We are told at such a young age that to get ahead in life, we gotta work hard and keep on trying. I grew up in a household that put a premium on hardship, that things should be painful and hard for it to matter. We need to sacrifice to achieve something. This has instilled in me a certain way of moving through life that is marked by a no pain no gain attitude. I see this in the various dimensions of my life – work, training and personal. But just going through each of these aspects in this manner is tiring. It is exhausting to just keep trying, stressing ourselves with every hustle.
It’s a good thing that I have my closest ones remind me that there is a different way where rest and enjoyment of life is as necessary as pounding the pavement everyday. Liz Gilbert in her podcast says it succinctly- giving ourselves the permission to do less. It is about deliberately slowing down to think through how we do things and why we do what we do. It is pausing to breathe a bit as we assess whether we are joyfully and delightfully living. It is stopping a bit in the midst of just ticking off our checklist of to do’s and maybe asking what we shouldn’t do instead.
In our life’s work, it also means just allowing our energy and creativity to flow, without judgement. It is about doing things lovingly and wholeheartedly where it does not matter if you will make money from it or if you will even be recognized for it. It is giving our full presence in the work that we do, even if we are not sure if this is ultimately for us. What is apparent is that it is for us at this very moment. After all, every experience and everything we take on in our lives never go to waste anyway.