No.1: Bookend Your Days
I believe that a life less ordinary starts from the moment we open our eyes and goes on through the twists and turns of each and every hour until we close them again.
Which is why the first principle of life the BrocanteHome way is that we should begin and end each day with rituals that feed our soul, strengthen our authenticity and lead us in to a new day without a shred of resentment, because we feel well-rested, in control and soothed by a set of rituals that bookend our days.
No.2: Build a Wall
Though we may be part of a family, we do not belong to the family. We do not belong to our partners, our children or our Mothers. And as such we do not have to dance to anyone else’s tune. We really don’t.
Which is why the second principle of a life less ordinary involves the building of a wall around our very souls. So that we are capable of authenticity. Of a refusal to compromise all that we need to feel whole. So that when we find ourselves at the beck and call of tiny children and well meaning husbands we can learn to say no, no but thank-you anyway.
No.3: Create a Retreat
Having a place of our own within the communal space that is home should be a priority in a life less ordinary. A place where we can indulge our favorite whims, collect our dreams and remind ourselves who we really are. This does not have to mean an entire room. It can be a space as small as a desk or bedside table: what matters is that it is ours, and that we are fiercely protective about keeping it that way.
To honor our entitlement to privacy, indulge our creativity, and remind ourselves that we matter and exist to do more than to just keep the domestic wheels spinning.
No.4: Fifteen Minutes
While it might seem impossible in a home constantly loud with cartoons, phones and conversation, choosing to deliberately seek silence in the form of meditation, prayer or simple quiet contemplation will save your sanity…
Tuning in to ourselves in this way, and doing everything we can to remove the distractions we are constantly surrounded by, helps us to come back to our most authentic selves, resets nerves fractured by all the demands family life makes upon us and reminds us that we have a rich inner life we so very often forget to nurture.
No.5: Cease Procrastinating
Ouch. I know. This is probably the hardest of all the principles of a life less ordinary, but this is the one that matters above all else, because it is that which we procrastinate that costs us in terms of personal growth and emotional well-being.
When we choose to procrastinate the dull or the painful, we are practicing self-sabotage and we are making the choice to put progress on the back-burner in favor of comfort and self-indulgence, neither of which encourage us to be our best selves, or to move life forward towards the less ordinary…
No.6: Choose You
Choosing ourselves might not come naturally but there are no earthly rewards for the domestic martyr and we prevent ourselves becoming whole beings when we insist on putting ourselves last on our own list so very frequently.
While this principle is not advocating selfishness, it does ask you to put your own needs first so that you always have the strength, will and love to look after those who depend on us without resentment or exhaustion.
No.7: Life-Long Learning
We are never supposed to become static beings and we live in an era when knowledge is literally at our fingertips, which is why the next principle of a life less ordinary, is life-long commitment to learning.
What we choose to learn is of course up to us, but nurturing passions old and new is entirely possible now in a world where we can learn everything online, in courses that take an hour, a month or even a number of years, so there is never any excuse for not feeding our curiosity or satisfying our thirst for knowledge and in the process becoming and remaining cultured, curious, well-educated beings.
No.8: Daily Priorities
While our daily lives might be busy, our health remains paramount and utterly essential to being our best selves and having sufficient energy and sense of well-being enough to get the most out of each day without being constantly defeated by exhaustion and lethargy.
Too often though we complicate diet and exercise with programs designed to re-invent us, when mere commitment to gentle daily yoga and a plant-heavy diet would be more than sufficient for glowing good health.
Thus, the eighth principle of a life less ordinary is commitment to uncomplicated diet and exercise routines you are capable of both committing to and making a priority in your day.
No.9: Banish Toxicity
A life contaminated by toxic chemicals, or indeed toxic memories will never be a life less ordinary, so she who is on the Brocantehome path seeks to create a home where the air is safe to breathe and the memories of sorrow are crowded out by teeny tiny pleasures.
For our homes are sacred and while we cannot control that which we breathe or encounter beyond our front door, inside them we are, as Mistresses of the house, ultimately in charge of banishing that with the potential to hurt us or those we love, and we should take our role as guardians against the toxic very seriously indeed.
No.10: Be Authentic
Finally… the last principle of a life less ordinary depends on giving yourself permission to be the realest, truest version of yourself. To stop hiding your light way and to take the risk to allow the very bud of your soul to unfurl.
For life the Brocantehome way is about authenticity and stepping in to the role you were created to play instead of hiding behind the apron strings of domesticity or Motherhood, for while we might choose to give those roles the very best of ourselves, they are not who we are and there will always be a hole in our soul if we deny that which thrills us to out toes, or if we do not seek parallel paths on the road to creative and domestic satisfaction.