Today, lifestyle designers have embarked on a journey. Primarily due to dissatisfaction with either their own lives or the lives that they are expected to lead by society. We all know what on the surface causes this dissatisfaction. These surface issues are things like having to work the 9-5, little or no flexibility to do what you want to do and the monotony of the consumerist lifestyle. But these are just surface issues and if we fail to delve deeper, we risk treating these surface issues with surface solutions such as quitting our job and running away for a jaunt around the world. I’ve done it, we’ve all done it or are about to embark upon it. Quit your job, sell the house and run away. To account for the gap in income, go and start a new innovative business that avoids those surface issues.
It all sounds so perfect. All my surface issues are gone and I’m excited about the prospects for the future. But soon the lustre of the new wears off and we are left with feelings that bubbled to surface in our first bout of dissatisfaction. But hang on! We’re now talking about our emotional state, our internal world, rather than our material world of work and home which are our external world. We’re now starting to dig deeper. Of course there are ills in our external worlds, but without attention being given to our internal state, perhaps what some would call a more important and difficult proposition, we risk living an unbalanced and hollow life filled with ephemeral and fleeting gloss.
Hollowness, emptiness, the feeling of there being more out there… it all resonates with the Lifestyle Designer. These are internal churnings that need attention directly rather than being glossed over as problems caused by a poor job, a consumerist society or a lifestyle dictated by cultural norms. I wish I had a solution for this, but I don’t. And at the risk of alienating myself, I have a sense that it revolves somewhere around two things that most will probably find scary and off-putting . Community and spirituality. <gulp> The reason I am sensing that these two things are central to resolving the dissatisfaction issue is that these two things have really only recently disappeared from Western society.
So with that said, I think I owe it to myself to explore these concepts more closely. Does this make sense, resonate with you or sound like waffle? I’d love to get some feedback on my musings here.