Write Yourself a Permission Slip

D o you remember “permission slips” from when you were a kid?  I certainly do.  There were wonderful little slips of paper that equaled a little adventure.  My mom’s signature upon them meant trips to the science museum, the zoo, the General Motors plant…as well as slips to attend special classes, like that film on sex education.

The point was that an adult – someone who had guidance over our lives – was telling another adult that you had permission to do something different from the norm of sitting in class.

Know what, babe?  You are the adult in your life now.  And the one who gets to say what you do.  On a daily basis.  You get to set – and change – the rules for the way you live your life.

I’m going to let you in on a discovery that changed my life:  life doesn’t always go like you planned. 

You created a plan for your life and  you’re hanging on to it with all the strength you can muster.   But if you were to listen to that still voice of your heart, you’d know that you don’t much like every piece of the plan any longer. But you’re afraid to deviate.  Maybe because you think it will mean you’ve failed.  Maybe because it’s what your parents always expected you to do with your life.

Or maybe it’s because you are afraid of changing.  Because, at least the status quo is known.

I get it.  I’m a planner myself.  When you are following a plan, you feel calmer and in control.

Let me tell you something, darling:   I know that if I were fully in control and flawlessly followed the plans I made, my life would be so much less than what it is today.   If I hadn’t learned that it’s ok to change the plan I had created for my life, I’d still be in a miserable marriage, slowly losing touch with myself as each day passed.

Now, I am honest with myself enough to know that I like having a plan.  And I’ll encourage you to create a vision and a plan for your life.  But with the understanding that your plan isn’t written in stone.  Personally, I go into each phase of my life with a loose plan, knowing that it won’t turn out exactly as I planned.

Today, I want you to write yourself a permission slip – permission to deviate from your plan.  I’m not telling you that you need to make a big change.  What I’m suggesting is that you cut yourself some slack and write a note for yourself that you are allowed to change the plans and the rules you set for your life.

You can lean into small changes.  Or pull your life plan apart and reassemble the pieces into something that feels like joy and love.

People say, “Life is not a dress rehearsal,” but I disagree. It’s practice. It’s a rough draft. To live a life in the zone, we are constantly revising, re-visioning and responding to whatever may come along.

Loosen the hold on what you feel life should look like from the outside.  Because, baby, the more perfect it looks from the outside, the harder it’s going to be to maintain the perfection.

I’m living proof that, if you allow yourself to embrace the serendipitous moments, you open your world up to the discovery of your greatest joys.  A serendipitous moment in DC brought JB and I together.  And if I had stuck to my new plan that “I was done with relationships for at least five years”, I’d never have fallen in love with him.    And to be honest, I truly love and adore my day-to day-life – and my partnership with him is one of the things that brings me my greatest joy.

Adventure and serendipity give life spark and zest.

By the way?  While you’re writing that prescription slip to deviate from your plan? Do something else for me (and for you). Write yourself a permission slip to forgive yourself for not being perfect.  My dear, those imperfections that you perceive as flaws  are what make you, well, so wonderfully you.

Loosen the tight grip you have on control and invite serendipity into your life.

Embrace the spirit of adventure and allow yourself to change your path.

Take courage by the horns and lean into what delights you.

It’s time for you to live on the outside the way your soul is begging you to live.

I know you can do it.  I have faith.  And  I’m here to help in any way I can.

So, tell me darling:  what’s one thing that is going on your permission slip?

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By Debra Smouse: Writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle, Debra helps people fall in love with their life. An expert de-tangler, she believes in busting clutter as a path to greater clarity and that within every woman is vibrant, passionate, and sexy being just itching to make their inner sex kitten roar. A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams.

9 Responses to “Write Yourself a Permission Slip” Subscribe

  1. Mindy Crary June 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Debra, I always get the sense from your writing that you’re a rational, intelligent grown up–and it’s such a sense of relief to read your blog every week!

    I find when I accept that I need a time out or to deviate from my “perfect” schedule, I often don’t need as much time off as I thought I did . . . but it’s so important to permit yourself that time and intention!

  2. An June 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    I love loose plans 🙂 And my permission slip says that I can do my thing in the world, at my pace and in my very own style. Failures included 🙂

  3. Blaze June 15, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Yesh…some part of me remembered those long forgotten days when permission slips were the ticket in and out. Back then I was busy asking someone to grant me permission to do something or excuse me from doing something else. Hmmm…what do I most want to allow myself the opportunity to do/be/ or have now? It’s all about personal choice and power. Cheers to another great blog post Debra!

  4. Joanna Weston June 17, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    I like this! How often do we wait for someone else to give us permission to do what we want to do? Or permission to escape? But we *are* the adults now, so it’s really up to us.


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