Following Our Calling

I think sometimes we have this idea that when we start following our calling, everything should just fall into place and feel amazing. Work should be effortless, joy abundant, we should kinda float instead of actually walking, and rainbows should follow us wherever we go. And awesome results should just flow.

Following my passion, this is actually how I feel: When I'm writing, some breaths feel like pure harmonic bliss. Others feel like I'm gasping from the tight grips of resistance. Some days I have visions of how my work is transforming my life and the potential of it helping other people, other days I can't see how it could possibly make a difference through all the other noise of life, never mind support me and my family. Some moments it feels like I'm flying and I can do anything, other moments, it feels like I'm a 5 ton boulder that no way, no how is going to be able to roll up that hill.

So what do I do? I just keep showing up. I stop trying to put my experiences into good and bad categories. I stop judging and instead I observe. "This is interesting" I tell myself again and again. Those 3 words are invaluable to me. They take me out of spirals of doubt. They lead to the next thought..."Ooh, maybe I can write about this." Writing is awesome because it means that every good and crappy thing that ever happens to me is awesome material to work with. If I was a sculptor, that would be like someone telling me all the clay I need for the rest of my life is free. I can share my bliss, which can be inspiring, and I can share my anguish, which can be relate-able, and I can share how I move between them, which can be helpful. I might apply it to writing, but you can put your experiences, both joyful and challenging, into whatever it is you create. There's a certain richness that comes from not just sharing the good stuff, but from the courage to be vulnerable and share the challenging stuff, too. It builds trust - helps people realize that they are not alone, and that they, too, can follow their dreams despite the fact that that rainbows are not exploding overhead. (By the way, since I keep bringing up the rainbow metaphor, rainbows come after the storm - you have to stick out the storm and keep your head up if you want to see the rainbows).

I can tell you this one thing: no matter how much I doubt myself, when I show up and start working anyway, I always, without exception, feel better. But for some reason, although this has been the case only MY WHOLE LIFE, it's hard to remember. I still think avoiding my doubt and resistance is easier. It's not. My new mission is to write every day for 5 minutes. That's less time than it takes to boil a cup of tea. Or answer one email. Heck, I could even do it in the bathroom. 5 minutes is like nothing. A sneezing fit can last longer. It's totally do-able. And usually it leads to me finding a way to steal 15 or 20 more minutes. I challenge you to try it - whatever your dream is, spend 5 minutes a day working on it. That's not meant to limit it - by all means, on the days you have 12 hours to work on them, go for it.

Even on the busiest days, steal 5 minutes a day to work on your dreams and you'll be surprised by what  happens. It's magic.