There is a difference but what constitutes a life and what constitutes a lifestyle is pretty ambiguous. One thing that seems pretty clear to me is the lifestyle is observable while a life can have many internal aspects to it. A lifestyle can include people, material things, environments, how we spend our time, energy, and money. A life includes things like our beliefs, our values, our commitments, our soul’s dream, and our vision. If you choose a lifestyle first you could wind up with an empty fortress. If you choose the life first, you will design your lifestyle to support the life.
Since most of us already have a lifestyle, and a default life, we usually have to do some redesign work. Choose a life and then redesign our lifestyle. It is possible that the lifestyle you currently have will never support the life you truly want to live. It is possible the lifestyle you currently have has many supporting structures and only minor renovations need to occur. It is possible that you are a highly intuitive person and your lifestyle is in perfect alignment. I know very few people who fall into that category. My dad does but what I notice about him, is he and my mother made a conscious decision to structure their lives around their spiritual values. They made that decision early in their marriage and lived true to it. Now it’s interesting that my parents are actually old enough to be my grandparents, (my mother is no long living) and I noticed that many earlier generations were not given to having transformational conversations so learning was a very different process then than it is now. The fact that we have e-courses and teleclasses and magazines and tons of books that are created to help people learn to live more meaningful and personally fulfilling lives represents a shift from how things use to be.
As we evolve we begin to look at various aspects of our lives for congruence to our values and commitments. The disparity shows up with exclamation marks behind them and sometimes our response is discouragement and self-disappointment. We act as if we should have known better when the truth is how could we have known better? So the first thing to get over is “I didn’t know” and then after we get over that we come to “but I know now…now what?” It takes a courageous person to see this and then set their intentions on bringing integrity into their life so that their lifestyle gives them a life that serves their higher self. You will notice some people trying to work around it, pretending it doesn’t matter that their lifestyles don’t measure up to their core values.
The real problem is once you see the inconsistency, not doing anything actually makes things worse and you lose ground really fast. It cost you big time to keep that inconsistency in place. You can’t be with yourself and be at peace in your life. It wears you down like water will wear down a mountain over time. Your life will devolve instead of evolve. If that is not a price that’s too high to pay, I don’t know what is. Just think about it and choose wisely the path you will follow.