Reason Number One for you to find the work you love to do and do it:
YOU. Your health, your happiness, your wellness depend on you figuring out what brings out your passion and then making it your work to pursue it. Don’t misunderstand me. Many think I believe that all women should be entrepreneurs with a completely unique and creative business. But I don’t think this. What I do believe is that it’s possible for you (and every woman determined to do so) to discover and pursue your element—work that makes your heart sing—and until you do, you’ll feel like something is missing from your life. You’ll feel trapped—in your job, your family, your life… No matter how many ways you’ve found to create small moments or even long periods of happiness, you’ll still feel a longing for something elusive—that thing you’re called to do because it’s what puts you in the flow. Flow being that state of mind where you lose all sense of time and are completely engrossed in what you’re creating. According to Daniel Pink, author of Drive, humans are naturally inclined to create and innovate and are intrinsically motivated to do so when they’re allowed to explore their own creativity without the constraints of a job description.
In addition to feeding your mind and soul by allowing your natural creativity to flow, your physical health and wellness depend on you finding work that honors you. When you go to a job you dislike, you are literally killing yourself. Not only are you killing your spirit and your quality of life, but you’re physically killing yourself. While at work, and likely even after you come home from a stressful job that has no meaning for you, your body is constantly dripping cortisol into your bloodstream. Cortisol is the stress hormone your body releases during times known as fight or flight. It’s not meant to be released continuously, but reserved only for those times when your response to the rush of cortisol is necessary to prepare you mentally and physically for extreme situations. This incessant cortisol drip has a multitude of negative implications for your health and wellness as it increases your risk for heart attack and also many degenerative diseases.
Some surprising information in new studies, however, show the body’s response to stress when you are tackling your own fears to do something outside your comfort zone--as long as you recognize that it is preparing you for the task at hand—can actually be beneficial to your health! Doing things that scare you—that require courage—while still delivering a rush of cortisol, also releases oxytocin, the neuro-hormone that encourages you to seek comfort from others and also strengthens your heart. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist that is well-versed in the body’s response to stress, says when you go after what creates meaning in your life, stress can actually be good for you!
Back to Ken Robinson, who says, “Fear is perhaps the most common obstacle to finding your Element.” He says these fears include, “fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough, the fear of being found wanting, the fear of disapproval, the fear of poverty, and the fear of the unknown.” Face these fears! Not only will finding the courage to do the self-discovery necessary to identify your Element make your life more fulfilling and eliminate that sense of longing, but as long as you recognize the stress associated with it can be beneficial, it’s good for your physical health as well! So what’s stopping you now?
My Monday blogs will resume in August. Parts 2 and 3 of Her Element will have to wait. Mwaahaahaa! I’m jetting off at the end of the week on a beach vacation with my family, starting in Hawaii then SoCal. Woo hoo!! See you in August!