How do we find and do what we love in our lives?
It’s simple. Listen to the voice of love. Notice when you are enjoying activities in your life. And then, nourish those parts of your lives.
The only thing stopping you from “doing what you love” is a belief that you can’t. That there is something you “have” to be doing instead. We can drop that thought and grow into something more supportive to us. Something like “I am supported by life when I pursue what I love.”
If you’re not sure “what to do” or you feel stuck, start with *literally anything*. Just start moving. Go towards whatever seems interesting. Don’t pause like a deer in the headlights, afraid of making the wrong move. This is life. You’re going to make mistakes, no matter what direction you go in… but that’s part of the point. We learn, and life moves on.
We have to cultivate our ability to keep moving. Fear will sneak into those pregnant pauses, those times we let ourselves stop and think. And then we end up stopping and thinking for a long time, and psyching ourselves out. This happens especially in the moment before we act on inspiration.
Inspiration comes as a wave of good feeling. She wants to be expressed through action, through us. And just as we begin to follow her, a brick of thought comes in and says: “Wait..what if?”.
We have a choice in that moment. We can choose to be with the brick, or we can choose to fly with inspiration.
Most likely, this isn’t even a process we’re aware of; by now we have our preference and our habit. I can speak to mine: I’ve stuck with the brick. I’ve decided, over and over again in my life, to sit and think over my options before moving forward. I think a lot of us do this. We’re told it is good to be measured like this. We want our intelligence to show in our actions; we don’t want to be a fool.
And yes, that is the cost of acting on inspiration; sometimes she will lead you to act like a “fool”. If you follow her pull, you’ll probably deviate from the accepted path somewhat… or a lot.
But inspiration will also lead you to interesting places. Inspiration will bring you to novelty and delight. And damn, it feels good to ride that wave, doesn’t it?
What if being a fool doesn’t matter? Why would it matter? Don’t we desperately need fools? The fool is a saint for being willing to make light and laughter amidst all our seriousness. We could use more of that. Besides, who cares about what people think? Are we here to look good to other people or to genuinely enjoy what we are doing?
It’s entirely possible to fill our lives with things that bring us richness and enjoyment. We can live creatively, spontaneously, freely. We can live with our hearts open, and it in fact makes us stronger!
So I’m working on changing my habit. Letting go of the brick and letting myself fly, sometimes. Courting that lovely lady, Inspiration. And doing what I love.
Do what you love.
The more you love what you do during the day, the more you are capable of loving anything. So if you pick up a side hobby that you get very absorbed in and love a lot, you might just find yourself appreciating your day job in new ways, because your capacity for enjoyment and appreciation has actually expanded.
I’m finding this in my own life right now. I have many things going on that I am excited about; my life is currently full of exploration and enjoyment in the categories of creativity, self-expression, relationships, and physicality… and I can’t help but notice that I am enjoying work more as well! I am finding flow where I was feeling stuck before. I’ve dropped into a few great coding sessions this week, where everything else has fallen away. I’ve remembered, because of that, just how fun coding can be, and what I loved about it in the first place, the first class I took in college.
Do what you love. And then you will love more and more of what you do.
It doesn’t take a huge leap. It just takes a small step, towards whatever little thing is calling at your curiosity. One little step towards love.