Have you ever golfed?
As my dad succinctly summarized it after watching me take a few practice swings, “Well, you’re not a natural.”
For better or worse, the man speaks the truth. Nonetheless, I spent a couple years really trying to improve my golf game. In general, my over-thinking nature leaves me weak off the tee. If you could get into my mind at that moment, you would hear a cacophony of advice about finger placement and grip and back swing and follow through and probably a short grocery list and God only knows what else. Again: not too awesome for my actual execution off the tee.
However, once in a while I stop thinking and trying and plotting and planning and just go with it: and in those moments I’ve hit the ball the farthest and with almost no effort. In fact, the perfect swing is marked by its notable effortlessness (and the sight of that little ball careening far into the horizon). It’s kind of a magical moment, really.
I am starting to think that life works almost exactly the same way. The trick is to figure out what constitutes your perfect swing.
I am not here to tell you what that is – only you have the capacity to figure it out, in fact - but I do think there is a way for you to devine it if you haven’t already. In my own blossoming wisdom, it seems that the key is to listen to your heart and proceed with near-reckless-abandon in pursuit of the things that light you up. This means boldly and perhaps even a little bit irrationally responding to the pull and putting yourself in the proximity of the people, places, jobs, animals, events, and things that bring you real joy.
If something feels wrong or off or just won’t seem to work? Honor that guidance and be willing to let it go. Struggle and resistance are as important of signs as the good stuff. Notice what you don’t like as much as you notice what you love.
Then lift up your head, open your eyes, and feel what does draw you in and puts you into flow; that time and space continuum where everything just seems to work without (much) effort.
I can tell you that I did this with Maui - listened a rational dream of living where it was always warm and beautiful; noticed how happy and joyful I’ve always felt in the Hawaiian islands….and then launched and executed a totally insane plan to move there with two animals despite the fact I didn’t know a single living soul.
And it worked out.
In fact, I would argue if the strength and tenacity of the friendships I’ve already built there are indicator, I did indeed come home. And I have high hopes for my writing and my hypnotherapy practice in the months to come. I have a garden that is growing (in December!!!) as I speak, and a home that I love living in, and a Jeep that makes me smile every time I drive it.
I have had a similar lightening bolt of pure happiness in other areas of my life, as well, and I think that this rare and sweet moment of near-perfection in which I write to you right now really is due to my decision to pursue bliss. I will not settle or compromise so long as I have the power and the means to stay afloat blindly and ruthlessly pursuing only that which lights me up.
And so far, so good.
So that’s my gift to you this Christmas: the hope that you can hear your own call and start to make big or small gestures toward it. The wish that you can take a little stock in my unexpected success and find some faith that your own path will be so smooth if only you give it a real chance.
This is your life.
And it goes by quickly.
Passionately pursue the things that light you up and bring you joy.
“Go at it boldly, and you’ll find unexpected forces closing round you and coming to your aid.” ~Basil King.
Merry Christmas and Mele Kalikimaka to you and yours…