Rumi’s words above resonate at the core of my being, and remind me that life is too precious to live stressed out or feel depressed because I am not doing what I love or being the ‘real’ me.
When we are doing what we love in life, we are in alignment with our true self, which means we are doing what’s of most value to our self and what we believe we are at naturally good at doing. When we do what we love we can expect to experience good health, happy relationships, and a sense of purpose and fulfilment in our life.
Sadly many people fill their life with doing stuff they don’t love. The pressures and demands of life drive people to make choices based on economics, social expectations and cultural norms, rather on what fills them with passion and joy.
How many people do you know who talk about how unhappy they are in their job or in their life in general?
In Japan ‘karoshi’ refers to a very real condition where people die from overwork. When our life is out of balance to the point where we are no longer doing what we enjoy, the negative consequences can be huge. Over 10,000 people per year die from this condition, brought on by stress and overwork. Apparently statistics are even higher in the U.S.
Lissa Rankin MD (Author of Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself, Hay House, 2013) found scientific and medical proof that doing work you don’t enjoy will actually shorten your lifespan. However, spending time with close friends, enjoying laughter, investing in your relationships and generally doing what you really love are key factors that make a difference to a person’s health and level of joy and fulfilment in life.
A few facts: when we are stressed, our “fight or flight” physiological stress response is triggered in the body by the sympathetic nervous system, which then produces large amounts of adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine in the body. These stress hormones elevate the heart rate, blood pressure and de-activate the body’s natural healing and self-repair system. As a result it leads to poor health and dis-ease in the mind and body.
However when we are doing what we love, the ‘relaxation response’ is activated and the parasympathetic nervous system kicks in, releasing ‘feel good’ hormones, enabling the body to relax and do what it does best, heal it-self.
So the question is – if we are not living our life doing what we love, then why not?
Doing what we love can be as simple as laughing, dancing, listening to uplifting music, meditation, singing, playing with animals, taking a vacation, sleeping, doing your favourite hobby, exercising or pursuing a creative activity. Or it can be choosing a career or vocation that gives you great satisfaction because it matches your values and is moving you towards fulfilling your goals and dreams.
When we consciously choose to do what we most love in life, we are living in a way that fosters a spirit of gratitude and love for the person we are. We are better able to attract abundance into our life, such as good health in our mind and body, loving relationships, and a life that is enriched and fulfilling.
What matters most is that we make ‘doing what we love’ a priority and not something we do if we have time. It also means to live life consciously and on purpose. If you are feeling drained, unmotivated, or stressed, it could mean that you are not doing what you truly love in life. Now is the time to check in with your self, not tomorrow. If you are not 'loving your life', then it's time to find out why and make some necessary changes.
When we do what we love, we reap the benefits of great health and a fulfilling life. It means we are living in a way that matches our values and brings joy and abundance to our life.
At mid-life many people experience change and this prompts them to re-assess how they are spending their time and energy. A great question to ask your self is – "Am I really doing what I love and is it giving me meaning and fulfilment?"
Are you having fun in your life? If not, why not?
It’s easy for anyone to slip into an unconscious way of living, where we become accustomed to the same routine, without really questioning the direction we are going.
Rumi’s words are poignant, and for me they had the effect of giving me a kick up my rear-end, causing me to question if I was really living as my authentic self. For a long time I was doing what I felt I ‘should’ do, but underneath I felt empty and unfulfilled. Over a longer period I became filled with doubt about my own abilities and this affected the relationship I had with myself and others, leaving me feeling down, low in energy and motivation, and just simply - unhappy. I was looking at my life through a lens of scarcity and deprivation, focusing on what was missing. Needless to say it didn’t lead me to a path of joy and happiness.
One of the first things a Life Coach will tell you is that ‘if you want things to be different in your life, you need to think, believe and do things differently’.
Several years of my own personal transformation was a slow transition from seeing myself in a limited way, to living life in my own way, and feeling gratitude for the blessings and abundance I was experiencing every day. Deep down I knew that only I was responsible for my happiness, not other people or the ‘things’ I thought I needed in life.
Putting energy into what makes your heart sing
At mid-life we often realise life is too precious to waste time putting energy where it doesn't serve or nourish us. Making the change in my life meant not just talking about it, but actually taking action.
