Finding that “thing”

We all want to find that one thing we’re good at. That alignment between our persona; mission and work that is fulfilling. But you know what? Chances are we’re not the first person to have done it. There’s been a lot of people doing a lot of things throughout history. Even now, nearing 8 billion people, there are only so many “things” that can be done.

But no one can do your thing like you can. No one has the same you-ness that makes your contribution value. Not finding it, that deprives the world of what you were here to offer.

As Marianne Williamson wrote in A Return to Love: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”


Track the positivity

There’s some terrible stuff out there. This virus is just the latest in a string of negatives that link throughout history. At the same time, there are a number of voices railing against the negativity, offering positivity, an upbeat message, and even, if you’re open to it, hope.

Find the positive messages in the world. Take control of your emotion, and be hopeful. It’ll get better. And just maybe, we’ll have a better frame of reference for the next downswing we experience.

Give yourself time

For some of us, now is a perfect time to, well, take our time. Perhaps rather than binging another show, and even in lieu of reading (but not all day – just for a bit), listen to an album. I’m a long way from my record player, but I have albums on my computer. There’s also YouTube, where you can find just about anything.

In The Artist’s Way, this was one of the tasks in a later chapter of the book. Julia Cameron recommended doodling while you listen. Let your mind wander. Listen, relax, and consume the album from start to finish.

As the days get longer

There’s magic in the coming spring. We can sense the Earth preparing for the warming weather; the ground softening, the ice thawing, and the foliage preparing to bloom.

There are experiences that a human can lose touch with. Not many tend to a garden anymore or spend enough time in nature. It’s all work, fifty weeks a year, with hopefully two for vacation. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, but the average is about right there.

But right now, when life the Nation is facing a bit of a crisis, and nothing seems to make sense, it’s good to remember to make time. Make time for the experiences that we might miss if we just plow through the day.

The Search

“I hope you find what you’re looking for.” That’s what I was told several weeks ago while having brunch.

“I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

The sentiment keeps ringing in my ears, calling to my deeper instincts. It’s three parts:

  1. A wish for something, such as a favorable outcome.
  2. An acknowledgment of longing, of something that is missing.
  3. The promise of a search.

It’s my belief that we’re all looking for something. The ones who can put a name to it are more likely to find it. Yet, sometimes, a name isn’t to be had. If only a name was known, then the quest would be easy.

It’s not always easy. And it’s not always fruitful. But it’s always important.

Returning to simplicity

“On a basic level, there are three general methods to simplifying your life: stopping expansion, reining in your routine, and reducing clutter.”

– Rolf Potts, Vagabonding

Long before I discovered minimalism or the Kondo-method, there was a book I had read discussing the hows and whys of long-term travel. And I wasn’t ready for it when I first read it, back in 2003. The world was where I’d wanted to be, but I had a lot holding me back. It wasn’t until 2016 that I took significant steps toward making the dream of long-term world travel a reality.

Still, I combat the clutter and spending in my life. Having finished Strayed’s Wild, a portion of me wants to rid myself of nearly all my things, the bulk of which are already in a storage unit. She burned books after she read them, nightly, lightening the load of her pack to make walking just a tad easier.

We’ve all moved, and know that each time we lift that heavy piece of furniture we think that next time it’s not coming with us. But what about the smaller pieces, the things that don’t add value to our life anymore – things we just carry out of familiarity? Wouldn’t moving on be easier without them?

Maybe they’re not all material. Maybe some things we carry our internal – things that don’t serve us. Maybe those are the most important things to let go of…