I just got off the phone with an amazing client, someone I admire so much, I have tried to hire her for my own business – only to have her say “Nope, I’m not available.” Which made me so happy because, yes ma’am!, she is now putting her dream first.
She has had an incredibly successful habit of championing other people’s dreams while neglecting her own. Of getting uber close to harnessing her extraordinary talents in service to what she wants and then – wait what just happened?? – finding herself working almost around the clock on someone else’s marketing plan/book launch/coaching company. And then waking up a few months later pissed as hell.
We all do it, I told her. Have mercy. Watch me answer an email supporting someone else rather than writing my new project – how did I get to the email program? It’s like a moment of time disappears and we have given up on our selves. The ways we distract ourselves take all sorts of inventive forms – micro-managing your children’s college application process, researching every last possible option for your vacation /car purchase/new duvet cover… or perhaps you prefer buying domain names and starting new businesses or – this is a truly delicious one – completely decluttering your entire house before you can begin that long held dream.
I’m not suggesting for one moment you try to stop distracting yourself – focus on doing that and you’ll end up with squeaky clean counters and that’s it. (Clean counters are great but probably not the deepest purpose of your life).
Instead, orient your life by desire.
(Click to Tweet)
Not because that’s a fool proof strategy or because you will “effortlessly manifest” (insert gagging) exactly what you want but because listening to what you truly desire will keep what you want up in your face while infusing you with energy – tons of wiggling wonderful energy. This makes it a whole lot harder to deny you are choosing someone else’s desire over your own.
You see what you are doing – “I want this but I’m doing this…. hmmm… interesting.”
See this choice point enough times in living breathing painful detail without adding one iota of self-cruelty and you will, slowly but surely, start to choose in favor of your dream. In favor of what calls you. To stop thinking, to stop planning, to stop distracting, and instead, to take blessed simple action.
With a little practice, the worn neural pathways of “But they will be mad at me!” or “It’s selfish to paint instead of visit mom” or “I know helping my friend is valuable, I don’t know if writing my novel is,” begin to atrophy and new ones are born. New pathways that sound something like “There is room for me in my life” and “What I want matters.” You understand it is by taking action on your desires and learning from those actions that the path of your truer life is revealed, one crooked step at a time.
Follow the aliveness, pay attention, orient by your desires.
My experience is, in doing this, we naturally gravitate toward serving this weary world in ways it truly needs. That our immense hearts open and say “I desire to stop global warming” or “I desire to end factory farming in my county” or “I desire to inspire my neighbors to grow a garden with me” and off you go, not because you should but because you want to.
What do you think? What’s your experience? I’d love to hear!
P.S. If you like this post, you will love my book The Life Organizer which is coming out in paperback early next month. We’re about ready to unveil useful goodies to support the book – including a Life Organizer app!! We’ll be doing a pre-order hullabaloo next week and if you’d like to pre-order now, that would be so awesome. Just save your receipt for now.
I know many of you already own the hardcover and I’m so hoping you’ll order a second copy for holiday gifts. Thank you in advance for your support!