“Very many people go through their whole lives having no real sense of what their talents may be, or if they have any to speak of.” Sir Ken Robinson.
There is nothing more attractive than seeing someone in their element. I’ve always said this…and always fallen for the bubbling and boiling of people in their own juices.
Think about it.
A dancer flying across the floor, effortlessly curving and carving their way through the music; a writer and their pen scribbling across a blank page by cups of black coffee; and an artist spattered with paint, standing flushed by their canvas. Yum.
Of course it’s not just artists who are attractive when in their element. I once fell head over heals for an electrician who came to fix some wiring in my house. He was so focused, so involved in what he was doing the air around him was, dare I say, electric. More than this, his level of engagement made me want to learn about wiring, cables and electricity where I’d never been interested in such things before.
The times too that I’ve fallen in love with a partner all over again when stumbling upon them doing what they love, are many. They could be in their shed tinkering with their car, sprawled out on the floor hammering away seriously at a video game or sunken into a couch immersed in a book. Each of these moments has always made me quiver …and has always ended with them having to press pause on said video game.
In all seriousness it could be anyone doing anything as long as the thing they are doing excites THEM, lights THEIR fire, inspires them to move-meant, to purpose, to life. But how many people actually invest in what inspires them? In doing what they love?
A few years ago my aunties next door neighbor approached me to help his son, a son he felt was limiting himself at work because he was afraid of public speaking. As a drama coach this man thought I could help.
I arranged to meet his son and armed myself with questions to help me assess what the problem was before we launched ourselves into a series of drama exercises. My first question was simple: ‘what do you love about your job’? I was sure that if we started with what he loved we could use that love to inspire him to action.
‘Nothing’ he said unexpectedly, ‘There’s nothing I love about my job’.
We talked for awhile and what unfolded was a conversation about the ‘shoulds’ of life, the things this man felt he ‘should’ do in order to pay the bills, get the car and the house. These shoulds had lead him to the job he was now in.
‘What DO you love?’ I asked after awhile.
‘I can’t help you then’ I said. ‘No drama lesson is going to help you as a gardener. What I can suggest is that you DO gardening …you can make a living from that. And in regards to public speaking? You might find it’s a hell of a lot easier to speak in front of people if what you’re asked to talk about is something that you’re passionate about’.
Being in your element is funny in this way for it means it requires little effort to be inspired and little effort to be inspiring. If you honor who you are and what feeds your soul you will encourage the best parts of yourself. This in turn will create a desire for others to achieve that heat, to stoke an ‘inner fire’ and begin to look at what THEY love for inspiration.
For who doesn’t want that kind of life? Who doesn’t want to be genuinely interested in the mechanics of their day to day? When I see someone loving what they are doing I think ‘I want that kind of life!’ We can ALL have that life. We just need to make the effort to choose it for ourselves or at the very least, invest in some of the things that ‘top us up’.
Myself and a dear friend of mine (who’s in similar financial circumstances) have found our way to inspiration by going in for C reserve tickets to our beloved ACO concerts at the Melbourne Town Hall. Funnily enough we actually swear upon the cheap seats now noting that the balcony at Melbourne Town hall gives the best vantage point to her favorite violinist and my beloved cellist. From the sides of the auditorium I can see my cellist straddle, stroke and cuddle his curvy lass and see him suck in the volumes of air he needs to gain momentum through an extraordinarily long composition. If he’s not sweating at the end of it, I certainly am; and yup, I’m desperate to get my hands on a cello too or at the very least, get home to my beloved pen and paper and start writing.
Watching him breath the way a dancer or singer might …taking great gulps of air deep into the belly, is such a wonderful reminder of the life giving nature passion and inspiration can have. Inspiration actually comes from the word inspire which means ‘breathe in’ and so passion and inspiration, like oxygen, is life giving.
I would like to see us all breathing in what we love as much as we breathe in oxygen. I would like to see us making conscious choices to invite what we love into our lives rather that making choices based on ‘what’s best’ and ‘I should’s’. Should promotes so much guilt and I would ask: what’s best for whom?
I’m not saying that we should stop doing things for other people. Doing things out of compassion and love for another is wonderful filler upper. What I’m talking about are those decisions we make that have to do with everyone else’s wants and nothing of our own; the things that leave us deflated and dissatisfied with our own lives.
Wonder. Meant …that be inspired and you will be inspiring.
Wonder. Meant …that if we honor what we love doing we might find a fulfillment and a freedom to our own lives.
Wonder. Meant …that in your element, I might need you to pause what you’re doing. Cause you see, you’re just so gosh darn attractive being you.