A few months ago, I was living in a quietly (but profoundly) desperate way - trying to be perfect at everything but always feeling completely inadequate. I would sacrifice sleep, to cross just one more thing off my to-do list, but kept adding things as well. I was completely addicted to "doing" but rather than helping me feel better, it was making me feel more and more harried, beaten down and worthless. I was beginning to feel depressed and anxious, and it was a cycle I felt completely trapped in.
Then I learned something (in a workshop with Vic) that created a massive shift. It was certainly an epiphany, and as all truth is, it was the simplest idea but it hit me like a ton of bricks. It's all based around the motivating feeling behind all of our actions and reactions - love or fear. It's really always one or the other.
Think back: when was the most powerful time you fell in love - with a person, an idea, or an experience? Recall the feeling you had - you may have felt strong, powerful, beautiful, poised, and noticing all the magic surrounding you every day. It's the most amazing feeling in the world.
Now recall when you were frightened. You may have been walking past a dark alley alone, lost your job, or got news of a loved one being injured. Fear makes us feel frantic, desperate, insecure and inadequate. It makes us want to retreat and hide.
Consider the predominant feelings you have in your day to day life. Are you feeling powerful and magical, or are you feeling frantic and inadequate? If you're anything like me, more often than not, it's been the latter. If that's the case, fear is driving you through your day, and I'm just guessing you're not finding that a very fulfilling way to live.
Don't get me wrong, fear has it's place- it prevents us from jumping off cliffs (and is very valuable in that way)- but it also drives any behaviour that isn't authentic and true. For that, we need to live from a place of love.
Traditionally when we hear the word love, we think of romance. While a big part of love, love is so much bigger and more powerful. Living from a place of love means you trust yourself, you trust your abilities, and you trust in the universe to provide for you. It means you are present- with people, experiences and tasks. It means you are honest, you honour yourself and you value yourself. It means you can hear and take heed from your inner guide because all that fearful noise is dimmed down. Living from a place of love is the only way to stand in your power and to truly live your best most magical life.
Vic and I (along with other friends) did a 24-hour experiment to try and come from a place of love in everything that we did. It was amazing and has transformed my perception of reality- I know that sounds grandiose but hear me out!
The morning of the experiment, I decided to bring what felt most loving to everything I did that day.
- I didn’t listen to any audio during our morning walk (I previously always had something playing in my ear), and instead listened to the birds and sounds around me.
- I chatted and laughed with my daughter in the stroller, and we went to the park and had a great time, meeting other parents and kids (rather than me sitting by and watching her play with headphones in my ears).
- At work, a client I had lost when I was on maternity leave emailed me for a file, and in my reply (rather than 'hiding' and just giving him the file) I was upfront and honest and told him I would love to work with him again if there was an opportunity. He replied and said he’d love that too.
- I was more careful about what I gave my attention to- I veered away from the radio and from podcasts that might not be edifying. In fact, the podcast that was next in my queue was the TED Radio Hour. The topic happened to be compassion, and it was a perfect dovetail into that days topic. Beautiful.
- I later had a conversation with my husband that I might have considered challenging, but coming from love (and self-love, which created personal power) it was easy. As I explained my perceptions vs. his, I was loving, honest and confident, and it really brought us to a mutual understanding and deeper love. He thanked me for the conversation - it was awesome.
This experiment taught me that love really has a flow-on effect- an awareness and care in one area of life builds me up for the next challenge, strengthening me and helping me stay in personal power. It made me more careful and honour myself more. Even when I got a touch of road rage at one point, I remembered to love and it just brought me right back; the irritation dissolved. It’s my goal to make this a constant daily practice. (Even though the “sleepwalking” state is still tempting and constantly beckoning, it doesn’t give me the life I want).
Living from a place of love is magical and profound, and (like anything worth doing) is a challenge. It's counter to our culture, but it creates a fundamental shift. As with many truths in life, it is simple but not always easy. It requires us to be deliberate and aware- so of course power automatically follows.
Will you try the 24 hour 'live in love' challenge? Please do and tell us about it in the comments!