Happy Birthday to my dear grandmother, who always reminds me that life is about the little things, and helps me slow down and enjoy life for what it is. This post is dedicated to her!
I didn’t mean for today to be a cleaning day. It just… was. I wasn’t feeling the most productive on this rainy, yet cozy day, and found myself absorbed in Youtube and Hearthstone. I didn’t have a big desire to write a post. In fact, I haven’t in a while.
Eventually, I got up to finish my laundry, which led to me organizing my dresser, which led to me vacuuming my bedroom, doing the dishes, and so on, and soon I found myself cooking raspberry chia jam and making a matcha green tea latte for myself, which is at my side now. While cleaning, I felt energized and excited to tackle this post, coming up with ideas and structure. I had lost hours off of my blog writing time, but got several tasks off my to-do list! It wasn’t the kind of productivity I was expecting today, but I found that it was what I needed.
Like many days, unexpected events or even impulses will occur. Some days we want to read, some days we’re tired of it. Some days we want to clean, and some days we want to lounge in a mess.
This same thing happens with our dreams and desires. Some days we are excited to achieve a certain goal, while other times the goal seems both pointless and far out of reach. We don’t always know why and end up feeling guilty.
Today’s post is casual, and I’ll be sharing some thoughts on finding our purpose and life path through mindfulness and staying true to ourselves. Grab your tea, and let’s dive in!
Finding my direction and purpose
Lately, my life, overall, has felt unorganized and random. I go back and forth from my apartment to my parents’ house every weekend, which causes a little bit of stress. I love seeing my family, but I crave stability and familiarity. On top of that, like everyone else, my mind is occasionally cluttered with all things I have to do, the fact that my roommates are moving out and new roommates are moving in, as well as setting goals and habits for myself. Life is a bit messy for all of us right now, the future foggy, and our path not as clear as before. I don’t mean to speak for everyone, but most of the people in my life are undergoing change and transition at this time, especially my college friends.
I always like to be open and honest with anyone who reads my posts. And those who have been following my blog for quite some time may have noticed that I have always had a slight issue with my image, finding purpose, and having a clear direction in life.
Last week, my blog was my passion, and this week, a story idea has taken hold and so has the act of drawing, and my blog does not seem as important. Reading has become a regular hobby but rarely do I feel inclined to post about the books I finish, keeping the stories to myself instead, which has distanced me more from bookstagram. I spent a little while in solitude yesterday, trying to find a direction for my blog, my Instagram, my life. But today, while I was cleaning, I realized that being mindful and present erases all of those worries. When I return to the now, the only thing that matters is what I want to do that day, that hour, that moment.
Life, in the end, is just several moments strung together to create one story.
As I’ve begun to increasingly implement more mindfulness into my day, I’ve come to discover that mindfulness can help us when we are feeling uncertain about our future or struggling to find a sense of direction. We can take a break from our work and focus on something that, at that moment, is giving us the validation or satisfaction we’re craving. Such as what I did today, with cleaning. If you awaken to find that your passion project is no longer an important part of your life, either find a new passion project for that time, reevaluate your direction, or discover a new way to be creative. Don’t get rid of that passion project altogether, but try to avoid forcing something that isn’t there. Use your creativity elsewhere. Or, take a break altogether and spend the day resting.
Goal setting is important, and so is looking toward the future and visualizing where you want to be. However, there can be too much of anything, and looking at the future, wanting to be there now, and wanting to know exactly how you’re going to get there can take you away from what you truly want, or worse, can let life slip right past you. You know what they say: Enjoy the ride.
In my current read, Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness by Sam Chase, Chase states that, “The paths we travel many times over develop deeper grooves, sometimes so ingrained that we may even find ourselves stuck in a rut, wishing to act in one way but now seemingly bound to the trail we’ve trod so many times before.” (Page 64) I took this quote as a reminder that it is important to work toward goals, and our neural pathways create concrete connections centering around those goals, but if we rarely give ourselves the freedom to create outside of that goal, we may feel stuck and hit a wall.
