If I’m being totally honest, I have spent a good portion of the last five years feeling not totally clear on my path and purpose. And with each passing week/month/year it feels as if the stakes inch a little bigger. It is easy to get caught in the imaginary vortex of the giant task of “finding my life’s purpose” or “doing what I was meant to do” on this earth. As if it wasn’t challenging enough to just water my plants and myself enough to stay alive.
A word hit me today, reading the book Heart Boss by my own friend, Regan Walsh. [You must get a copy] The very moment I met Regan I knew she was my people. The book does not disappoint.
Fuel. It was the exact word I needed.
It wasn’t even her main point, but there it was like a flower growing through the concrete cracks waiting for me to pluck it.
I am the type of person who very much needs meaning and purpose in my work. It is like oxygen to me. If I am doing work that doesn’t have meaning or purpose for me, my soul will shrivel up and die. So, you can see why spending time [5 years?!] questioning my meaning and purpose can begin to feel like an unmanageable albatross. It’s to the point that finding my passion or purpose feels overwhelming and unattainable. And while I know that story isn’t true, it’s time to take the stakes down a notch.
What if I was asking the wrong question? Instead of looking for the very large “purpose” I am chasing, I am trying a different inquiry for now. What fuels me?
Looking for what fuels me seems much more attainable. Less absolute black or white, win or fail. Just putting gas in the tank. Food in the body. Necessary and useful; mundane even. Giant goals of “passion” or “purpose” get to take a break for a minute. As someone who has been working intentionally on being content with “what is,” this mindset shift feels like a giant relief. As if I can honor the joy of the present and “what is” by looking out for what fuels me right now.
If I take this theme even further, I want to consider what sources of fuel provide me with self-sustaining energy sources. Ones that will grow and replenish over and over without depleting resources. When I get back into my rocket ship on the quest for the far-off galaxies of “passion” and “purpose” I will have a full tank.
To be clear there is nothing wrong with seeking your passion or purpose. I am a life-long seeker. I just need a little break, a vacation in the present moment. And I am giving myself the permission to take it.
I’ll be over here finding my fuel, optimizing it, making sure not to waste it on stupid shit, and above all using it to roll forward.
As for keeping my plants watered, there is no hope. Better luck next year.