Then it happened.
Two hundred meters ahead, he sighted a flock of real sheep - 15 or so. The shepherd, in his jeans and lumberjack shirt, seemed unaware of Sylvia and LB until… LB perked his ears up, sniffed, snorted….and took off…. Sylvia had no chance to grab his collar.
Once she caught up with him, he was circling the sheep, barking, whistling, and hopping around like she had never seen him before. As she described it, his bark said, “I’ve found it! I finally found my purpose in life. I never knew what I was here for – until now!”
Now, it took a while to get him calmed down, and the shepherd didn’t seem to mind. He shrugged, lit up a cigarette, and muttered, “Don’t worry Ma’am, he’ll wind down soon. I’ve seen this before.” The sheep didn’t seem to mind either.
For 15 years or so, I repeated this story a few times. I amused myself in thinking one day it would happen to me – with all the drama of my friend LB (except perhaps without all the barking and running around). It wasn’t until later that I realized that it had happened to me many times. I would find myself trying something new, and suddenly feeling alive. Meanwhile, I was still trying to find my calling, my dharma, my life purpose, without realizing all these moments were leading me to the life I love. Maybe it was the same for LB. He wasn’t racking his brains looking for his purpose; he just wanted to live in the moment.
Life coaching mentor Martha Beck calls this ‘Finding Your Own North Star’. She explains that your soul knows where to go and all those ‘aha’ moments of joy and glee are leading us to where we need to be. We can either sigh, turn the other way and head back to our droning life or we can follow that path and see what’s around the corner.
Is there something you do that really lights you up? ...... Something you do where you lose all track of your time? ..... Something that you would do gladly without getting paid?
During that same time, I worked with Kim, who spent all her time at the gym. She worked out mornings and evenings, and sometimes on her lunch hour. She loved to help people out when she was there, and eventually started a business as a personal trainer in supplement to her day job. I met her again a few years ago, and she has a successful company with several corporate contracts, and full clientele. She said she started when she got a coupon for a month membership at a fitness center for a Christmas present in the late 80’s.
She felt like she was a new person then. She followed her North Star from then on.
So, what lights you up?