Walking on our lake recently I went by a young woman doing some amazing figure skating. Alone on our beautiful lake, earbuds in, wearing regular clothes – pulling off these moves that very few people can do. She was out there doing what she loved simply for the joy of it! It was awesome to see. Later her Mom told me she does it all the time – goes skating simply because she loves it.
Are you sensing a lesson here?! It’s one I really need to pay attention to, and perhaps you do too? When was the last time you did something you truly love for no reason other than the love of doing it? It gets tricky, right? Life gets layered up with all the things…commitments, fears, busyness, blah & blah & blah, and we stop doing the things that bring us joy. We forget what they even are.
I thought about this a lot as I sat with my Dad during the weeks leading to the end of his life. What does it really mean to have lived a full, vibrant life? How, exactly, do you find that feeling in the midst of all the things being an adult requires? How do you overcome the obstacles to simply doing something you enjoy on a regular basis? Here are my thoughts on what stops us:
BARRIER #1 Yourself
Our own internal resistance will do what it can to stop us from acting from the level of our Soul. It’s a Universal Law (one way of saying that it ALWAYS happens) that when we want to do something that will make us a better person or bring us closer to our greatest self we will unconsciously put the brakes on. It’s such a bummer! For example I love writing and teaching but every time I start to write, now for instance, I feel like I want to eat. Every time! Even if I just ate. Experience has taught me this is my own internal resistance trying to distract me from my work.
This internal combat can take many forms, such as: wanting to eat, shop, surf the net, watch TV, read a home décor magazine, gossip, drink or any other altering substance, sugar & more sugar…and the list goes on. The biggest resistance barrier that each of us has is self-doubt and criticism. “Who am I to go skating on the lake in the middle of the week for no reason?” I have so many other things I need to get done….. The voice will never stop because it’s the nature of being human. This goes on inside all of us – not just you. But you don’t have to listen! You can overcome internal resistance by noticing it for the form of self – sabotage that it is and moving on to do your thing. It’s a skill that gets better & easier with practice; the struggle never goes away but you can learn to recognize it for what it is.
BARRIER #2 I can’t think of an activity that I enjoy that much?
Simply begin to notice what gets your attention. What do you tune in to on social media, what is your eye drawn to when you’re out and about, what works its way into your mind when you’re not really thinking about it? These are clues as to what you’re curious about. Pay attention and start to follow that path…it will lead you. Think of something you liked to do as a kid and try that.
BARRIER #3 What if your people don’t share your love of that thing?
This can be big right? The guilt sets in and more self – doubt about how can you possibly take the time, spend the money or do the thing when your partner isn’t on board or you’re a single parent or you need the money to help a family member. This, too, takes practice – doing something you love in the face of outer resistance. Respectfully do it anyway and encourage them to do their thing. Can you imagine what our lives would be like if everyone regularly did stuff that made them feel great? The fallout of that would be pretty awesome! Don’t wait for them to lead the charge, you go first. Start doing things you love and see the ripple effect (eventually).
BARRIER #4 What if it’s not available where I live?
Ya, this is catchy for obvious reasons. Make an effort to travel to where you can do it and see if it’s worth that much effort, then act accordingly – make the trip more often or move on to something else. In the meantime find another activity you enjoy
Training yourself to do something you love on a regular basis will improve your life. It’s one of those things that is simple but may not be easy. Be brave, be compassionate to yourself, call in all your mojo and get ‘er done. You just can’t wait another day!
I am so stoked you’re here. I think you’re awesome!
Until next time….