I was reading an article on Bhakti yoga recently. And in it they talked about our mission in life being the thing we loved most as a child. This idea that what we enjoyed as childsplay was probably more in tune to the real authentic us, than what we have become today, through education, culture, and family conditioning.
Looking back, it is clear to me that there is indeed some truth to be explored in this notion of childhood pastimes. I for one, was always making up elaborate tales with my dolls, writing stories, and reading books. One of my favourite first toys was a book. I could not get enough of playing with my imagination and make believe. It is no surprise that even now, writing is the thing I come back to time, and time again.
My father is a journalist so writing has always been in the family. I left school wanting to act, which in a way is another form of story telling, but I went down the reading and writing route studying English Literature at University.
It seems to me now, that no matter how far off the path we lead ourselves, life has a funny way of bringing us back to our truth.
It is no surprise I have created several blogs over the years. The first one on food and art was a success, but as with most things I pick up, I tend to lose interest over time. I have always been the sucker for shiny new things, from projects, to hobbies, to boys hah! I have become acutely aware of this tendency. And although I do have an air of non-commitment about me, I do believe that If you find your calling in life, you won’t be afraid to put in the hard work.
As I sit here and write this article, I think to myself. How can I bring back that child like play to all the tasks that I do. In spiritual texts like the Bhagavad Gita they say that our ultimate goal is to remain detached to any outcome.
“Therefore, only those who act without being attached to the fruits of his action, but as a matter of performing his duty, can attain the Supreme.” (Bhagavad Gita 3.19)
I’m sure many of you will agree, that employment has often felt like a lot of hard work, for very little return (outside of our monthly salary). But my question to you is, does it have to be this way? Can’t we have both? Do we not deserve to all love the jobs we’re in. Is it wrong to be so excited to get up in the morning and do what we do. So much so that commitment-phobes like me will even be able to push through their resistance for the long game.
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Mark Twain
I believe that we all have a unique reason for being. And no it doesn’t have to be as ‘spiritual’ or grandiose as some. Perhaps you want to simply bake, or clean, or you love to draw. If that is what truly fulfils you, then why you can’t you earn money doing it too.
I think we’re so wrapped up with what others would say, or how we would be perceived that we’re too afraid to follow our calling. I have been asking several friends what they used to love doing as children. Funnily enough many of them are already starting to make that shift back in that direction. Some not, because of a fear that stops them from taking that leap. And others because they don’t connect with that and work. And all of it is completely fine.
It takes guts, courage, and a dash of insanity to leave the security of a 9-5pm job. I can assure you it does get easier however. I believe that the more you take a risk in life, the more life supports you.
“This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.” Terence Mckenna
Life loves courage. And it does take courage to break away from the pack because of a dream. Society, especially in cities like London doesn’t make it any easier.
I think ultimately it always has to come down to our intuition. If your intuition is guiding you to do something, then there must be a reason for it. Often it can makes no sense to the logical and rational mind. And yes sometimes our intuition can be wrong, but equally so can our mind.
“The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.” Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
I have made my biggest decisions in life, by visualising myself in a future timeline. Imagining life at 75 or 80, or when I’m on my death bed has helped me make some of the toughest choices seem much easier, and manageable. If there is any chance I will look back on my life with any regret for my current experience, then I know that it is time for change.
I think it is only through my awareness of death that I can make choices that truly serve my life in the now. Yes I have definitely made mistakes, and I still do. But this is all part of the journey. For every mistake I make it can be a lesson for someone else. It can serve something greater than myself, and that to me is what life is all about.
So challenge yourself. Think back to what you used to love doing as a kid. Do you make room for any of it in your life today? If not, why not re-introduce a daily or weekly practise? Even if it’s only 30 minutes a week of childsplay, It’s a step in the right direction.