So why don't we put energy into doing what makes our heart sing? Why do we have a belief that it's not ok to be happy? If we did believe in our own happiness we would do more of what makes our heart sing.
There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path in life.
We can invest a lot of energy into thinking and knowing stuff about ourselves, but nothing changes until we actively and consciously do something about it.
When we are doing what we most love, we are able to make better choices in life because we are less stressed and we can think and see more clearly the options available, and what is good for us.
We create health and abundance in life when we do what we love
Doing what we love activates the feel good hormones in our body – dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, estrogen, progesterone. This means we can experience feeling good both physically, mentally and emotionally when we are doing what we love and being our authentic self.
Did you know that when we spend time doing something creative (zoning out and using our imagination), we naturally relax? When I get lost in my ‘happy place’ of doing what I love, I find that I see more beauty and abundance in life. I notice details in my surroundings and in people that were previously invisible to me. I am more appreciative for what I have, rather than worried about what I have not. Friendships are more cherished, and every day experiences are enjoyed rather than taken for granted. As my mind settles into peace and calm, stress leaves my body. Motivation and inspiration return fuelling my sense of purpose and mission. I feel a zest for life and gratitude for who I am. Rather than ‘making’ life happen, I ‘allow’ my inner light to shine. Now, I just focus on being ‘me’.
When we 'still' the noisy mind we hear the answers from within.
If you have trouble finding the ‘real’ you inside so that you can do what you love, it may be because your chatterbox mind is ruling the show. If that’s the case, it’s time to let go. Let go of the rules and restrictions you put on yourself and you will find that your ‘higher’ self will step forward. You will hear your inner voice speak the truth of your soul to you.
Many of us are not accustomed to letting go of the need to figure everything out. It's a bit like an addiction to the need to constantly 'think' or reason our way through life, and to get those answers we believe will give us certainty. The truth is, there is no certainty in life, so we may as well enjoy what we are doing. We become so focused on problem solving that we loose touch with what most inspires us.
We all have the answers inside. No one else knows you better than yourself. All you need to do is trust yourself. Don’t be afraid of being the ‘real’ you. It’s your life, so make it count and do what you love. Be purposeful and enjoy your life.
When we listen to our heart and soul, and do more of what we truly love, we focus less on the past or what could be in the future. We just end up living in the now – which is really all we have. It’s in this space we can be our ‘true’ self. When we are doing what we love, there is no effort or resistance, only peace and joy.
Are you being your true self and doing what you love in life? If not, what can you do, think or believe differently so that your life is lived with spice?
Has there been a moment in your life when you’ve realised that you’ve been travelling down a path that just doesn’t feel right? Perhaps you are somewhat happy but life doesn’t feel fulfilling. Have you felt as if your mind is fighting with your inner self?
Sometimes the person we appear to be on the outside is disconnected or in conflict with the real person that we feel and believe to be on the inside.
Have you ever wondered why?
It takes a lot of energy to be in constant conflict with the real you. The ‘person’ you present to the world, the thoughts you have and the things you say and do, don’t line up with the way you feel or who you identify as your true self. Living in this state can create inner turmoil and anxiety that affects your ability to be grounded and emotionally stable; and it can lead to poor physical health as your body tries to cope with the constant tension and increased uncertainty. As a result you end up giving mixed messages about who you really are and what you really want.
It can be challenging living with this struggle, leaving you wondering why all your efforts to be positive and achieve progress in your life always ends up with poor results in either your work, your relationships, your health and even in your finances. The trouble is, what you are thinking and saying to the world is not matching up with how you truly feel and what you believe. Your conscious self does not match up with your unconscious self at an energetic level.
Everything in life is made up of energy that is constantly vibrating. As vibrational beings, we are made up of our thoughts, emotions, decisions, beliefs and attitudes. These vibrations emanate from our being, just like the unseen waves of energy from our mobile phones and microwaves. As vibrational beings, we affect everything all the time. Imagine a stone that you throw into a pond - the ripples (or vibrations) that move outward in waves affect the rest of the water in the pond. Our vibrational ingredients make up whom we are, and they have an impact on others like a vibrational symphony.
What happens when our vibrational energy is in conflict?
