Recently I had the good fortune and honour to be interviewed by the amazing Britt Skrabanek on her podcast Love Your Enthusiasm. She asked that we not focus on travel since we can’t right now, and suggested I choose something else that I’m enthusiastic about. My response was clear and immediate – living your best life.
I know this phrase has become wildly popular. I also know that it’s mostly associated with a glamorized idea of beauty and success which frankly makes me cringe, though for the purposes of full disclosure I too bought into it in my 20’s and 30’s. Even in my 40’s I felt like a failure because I had not achieved any marker of conventional success.
But I wanted to address something much more meaningful than that. With the luxury of hindsight I understand that my best life has had nothing to do with what society teaches us about success; it has to do with learning to listen to the yearnings of my soul, doing an enormous amount of inner healing, and coming to understand the value of life itself.
Happiness is almost always the motivator for what we do. We just want to be happy, and understandably think that the right relationships, and things, will make us happy. But ultimately life’s journey is not about happiness. Finally understanding that was a hard one to swallow, but I came to see that the truth is far more valuable.
This is a part of Britt’s introduction to our wide-ranging conversation:
The phrase “Live your best life” gets thrown around so much that it has become devoid of any true meaning. However, today’s guest, travel writer and photographer, Alison Armstrong, is the absolute embodiment of this adage.
Every day we get bombarded by hyper-curated lifestyle aspirations on social media. Alison understands our best life is not about external markers of success, but about following our inner calling. And it takes serious work to tune into the voice within.
I hope you’ll enjoy our conversation about how step by step, often painfully, I arrived at a place that I call home – in myself.
Thanks for listening.
PS: Britt and I talk briefly about my love of fashion. During lockdown I got sick of wearing sweats and a t-shirt all the time so I went through my entire spring and summer wardrobe and posted a different outfit each day on Facebook. In case you’re interested you’ll find it all here. I’m planning on doing the same with my fall and winter clothes in the new year.
All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted
© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2020.