“ The essence of wandering authentically is to return our feet to the earth, to follow the sun, and to look breathlessly again to the stars. “ - Mark Nepo ” Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
Who hasn’t at some point of their life wandered around, looking for happiness, purpose, love, passion or the meaning of life?! During those times we tend to feel lost, lonely and misunderstood.
I’ll not even attempt to count the times it has happened to me. When I changed the direction of my studies, still not satisfied I decided to continue, choosing to stay at life sucking job, I couldn’t quit because I had responsibility to provide for my kids and mortgage, friendships that sucked energy out of me, habits that made me miserable, unhealthy and contributed to being lost. I followed the safe road, every single time.
I wish I could say, I was more fearless, to let go of my detailed plans of how everything should be, loose my ambitions, expectations, rules and some dreams that were not mine. I wish I knew earlier how to just listen to my heart, but I wasn’t ready.
Wandering around, just knowing something is missing from our life can be very confusing. We might feel, we can’t really explain what is missing from our life, and we don’t know where to begin the search or if we should begin it at all.
Because trusting that feeling is dangerous, stepping out of our comfort zone is risky. We look around us and get confirmed, encouraged all the time to choose the safe in life, and we can’t let go of not knowing everything. We’re so used to the idea of being in control. So we choose safe, and don’t honour the calling of our soul to grow.
I believe we all have a purpose in this life, so sooner or later we’ll be called into our duty, the duty to be ourselves.
Before we can be ourselves, we have to let go of the old self. We need to empty our glass, before we can fill it. We must let go of all our assumptions, expectations, let life take control and surprise us.
Our job on this earth, is to find the rhythm of our own drum and then follow it.
I believe growing can happen in two ways, either through love or through pain. Either we follow the signs from life, surrender ourselves, let go and welcome growth or we’ll ignore and find ourselves down on the knees at some point.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to be silent enough to hear the whisper of my heart.
I started wandering around authentically, still am, and realized my purpose is not to just have fun and make difference, that’s really a result. My responsibility is to be myself and follow the bliss, everything else will come naturally out of that.
Life is really simple, when we let it be.
Just want to share some small steps that helped me on my way. I’m far from perfect, and that’s not the point either, it’s all about finding what works for your personally, what makes YOU really happy.
1. Start with the simple things. Notice what makes your heart happy. What music do you like to hear, what food you really want to eat, what kind of clothes do you love to wear. Not what you should, but what you really like to. I never really listened to any music, or I’d listen to random music, until I paid attention…..turns out I really like latin & reggaeton. I always wore office wear type of clothes, to fit in, but I’m actually more a romantic bohemian type when it comes to style. I love bright colours. All these things are minor, even shallow things, but they are a good way start to paying attention to what YOU really like and what you do out of an old habit following endless “should do”.
2. Create habits that make you feel oh so good. I used to drink many large cups of coffee every morning. Until I realized it made me hyper energized in a bad way. It wasn’t contributing to calmness that I really wanted. So I replaced it with green tea. It was difficult to cut that habit, but I feel much better now. I don’t even miss coffee. I also never exercised, until I decided to just put my running shoes on and create a new habit. I simply approached it with one step, one day mentality. Now, days have turned into weeks, months, and I’ve been running for 7 months. Recently, I decided to eat healthier, to support my 10K race coming June. Of course I couldn’t change all my diet at once, overnight, so I simply decided to focus on changing my breakfast. I loved eating cheese on bread with my coffee, I still love cheese, but I don’t eat it everyday, I make blueberry smoothies, fruit salad or a healthy omelette. This is not to show off, like at all, haha, I fail and cheat all the time with chocolate. What has changed is that, I’m not motivated by any rules or goals anymore, I just follow my heart….it keeps whispering, get more healthy, calm and joy… I just take steps, to get closer to the whisper, that’s all. It’s also easier to just take baby steps.
3. Find out what motivates you. I’ve attended a mindfulness class, and learned that motivation can be divided into three groups. Basically, we do everything either out of duty, avoidance or joy. As soon as I heard it, I realized I was doing many things in my life out of duty and avoidance. I wasn’t doing almost anything out of pure joy. I had poor habits just to avoid hard work it requires to change them. I had life sucking job, out of duty and avoidance (fear) to become homeless (ridiculous, I know!), I was doing what I saw many people around me doing …sacrificing on expense of loosing little bit of myself and my soul every day that went by. Now that I don’t do that anymore, I feel like I’m in a flow of life, instead of feeling like I’m swimming against the stream, like I used to, and I’m not homeless either, as I feared so much. Things just seem to work out in a way, I couldn’t even imagine.
Forgot to add, daily meditation helps to pay attention to the authentic voice and reminds to honour it. Actually, now that I think of it, it all started from my 2-5 daily meditation, the rest has just organically grown from there.