When you are in conflict with your self, your conscious thought vibrations wrestle with your unconscious emotional vibrations. One part of you says, “I want to be successful”, and yet the other part of you says,
“I don’t deserve to be happy and successful”. Vibrationally you become stuck and the message you are giving the universe, the outside world of your friends, loved ones and work colleagues, becomes confusing and contradictory.
When we give out contrary messages and commands, how can the universe respond and give us what we really want?
Re-calibrating our vibrations so we can experience success
Have you noticed how a person’s energy can 'feel' or appear different to the words that come out of their mouth? When we are in the presence of others, people pick up on our energetic messages. We have a vibrational impact on the people in our life and our world that just can’t be faked or hidden. Someone’s ‘presence’ (or energetic vibrations) is more influential and believable than the words they express. If they don’t match up, we are either confused about the message, or unconvinced about their authenticity.
To be in alignment with who we really are, we need to re-calibrate our self vibrationally.
As energetic beings we are a collection of vibrational waves that pass through our mind and body and radiate out into the world. We are essentially vibrating with everything else in the world, with our thoughts, decisions and feelings.
If we want to truly create happiness and success in our life, the world needs to receive a consistent message that is vibrationally in alignment with our authentic self. We need to ensure our conscious vibrations (our thoughts) are energetically the same and in alignment with our unconscious feelings and beliefs.
Mastering our Vibrational Energy
To achieve success in terms of what we want in life, we need to move from trying to master our performance (our words and actions), to mastering our ‘presence’, or our vibrational energy.
The key is to learn how to vibrate from the highest possible place so we can perform better in our life. When we are vibrating from our true and higher self, we are in alignment and no longer in conflict with our inner self. The universe can now hear our vibrational messages loud and clear, and so our ability to perform or manifest our dreams and goals is now so much easier.
When we raise our vibrations to a level that is harmonious and uplifting, we naturally attract similar energy and vibrations. People are drawn to our energy, and the doors of possibility are opened.
Mastery of your vibrations is not about adopting an attitude or an intention, it’s about releasing and letting go what is not authentic within your self, so that your conscious thoughts are aligned with how you really feel and what you belief to be true for you.
With practice and commitment, we can learn to master our vibrations, rather than focus on mastering our performance. The aim is to live consciously in every moment, not allowing our self to be distracted in thoughts of the past or worries about the future.
Living consciously means being able to identify what we are ‘seeing’ and what we are ‘feeling’, so that we can then ‘know’ what is true and real for our self.
When we wish to experience change for the better, or real transformation, it can only truly come from with-in when we are in vibrational alignment, rather than coming from outside of our self.
Dr Barbara De Angelis calls this ‘soul shifts’ – shifting from looking for greatness outside of our self, to preparing our self for greatness from within. Soul Shifts, 2015.
When we vibrationally align our beliefs & feelings (unconscious) with our thoughts & actions (conscious), we can achieve success, mastery and happiness in our life.
What is the difference between setting goals and the power of intention?
We often hear talk of the importance of setting goals to achieve specific outcomes or to fulfil our dreams. Goals are excellent to draw our attention and sharpen our focus so that we know what direction we are heading and what we are aiming for within a specific timeframe.
However we need to be careful that those same goals and deadlines that we set do not also limit us and create disappointment and hopelessness when we don't reach them. Let’s face it, we may start out with a great energy and enthusiasm, but sometimes life just ‘happens’ and there are some circumstances that are out of our control. Which means that sometimes our goals are not met in the timeframe we are expecting.
So what is an Intention? Deepak Chopra describes an ‘intention’ as “the directed impulse of consciousness that contains the seed of that which you aim to create”. Intention is like the energy and the seed (idea) of what we want to create. However, it takes more than just the seed or having the idea. LIke seeds, our intentions cannot grow unless we release them, plant them in fertile soil, and nourish them so they can grow.
Setting an ‘intention’ is more powerful than setting only goals. Our intentions let the universe know what we are aiming for with the energy of our whole being - our body (our actions), our mind (our beliefs and thoughts), and our spirit (the intention of our soul).
With our energy we have the power to draw or attract circumstances, people and resources into our life as we stay focused on what it is we want. It’s creating the fertile soil for seeds to grow.
