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Is there a yearning in your heart to have more from Life?
Are there times when you have doubts about your importance or usefulness?
Do you often struggle with your daily chores?
Mastering Fulfillment in your life comes from two places. The first, foremost and most important place is from inside yourself, from the Spiritual you. The main source of personal fulfillment comes with how you feel about yourself, from a positive ‘Sense of Self’. The other place fulfillment comes from is in ‘how’ you do things. When the emotional, physical and spiritual aspect of yourself is in harmony and balance, that sense of fulfillment envelopes every activity you pursue.
You may be thinking:
How can I feel excited, motivated and satisfied with Life when there is a nagging feeling of discontent with myself?
Ask these questions for self-evaluation:
* Do I feel important?
* Am I happy?
* Do I express my needs?
* Where does my worthiness come from?
* Do I feel comfortable with myself?
* Do I compare myself to others?
* Am I living a healthy lifestyle?
* Is the path I am traveling feel right?
* Am I achieving my goals?
* Do I approach Life with a positive outlook?
* Do I seek guidance from a Higher Power?
Copyright © 2002 by Steven Honig.
A All rights reserved.
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If your reflection on these questions raises an awareness that you may benefit from change, devise a few strategies to help you enhance your ‘Sense of Self’.
Are you wondering where to begin?
Here is a suggestion for self-discovery.
To determine where you could improve your feelings about your emotional, physical, or spiritual self, engage in a simple activity. Divide a sheet of paper into thirds. List the three areas of self: emotional, physical and spiritual. Under each heading, have two columns, one with a plus (+) and one with a minus (-).
Jot down a few words in each column that reflect how you feel about yourself.
This is a very private list, so you can be very honest.
If your list reveals an area that has more minuses than pluses, it’s an ideal place to begin to improve your self-image. Devise some strategies for change. A change in any one area will effect your ‘Sense of Self’ in the other areas as well. Small adjustments will reap beneficial results!
It is natural to have some self-doubts at different times in our lives. Someone who does not, is suffering from a bloated ego and no growth can occur. However, if the doubts we have are interfering with our fulfillment, then, that too, stifles growth.
Fulfillment comes from within. When it is missing, your world can crumble.
Kari was a homemaker. She had had a rewarding career that took her total attention and in which she felt very useful and important. Now retired, she had many hobbies and kept a wonderful garden. She was energized and welcomed the days highly motivated. But over time, she began to feel less and less important in her role as homemaker. Kari felt that her husband could do all the necessary daily chores without her. She began to read books to shut out the ‘real’ world in which she felt so useless and unworthy as a productive partner.
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As the days, weeks and months went by, Kari chose to stay lost in worlds with excitement and happy endings. She stopped participating in her hobbies and as planting season came around, she ignored her beloved garden. When her husband suggested a walk together, planned a project that included them both or tried to get Kari interested in the garden, he was met with hostility.
Kari was sinking into a depression, gained weight and was feeling guilty about the lack of interest in everything. Her guilt was turning to anger. One day her husband confronted her stating he could not live like this anymore. Kari was thrown even deeper into depression and eventually there was an attempt at suicide. While hospitalized, Kari had the opportunity to do some serious thinking as to what her issues were. She began discussing her feelings with her husband, who was very supportive in her efforts to recover. Kari began to see the role she had within the relationship as very important, not in what she ