Category Archives: Soulful living

On following your passion and quitting your day job

On creativity and money

I always thought that if you’ve got the talent, creativity should provide. Well, apparently not! And this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic Monday post dovetails very neatly with the realization I’ve come to recently – you DO NOT need to quit your day job to pursue your passions! When you do that, you’re forcing your passion to provide for you, and then you run the risk of making your passion your day job – with all the associated frustrations of a day job!

If, on the other hand, you pursue your passions on the side, when you have the time and the crazy drive, and when (and if) it turns into this huge-ass success, by all means, quit your day job. Because once you’ve achieved crazy-ass fame, or even a steady income stream, chances are that you will be called on to be involved with your passion in multiple ways. Then your passion will also be driven from the outside – through demand for your time, your thoughts, your opinions…

Your fan base, your influencers, your cheerleaders will want more of you…they are likely to give you at least a couple of chances…because they “know” you, love your product, flock to your name…and then even if your passion wanes a bit, the “fame momentum” will be enough to carry you along for a while.

Case in point – J.K. Rowling. Her first “adult” novel Casual Vacancy, published after the Harry Potter series, was panned by almost everyone who read it, but that didn’t stop her mystery novels (published later) from becoming super hits. When she was outed as Robert Galbraith , sales of The Cuckoo’s Calling skyrocketed even though it hadn’t done all that well previously, and even though it wasn’t all that marvelous a novel. And before her “overnight success”? Well, she worked as a research assistant at Amensty International, taught English as a foreign language in Portugal, and even lived on state benefits while pursuing a teacher’s training course. And during all this time, she wrote. In the pockets of time between work, in the spaces between falling in love and raising a child. She wrote. She collected rejection slips aplenty, and still, she wrote. And I believe that even if Harry Potter had never seen light of day (which would have been a crying shame!), she would still be at a cafe, somewhere in England, writing her heart out. Because that is just what she does. She writes.

Which is basically the point that I am trying to make. Your passion is something that you will do no matter what. I believe that it should be something that you nurture, that you support, something that continues to bring you joy day in and day out. And if you become an “overnight success”, sure, quit your day job!

But this whole “leap and the net will appear” thing – well, it can also lead to a hard landing, ya know! So instead of then getting disillusioned with your passion, why not just pursue it when you can? Take a sabbatical, switch to a part time job. But don’t quit your job until you know you’ve arrived!

Where do you stand on the passion vs. job debate? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic Monday post on Facebook.

Returning to a place you’ve never been to before

Have you ever felt an intense longing to return to a place you’ve never been to before? To walk along those roads again. To rest awhile in its embrace once more. To reacquaint yourself with the people and the houses, the nooks and the crannies, the roads and the twisting, winding paths that you’ve never been on before.

Like this beautiful cottage somewhere in the English countryside…

english-country-pub-garden-737948

…or walking the road to Santiago…

…grape picking at a vineyard in France…

…or watching the sun rise and fall into the sea…

Sunrise in Kanyakumari  Photo courtesy:  Mehul Antani, via Flickr

Sunrise in Kanyakumari
Photo courtesy: Mehul Antani, via Flickr

From where do these longings arise? This deep desire to return to a city so familiar that it feels like you must have been there…sometime…but you never have. Is it a faded memory of a past life? A desire for a different life? Or an ache for all that you know you will probably never achieve?

Have you ever felt this call? Do you have a theory about it? Do share your thoughts in the comments.

A call to mindfulness

In a world that is in constant motion, with distractions everywhere you look, it’s become increasingly difficult to find some quiet space to just be. To think…to dream…to imagine…

orchid_flower

We race through our days, fill them with tasks, with constant phone checking – emails, status updates, tweets – a collection of likes and retweets as our measure of self-worth.

Pond Heron_Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

How often do we stop to collect some wild flowers? To notice the minutiae of daily life? To watch our feline friends as they play, sleep, or mew for attention? To notice the birds, building their nests, catching food, feeding their young?

