My life’s not perfect.
I live in Costa Rica, home to a tropical climate, awe-inspiring sunsets, and breathtakingly beautiful wildlife. I run my own business, live in the jungle, and can stroll along a tropical beach whenever I want. Many people, myself included, would consider this to be paradise on Earth.
But my life’s not perfect, and I’m never going to pretend it is.
Since moving to Costa Rica in 2012, I’ve faced challenges that hadn’t even entered my mind before I jumped on that plane with my 17-year-old cat, Harmony. In a culture that isn’t too familiar with females living alone and running their own businesses, I’ve been manipulated, taken advantage of, discriminated against, sexually harassed, lied to and stolen from. The reality is a good deal harsher than the zen-in-paradise fantasy I had conjured in my imagination. The realization that my new life in Costa Rica wasn’t perfect, gave me the opportunity to respond in a number of ways.
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The Trouble With Edited Highlights
I realized that I could make-believe everything is perfect, and share motivational social media posts with stunning sunsets and monkeys flying through the trees. But I couldn’t keep that up for long. Being honest and authentic enables me to develop deep connections with my friends, family, followers, and clients. How meaningful could those relationships be if I was hiding my problems and sugar-coating my experiences?
Packing Up My Troubles And Taking Them With Me
Thankfully I figured this one out before I splashed out on a plane ticket to relocate (again). Moving back to the US, or on to some other idyll wasn’t going to help. Because wherever I go, my problems go too. My life isn’t, and will never be, perfect. My task is to face those troubles, learn from them, love them, and live well, not in spite of them, but because of them.
Learning To Sink Into Wildhearted Sanguine Living
My friends, life is complicated and messy, beautiful and unpredictable, and so, it must be imperfect. The ground beneath my feet is a patchwork, with dry brown patches alongside verdant green grass, and wildflowers thriving harmoniously next to weeds. This is how I have learned to live a more wildhearted, sanguine life, and how you can too.
1) Refuse to edit your life
Refuse to edit out the negativity, keep it to yourself, gloss over it, or pretend it isn’t happening. Instead, learn to love the imperfections, to live a sanguine life, being cheerful, hopeful and with a dash of witty humor at times.
2) Strive for balance
Strive for a balanced life, accepting and sharing both the good and the not-so-ideal moments. That’s what wildhearted sanguine living means to me. It will allow you to be present with whatever is happening, to show up fully and to embrace both the light and the dark in equal measure. It’s about standing outside in the middle of a storm, arms open wide to receive, eyes sparkling with curiosity and wildly loving every moment.
Choosing to live a wildhearted sanguine life lets me fall in love with myself… and then with the world around me. Because I am acknowledging the reality of the moment, and fully accepting it for what it is (rather than holding onto a belief that it should be something else), sanguine living allows for incredible shifts and transformations.
3) Keep moving forward
Remember that you can stumble and fall and still keep moving forward, walking strong, through your life’s journey.
And know that in doing so, you can help lift others along the way. Others who may be looking at their own imperfect lives, and feel relief that life is never destined to be sunshine and rainbows 100% of the time.