If I could let you know one thing about me, it’s that
“I want you to love the life you’re living.”
You see, I know that our bodies are wired for joy and resilience. I know that our minds are designed for calm and clarity, that peace begins within each of us and,
I know that you can love your life.
In this article, I’ll share some of my own experiences and insights that have helped me love my life and myself. I hope this will help you find your own way and keep at it.
Before we get going, I’d like to ask you a few questions that I love asking my clients.
1. What would a life you love living look and feel like?
2. How would you know you’re living a life you love?
3. What do you perceive as stopping you?
Take a few minutes to sit with these and then come back to them a little while later.
Now, let’s fall in love with life!
Earlier today I was sent this quote:
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you truly love. It will not lead you astray.” Rumi
It reminded me of another quote by Rumi that gave me permission to BE ME many years ago. It goes like this:
“Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Rumi
As I write this, many years later, I’m in England, house and dog sitting with a dear friend and work partner. We’ve called our tour of England and Europe “180 Days of Miracles”. We don’t know where this will take us, who we’ll meet or what adventures we’ll have. We have some things lined up along the way but most of it is a mystery to us. We know that we’ll continue to offer transformational coaching services and connect with anyone interested in having miracles in their life, but we don’t know what exactly that will look like.
Right now, this is how I live a life I love. I follow the “stronger pull” and the "beauty" of what I love. They are my compass and guide along the way.
To me, life is an adventure and a love affair. It’s not always easy. Sometimes I freak out and lose my cool, I might feel lost, fearful and disoriented but, I recently heard someone say, “Without fear, there is no adventure”. I don’t let the fear stop me and that allows me to have many wonderful adventures.
I didn’t get here by doing life in a conventional way. Of course I did have jobs, kids, a marriage, mortgage, car payments and all those things. But, my guiding light always led me to follow the beauty I loved. I never did “normal” because Rumi’s advice made more sense to me and taught me to trust my instincts.
Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:
#1. Ask “What do I love?” then go do it. You’re not alone if this is a totally foreign concept for you. I’ve worked with so many people that have no idea where to begin with this. They don’t know what they like or what they would want to try.
Asking “What do I love?” led me to study, study, study and create, create, create. I studied every healing and transformational modality that caught my interest. I read loads of books, took a ton of classes and worked with anyone who valued my skills and teachings. I also have a long list of creative and cultural interests from pottery to language studies, set dancing to choirs that keep me feeling inspired and connected.
This kind of living has led me here. I see something that interests me and I find a way to explore it. I often share what I’ve learned with others so they can benefit as well. I love this way of life! I love the adventure and relationships I create along the way and I also love working with people who are ready to find their own wellspring of joy and inspired purpose. I can’t imagine a more fulfilling vocation.
If you’re hesitant, my advice to you is just start trying small things and see what appeals and what doesn’t. My second bit of advice is, approach it from a place of curiosity and don’t get attached to the outcome. Curiosity will guide you.
If you don’t find anything you like, I suspect something else is going on and there’s an opportunity to mend some hurts left behind from previous experiences. Be gentle with yourself and find someone who can help guide you through this healing process.
If you get stuck at the “go do it” part because of some sort of obstacle, the shortest route to overcoming this is to…
#2. Decide that one way or another this is going to happen. Start researching, asking around and making plans. Save your money, get a side hustle if you need to raise funds (babysit, bake bread, bartend…anything safe and legal to finance your curiosity). Let nothing get in the way! Even if you just dip your toes or do it on a small scale at first. The money, resources and opportunities will start to show up in unexpected ways.
Here’s an example from my life:
I now create massive stained glass windows. This requires a large amount of materials, expense and skill that I didn’t have when I started. My first projects were with 8x10 sheets of plexiglass, clear silicone and coloured glass beads. I still have those little creations. They cost a couple of dollars to make but were what led to what I do now.
Eventually I took a class and made my first small project. Next I used Christmas and birthday money to buy some supplies. I also discovered that I could purchase scraps and cutoffs from the local stained glass store for a small cost. Then when I made my first project or two and posted pictures of them on Facebook, people started offering me glass that they had sitting around. I eventually had window frames and all sorts of other supplies given to me. Now I have enough to fill a small trailer and most of it was gifted to me. I would have continued to make stained glass windows regardless, but it was my determination that attracted the support I got.
Here’s another thing I’ve discovered:
#3. Life isn’t linear, it’s messy. Stop trying to make it neat and tidy! There is no direct route to where you want to go. The heart leads us on a zig zag path of discovery and exploration. There will be bumps and bruises along the way, and those too are gifts.
