Want to change your life? Read this.

You can’t make change happen when you’re constantly dissociating through mood boards, dream boards, and visualization.

It happens to all of us. One day you look around and want something different.

Less pain.

More money.

Less apartment.

More house.

Less struggle. More things working out for once (or always). Less drama. More loyalty. Less clutter. More spaciousness. Less double chin. A well-defined jawline and glorious cheekbones. More hair. More friends. More light in your kitchen so you can take better Instagram photos.

More purpose.

So you head over to Pinterest and create new boards. Dwell. Nomad. Sweet Kitchens. Hygge. You dig through your purse for that torn out and wrinkly 50%-off-anything Michael’s coupon and load your shopping cart with everything you need for a glamorous new art journal. You subscribe to Magnolia Journal & Bella Grace, ask around for back issues of Travel & Leisure and Architectural Digest, and stalk Anthropologie for their latest catalogue.

You buy sharp new scissors, add some freshly-ground coffee beans to your Chemex (because hello, hipster Instagram shot!) put on your Mazzy Star record and sit in a golden stream of sunlight as you cut out a paper life. A paper life you can stick to your fridge with magnets, washi-tape to your bathroom mirror, and take pictures of as a backdrop for your iPhone.

It’s creative and beautiful and inspiring.

And it’s pixels and paper.

All the while, nerve impulses from your brain are traveling at over 170 miles per hour and your eyes are equivalent to 576 luscious mega-pixels on a digital camera. You can reason and multi-task and sense things. You are passionate, warm and sentient, and life is happening right now and you get to be here right now. Unlike most, you are one of the living ones. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to you, but this moment is. And when you dissociate from the life you have now, you are removing the only real ability to create change. Change begins when you bravely commit to being in your body, in your presence, in your life.

Whatever moments you have, use them well. Only in this moment can chocolate melt on your tongue. Only in this moment can you kiss your husband when he walks by, or snuggle with your two-year-old. Only this moment holds what is real, and things have to be real before you can change them.

There’s nothing wrong with planning and hoping and using creative ways to dream. But change happens at the root of your aliveness, which means you need the courage to be in your life.

So come back to it. Be brave, love, and embody the life you have. You can’t fix a life you’re running from. You can’t heal something you reject.

Life follows your lead. Your life will change only after you do.

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
— Ellen Bass
Hillary MComment