The Reward is in the Doing – so make sure you do what you love!

Take this blog for instance, I’m writing it now simply because it’s what I want to do. I am as Joseph Campbell would have said, following my Bliss. Sure it would be nice to have a million hits on it later, but in fact it’s not about that. Just in writing it I’m being rewarded. I think this is important because so much of our lives seem to be increasingly tied up in gaining behaviours – doing this in order to get that. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this but it’s not much of a way to spend the moment – and frankly that’s all any of us actually have – the now.

Yesterday, I went for a bike ride into the hills. Now I have my share of gaining mentality as well (how many ks have I ridden, top speed, etc.), but just doing it, because I basically enjoy it, is main reward – sure it might make me fitter, but ask anyone who enjoys what they’re doing and it won’t be about the pay-offs.

When it is about the pay-offs more than the action itself you can be almost certain that the activity will be short-lived. When you think about it, it makes sense – why would you want to prolong something you didn’t enjoy at some level. Take hiking for instance. It’s hard work, but it’s also very rewarding – being in the wilderness, the fresh air, and the satisfaction you get from simple things like sitting, eating and sleeping, but if you don’t get that, then it’s just about lugging a bag of stuff around when you’d rather be sitting by the pool.

This is important for things like diet and exercise – quite apart from dealing with all the psychological issues, you basically have to find activities and foods that you enjoy, and which give you what you need as well. You could have the most nutritionally amazing diet in the world, but if you hate what you’re eating, and you’re dreaming of what you really want, then that diet is going to be short-lived – as most are. The thing is, and I’ll stick with the diet example just for a sec, that you need to find something you enjoy even more, that satisfies you even more, not less. This might require some work on your part – some experimentation, research, trying things out.

Back to being and doing – the key is that when we’re enjoying what we do, we are more present and attentive so it opens up levels of experience which are otherwise unavailable if we are fighting the present, if we are reaching out into the future or back into the past. This is one of the benefits of writing, and why I encourage most people I work with to keep a thought journal – writing brings your attention to the mind, focusses it – and let’s face it, often this is all the mind wants – a bit of air time – it’s like a kid screaming for attention otherwise. When you’re journaling also, you’re not editing your thoughts, just being with them, being, writing in the moment – just writing.

The same can apply to any other creative modality as well – for example for drawing or painting. In fact, it’s very interesting to just watch yourself doing these things. We get so tied up in believing that the ‘I’ is the creator, the one drawing, writing, meditating, playing, but really when you just allow yourself to simply be present in your action you’ll soon start to get out of the way of something infinitely more creative, more brilliant than you ever dared to imagine, because you’ll stop forcing the ‘I’ onto things, and instead let this undefinable nature flow through you. Actually, flow is a good way of describing it – and this is often what is meant when people talk about getting into the flow – you see, they’re not saying ‘I took control’, they’re often saying ‘I got out of the way’ or ‘the ‘I’ got out of the way.

Follow your bliss.

Do what you love.

Learn to be in the now and awaken to the unlimited powers of the universe that lie beyond the doors of the ego mind.

Meditate.

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