Do What You Love. How many times have you heard that directive?! But “do what you love” can mean so much more, and at the same time can be so much simpler than the current Self-Help-Speak definition, namely: engaging in The One Activity we feel is our soul’s “Passion,” (extra points for doing it as our primary occupation!). Aaaaaak! Sure, doing work we love can be a biggie and is super important, but if you’re feeling pressure around all that (and who isn’t? What is it that I love? I must figure it out!!!! I’m wasting my life!!!); cease and desist! Know that doing what you love is really just that: doing what you love. Say it slowly out loud and let its essence float up–let it mean what it means on the simplest level. It’s a light idea–take the heaviness out of it–think real whipped cream and pastel shades of dawn: “do what you love.” Ahhhh. Feels better, right? Not yet? Read on:
In everything, not just The One Thing (Art, Music, Writing…heavy heavy heavy), do what you love. When you’re doing what you love, you’re being you, which is what makes it so important. We are meant to be the real us! We’re yearning to be us! And this is how we do it; by authentically doing what we love every day. Luxuriating in hot showers, pondering cloud formations, wearing that perfect lipstick–yes; but listing activities is also missing the point. Doing what you love just means following that feeling of rightness. Doing what’s fun, doing what’s good, as dictated by your Inner Guidance System.
I’m not just referring necessarily to events we write on our calendar, or clubs we join, or happy-sappy things like going to the spa, wearing non-matching stripey socks or whistling Sound of Music medleys (not that there’s anything wrong with those…); it’s choosing, every chance you get (which means whenever you’re aware of it), to do what feels right and what you enjoy (why is this such a foreign concept to the majority of us??) It’s following your gut. Maybe it’s spending an hour on the phone with your niece when she’s down, or pulling weeds for a neighbor, or really having a good cry. Sometimes it feels really right to sit down with the bills you’ve been avoiding. No story around it, no drama, just doing something because it feels right (and by “right,” btw, I do not necessarily mean “The Right Thing To Do”–morally or otherwise–I mean right for you). It’s not just Big Things, or little things. It’s ALL things, as many as possible, all the time; it’s connecting with and allowing ourselves to experience the feeling of love in everything–in thoughts, in actions…it’s difficult to explain, and yet such a very simple concept.
What about the stuff we just DON’T love to do? See if you can transform it something you enjoy on some level: play! One of my favorites is donning fake prescription librarian glasses and doing my bills as “The Overly-Comptetant Accountant.” How about pouring yourself a cup of tea and putting on some music you love while tallying receipts,or inviting a friend over to yap while you mend socks (does anyone mend socks anymore, though, really?). At the very least, check items off on notepaper you love with your favorite pen. Trade a friend a chore you dislike for one of theirs; it’s astonishing how organizing a friend’s closet can actually be really fun, while organizing your own is somehow Hell on Earth. Almost everything dull becomes lighter when you do it with someone you like. Some things you’ll find just don’t really need doing at all; junk them. Definitely junk all things you feel like you SHOULD do to impress someone else but don’t really care about yourself–your time is precious–they can deal with the dust on your windowsill (mostly no one really cares about that stuff anyway, and if they do, do YOU care that THEY care?? You’ll do it when you feel like it, or not). If all else fails (or do this first-off), change your perspective and experience the joy in doing stuff just because we’re alive. I know, easier said than done, but do-able!!
Doing What We Love: we want to define it, monetize it, constrain it, and read books about it. We want to Figure It Out–No. Just stop. It’s way easier than that. Allow whatever pressure you might be feeling around that phrase melt away forever. Just do this: whatever you’re doing, make the love choice, the happy choice, the YOU choice; it’s why we’re here–to be us–and we only discover who that us fully is when we allow ourselves to follow and enjoy the feelings of “I LOVE this!”–it’s what makes us available to others, what allows us to authentically share interactions, it’s what makes us really present, do good work, and what makes us US. This is one of those “What Life is All About” things. Just do what you love.