While I love my blog with all my heart, when I work on my next novel, I almost don’t know what to do. My fingers are so used to writing posts that describing people and places and writing dialogue feels foreign, even when it’s not. Of course, we don’t want to stretch ourselves thin but having too many goals, but I think what I’m learning is that we don’t have to have a set-in-stone direction. We can change and adapt and one day we can write and one day we can write something else and as long as we’re working for ourselves, on ourselves, being kind to ourselves, we are going somewhere. We are getting stronger, more creative, and becoming more in-tune with what we desire.
Life is supposed to be messy. Life is supposed to be a little odd, the future unknown and our relationships not always perfect and our passions sometimes sparking, and sometimes not. I’m not sure we’re supposed to have life all figured out. In fact, that sounds rather boring. I’d love to be some kind of writer, but I don’t want to just be writing–that’d be boring. I’m opening myself up to change, to growth, to the unexpected. And while it may cause a little bit of tension and uneasiness, I can return to mindfulness to figure out what will help me and comfort me in those times.
Being mindful to know what we want
We can be mindful by readjusting our focus to the present moment. We can take time to notice our senses, taste our mouth (weird, but it works), pet our animals, and listen to the sounds all around us. We can tune into any tightness in our shoulders, blink our eyes, and return to the body, and our breath. When we do this, we’re getting out of our heads and into the now.
When finding our direction, it’s almost vital to be mindful so that we can really ask ourselves what we want. If we’re stuck in our head, consuming other’s lives while figuring out what we want, we can end up confused, chasing goals that aren’t even ours. I’ve been guilty of this before, writing book reviews and creating Instagram layouts when really, I don’t like it all that much. I’ve come to find that I prefer random pictures featuring my life and books and coffee with different backgrounds and various objects. When we’re mindful, aware of where we are, and aware of our drifting thoughts, we can better decide what works best for us. We can better figure out who we want to be, truly, and how we’d like to get there.
Of course, it’s not always that easy. Goal setting and finding a solid direction is an interesting topic, one that I do plan on writing more about. Right now, however, I’d like to focus on mindfulness, and being in-tune with what we want, as I feel like this is the most important to master.
Take time to journal about your wants right now. Rather than focusing on where you want to be, we can sit down and ask ourselves in what ways would we like to better ourselves at this moment. By leaning into things we enjoy, we can better carve out a path. All I know is that I’d like to help people and write for the rest of my life. I don’t have a clear idea of my career path, but I know I’m heading somewhere by doing what I love: studying psychology and writing creativity.
Your goals may change every day, and that’s okay. That’s where mindfulness comes in. Lean into the new goals, the new wants. And I just realized, I should probably suggest not leaning into self-sabotaging habits or toxic mindsets, aha! Lean into the things that both fuel you and excite you.
Trust the flow
While it may seem stressful to simply go with the flow and trust the journey, more stress will come if we force our life to go the way we want it to. It is wise to set short and long term goals, but I suggest you don’t force a strict daily routine or push yourself to extreme limits to carve your life in the way you desire. Regardless of how much planning we do, life will rock us a little, giving us unexpected hardships (such as the world right now) and putting us in situations we didn’t account for. Anything is possible, and I’m certain of that, but if something doesn’t fit, then we can’t keep pushing.
As Adriene Louise said during my yoga practice today:
Everything is as it should be.
Life is about the journey and figuring it out as best as we can until we realize we will never have it figured out. Trust your intuition and let it guide you, and don’t get annoyed when you find yourself stuck in a rut or feeling uninspired–it will come.
Draw one day, sing the next. Grow a garden, learn to cook a new meal. This life is yours to explore, so enjoy it. Every little part of it. And take it slow.
I hope you enjoyed this post which was, in all reality, just a spill of my thoughts onto the page.
Do you practice mindfulness when finding your life direction or wants? How do you feel about mindfulness? Let me know below!