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Inspiration

Making Time to Do What You Love

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Chapter Seven

Finding A Way to Do What You Love

As far as I see it, people are blessed with different things.  Some people are blessed with financial abundance, some with audacity to raise the needed funds for a project, and others with the spirit to find a way to bring their passion to life.  It comes down to time and resources, and some people have more of one than the other.  

What are you rich in?  Do you have all the time in the world but little money?  Then work with your resources in a smart way to do what you love.  If you have a lot of money but very little time, then it’s important to create snippets of time for those things you love.

Some ways to create more money are to sell some of your possessions to buy things you need for a new hobby, or hold a garage sale and set aside the money you make just to put towards some new adventures.  Or you could use what you have on hand and start out with a very limited amount of supplies.  If you are short on time, maybe you can cut back on the time you spend vegging online, or work on your passions over your breaks at work.  Where there is a will there is a way, and I do believe that if you meet the Universe half way it will always provide what you need.

Beginner’s Mind and Mindfulness

“Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.”  It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.”-Wikipedia

Having beginner’s mind is so important when you are leading a life of passion.  Perhaps you have been doing what you do for a really long time, and you do love it but you just get bored with the same old.  

Beginner’s Mind asks you to see the things you do in a new way, and to approach your passions like a beginner no matter how advanced you get.  There is a continual process of trying something, learning all you can, getting better at that thing, and at some point the plateau hits.  During those times it might seem like your hobby is no longer inspiring or you might be tempted to throw in the towel.  Just like the seasons, it is natural to come to this place.  It gives you a chance to reinvent what you are doing and come to your passion anew over and over again.

In my own life I am always a student!  I love to begin over and over again, it has become a way of life for me.  Every time I come to the canvas I approach it in a fresh way.  I try not to get too stuck in one way of doing things, and I will forever be learning new things and growing.  That way the things I’m passionate about become richer and attain more depth over time.

There is another concept that stems from Buddhism, called “Mindfulness”.  Being mindful is a practice of presence, and it truly enriches your life! Using mindful awareness on even the most minute activities and details of your day, you can use your senses to really experience those moments they become a source of great joy and comfort.  Mindfulness can turn any activity into an amazing adventure, when you really savor and experience every aspect of an experience. 

Trying out new things to figure out what lights you up is the perfect opportunity to really get into the moment.  Really savor being a beginner, because just like romantic relationships, the beginning can be full of fireworks and sizzle!  Seize the day and really get into your hobbies, let passion steer your ship.  Then as you progress through the years try to channel beginner’s mind and mindfulness into your passions and your love will only deepen for the things you do.  In time you will even surpass mastery and reach the point of bliss where you are free to begin again each time you show up at that canvas.

When you get in the flow doing what you love, you will know that you have discovered your passion!  Time flies by and suddenly hours have gone by.  Life becomes a journey instead of drudgery because you have something to do that brings you joy. 

Add Some Wood to the Fire

It takes discipline to get good at something, and even more discipline just to show up and keep stoking those coals.  Creating a daily or near every day practice of working with your passions adds fuel to the fire and gets you knee deep into those things you love.

Some of the projects I work on are more ongoing, like sewing a quilt takes time.  So those things I tend to work on here and there when I’m in the mood.  My art practice is something I try to show up for every single day.  I can skip days here or there but if I go too long without painting I wind up wondering why paint in the first place.  It can be a constant uphill battle to do what you are passionate about if you don’t devote regular time and space for those passions.  What I’ve discovered with my creative hobbies is the more I show up, even when I don’t feel like it, if I just show up at the canvas magic happens.  When I’m not in a good mood I paint that on my page!  And when I feel like giving up I switch to something else until I work through that feeling.

Even carving out five minutes a day to doing research, looking at supplies, or even visualizing yourself doing what you love can make a huge difference.  When you can devote even small amounts of time each day to involvement in the things you care about, in time those efforts snowball into a hobby that you get really stinking good at!

Journal Prompts

1.     Are there small chunks of time that you can devote each day to your passion?  Block off time in your calender to fit in more of what you love.  Try creating a list, and document how you spend your time for even a few days.  You will begin to notice that there is time being spent on things that sap your energy or that don’t really add too much to the quality of life.  Those are the times that you should try to swap in your passion projects.

2.    What do you love to do but never seem to make time for?  Jot down your reasons for not making time and then come up with some solutions to change.

3.    Sit down for a few minutes and journal about how your perfect day would go!  How would you spend your time, who would you hang out with?  This is a great exercise to figure out what your ideal day would look like.  Then add elements to that vision in your planner!  Look for ways to bring the vision into your everyday life.