It’s as though tacking back and forth like a sailboat on the open water is built into the process as a way to more fully prepare us for our destination. That’s just how it is. Do your best to find a way to enjoy this meandering route. It will serve you in the end. Like anything in nature, it’ll flower at it’s own time given the conditions it’s exposed to. You have some influence over this but not complete control so just let it run its course.
#4. Stop trying to get it right. There is no “right or wrong” way of doing things. There may be a better, kinder, gentler way but each way has its advantages. You will learn and grow regardless of which way you do it.
#5. Let go of what weighs you down and know that life will support you. Forgiveness is in our best interest as is a belief that the world is conspiring in our favour. I would rather move forward joyfully than be held back by hurts and limiting beliefs so I seek out teachings and practices that help me let go of the heaviness and repair my psyche. It makes life far more enjoyable and lets things move faster. This was tricky at first and there are times when it still feels difficult. After a while something clicks in place and the process becomes more intuitive.
#6. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude and find the good in people and situations even if it feels like a stretch at first. My bet would be that if you could create a graph that shows the relationship between gratitude and contentment, the numbers would speak for themselves. Like in all things, where attention goes, energy flows. So if we place our attention on what we’re unhappy about, we get more of that. If we place our attention on what we’re grateful for, we get more to be grateful for.
Here’s an example of how I see the universe working:
Have you ever given someone a gift that you thought was really special but their lack of enthusiasm was so disappointing for you? When that happens you might vow to never give them anything again. My sense is that the universe feels the same way. But, if we’re given a small gift and our response is to be lit up and overjoyed, life seems to want to keep giving to us. More and more and more.
Don’t do gratitude because it means you’re a better person, do it because it works in your favour. Gratitude in and of itself feels really good and feeling good is its own reward.
#7. Give thanks for the things you don’t yet have. Try this as an experiment and see what happens. Don’t sit around waiting for it to happen. Think of it as a parcel in the mail that will be delivered at some unspecified time and in an unspecified way. Give thanks for love, kindness, laughter and opportunities that haven’t yet shown up. This will speed the process and allow miracles to start to flow.
#8. Laugh whenever you get the chance. Learn to find humour everywhere. We can laugh at jokes and comedy but we can also laugh when things go wrong. Laughing makes me feel good and helps me to lighten up when I make a mistake or something isn’t working. I might still be frustrated, but I laugh regardless.
#9. Do less of what you don’t enjoy, more of what you do enjoy. Find some things you don’t enjoy that you can start saying “no” to even if they’re small. There will always be things we have to do that aren’t really fun so reduce what you can that isn’t fun and try to enjoy the rest of it as much as possible.
I’ve found that most times when someone changes plans or cancels, there’s something else I’d rather do anyway. Try saying “no” rather than keeping commitments that drain you and see what happens. It might be just the gift the other people needed but couldn’t ask for.
#10. Let your life be unique to you. People may not get you or why you do things the way you do. That’s a pretty good indication that you’re doing what makes sense to you and that’s awesome. The more okay you are with you and your process, the more others will be too. That’s just how it works. If someone has a problem with how you live, that’s unfortunate but not yours to fix. Empower them by setting an example of a life lived in joy and harmony.
#11. You’re probably not as hopeless as you think. Focus more on what you’re doing well or what’s going well than on what isn’t. Often the first place I start with new clients is finding where they’re already doing what they say they want to be doing. For example, if they say, “I want to be more resilient”, we look for places where they’re already resilient. Then we build on that. It starts by showing them that they have a reference point and it gives them the confidence to go deeper with it.
#12. Lead from your heart. The more you come from your heart, the more you’ll connect with others and find a deeper love for all of life and living. Speak from your heart to theirs. Be generous. Allow them to find their own way. And when all else fails, ask, “What would love do?”
Let’s come back to the quote that inspired this whole train of thought:
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you truly love. It will not lead you astray.” Rumi
To me the words “silent” and “stronger” stand out. Finding direction, following intuition and being guided are generally subtle nudges that can easily be missed or dismissed. When you tune in, you’ll find that what you love pulls you more than what you don’t love.
My hope for you is that you start allowing yourself to be curious and playful, have more fun and love much bigger. I hope that your heart opens and swells of love pour out for all things and beings. May you truly fall in love with Being You and living your life!
I’d like to leave you with one final quote that I love.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Here’s to coming alive and living an extraordinary life!
Darlene Tindall is a Transformational Life Coach, multi modality healer and teacher sewing the seeds of possibility far and wide. She is available in person or online for coaching, classes, private facilitation, energy work or yoga.