Iz eatz yurz earz, ok?

How often do we notice the homeless man? The dejected dog? The dead sparrow lying on the sidewalk? The sun as it rises or sets?

A sacred sunset

This is a call to reclaim life – to watch the moonrise, count the stars, observe life as it lives and dies around us. To be present – for our life, for our loved ones, for our furry friends. For strangers. For the birds – dead and alive. For life.

This post was inspired by Sidewalk Flowers on BrainPickings.

The Kindness Revolution: Nurture Yourself

Those of you who have followed my blog long enough would know that spirituality is a big pLettering: Go where the peace isart of my life. I believe in taking regular me time, in meditating, and in being creative – be it through art or photography, writing or cooking.

In the busyness of daily life though, it is easy to let me time slide…to lose focus…but you need to give yourself permission to take a break and play.

And what better way to do it than by using art and journaling as a means to relax and comfort yourself and to get grounded while dealing with the craziness of every-day living?

It doesn’t have to be overly complicated, and you don’t need fancy supplies. You can start with a simple sketch book, a pen and a few minutes a day. Do some doodling, combine it with some lettering, write some thoughts down on the page, paste a quote into your sketchbook and doodle around it. Something that simple can help you deal with even the roughest of days.

doodling_circlesIf you’re not comfortable with doodling, try keeping a journal. Write down your thoughts or observations, or try answering a question a day. Often that’s a good way to start journal writing if you’re very new to it. The questions can be as profound or simple as you’d like – it’s your journal after all!

Here are a few prompts to get you started:

What was I yearning for today?
What was my biggest achievement today?
What defined my day today?
When I look back at my life, what do I wish I could have told my younger self?
If I had the time and resources, what would I most wish to do? Is there any way to start doing that anyway?

Try doodling, sketching, lettering or journaling – even if all you can spare is 10 minutes a day. You’ll feel more grounded, more centered, calmer, saner…just 10 minutes a day, more if and when you have the time, can make a world of difference.

Will you carve out a bit of me time? I hope you’ll join me in the kindness revolution!

(Click on images to enlarge)

 

{Z} Zen and the art of blogging

Finally, it’s the penultimate post of the A to Z challenge! I never thought it would get this difficult, and I never thought I would manage to persevere, what with the crazy schedule at work and the craziness of writing a blog post each and every day. But this month of daily blogging, of stretching myself to the max, has thought me a lot – about blogging and about life.

  1. It pays to plan: Before April rolled around, I had already drawn up a list of blog post ideas with almost all the letters and had also scheduled 2 weeks’ worth of posts. This made the start of the challenge easy, and I was able to use a couple of weekends in April to write and schedule more posts and go visit fellow participants. That early momentum powered me through the rest of the month, when the going got tougher and tougher. I wasn’t always able to spread the blog love, but I wrote a post a day, which is the main reason why I joined up for the challenge.

    Zenitude: When you have a why, you can achieve anything!

  2. Do what you humanly can: Part of the challenge involved blog hopping and commenting. I kept up with the commenting for as long as I could, but on the days when it was too overwhelming (which was essentially mid-April onwards), I just did what I could. I’ll go catch up on posts slowly now, when I have the time to actually read and leave intelligent comments. Giving myself some slack here meant that I didn’t totally burn out, and was able to juggle the various things that came up this month.

    Zenitude: Work within your limitations, without beating yourself up, and you’ll accomplish more than you thought was possible.

  3. But don’t give up: I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to give up! But I didn’t. I wrote entire posts and designed graphics to go with it on my phone, I wrote a post outline before going to sleep and fleshed it out when I woke up, but I didn’t give up. The high I am feeling now, on completing the challenge, is immense. To top it all, this month of blogging every day on a huge variety of topics helped me break out of the blogging inertia that had set in, which is a plus!

    Zenitude: Stretch yourself in new ways, challenge the status quo, and you’ll be surprised at the font of creative gold you will find.

What lessons have you learnt from this challenge or any other challenge that you’ve participated in?