Passion and joy, two of my most favorite things! So it is no surprise that I am super excited that we will be talking about that today! Our passions drive us and give us purpose and bring us joy—yet our passions seem to be the one thing we let go, let slide or give up on. Why is that? Lack of confidence? Lack of support and mentoring? Exhaustion and time constraints? It could be a number of different things that cause us to push our passions under the rug and assume that our “every day” is more important and needs our focus. Yes, the everyday HAS to be taken care of and the world has to keep turning, but that doesn’t mean we have to completely let go of what drives us and makes our hearts soar. Our souls need us to invest in our passion, because our passions lead to our purpose—and our purpose is what propels us into God’s plan for us.
So, when we have lost that fire, that excitement or that hope to invest in our passions and what brings us joy, how do we recover that? What steps can we take to pour into ourselves in ways that fuel our fire and help us live out our calling? I’m glad you asked! This is where we learn the balance of HAVE TO’s versus NEED TO’s; know what they are, how to tell the difference and when to do which one. We all know what a HAVE TO is—yep, plainly and simply put it is something that HAS to be done, whether we like it or not. For some of us that is going to work every day. For some of us that is taking care of the kiddos. For some of us that is cooking and cleaning. Those things must be done in order to keep your household in order, pay the bills and raise your children up in the right way. They can be demanding and exhausting … but one thing they are NOT is optional. Okay, then you have the NEED TO’S—something that isn’t really imperative or necessary, but something that you feel you should take part in or want to take part in. For some of you it may be joining that Jazzercise class. For others it may be going to that concert you saw advertised that everyone is raving about. And for others it may be sitting down to do that painting project you keep seeing on Pinterest. These are the things that help you find encouragement, connection and purpose—but these things ARE actually optional.
So we spoke previously about structure and scheduling “me” time into our days. So you know all the places where you put your HAVE TO’S—now let’s focus on where and what you can put into your schedule for your NEED TO’S. Because you NEED to have those things that make your soul soar and your heart leap for joy. So whatever that may be (photography, baking, reading, taking walks, a short trip with the family, etc) now is the time to put them into your structure. In those gaps of time (sometimes VERY small, I know) learn to schedule in your NEED TO’S. Allow yourself that kindness and compassion to do things that refresh and renew you so that you have enough steam to give to others in all of your other moments. So now that we know where to put our NEED TO’S, here are some action steps to following through and making them happen, so you can get out of the habit of always putting yourself last:
- Call that friend that has been on your heart and set up that coffee or lunch date. Not in pencil, in INK. Make it a priority and treat it with the same importance as you would a doctor or dentist appointment. Your heart (and your laugh lines) will thank you for it!
- Allow yourself to embrace the help your neighbor, family or friend offered you in watching your kiddos so you could get a break—with NO guilt. Whether you sit at home in your pajamas and binge on the Hallmark Channel and See’s Chocolate or go to that cooking class you have been wishing you could attend, allow yourself the help and hospitality to spend that time on yourself.
- Find a retreat or conference that really interests you and mark it on your calendar, along with a plan for saving and registering. Have a goal date to have the funds by and a plan for how you will save those funds, a goal for your registration date and booking your hotel and get the plans in place for who will help you out in your time away to care for the children or animals. Allow yourself that time to be poured into by wise speakers and authors that will invigorate your soul and set your heart on fire for Jesus again!
- Go to your favorite store and buy yourself something (no matter how small) that pampers you. It could be a candle, lotion, a new shirt or something else you have had your eye on. You can have a plan for this to and save just $5.00 a week and at the end of the month, take yourself on a mini-spree for just a couple of things that make you feel like “you”. Something that will invite all of your senses to get lost in the moment. If the budget doesn’t allow for anything at all, give yourself the luxury to have a couple of hours to just window shop, see, touch and smell. Browse your favorite shops and make wish lists for the future when you may be able to treat yourself.
These are just a few examples of simple and inexpensive ways we can pour into our passions and joy. There are endless others and you need to focus on what most brings YOUR sense of passion and purpose alive and think internally about the things that bring you joy. Everyone’s list of what that is and how to do it or fit it in will look different—as it is supposed to. We cannot lose our passion and joy in the mundane of life. We need to keep it alive because at the core of us, God gave us those parts to make us each unique and creative individuals. If we don’t feed that or allow it to be fed, no one else will. I hope you will grab your planner, scratch pad or whatever you use and start to INK in some time for your greatest passions and joy!
Join me back here on Monday for step three in our series of falling back where we will discuss another link to this discovery process—Falling Back Into Recovering Yourself. I will see you all then, have a beautiful weekend!