A year ago, I wrote an article called, Three things I stopped doing when I started doing what I love.
Just to recap, I stopped watching television, reading tabloid and fashion magazines, and weighing myself.
As more time passes and I become even more impassioned, I’ve stopped doing other things, or maybe I should say, I’ve started doing new things as I continue to do what I love.
Each “thing” I’ve started doing is symptomatic of the shifts I’ve made internally—becoming more myself.
So, what else have I started doing since I started doing what I love?
1. Un-tying and tying my shoelaces.
I know it sounds like an insignificant thing, but it’s not, it’s huge.
I think there are two types of people in the world, those who take their shoes on and off with their laces still tied, and those who take the time to unlace and lace them.
I used to be the “stuff my foot into my double knotted tennis shoes” type. What did that say about me? I was in a rush. I lacked the awareness to slow down and be in the moment. I didn’t take time to pay attention to the most menial of tasks. All I wanted to do was get through the day as quickly as possible.
I convinced myself I was too busy to take time and move slower. I was always thinking of the next thing I had to accomplish, which I still do, however, what I’ve learned since I’ve been doing what I love is—presence during the most mundane and rudimentary of tasks is indicative of emotional and spiritual maturity.
Our ability to pause and appreciate the moment represents an enlightened mind. I’ve always thought of enlightenment as an action—the action of embracing the moment as it’s happening; being all in.
Doing what I love has slowed me down, because in order to do what I love, to access my passion, I have to be in my body and awake to the moment as it’s occurring.
As I said, it doesn’t mean I don’t hustle at times because I do lead a busy life, but I take the time to untie and tie my shoes.
Every moment is precious, no matter what I’m doing, because I am a part of that moment; whether that’s taking out the trash, saving a life, or tying my shoes; it’s all important. To ignore even a split second is to ignore myself, which is no longer an option now that I’m aware and present in my life.
2. I’m dancing again.
As a little girl and well into my adolescence, I allotted time every day to dance. I’d shut my bedroom door, turn on the music and twirl in front of my mirror. I relished in it, and then somewhere along the way, I stopped dancing.
Finding what I’m passionate about in life has helped reignite a fire within me, a playfulness I had forgotten about.
Now, I make time to move, whether that’s in my car, in my room, or in the grocery store with my kids when we hear an infectious beat. Loving what I do has re-awakened the little girl inside of me, who can’t hold back the sway in her hips when the music begins.
For all these years, I fought against my natural urge to move, to dance for fear of being judged. Doing what I love has fueled a confidence inside of me that cares more about what feels good to me, rather than looking good to who’s around me.
Which brings me to my third thing…
3. I stopped saying yes and started saying no.
As I began to accept myself, I also had to accept what I am not, what I won’t stand for, and what and whom I won’t surround myself with.
I’ve learned how to say no and be ok with it—with the feeling of it, and the consequences and rewards of standing firm in my decisions.
When I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted, I spent my days living out there, outside of myself, trying to please everyone else. I exhausted myself trying to keep up with how I thought I needed to be and act.
Today, I physically can’t be around certain people or situations, because I know what is healthy for me, and what is not. I made a choice—my wellbeing is more important to me than becoming most popular or universally “liked.”
We become who and what we surround ourselves with, therefore I made the choice to become extremely discerning about how I spend my days. Once I found what I loved, my free time began to dwindle as well, which has forced me to be very selective about what I do with my time.
Saying no, kindly and assertively is a practice, a discipline, which I hone in on a daily basis. It is becoming easier because I know that when I say no to something, it opens up the space to say yes to the things, experiences and people I resonate with.
Finding purpose exposed the lies I had been living with, and demanded my honesty and clarity.
When I meet someone else who is willing to say no, I know what that means—they own themselves and are willing to stand up for what they know is right for themselves and their life. They know who they are and what they want.
When I discovered what I love to do, I discovered my voice, my confidence and my power. My weaknesses became apparent as I cultivated awareness and I began to listen to my intuition. It all came rushing in and as I continue to settle in, back into my body, into my being, I continue to let go of old habits and invite new things in, which fuel my passions and help me uncover more of myself every day.