Setting intentions is also having flexibility around the timing and the circumstances that may be needed to manifest our dreams. When we have faith in the universe to deliver what we need, and we let go of the need for something to occur exactly as we expect or in our own timing, we allow the universe to collaborate for our best interest and in the best timing for all.
It’s important to maintain focus and take appropriate action to achieve your dreams, but flexibility allows for the variables in life beyond what we see and know. It’s the wisdom to accept that life is ‘uncertain’. When we become attached to a specific outcome it comes from a place of fear and insecurity. This negative energy will repel or detract from the very thing you want to achieve or attract into your life.
The key is to focus your energy on what you want, but detach from the outcome and be flexible around how and when your dreams are manifested or your goals achieved. It’s about having the unquestioning belief in the power of your true Self. When we let go, we release from the negative energy and create seeds of possibility, allowing opportunities to come our way.
Setting an intention is about:
Remember, if we don’t’ bend in life, we can effectively break and sabotage our dreams. Being flexible means that our final outcome is more likely to be in tune with who we are and what we really want in life.
Rebecca NovacekWhen we are rushed and super busy, which for many of us it may be every day, we don't notice the little miracles and blessings in our life.
Sometimes we get hooked on the belief that miracles or abundance in life looks like something big, dramatic, and equates to $$ in our pocket.
But in reality - this is not what real abundance or what miracles are made of. Cash in the hand or money in the bank may feel like a miracle, but it's not what adds real value to our life.
When we notice the ordinary moments in our life, and really focus our attention on the positives - the things that we are enjoying, we are able to increase our love, our appreciation and gratitude for what is. It's then that the ordinary moments become extraordinary gifts.
When we are still, enough to take notice of what we are seeing, feeling, enjoying, tasting, and sensing, we acutely increase our awareness so that what was previously invisible becomes consciously visible. Now in focus, we are able to appreciate and enjoy what we are experiencing.
Have you noticed that when you slow down you are able to see the detail, hear the vibrations. smell the air, feel the tangible and sense the invisible? Life comes into our radar. It's as if we switch on our ability to expand our experience of our world.
And when we have increased our awareness, is it not easier to broaden our perspective, see things in a different light and feel more empathy and love for ourself and others?
When we are able to notice more about what we are thinking, believing, doing and sensing, we are more consciously aware and therefore in a better place to make more informed and wiser choices.
What have you noticed this week that you didn't notice previously? Was it how much you enjoyed the sun on your face, the companionship of a friend over coffee, the warmth of your bed on a cold night?
In the every day moments of our life we can truly find immense joy, incredible beauty and never-ending love. Our lives are always full of blessings - but often we don't notice them.
Increased gratitude creates more happiness and peace, and expands our ability to see way beyond the usual boundaries and conditions we place on our life.
When we slow down to notice the ordinary moments, we can receive extraordinary gifts.
In what ways have you felt gratitude in your life? It may have been when you experienced that warm feeling of being loved or cared for, or feeling thankful that your current needs were being met. Feeling grateful feels good, and it can have a positive effect on our health and emotional well-being. But how do we stay feeling grateful?
There have been many times I have felt gratitude toward friends who have shown love and care through a kind word of support or a listening ear, or when they have shared their gifts of knowledge or skill to help me. At other times, I have felt grateful and thankful for a roof over my head and the comfort of being in my home; or when I have enjoyed the outdoors and the warmth of the sun and the sound of the birds; or a cup of coffee and chat with a friend. It's in these moments I know I am surrounded by love in many forms, and I feel truly grateful.
It is easy to feel grateful when things are going well, especially when we compare it to more difficult times of pain and discomfort. Pain is often our wake up call when we become complacent in life. A wise person reminded me that it's not possible to experience real joy (and gratitude) without also experiencing the opposite of pain and sorrow.
So do we need pain and sorrow to experience compassion and gratitude? When our situation or circumstances improve it's natural to feel relief and momentary happiness. However it's difficult to remain grateful when feelings of gratitude are not generated from within, but are instead dependent upon how we see the world responding to our needs.
What are the benefits of being grateful?
How do we maintain feelings of gratitude?
