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“Art—writing—has brought me great happiness, …The happiness of being acknowledged, and even more so—of being understood. Even when writing caused me pain and suffering, it was a pain that had meaning, a suffering that comes with touching the authentic, primary materials of life.” ~ David Grossman
It’s not that I did not like my corporate job.
There were many aspects of it that I loved. Not just the fat salaries and the great social benefits. I loved to manage, be bossy, and be mentally stimulated.
But even though I was successful, I did not feel successful.
In social events, I was always impressed with what others did for their living. When it was my turn to talk about my life, I preferred to talk about anything except for my job. Talking about my career felt plain and boring.
It was not objectively boring. It was subjectively boring. My heart was just not there.
Touching the Authentic, Primary Materials of Life
When I became a yoga teacher and a managing partner of a beautiful yoga studio, it felt too good to be true.
I used to walk around the two spacious practice spaces, savoring the warmth of the wooden floors under my feet, making sure I was not dreaming.
Then, I was more than thrilled to talk about my job. In fact, there was nothing else I wanted to talk about. My work felt meaningful. I was proud to help my community find peace amid a chaotic reality.
When I was teaching yoga, I was transported to a different time and space. I was united with all the heartbeats in the room, synchronized with the universe. It was the purest, most natural high there could be.
With that, my yoga teaching period was one of the hardest times of my life. My relationships with my friends were tense. I lost some friendships that were dear to me. I used to get sick often. Whenever I was not working, I felt deeply depressed.
For years, I thought that this duality was unique to my own personal experience at that time. But with time, I found that it was a theme in the lives of many others.
Many testified that they had experienced extreme hardships during the times of their most significant growth, success, and fulfillment.
Becoming Your Work
“The two most important days in life are the day you are born and the day you discover the reason why.” ~ Mark Twain
Stepping into fulfillment is like being reborn. You become ambitious, like a child who wants to discover the world. You want to make sure your path becomes sustainable so that you never lose it. You tend to overwork yourself and pay less attention to other aspects of your life.
Remember that even when you have so much passion for what you do, you are not your work.
There are other aspects of life that should be tended to. Once you lose your healthy life balance, hardships come.
What Goes Up Must Come Down
This was my biggest issue in my yoga studio days. I reached amazing peaks at work. Then I came back to my ordinary life. In comparison with the highs of my work, the rest seemed greyer and emptier than ever before.
During your highs, you must hold on to your downs, and vice versa. You need to remember that both are parts of your life. In this way, you can bring them to a stable middle ground. Extremes are confusing. Living in the middle path brings peace of mind and calmness that can help you keep fulfilling yourself.
Living In High Vibrations
“Better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.” ~ The Buddha
When your heart is not invested in your work, it is safe, like swimming in shallow water. But when you fulfill yourself professionally, when your heart beats with every step of your path, it is a whole new story.
It’s like living a hundred years every day. Your life experience becomes heightened and intense.
This can be overwhelming, especially when you are not used to it.
It might be like moving to a high altitude. The air is thinner; there is less oxygen. You might lose your groundedness. You might get delusional.
When you live a fulfilled life, you must remain grounded. You must stay connected with your friends and family. You must know what’s going on in your bank account. You must take care of your body and health. Otherwise, you can get lost.
Not always, but often, living a life of fulfillment means following your own path and taking risks. You need to put yourself out there, with no promised results.
You write a book and have no idea if it will have an audience. You launch a new coaching program and have no clue if anyone will sign up.
Not everyone is up for this lifestyle. Some value stability and financial security more than others. Some come with more resources than others.
The new age approach claims that if you fulfill your purpose, you also attract abundance. But history proves that this is not always the case.
When you act out of a sense of purpose, it is a reward on its own. It does not mean that you should not aim for financial success. It just means that financial success is not the only indication that you are doing what you were meant to do in this life.
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” ~ Viktor Frankl