Years ago I had a massage client named “Linda.” Nice lady. Good sense of humor. Not a lot of joy in her life.
She’d worked at the same job for about 20 years I’m sure she was competent with her job duties, but it
was clearly “just a 9-5 job” to her. Pushing buttons to total numbers was not bringing her joy. Her job helped pay the bills for she & her husband. It offered little in the way of stimulation, accomplishment, or enjoyment.
I could feel her boredom with life, not just the job. Weekends were spent with family activities, mostly centered on her husband’s hobby of collecting sports memorabilia. Her bi-monthly massage was the sum total of her self-care.
Driving Towards Purpose
One day she mentioned wanting to drive a race car. She’d heard about a place that offered lessons. I inquired if she was going to sign up. She gave me a list of excuses, none of which rang true.
I offered to make a contribution to her race car driving fund should she choose to pursue it. Although the topic came up numerous times, she never took me up on the offer.
I’m not implying that driving fast would have given her life more meaning. But it appeared that she wasn’t living a life of joy, a life where she listened to her soul, a life where she tended to her most precious needs.
Pebbles on the Path
I call the “race cars” in your life the “pebbles on the path.” These pebbles may not be the path. But paying attention to things that feel compelling, interesting, even joyful can help lead you to or help keep on path.
This kind of paying attention and action taking is BIG self-care. Not the usual bubble bath or eating healthy you might think of when you consider self-care. This is the kind of care that’s required if you’re going to live a life of purpose that’s fulfilling, fun, and sustainable.
My suggestion to you is to 1) set an intention and then 2) watch for your first pebble.
An idea, an action, something to research, a class that compels you, a dinner you “must” schedule with a friend… I can’t tell you what your pebble will look like, but I can tell you it will come. And when you follow it you’ll move down your path.
Share your pebbles here.