Remaining in gratitude every day is perhaps more to do with creating that state from within, rather than being dependent upon external circumstances to create feelings of gratitude.
Being grateful is not just about warm fuzzy feelings that quickly fade the moment the chips are down. It's learning to create peace within and moving from yang energy (pushing out) to yin energy of receiving and allowing. This means being able to accept what is, regardless of our circumstances (the good and the bad), and know that the universe (God and the angels) has our best interests at heart. It's being able to let go, and have faith that Life loves you. It's about trusting and knowing that you are never alone, and that in some shape or form your needs will always be met.
In life we can choose to believe that our experiences can bring opportunities to learn and therefore increase our happiness and gratitude, or we can choose to see our experiences as controlling our state of happiness and allow the seeds of discontent to grow.
Long lasting gratitude comes from the heart, and it comes from a deeper love and appreciation of oneself.
When we are able to see our own value, we are able to have love and compassion for our self. Living in a state of gratitude is no longer dependent upon our circumstances or the actions of other people. Gratitude becomes a way of life, a state of 'being' rather than 'doing' or 'having'. It's the result of trusting, allowing, and being open to receive what is already being offered by the universe for our best interests.
Staying in gratitude is simply learning to 'be' rather than 'do' - being open to receive the love deep within our soul, without thoughts, judgment, or resistance.
Can you imagine feeling free from clutter in your life?
Clutter does more harm to our mental and physical health than we care to realise.
For some of us, clutter may be that pile of paperwork in the office or at home that just seems to grow all on its own. It may be cupboards of clothes we haven't worn in years, or laundry that's piled high in a basket that you haven't seen empty in months. Or perhaps it's the kitchen cupboard that's so full of plastic containers that you couldn't possibly use in one week. Maybe you are an 'ornament queen' or a 'shed junky', or perhaps a hobbyist who cannot bear to part with your favs because you might use them one day. Whatever the vice, clutter can whittle away at our physical and mental health, drain our energy and be a downer on our enjoyment in life.
So how do we get clutter in the first place?
Clutter is what happens when we procrastinate. It can occur in many areas of our life (home, work, health, relationships, finances) and shows up where we are avoiding taking care of the priorities, either due to fear, feelings of being overwhelmed, or we believe we don't have the skills to deal with it. Though we may use the excuse we are time poor, it's usually a cover-up for 'not dealing with stuff' or making it a priority.
So what happens when we don't deal with it?
Procrastination can lead to poor health which may show up as headaches, irritability, stomach issues, and muscle aches and pains due to stress. On an emotional and mental level it can indirectly lead to poor self esteem and low energy, and can negatively impact our relationships. It can breed a lack of peace in our mind, and absorb unnecessary energy as we persistently ignore it. In the workplace it can result in a loss of productivity and profitability. At home, the burden of clutter creates an unhealthy living environment and negative energy referred to as bad feng-shui.
When we don't deal with clutter, the discomfort and the negative impact just grows. It doesn;t disappear like we hope it will. Imagine your life is like a garden, capable of bearing beautiful flowers and wonderful fruits to enjoy. However, if you choose to ignore tending to the garden, in time it will grow weeds. When we ignore the weeds, they eventually choke out all the good stuff in the garden. The weeds take over and they remove good nutrients from the soil. The longer they are left there, the more difficult and time consuming it is to remove them and clean up the mess.
Clutter that grows infects us like a dis-ease. It becomes more difficult to see clearly what we value and where we are headed, so so we can't perform at our best. When we remove the weeds and put the nutrients back into the soil, the fruits are prolific and we reap the benefits.
Physical clutter can lead to mental clutter. Putting off what needs attending to can create mental stress. The benefits of feeling free and clear of the clutter in our life far outweighs the amount of energy it takes to ignore, avoid, or pretend it's not there. Procrastination takes up mental time, space and energy that could otherwise be spent enjoying life.
So the best way to deal with clutter is ......to deal with the clutter!
Get started on one corner that needs attention - whether it's the physical clutter in your life, or the wasteful negative mental clutter that you spend too much time churning over in your mind. Life is precious. Don't waste time and energy on clutter that has no value and limits your joy in life.
The benefits of no clutter will give you...
Being free of clutter gives you more of what you really want in life!