Years ago when I was struggling with some physical health challenges, I went to see a Japanese chiropractor who also performed laser acupuncture. While she was providing her treatment, she asked me what I did for a living and whether or not I felt fulfilled. She must have sensed that I was stressed. I explained that I felt adrift and really didn’t have a clear sense of purpose. I had just come through a serious illness, had temporarily lost my vision and was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.
This is what she said.
“What did you like to do when you were a little girl?”
Without even a moment to think, I knew the answer.
“I really liked to write. I made up stories and even wrote some poems when I became a teenager.”
I’ll never forget what she said next: “Then go do that.”
Could it really be that simple I wondered? To go back to the thing I was most passionate about as a young girl and find a way to make a living doing it?
You see, when you’re young, your ego hasn’t gotten in the way of defining who and what you should be based on other influences or expectations. It’s your authentic self that’s driving your interests when you’re young. But as you get older, you start to drift away from your joy until your soul finds a way to get your attention.
For me it was a serious illness and a divorce. It was only then that I began to remember my true self and what it was that brought me the most joy. I admitted that it had always been writing.
I remember being a young girl, sitting in my bedroom for hours with a paper and pen writing stories. And when I was 13, my dad bought me a little yellow rhyming dictionary. That opened up a whole new world of inspiration as I began to create poems on my tiny blue typewriter. I remember it being perched precariously on a TV table in my room as I sat on my bed and pounded away on the manual keys.
In the summer, I would go outside with my notepads and lay under my favourite solitary tree in a field near my house. I would spend hours there creating my little masterpieces. Those are some of my most vivid and treasured memories as a girl and they continue to inspire my creativity today.
I still have that little yellow rhyming dictionary and use it anytime I’m writing verse, which is quite often these days. It took me a few years to begin to earn the majority of my income from writing, but the vision of being a writer was always there. Once I finally admitted that being a writer was the thing that brought me the most joy, then I stepped into that power and let the rest take care of itself. You see, it’s the passion that fuels the purpose and the purpose that sparks the imagination.
So here’s my question for you…
What was the creative thing you most loved to do when you were young? Was it painting, or making crafts? Was it cooking or baking yummy things to eat? Or was it drawing, singing, dancing, or writing stories or poems like me? Whatever it was, I encourage you to remember how you felt. Then ask yourself what it would be like to still do that thing, either as a career or just for fun. Imagine.
I remember asking a relative once this question when she was in a dilemma about changing careers. She blurted out that she loved making mud pies. I wonder if she’s making tasty chocolate pies right now. I’ll have to ask.
What creative thing did you like to do as a child? Are you still doing it? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear about it.
Love from your Joy Mama,
P.S. I was recently interviewed by my dear friend Matt Landsiedel, a transformation coach and author. Have a listen as we talk openly about living an authentic life of purpose and joy.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.