What moves you? I'm not talking about what makes you tear up and get emotional (although that's not a bad topic to ponder). I'm talking about what puts you in motion. Have you ever stopped to think about that?
I think that there are really two types of movement for people in life -- moving away from something, and moving towards something. You may be doing just one of these or a combination of both. And, you've likely been moved by different things at different times of your life.
Let's unpack this a bit. If you're moving away from something, that comes from a place of fear. I've been there. I was trying to be a great mother, have a clean house, climb the corporate ladder -- all because I was trying to avoid being seen as an imposter, or worse, judged for my insufficiencies. It's not a fun way to live (if you can call it living). Moving from one thing to the next, always staying busy, worrying, being anxious all the time.
On the other hand, if you're moving toward something, you're motivation comes from a place of abundance and endless possibilities. It's a completely different feeling and, because there is no end to what you can do and achieve. You let go of the outcome and start to become curious about where things will lead without feeling like you have to control what happens. It's incredibly freeing to come to this point.
When I was in the state of mind of moving away, I felt like I was spending my life looking over my shoulder to see if I was staying ahead of what I can only call the 'boogie man of perfection'. Always avoiding something and moving away from a negative outcome, a nasty judgement, a loss of any kind, and a sense of failure.
I couldn't sustain this pace of always trying to avoid a disaster, so I set out to change. And, I remember the exact moment when things started to shift. I was at a corporate retreat and on one of the breaks, I went back to my room to meditate. I was just starting to practice meditation and one of the things that the meditation leader said was to 'plant the seed of your potential in the universe and the universe will take care of the outcome'. I could so clearly see this seed out in space just starting to take root. I put my faith in this and believed that my destiny would somehow, come to me. It was incredibly difficult to let go of this and just believe, but that's what I did. And, so the journey began for me to begin moving towards something. This was a more hopeful way to live and one that didn't require anxiety as fuel for efforts. In fact, I actually think I had withdrawal from anxiety for a while and everything just felt so flat and uneventful without the anxiety-induced adrenaline.
If you bring forth what is within you it will save you. If you do not, it will destroy you.
But, just like the meditation leader said, my life began to change in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways and I feel very much like the last 8 years have been spent chipping away at the fear that had such a grip on me. Some are like giant strips pulling away, (my divorce, layoff from my job and failed business venture). Others are thin veneers that just kind of chip off in small pieces. These are the beliefs that I have been carrying around with me from childhood -- the messages I received, beliefs I formed and my own interpretation of what the would 'should' be. It's all a false narrative but something that's been so conditioned into me, and I believe many others share a similar story.
So, I go back to my first question -- what moves you? Are you moving away from something? If so, can you recognize it? Once you can recognize what's motivating you, you can begin to make the shift to moving towards something -- something bigger than you and something that expands who you are. Go where you feel the most energy and sit with that for a while. Don't worry too much about whether it's your calling or not, just pay attention to what gives you energy. That's all you need to know about what you need to do next. The ideas will come and you will find your path, you just have to stop running long enough to let it catch up to you.
Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.
~John de Paola