What Actually Keeps You From The Life You Desire
"Working" means exchanging your time for money to buy the stuff you need. With some luck, we all hope to find a job where we don't despise every click of the minute hand. With a ton of luck, we hope for a career where we feel rewarded.
So what are we saying when we claim to be lucky to have a job at all, forgetting about one where we actually enjoy spending our time? We are saying that our days are best spent making someone else's dreams come true, instead of achieving the things we need for ourselves.
Of course, some people adore their work, myself included! I fought hard, especially with emotional barriers, to finally be employed in businesses I care about deeply. Now I have the opportunity to help others in a way that means something to me while I am at the yoga studio, and I am fulfilling a lifelong passion by blogging and doing freelance writing as well.
When we spend our time somewhere we love to be, it's suddenly not work anymore, but an art form. For me, multi-tasking while making connections with the students at the studio feels more like a dance than a chore, as I remember that through every bump and bruise or every joyful moment I am contributing to opening the minds and hearts of my community, and we all have to start somewhere in order to get anywhere.
But so many people have yet to see rewarding opportunities enter their lives, whether they don't know how to begin looking or they aren't even aware that work could be fulfilling for them. They can feel trapped, hopeless, and unsatisfied, the anxiety leaving them blind to any escape, any opportunity that would feed their souls. This is certainly how I felt.
But what if more people began to realize that instead of working their lives away to survive while trying to enjoy the time in between, that they could actually obtain the things they need happily and on their own?!
While many people think this is just some silly fantasy, others are already making this a reality. To be self-sustaining means you are able to live your life in a healthy way without needing outside help for utilities, plumbing, etc. We are hearing more and more about tiny homes and off-grid living as well, proving that we can survive, and feel rewarded, by making our own living for our own purpose.
Different people thrive with different kinds of lifestyles, but any time you leave for work dreading your entire day, or sit staring at the clock feeling like this is the only way you can care for yourself or your family, you have to realize that you have another choice.
This other choice could take a lot of work, a lot of rearranging and replacing the things in your life. It could mean saying goodbye to those people or places that don't feel right anymore, and it could mean going through a lot of uncomfortable changes.
But just because you see a journey ahead of you, does not mean you should ignore it or believe it impossible. Every tiny step you take in your life to become more like yourself adds up to whole moments, weeks, years, and finally, even a lifetime of fulfillment.
The time you spend working for someone else could transform into time for taking care of yourself and being responsible for your own survival. It may seem scary as it's no longer the norm, but the fear comes from the unknown and unexpected, NOT the impossible.
One reason I hear a lot for not being able to change anything is owning a home and having a huge mortgage, a commitment that comes with a lot of maintenance as well. But remember, nothing at all is in your life that you didn't decide to let in. You decided that house was worth thirty years of your time, and if you freaking love that house then hell yeah, work your butt off, take care of your home, and feel proud doing it! But if you feel like your mortgage and your house are chains that tie you down, and not a sanctuary to lift you up, then refuse to feel stuck. Explore your options. It is never going to be easier "tomorrow" if you keep putting it off.
Don't abandon your house and mortgage of course, and don't be a squatter waiting around for an eviction notice. Make a choice to work hard to change the situation you're in. If you feel overwhelmed, try breaking your options down to the most tiny, basic tasks you can think of. If you are stressed because you can't sell your house because it needs work, then get to work! If money is tight, then it is time to reevaluate your life, be honest with yourself about where your money is going and if that is more important than creating a home you love.
Many of us find it easier to care for others than ourselves, but showing the ones we love that they can be happier starts with each of us proving it to ourselves first. No matter how much you talk about fixing up and selling the house and getting the hell out of there, it won't mean anything to yourself or those witnessing your journey until you finally stop the cycle of excuses and ask yourself honestly, is there more I could be doing to get where I want to be?
So many unhappy people in our culture wouldn't believe a life outside of slavery to money is possible, until they see others doing it. I didn't believe there was anything more important in the world than having a job that made the most money for my education, until I discovered something more fulfilling than securing a house full of stuff. That something was the freedom to find happiness my own way.
We don't know what we are capable of until we don't allow ourselves another choice. A few words that always motivate me when I get to couch-potatoing is
"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"
Let that sink in.
Begin allowing yourself to think about this idea during the little tasks of life and watch how much your attitude, motivation, and belief that you won't screw it all up matters to your success. Keep thinking there is nothing you can do to improve your life and you will never see a brighter day than this one. But take a chance by going for everything you believe in, and you will change your life more than you imagined possible.
You will not always be graceful. You will fall, and you will inevitably be met with the pain of unsuccessful moments, but the more you remember that not everything is going to be perfect, the deeper you can accept and embrace your broken moments as beautiful lessons to learn from, making you that much closer to finding the true path you long to live by.
Now go! Go forward knowing you are a beautifully flawed human being just like everyone else, and you are just as capable as the most amazing people you've ever admired. Imagine how satisfying it would feel to lunge after everything you've ever dreamed of.