Why I Left Behind an Amazing Life
Given the choice between an amazing life and a mediocre life, which would you choose? Seems like a no-brainer to me. So why even talk about it when 99.9% of pretty much everyone on the planet would make the choice to have an amazing life in a nano-second? Well, because if you look around, you might have noticed that 99.9% of people aren’t actually living that amazing life. Mediocre is the best case scenario for the majority of people, and that’s not just my opinion.
I began thinking about this hard-core a couple of weeks ago when a friend sent me an article entitled “What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life?” The tenants of this article were essentially that this woman, the author, really just desired a simple life, replete with the small but precious luxuries and experiences that kind of life has to offer. She desires not to struggle, not to hustle, not to strive, not to be what society says she should be. She doesn’t want to worry about her body or what other people think of her. She wants to love deeply, make her home and let it be enough for her, escape the rat race of wanting and needing more and more and more. And so importantly, she wants to be allowed to recognize her own limitations, to embrace them, to live in peace and calm and self-nurturing. Yet, through all of this, she (the author) calls this a mediocre life, a life that will just have to be enough, because that’s all she wants.
I don’t know about you, but I am pretty darn sure that to most people, that kind of life sounds pretty dang awesome. In fact, I wouldn’t call that description of a life mediocre at all. Now, in all likelihood the author of this article wrote it in response to the constant barrage that’s out there in the self-help world and even on social media, to constantly be building a life and a career of purpose, of impact, and of meaning. It might actually have just been a fed-up woman giving the big middle finger to society and everything that it does and says that makes us feel inadequate and less than. And I get it, because even though a life of impact and meaning and purpose can be a very bright and inspiring message to hear, after a while it can also be a constant drain on the psyche, on the self-worth, and on the vital energy needed for a woman to live in her feminine self and be true to what her actual purpose in this life is.
Because we can’t all be Oprah, or breaking glass ceilings, or running marathons. We don’t all have the desire to be the Wonder Woman that society tells us that we should be. To some of us, just the words striving and hustle make our stomachs turn. I personally wonder every day why anyone would want to strive or hustle. I hate those words. This whole “girl boss” thing has become a disguise and a cop-out for many women who deep down want to be living a more authentic, feminine life, yet don’t know how to escape the very masculine mode of being and doing everything for everyone. This, to me, sounds like the mediocre life.
When I talk about having the life of your dreams, of true happiness, of living a life of prosperity and purpose, or of having passion in your work, I’m not talking about society’s definition, or your mother’s definition, or even my own definition. I’m talking about your own—your very own—definition of an AMAZING life. I have no agenda or preconceived ideas about what other women should be doing, other than that we should all be doing everything we can to live our best possible life and be the best, most authentic version of ourselves. If you feel like that’s a lot of pressure, please my dear, understand that the pressure is not coming from me. Almost always one is feeling that way because some deeper part of their self is tugging on them to step up to that, and there is some resistance happening. That is what resistance feels like. Because your spirit is all about truth and authenticity and getting to the rock solid bottom of what you are all about in this life.
The truth is that most women don’t have their own definition of what their amazing life would be, let alone the vision for what that would look like or feel like. That is how I help, what I guide my clients to create for themselves. Some women are sick and tired of the corporate struggle, climbing the ladder, compromising the hours of this one life for a paycheck that satisfies them not. Some women are weary of what they consider to be their boring lives and are ready to “step into their greatness” and go big. We all have a different purpose in this life, at different times of our lives even, and that’s exactly what the world needs, more women living more authentic lives, knowing more authoritatively and unapologetically, what it means to be living on purpose.
You see, amazing and mediocre mean different things for different people. But it doesn’t matter. We are all after AMAZING, period. Simple or complex, wanted or needed, going big or leaving it all behind — it can all be the makings for an amazing life. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?
