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As a woman, I know all too well the superwoman feeling of having to do it all.  Let’s see…we’ve got work needs, home needs, personal needs, relationship needs, financial needs, social needs, spiritual needs–Whew!  No wonder work and life responsibilities are hard to balance!  So here’s a question for ya (life coaches and counselors love questions!):

Are you living by default or are you living by design?

When you know your priorities in life–when you’re in touch with your values and live them, when you have goals, when you are living your life purpose–you are living by design.  When you are struggling to get your needs met, when you are living someone else’s dream, when you put others first consistently, when you are reactive to everything thrown your way, when you aren’t in touch with who you are or what your values are—you, my friend, are living by default.

You may know this, but do you live it?  

It isn’t selfish to take care of your own needs.  

Like the emergency oxygen mask instructions when you’re on a plane–put your own mask on first, then you can help others–you need to do the same with your life.  Can I ask you something personal:  Do you even know your own needs?

Give yourself permission to blossom into the person you were meant to be by reordering your priorities to reflect who and what you are.

When you know your values and your goals, your life is lived on purpose.

When you live by design you live by your internal compass.  You’ve got a road map in front of you and your GPS is set and aligned with your destination.  Whoops!  Traffic ahead–there’s a detour!  That’s okay, that just means you’ll need to reroute.  Nothing like a little challenge to provide you with another learning opportunity.

Here’s another element of living life by design, not by default:  When you get in touch with your soul–that part of you that touches God/Oneness/Sprit–you begin to live authentically.  You prioritize according to your own inner being and wellness–not to some conceived perceptions of how you’re supposed to be.  That’s freeing!  Your priorities shift as you begin to honor your own Truth.

When I was still married to my  ex, I was living a life that wasn’t me.  Oh, there were some parts that were me–like being a mom–but most of my other life reflected a dream others from the outside looking in would probably want, but I was resistant to seeing it was wrong for me–and for my ex too.  I was living a life that felt incongruent with my needs, my values, my priorities–and it showed.  Depression–that kind where you can still function on a daily basis, but numb and sad is your default mode–showed up to raise the flag in my life that something was off.  Then, a panic attack struck me in the middle of when our marriage was spiraling out of control (“Is he flirting with that person?  No, he wouldn’t do that.  I feel so jealous of his best friend–you shouldn’t feel that way Nicole”).  DING DING DING!  PANIC ALERT!  If you won’t pay attention to the other signs Nicole, I’ll show up in another way.  I had learned to shut down my intuition and my soul to protect my relationship at all costs.  I paid the price–then.  Now?  I’ve learned a lot this past decade–and one thing is not to repeat my “mistakes” (which are learning opportunities in disguise).  It’s one of the reasons why I became a life coach–I recognize the signs of stuckness and denial.  I help people out of their challenges and into a life well lived.  I believe it is our journey on this planet to design a life that is authentically ours.  Then, we are at a wonderful place to give back (instead of take from) the world.  We then provide the inspiration for others to live their best lives.