For most of my adult life, this system worked wonderfully. Everything always got done, and done well. In fact, I have a firmly rooted belief that the quality of my work is much better when I don’t feel forced to do it. Furthermore, the less I feel like I have to struggle, the more energy I have to work.
Sure, there were days when I did not feel moved to do anything, but they were few and far between. In general, life flowed smoothly from one desire to the next.
And then, suddenly, a mysterious, invisible force came along and sucked all the desire right out of my life. I didn’t feel like doing anything. FOR THREE MONTHS!
It began when my husband and I moved houses. It was a long process that involved packing, loading, moving, and then unloading one small carload at a time. This went on for six weeks. Every single day. Whether it was at the end of a workday or on the weekend, I was packing, loading and unloading. My energy was spent on doing what absolutely HAD to get done, so I wasn’t writing and I wasn’t doing healing work. I wasn’t meditating or journaling or exercising or reading. I wasn’t doing any of my ‘soul things’.
I tried to be kind to myself and reasoned that I was simply exhausted and would once again feel like doing all of those things when I was rested. I suppose I was right, too, because there was about a week when inspiration hit and I felt alive with desire to do my soul things. I worked on Unity (the final book of The Todor Trilogy), I worked out, and I studied. My moments were filled with passion once again.
I waited to feel like it. And I waited. And waited. I started to feel anxious, wondering what would happen to my life if I never felt like it again. What if I never emerged from the stagnancy?
But then I began seeing signs telling me that, perhaps, it was time to try a different way. Maybe, just maybe, it was time to stop waiting to feel like it. The first sign came in the form of a sermon by my dear friend and minister, Drew Groves. I sat in church that day and felt certain that the Universe had conspired to make sure I heard that talk. In a nutshell, Drew said that instead of waiting to feel motivated, take action and the motivation will follow.
I’m not sure if Brian Johnson actually coined the term, but he is a strong proponent of the idea of Blissiplines. Basically, he says to notice the things that you’re doing on a regular basis when you’re super happy. Then make a habit of doing these things every day. These are your Blissiplines (bliss + discipline).
So, I looked at my list (that I’d written the year before and never put into practice) and realized it was still viable. These were the things I knew my soul wanted to do. After a bit of grumbling and putting it off for another couple weeks, I came to the conclusion that it was time for me to take action, regardless of how I feel.
In light of that, I’ve decided to begin a 30-day Blissipline challenge in which I commit to completing each of my Blissiplines every day for 30 days. I’m approaching this with scientific curiosity. I want to see if, indeed, my life will be different after practicing these things daily for a month. Perhaps more significantly, I am curious to see what the quality of my work will be during times when it feels forced. This may be an opportunity to discover that my output is independent of my desire. Whatever the results are, I am excited by the possibilities!
For the sake of accountability, here is my list of Blissiplines:
- Read 20 pages of a novel
- Write 2000 words of fiction
- Do some form of marketing
- Study philosophy
- Drink 64 oz. of water
(Yes, it’s vague and I’m sure the Virgos among us are cringing right now. But it’s how I roll.)
Tomorrow, September 3, 2015, I officially begin this challenge and I will check in with my progress.
I welcome any and all fellow seekers to take this journey with me and commit to your Blissiplines for the next 30 days. If you would like to join the challenge at any time, just comment below. The more the merrier!