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.
I recently signed up to pursue my Personal Trainer/Corrective Exercise Specialist Certifications. I have been telling myself for years that I had neither the time or the money to pursue them, but I wanted them. Now, with a 6 month old baby and fewer work hours than I’ve had in a very long time, I honestly don’t know how I will afford either the time or money for them. But I want them. And the longer I’ve wanted them, the more dissatisfied with my life and career direction I’ve become.
Once I registered for them, I felt like a breath of fresh air had washed over my life. I’m excited about all of the potential behind these certifications and the possibilities for my future. I feel like I’m moving forward again, after getting stuck/lost on a path that looked correct. And I can’t really say what prompted me to sign up for them, other than abject dissatisfaction with where things were headed. I guess I finally realized that, for me, trying to do what I thought was the “responsible and right” thing was heading me further and further away from where I wanted to be and I was imprisoning myself with my own narrow minded thinking.
I have to trust that the time and money will manifest for me, because I feel this is the right path for me. And I’m already looking ahead at pursuing my Master’s degree – another thing I’ve wanted for a long time. I’ve let a lot of people talk me out of it because I couldn’t justify the time and expense to other people with more of a reason than that I wanted them. I’m honestly not sure what I’ll do with these certifications and degrees – yet. I’m trusting that the reasons for them will manifest as well, when the time is right. I want them is all the reason I need right now.
Good for you!!! It really fits with your current expertise & personality. I’ve found in my own life and the lives of my clients that the discontent can be ignored, but it doesn’t go away. I think the way to a life of joy is to pursue the thing that is calling you, especially when it’s been calling for awhile as this has for you.
I originally talked myself out of yoga training because I wasn’t sure what I would do with it. It didn’t make sense to spend that kind of time & money. But I really felt the pull so finally followed it. In fact, when I called to get more info the director of the school noted that I had originally contacted them for info a couple of years before. He said, “Maybe you should just take the training.” I did & can’t imagine my life without the experience of teaching yoga all these years.
Will look forward to hearing about your journey with your training.