Slow, quiet, intentional: Here's the beginning of my story

Posted by Brandi Van Leer on

I needed time this weekend. Time to slow down, time to be quiet, time to be intentional.  I've been reflecting a lot lately on the things I've currently been doing in my life, the passions I want to cultivate and defining the values I want to live my life by, and it's been hard. 

As I've been working through the last few months of my 8-5 office job and preparing to launch our new online retail space for Alis, I feel excitement for my new journey. I've never felt more confident in making a "scary," "risky" decision for my life, but man, that full time, pay the bills job is taking it's toll on me.

I'm totally grateful that I have it and appreciate it's purpose in my life right now, but lately, it just feels like a huge obstacle I need to get past.

I've felt stuck. Almost like trying to live two lives at once. Having one foot on the bridge to the other side, and the other, stuck in the mud. It's not always a good feeling and a lot of the time it's overwhelming, almost to the point of paralyzing. I needed time this weekend.

I've heard a lot of creatives say that getting away has always been the best source of inspiration, the best way to get through the block and find your way back and I couldn't agree more.

Shane and I headed up to our family cabin in Forest Lakes this weekend for some much needed relaxation.  Not the kind of, "Let's do all the things," relaxation, but the kind that allows you to hit the pause button for just a moment. The kind that lets you reset and reconnect. The kind that allows you to refocus and get unstuck.

It was nothing short of amazing.  We laughed at ourselves as we sat on the porch, Shane reading a book and me, putting my new embroidery skills to the test (thanks Kate Hughes). We had a picnic out front and enjoyed our new cutting board (you can find it here). We listened to our new favorite podcast, The Minimalists, played games and watched movies. I napped outside and enjoyed just being quiet and still, watching the tops of the pine trees move with the breeze and thinking about nothing. I needed time this weekend.

As Saturday turned into Sunday, the familiar dread of the week didn't wash over me as it does most weekends.  I didn't think about how the days went by too quickly. I didn't think about how I didn't get my to do list done. I didn't think about how having to spend 8 hours sitting in an office that smells like stale coffee and old lunch was going to interrupt me reaching my goals. I felt joy. I felt excitement. I felt encouraged. I felt like me again. I felt like I could go through my days at the office with gratitude and find myself at home moving forward in my journey of cultivating my passion.

We always seem to find our way back to living in the "grind" of life and I don't know about you, but I don't want to refer to my life as being ground down. I don't want to answer the question of, "So, what have you been up to?" with, "Oh you know, just the daily grind."  I want to share a life of passion, a life of contribution, and a life of love.  

What's the message I found this weekend?

Slow, quiet, intentional.


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  • Funny that I chose to read this post as I sit in my boring 8-5 office job where I continue to feel stuck. ;) Your words are inspiring and I look forward to all that passion and love you will be sharing at Alis Living…exciting!

    Michelle on

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