If mediocre is truly okay with you, then you are hiding. That’s just the truth. You’re hiding from yourself, from your truth, from your insecurities and doubts, and from what is available to you in this life. You are likely sacrificing joy for comfort, and I’m not talking about the kind of comfort that nourishes your soul. I’m talking about being comfortable in a mediocre life, it’s too hard to change, it’s too scary to expect more, and my ego is telling me that this is just good enough. Who the hell are you to want more, or expect more, or deserve more? It hasn’t happened for you so far, has it? So why would it happen now? It’s the “I’ve tried everything” attitude, the “that won’t work for me” mentality. (Let me let you in on a little secret — you haven’t tried everything, not even close, no one has.) If this sounds familiar, then you just might be stuck. That’s all it is, you’re just stuck. The beautiful thing here is that you can get unstuck, if it’s really important to you.
Five years ago I was walking down Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. I had just finished being interviewed on CNN with Sanjay Gupta. I was the star of a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, and Emmy-nominated documentary. My star was rising, opportunities were being handed to me left and right, doors and windows flung open. I was rubbing elbows with the big players. I was traveling and speaking all over the country. All my striving, all the years of education and hard work, and trying to make something of myself was finally paying off. Everything looked pretty amazing, my life looked pretty good on the outside. But as I walked down Fifth Avenue, surrounded by all the hustle and bustle of New York City, the progress, the wealth, the possibility and potential, I stopped and stared at a bus stop. The crystal clarity came to me at that moment, and this is what my heart told me loud and clear — “ I don’t want any of this.”
I knew it was my truth, I felt it in every cell of my body, in my very soul. The life I wanted came flooding into my mind like a Divine vision from Heaven. I wanted to go back to my small town in Oregon, be in my house with my husband and my son, take care of my patients face to face, live simply. That sounded pretty amazing to me, and how I knew that it was my truth is that it felt true and authentic to me. I couldn’t pretend to want something I didn’t really want, even though at the outset I truly thought I did want it. But that would mean that I would have to pretend to be someone that I didn’t want to be. The paradox is that there has also been times in my life that I have pretended not to want something that I actually truly did want. We’ve all been there, but it’s the same game. Decide not to play.
My impact in this world doesn’t have to be as a global superstar in order to be successful. One-on-one is beautiful, one life, one beautiful goddess woman at a time is a pretty dang big impact. Ever heard of the butterfly effect? It’s bonafide science and it’s a spiritual certainty. I love those odds!
I talk a lot about prosperity, it’s in my tag line on my website, it’s on my business card, it’s a big word for me. People automatically assume that I’m talking about making the big bucks, being uber successful at business, and that one of the things I specialize in is helping other women make a killing “doing what they love.” But that would be a mistake. You see, prosperity is one of those words that has become so misused in the mainstream, that few people actually understand what it’s true meaning is. So let me help you out here.
success, profitability, affluence, wealth, opulence, luxury, the good life, milk and honey, (good) fortune, ease, plenty, comfort, security, well-being.
That word sounds like a heck of a lot of abundance in my mind. And that abundance, the good life, the milk and honey, ease, comfort and good fortune might look like landing the posh corner office or writing the New York Times Bestseller, or it may look like mornings spent walking your dog, dropping your kid off at school and heading to the coffee shop to meet with your bestie.
The point is that an amazing life, your very own amazing life, is up to you and however you and your soul want that to look like, to feel like, and to taste like. The truth of the matter is that on this spectrum of amazing, so few of us actually are going after and fully embodying what we want. The mediocre life happens when we settle, when we don’t think we deserve more, or that we should just be happy with what we have because “hell, so many people have it way worse than this.” That’s not what this life is about. The only one you have control over is you. Your very own ripple, your very own butterfly.
If the life that you want is something that you consider small or mediocre, maybe you need to re-examine why you are judging it that way. If it’s exactly what your soul is ordering up, then be amazed by it, by the fact that you get to live your dream life Every. Single. Day. If you are honest with yourself and you are settling or you are hiding behind your excuses for why you don’t have what you want or feel the way you want to feel...well this may sound harsh, but that’s your own damn mediocre fault and you can choose to keep kidding yourself, or you can dig deep and go after what would really light you up.
This life. This one life. Right now. Is yours AMAZING or just mediocre? If it’s not AMAZING, why is mediocre okay with you? Hmmmm.
Dr. Erin Martin