Why Living Our Dreams is Less Work, More Play
CLEAR SKY, FUZZY HEAD
The sky was clear, the sun was rising, and I was charging over the Granville Street Bridge, pony tail bouncing, shoes click-clacking: purposeful, determined, energized—and confused.
The little things count. Everything we do or dedicate our intention towards matters. Especially when we’re living a dream. As ease-full as it can be to walk our dharma, or reason for being on this planet, life can get incredibly jam-packed once we do. I’m at the point where I need to make smart, intuitive choices about where to direct my energy. Does it serve my greater purpose? Does it serve the world?
And I wasn’t feeling a rock-solid ‘yes’ about where I was headed that morning—to a networking meeting. The people are great. The process is fun and even entertaining. But it’s also draining. I come home, having risen an hour and half earlier than usual (and even then my morning peace + power practice is truncated), superficially jazzed but internally drained. I crave a nap almost immediately.
THE PEAK OF CLARITY
So as I crested the peak of the bridge on my trek downtown I sent out a little request to the universe, something I worded as generally as possible, knowing it was actually about this one specific thing: “Please guide me. Help me know what steps to take.” The messaging was an arrow straight to the center of my chest: “Turn around and go home, Lindsey. Rest.” My entire body felt it; my shoulders dropped away from my ears, my chest opened up, my steps slowed, and I felt a softening everywhere. It resonated deeply.
But did I listen? Nope. I squared my shoulders, lengthened my stride, checked the clock on my cell phone and went to the meeting.
SOCIAL PROGRAMMING AND OUR SOUL
Social programming isn’t easily overridden. It takes practice. In order to get where we want to go we have to “Get up earlier, achieve more, do more, be more, stand out, work harder, work harder, work harder”. Right? I’ve been championing this for years. There are many instances where this state of mind pays off.
There is one where it doesn’t: When it comes to living our purpose in this life; when it comes to living our truest, most rewarding, abundant lives. Walking down this path does not feel like work. Walking down this path feels more like play. It feels easy. It feels natural. It feels right. Our bodies soften, our minds let go, we begin to breathe more deeply, smile more widely, and—surprisingly—get more done.
“In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added. In the pursuit of enlightenment, every day something is dropped. Less and less do you need to force things, until you arrive at non-action. When nothing is done, nothing remains undone.” Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
EFFORT VS. EASE
Since I made the leap to follow my heart and live my calling, every one of my greatest “successes”—in the traditional Western society sense of the term—has come to me. Every one of my greatest achievements, those events that made other people go, “Oh, wow, that’s so cool, wish I could do that,” has been easy. They’ve felt like play. Not because I’m outstanding, or better than anyone else. Because I am beginning to fully understand who I am and why I’m here, and I’m starting to step up in the world and play that role. Doing this is a little scary at times, but mostly feels like a great ocean of relief. Hanging on to who I wasn’t was harder than accepting who I am.
It’s not that it doesn’t take work. It’s not that it doesn’t take commitment. It’s not that we never feel afraid or insecure. In fact, it might always feel like just a little too much. But the little things that make up the little too much will each feel pretty wonderful.
So I’m noticing this today, making it a conscious practice, and inviting you to do the same: “Go home. Rest.” And when we get the invitation to come out and play again—do it with gusto.