What makes you come alive?

Image from peaceandprojects.com

Don’t ask yourself what the World needs

Ask yourself what makes you come alive

And then go and do that

Because what the World needs

Is people who have come alive.

~ Howard Thurman

Last night I was talking to a friend about art.  It comes easily to her, and she’s so good at it – and getting better all the time. A sketch can pour out of her pen in under ten minutes.  A few more of those moments to shade in some colour and she’s done. When I met her she was writing.  She struggled with the flow of her writing, although she enjoyed it. But writing never lit her up the way art does.

Often the things that come most easily to us, the things that we enjoy and find rewarding are also the things we value least in ourselves, precisely because they DO come easily.

I have another friend who is totally passionate about restoring old cars. He’s an accountant by trade, and loathes his day job.  He only comes alive at weekends, when he’s out at swap meets or car shows, or tinkering in his back shed. People seek him out for his knowledge, and are constantly asking him if he’d custom-make items for them. He usually says no because he doesn’t have enough time to do their work and his own. He’d never consider leaving his day job. There’s a certain security for him in being an accountant, even though he hates every minute of it.

I made a discovery a few years ago.  Life is precious.  Life is also fragile.  We never know when this crazy wonderful ride might end.  We certainly can never be sure how much time we have left, or when something we value and take for granted might be taken away from us.

These days I live with some clear priorities in mind. I write.  A lot.  My blog, an assortment of book manuscripts, and my spiritual and psychic courses and workbooks. And I cook, hang out with the ones I love, and squeeze travel into the gaps.  All those things have made me come alive again, after feeling burned out and nearly dead for longer than I care to remember.

Sometimes I get to combine all the good things – travel to a cafe, be with people I love, eat tasty treats and drink tea, write!

So now I have three questions for you. It’s okay if you don’t have an answer straight away, although you might. Here they are:

What comes easily to you?

What are you naturally good at?

What do you enjoy more than anything in the world?

If you truly don’t know, ask the people who know you well.  Weirdly, the people we love can often see the things we are blind to. (You know it’s true!)

If you still can’t work it out then dedicate time to finding out – consider it your personal quest. Sometimes life and the thing that will make us come alive finds us!

 

Case in point: I have another friend who is a successful farmhouse cheese-maker.  He did a weekend cheese-making workshop back when he was a schoolteacher, at a time when he was feeling dissatisfied and directionless in his life.  That weekend changed his life. He found out that he loved the entire process of making cheese. (And he’d only taken the workshop to avoid a wedding he didn’t want to go to on the same weekend!) Over time he did more and more workshops, travelled overseas to learn about the art of cheese-making, and finally stepped away from his day job to follow his new-found passion.

Image from aoap.com.au

There is something in the world that makes you come alive.  There is something, that when you give it room in your life, will let you shine.

Find that thing. Live that thing. Life’s too short to waste it on pursuits that will never make you happy.

Image from indulgy.com

Attracting Inspiration and Opening to Abundance

This image by imagerymajestic

 “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

 

I truly believe that for each of us there is an idea, matched perfectly to our talents and gifts, that can help us to shine our Light in the world, and from which we can manifest abundance for ourselves. Today’s blog is really a response to reader questions that have arisen from a previous post:  When the Muse Whispers in My Ear.

Each of us usually has a glimmer of what our heart’s desire is – that thing we want to be, do or have. ( And when we have achieved or satisfied that, there will come another desire, for that is the nature of humanity…)

It can be anything, but let’s work with just one example. Trust that this information will work as easily and effectively for you in manifesting that inspiration that leads to abundance, as for the person for whom I’m creating the example.

My friend Kathy had this to say about the Muse Whispering in your Ear blog post:

ohhhh….I would so like to hear that whispering in my ear….I’m open hearted and waiting for an idea or suggestion that might be matched with my talents, purpose and dreams…….I’m ready and I’m waiting….with a hope-filled heart 

I really don’t know how to open to this sense…I tend to put forth effort and try, but sense that right now, that’s not the way to go….and I can’t seem to access “trying” anyway….I’m sensing that a more intuitive path is opening, but don’t have experience with it ….any suggestions or ideas?…

Sound familiar to any of you?

Kathy thought on this some more and then added:

I’m sensing that maybe I’d like to combine teaching, which I love, (I’m retiring from the official job of teaching in June, after 40 years ) with creating pages or something like that..but I don’t know quite what, where, who…etc…but I love teaching and I really really love creating the pages that I share on my blog…and helping people who are having a hard time…helping them out of the struggle, in whatever small ways I can…

So what can Kathy do?  What can YOU do to get into that place of flow, where things begin to come together for you, and a path becomes illuminated for you to follow?

Light Path image by dan

To start with, don’t force it! Come at it from a different angle, rather than from ‘trying’. Find that *glimmer* within.  Perhaps it’s teaching, or healing or helping in some way.  Maybe you are passionate about art or music or writing. It could be food or fabric or french provincial furniture.

How do you recognise it?  It will light you up on the inside, and you’ll feel your resistance melt away as you contemplate and appreciate that thing.

For Kathy, she knows that she loves teaching, writing, creating resources, helping people. That’s a great start. And when we find what we love doing, we can usually find a way to make money from that thing too.

But no big idea yet?  No clarity?

That’s okay.  The *glimmer* gives us something to work with.

Image from ohbytheway.blogspot

Begin by BEing happy. Live with gratitude and appreciation for the things in your life that you enjoy, especially when they relate to that *glimmer*.  For example, if you want to be a writer, open to the joy of the wonderful books you have read and how they made you feel. Explore book stores, not to be overwhelmed by how many people are already in print, but because you LOVE books and stories, and shops full of delicious reading adventures.

Find more of what excites you and be grateful for that. Involve yourself with thoughts and activities that align you with the things you love and can happily spend time doing.

Kathy can start by appreciating and reflecting on what she has loved about teaching. That will also give her clarity about what she doesn’t want (no nine to five for me anymore! – or similar). She can get excited about pages and resources she loves, and the people who create them.

All of this positive energy begins to make you magnetic to more energy just like it!

Kathy can appreciate blogs, and use that to begin clarifying what she likes and wants more of, and what she doesn’t like. Whose blogs are helpful to her? What does she like about them? What is she drawn to?

The more we honour, appreciate and are grateful for things, and the more we deposit positive energy into the Universal Bank Account, the more attractive and magnetic we become to aligned thoughts, ideas and opportunities.

Piggy Bank image by kongsky

If the Muse hasn’t whispered in your ear yet, it doesn’t mean she won’t! It just means that you’re not charged up enough yet. You are responsible for building that energy and enthusiasm.  Stay open.  Expect ideas to start coming but don’t be anxious about it. Don’t force it, or push yourself into feelings of panic or lack.

Understand that ideas will come from left field, and may not be what you had originally expected. A friend of mine who loves to quilt now teaches quilting classes and is about to open a shop dedicated to quilting and fabrics. She’d planned to make quilts for a living but this new business suits her skills much better and gives her that vital people contact she so enjoys. Another friend who enjoyed computers and programming, and has a natural gift for explaining complicated things in simple ways, has now been inspired to create an IT business where people come to your home to give you tuition in software and hardware, tailored to meet your needs.

I’ve created a simple five-minute guided meditation to help you open up to your own inspiration, flow and abundance.  All you need to do is listen with an open heart, and an open mind, expecting and allowing all good things to come your way.

Nicole Cody’s Guided Meditation for Inspiration and Abundance