Mindfulness, Personal

Sparks Fly

On the whiteboard of my office you will find many quotes. It has now become a bit of a tradition that my whiteboard is for quotes not notes. There are two quotes on there that “sparked” my blog post today: “You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you” and “Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.

I had a friend ask me the other day if I could be doing anything in the world right now, what would it be? I read the question and paused for a second. Years ago, I would have been able to answer that question instantaneously. Younger Erica was so full of drive, youthfulness and goals; older Erica is plagued with thoughts of bills, uncertainty and confusion.

So, I took a few hours before I even attempted a response. “I’m sorry I’m taking so long,” I said. “I just don’t even know how to respond. Which concerns me…” That’s when the friend reminded me that there are only a few things that I have consistently liked throughout my life: Music, acting, horses and travel.

Was I engaging with any of these things in my life? No. The clarinet is tucked away; I’m not singing nearly as much as I’d like to (beyond loving my anthem gigs). The winter and the distance puts a damper on my horse time, and I have not been travelling near enough. I realized that I am doing “too little of what sparks a light in me.”

What’s next for me?

If you know me, you know I’m a do-er. I’m a cleanser, I am goal oriented, and I spend ample time trying to figure me out. I cannot and will not sit back and say, “Well, this is what it is.” However, I needed a reality check and I cannot thank this friend (and all of my other ones) who have given that to me recently.

While some tasks require a bit nicer weather – like spending time with my horse – I could be diving into music and acting a bit more. I also find spending time with friends, cooking, exercising, meditating, and sports bring me joy, so I will focus on doing these things too. But in doing all of these things, I also have to remember quote number two. This also goes back to not letting anyone dull my sparkle either…

Surrounding yourself with good people is the key to life. These people support you and listen to you, and while they may not be passionate about the exact same things as you are, they care about you and your joy will be their joy. I have found that healthy people understand self-awareness and empathy. They can pause and say, “I’ve been talking too much about myself, how was YOUR week?” These people will genuinely listen to what you respond with and not bring the conversation back to them. Remember, you are a friend, not a therapist.

I hope that in my self-discovery of “sparking a light in me” and surrounding myself with people who do not “dull my sparkle” that you too will be inspired to be a do-er. Most importantly, you need to do you. It’s time to find your magical sparks in life and shine my dear friends. 🙂

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