Are You Living Your Dream?
Do you feel it?
The sensation is hard to describe. A spiritual energy boost pumps through your veins, usually triggered by talking to interesting people, reading a thought-provoking quotation, or admiring an awesome landscape.
An orchid's delicate lines inspires a photographer to get out her camera for a few shots. A harrowing rock-climbing experience inspires a writer to record the details in words. Splashes of color in a field of wildflowers inspires a painter to set up his canvas. This energizing effect prompts you to do what you're here on this earth to do.
You love to create--not because you made an effort to love creating, but because it's your heart's desire. You don't decide to feel your soul stir as you sketch or sew or bake your famous apple strudel, and you can't fool yourself or anyone else by pretending. You can't make music that moves a crowd of people if it doesn't inspire you first.
Inspiration Is Within You
You can try to create without inspiration where it doesn't exist, but your creation will fall flat in its emptiness. You can't give it away if you don't have it.
So how do you find inspiration? How do you unleash your passion when you don't even know what it is?
Your dreams tell you the answer. What are your gifts? What do you love to do? Pay attention to what stirs your soul. The sparks are there inside you, waiting to be fanned into flames.
When you discover your passion--when the fog clears revealing your dreams--use your discoveries to serve others. Use your gifts to inspire, to make the world a better place.
What About You?
Are you following your passion?
Your Purpose Is to Serve
Let's say you love to garden. You and your family put together the most amazing English flower garden, and you're inspired to share your creation. So you take some photos, get behind your keyboard, and share this beautiful experience that is your family's flower garden.
You write about how proud your daughter was when she built a birdhouse from scratch and hung it on the tree all by herself. You write about the mosaic stepping stones you all decorated one rainy afternoon. You write about the show you saw on HGTV that provided ideas for the color scheme.
It doesn't matter if it's a book or an article or a blog. Your inspiration shines through your words, inspiring others to create their own experiences with nature. Or maybe they're not interested in gardening, but are inspired to start a project with their own families. Or perhaps they are simply inspired by the love that surrounds each word.
Look at that! You're serving others just by doing what you love, by using your gifts. Your inspiration, your love of family and nature, blessed your words. And it wasn't even a chore.
So your purpose in life is to serve others. It's where your passion lives. And if you're doing something that sucks and you hate it? It's not your passion or your purpose. If you're not inspired, you're not inspiring others. Everyone becomes a dying ember.
Alice Walker said, "Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming". What is the future you are dreaming? If you're like most of us, it involves financial stability. But living the life you've dreamed of isn't just about money. If that were the case, Hollywood and New York City would be two of the happiest places on earth, and actors wouldn't be dying from drug overdoses.
We need more. We need fulfillment. Contentment. Peace of mind. Inspiration.
Take a Few Moments to Meditate on What You're Grateful For
Make Gratitude a Habit
Are you having a tough time getting a glimpse of your dreams? A lack of gratitude is a sure way to miss out on the inspiration that's buried under a pile of worries and frustrations and busyness.
Uncover it through an expression of gratitude. I started a habit of waking up each morning saying thank you. Thank you for my breath, my heartbeat, my girls' morning smiles. Stir up grateful feelings by giving thanks for your toothbrush, the coffee-maker, and your favorite dish.
Sounds silly? That's because we take these things for granted. Don't underestimate this life-changing habit. The cobwebs will give way to the dreams of your youth, before the painful experiences of life buried them.
Take the first step in working toward your dreams. Serve others by doing what you love. Look for opportunities to inspire and become inspired. From small beginnings come great things: write a page about the day you met your true love; take photos of your neighbor's roses; sketch your cat as she sleeps on the windowsill.
Grab that hammer and start laying the foundation to your dreams.
A Quick Postscript
You might think this idea of pursuing dreams is frivolous and unnecessary. But think about it: what would the world would be like if we all lived dream-building lives, using our talents and passions to serve one another with joy?