That thing you're secretly longing to do? You can.
Before you roll your eyes, hear me out—
Where there's passion, there's energy.
And where there's energy, there's action.
And out of that action blossoms results.
I believe this deep in my core. There is an extraordinary amount of energy that unearths inside you when you begin to step into your true skin and walk down the path that is rightfully yours. It's as if your body was just waiting for you to shed your fears so it could tap that hidden source of fuel stored in your soul.
(Note: I'm not saying any of this is easy. I'm not saying I've mastered any of this. I'm not saying the below is the only way to carve out your path. I'm not even saying what will manifest is precisely the thing you're longing for right now. As Marissa Huber said, "Your dream may not look like you think it will." )
To Carve Out Your Path: A To-Do List
1. Clear the Mist
When I was young I told my dad I wanted to be excited about my work. I then took 15-20 years to sort out what "excited" meant. I find that's fairly common. And so, though I recognize that this definition morphs and shapes for us all as time passes, I wanted to pass on this great piece of advice I received for finding your present-day excitement.
"Make a list," I was told, "of everything that lights you up."
When I did this, my list looked a little like this:
- old books
- jewelry with a story
- decoding human psychology
At this time, I was in a job, and a little confused about my lack of happiness. Wasn't I working in my dream industry? When I made this list I noticed that no, in fact, I wasn't. The "dream" I was telling myself I possessed wasn't true to me. At least, not anymore. I was clinging to my younger self's desires, and it wasn't serving me.
These types of things, seemingly random lists, can be so powerful because, not only do they make tangible intangible emotions. But, when analyzed, they help you draw a through line, off which you can pluck up your values, which you may mould and shape into something more concrete. Like: I want to be a novelist of psychological magical realism.
2. Take off the Veil
Becoming in touch with your values means that you become in touch with yourself in a way you likely haven't before. Often that means you notice a thin film covering you that you didn't notice before, the one that helped you "blend" with the rest, make blurry your true self from your own eyes. Often, too, that means you go through a bit of an identity crises. At last, that also tends to mean you feel fear begin to crawl across your skin as you consider what your peers, your family, etc. will think of your embracing of your true colours.
Here's what helps: inching off the veil.
You don't have to rip it off. You can take it easy. Test the waters, if you will.
Here's what really helps: finding people who are where you recognize now you want to be. People who are truly aligned with your core, I mean. And on that note...
3. Find your People
I can't say how much of a difference this makes. To have people in this world who really get you changes your quality of life exponentially. These are our blankets of comfort when we're sad, hurt or scared. These are our lights when we're lost at sea, when we're in need of guidance and inspiration.
Without these people, I truly question how long one can go on. Life gets murky and dark for us all and while, yes, we need to be strong on our own, we need to remember that fundamentally we are social creatures deserving of love and support.
It's out there, too. And I'll be the first to say if you need support with your wildest dreams: email me. I'm there for you, seriously.
What I would also recommend: reach out to those that inspire you. This year has been transformational for me because a handful of gianormous inspirations to me have become friends. Just knowing I can call or email them whenever means the world. Just knowing they're there. Just seeing their example... It's changed my life.
I'm just so grateful.
4. Remember your dream is your treasure
When it all feels too hard, that little recollection helps me, and I hope it helps you. Our passions should not be pushed to the side. There is a reason for them. We are brought here to carry out that which lights us up from the inside out.
The dream you harbour is not a joke. It's a manifestation of who you are at your core. It's a reflection of your gifts that are treasures that the world is desperate for you to share.
These are just some points. And once again, these are based on my own experiences. These are not written in stone. Everyone is different. I acknowledge that. But if any of this can help anyone, I'm glad.
Also, again, I'm not insinuating any of these "to-do"s are easy. Sometimes simple and easy are two very different things.