When I was stuck in withdrawal mode, neglecting most of my friends and living between my soul-eating job and my own four walls, I was honestly convinced that nothing was wrong with me. If you had offered me help to “get back to life”, I would have laughed and said I was right in the middle of life.
The only thing I disliked was the job. But when I was finally in a position to give that up and move across the country to where I feel at home, that’s when I began to slowly realise how deep a sleep I’d been in. It was a slow, painstaking process, and to this day I still have days and weeks when I’m a little quieter and need to remind myself, but all in all my life is truly unrecognisable.
I realised with crystal clarity that nothing in life is more important than to do what lights us up. The only challenge is to explain this to the people who need to hear it most, because they are usually oblivious to their “dormant” state, just like I was.
This article is dedicated to those who are currently stuck, or struggling. Life tends to evolve in cycles, and almost everyone experiences these periods of stagnation from time to time. Therefore, please don’t stop reading if you’re in a period of high self-actualisation at the moment. You might need to pick yourself up some time in the future.
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How can you tell?
It can be really hard to know that we’re in a state of settling for less than we could be, or stagnating in our development. First of all, to a certain extent it’s absolutely natural to plateau in life. We can’t always move ahead and forward; there are quieter times in everybody’s life.
It’s when we begin to settle into these quieter times, and begin to accept the status quo as “as good as it gets”, that we have an issue. That’s because the very nature of life is change and growth. Just look into nature!
You might be stuck if you:
– have lost sight of something you used to want to achieve.
– have stopped doing something which used to light you up.
– let your health slide, be it in terms of physical fitness, eating habits, sleep, or anything else.
– don’t prioritise Self Care.
Two distinct stages
What makes the matter more complicated, is the fact that there are several stages. Roughly speaking, there are at least two:
1. Pursue your passion: You practice an art or craft or hobby/interest which lights you up. Note that this isn’t just about “things you like”. It’s great to do anything you like, but a passion is something you absolutely love doing. It makes your eyes sparkle, you could talk about it all day, and it makes you forget time.
2. Live your dreams: Once your passions are firmly incorporated into your life, you can go about matching the rest of life to it. This is about doing work which makes your soul sing, which doesn’t feel like work. It’s living every day in full alignment with your soul’s purpose. For many people, it takes a lifetime to realise this bit by bit. I’m certainly still in the process myself!
Even if you are not currently stuck, it’s almost always possible to amp up a passion. To determine your next step, take a piece of paper or open a text document on your computer, and write two lists.
On the first, write down what you love doing more than anything else – your passion(s), the thing or things which light you up. This is something you love doing, for you!
On the second list, write down the most important people in your life. Typically, this will be family and/or friends.
Then try and determine honestly how much time you spend doing these activities, and how much time you spend with these most important people. There aren’t any hard and fast rules as to how much time you should spend, but it should be a considerable amount. This is what your life is about, and it deserves some space!
If some or all of it is currently absent from your life, start with 5 minutes a day. Then expand it to 10, 15, 20… Get some support if you need it (I’m only an email away, and there are other Coaches out there as well!). This is worth every minute and every penny you spend on it, because once you get truly un-stuck, you’ll wonder how you didn’t see it before. It’s time to soar!