliff, Again
I have a conversation with neighbors about how to teach the visitors to our pueblo not to throw their trash on the ground. This doesn’t earn me money, but connects me to the community, and fuels my fierce protectiveness of the Earth and my place on her which I passionately love. I feel better physically, mentally and emotionally than I’ve felt in half a year after this engagement.
It’s another jumping off the cliff. My mind worries: What will happen to me if I let myself fall into my simple life here? Will I starve but die fulfilled on some other level? Life has brought me to knowing I have nothing more to lose, except old ideas rattling around my skull which I’m tipping upside down to shake out.
I give myself to this process.
May these sharings strike some resonance with your human experience. May you feel less alone and validated in your search and questions. May we all find peace and ease and learn to live and dance in community, in a circle, under the trees.
Stay tuned for more reflections and learnings from my simple life in this foreign land!
Robin Rainbow Gate
I help midlife people and beyond to find their inner power, health and well being through slow living
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