you don’t have to be a millionaire to be rich…believe me, i know

bali orchid at toko toko studios. photo by desiree east
You know that saying, “I need to take a vacation from my vacation” ?

I need one of those.

It’s been less than two weeks since we’ve gotten back from our three-month hiatus on the island of the gods.

And what a strange trip it has been.

I feel like I’m in still in a half-dreamy state, yet I feel like I could conquer the world. What gives? My feet are physically planted on the summer-y shores of California, my heart is still lingering with ever-sweet wanderlust, and my mind is in a state of creative frenzy. It could be at bit annoying, and sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself.

But I am embracing it.

My time away has given me a new perspective on life: appreciation for the little things we take for granted; the true meaning behind what it means to live an authentic, genuine life; what it means to nurture the relationships you have with loved ones, family, friends — and, more importantly, yourself.

If you really want to get sappy, why not extend the goodness further to your acquaintances, business colleagues, and the kind stranger who held the door open for you at Starbucks?

My time away has given me the time to think about how I truly want to live my life. I’ve always been a sucker for lifestyle design. No, I’m not talking about the latest styles in Vogue, or what the hot new colors for kitchen make-overs are; nor am I talking about the latest trends in how to make your garden eco-friendly. Don’t get me wrong — I love all that — I can spend hours drooling enviously over colorful magazine spreads while sipping on organic green tea.

Life style design is more than that. It’s about how you create a more passionate, authentic life — where time (and what you do with it) holds more value than what material wealth can ever give you in a lifetime.

When I think of lifestyle design, a few names that come to mind are Danielle LaPorte, Chris Guillabeau, Leo Babauta, Marie Forleo, and Tim Ferriss.

Tim Feriss, of the Four Hour Work Week defines Lifestyle Design as:

…those who abandon the deferred-life plan and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science…”

Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to 9-to-5 drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep-it-short-or-get-fired vacation.

People don’t want to be millionaires — they want to experience what they believe only millions can buy. Ski chalets, butlers, and exotic travel often enter the picture. Perhaps rubbing cocoa butter on your belly in a hammock while you listen to waves rhythmically lapping against the deck of your thatched-roof bungalow? Sounds nice.

$1,000,000 in the bank isn’t the fantasy. The fantasy is the lifestyle of complete freedom it supposedly allows. The question is then, How can one achieve the millionaire lifestyle of complete freedom without first having $1,000,000?

symons studio in ubud, bali. artwork by symon. self-portrait by desiree east.

So that’s the big question. I wish had the answer for you. But I don’t. We all have choices. Little choices we make along the way to make the enriching (or not so enriching) lives we create for ourselves. All I know is that I am trying my best to live a meaningful life with out too much drama, and so far, I’m liking it.

“So, you went on a dream trip to Bali and now you’re back in Cali…what’s next?” 

Brendon and I have been having an influx of ideas rush through our brains since we’ve been away. I blame it on Bali (or maybe, it’s just an extreme case of adult ADD in both of our cases, who knows?)

That was a joke, BTW.

We’d like to approach our business goals more creatively, and we’d like to reach a wider audience online, as well, through our blog at Plantgurus. All this, while dreaming up a Lifestyle Design plan we’ve always wanted to create for ourselves. We’ve been brainstorming and planning non-stop. I know, we’re crazy. But whatevs…anything is possible right?

macro hibiscus. toko toko studios in ubud. bali, indonesia. photo by desiree east

As soon as I stepped off the plane, I started working my buns off, updating the website for Channel Islands Landscape and Plantgurus blog. I am also in the process of creating conceptual designs for a new website (still in its early, early stages — excited, but nervous!) I have been working with the charming April Bowles Olin of Blacksburg Belle, and brushing up on my web coding with Amanda Aitken of Girls Guide to Web Design. The most fulfilling part of this whole experience is connecting with other beautiful, amazing women and entrepreneurial spirits along the way…it’s been very empowering.

So that’s the scoop.

(I’ll get off my soapbox, now).

For now, here is a sneak peek of what I have been working on — a couple of inspiration boards for the new website(s):

CI Landscape & Design
creative bliss studio. website inspiration board (click image for photo credits)