Loving what you do

At the information centre, I ask for a copy of the tide table.   I want to find the tidal pools, those delicate environments with stranded creatures we get to see only when the water is receding. 

I am ready to immerse myself in this fresh world. 

Tidal pools are home to some hearty sea life.  When the sun beats down, the water heats up considerably.  Less than 6 hours later, those same marine animals are exposed to the cold blasts from ocean water. 

What a resilient bunch! 

I have come to the west side of Vancouver Island for the long weekend in September, still a busy time for travellers.

The roads are crowded, as is the ocean.  Surfers flock to the ocean side on a clear, warm day. Wetsuits are the look of the day.

I look toward the horizon where I see no land.  The vastness is immense.

I see a person climb on their board and slide along the water.  I know the surfer is in her element, knowing how waves behave, when to ride the right one.

What I know too is that because this person loves what she is doing, she is motivated to do it again and again. The practice that she gains will improve her abilities. The connection between her love of what she does and her mastery would have a strong correlation if they were graphed.  

I walk along the sides of the surfer’s lives, observing them from my ringside seat.  I am partly inspired and partly awed.  That is what happens when we see people doing what they love.

There is an infectiousness when we are enthused.  I remember the crowd at a Fleetwood Mac concert a couple years ago, positively wired listening to musicians who have become masterful at what they do.

I suspect what we observe about others following their bliss is that sense of being alive.

The skin on my face is smooth from the westerly wind blowing on it all afternoon. Being outdoors for a long time clears the cobwebs.

I grab my camera and walk along the beach. Can I really capture the vastness of Long Beach, so aptly named for miles and miles of sand? I promised myself that I will take my camera out more frequently, an artist date as was first suggested years ago by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way.

I walk for a considerable time in one direction, barely remembering that I have to walk back.  The rocky shore ahead beckons me but I am distracted by waves.  I wander out to my ankles and a wave splashes up to my knees.

Icy cold.

I am loving what I am doing. I love being a part of that lively exchange of water in and out. I love looking through the lens of my camera to find what presents itself.  The way the sky is reflected back in the shallow water, the sand formed into ridges by the water’s movement. 

I want to catch a moment.  I find it later when I am walking along a rocky shore, freezing the spray of the water coming over the rocks.

I am grateful for this time that I have, for being able to come to such a beautiful place. This fuels me.

What I know for sure is that loving what I am doing here is going to spill out into the rest of my life. I just don’t know how.

There is a connection between loving what I do in one moment connecting me to the rest of my life.

When I facilitate workshops on finding work that matters, I encourage everyone to do something that they love, even if they haven’t yet found the career that they love. Doing any activity that you love creates the right environment for figuring out the career. Because of the contagious nature of observing people loving what they do.  That person can even be us, inspiring ourselves.

So if you are struggling with finding the work that matters to you, take some time to do something you love, paying attention to that feeling.  Really enjoy the moment. 

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Try this:  I feel most alive when_______________.  In the comments section below, add your response to the statement.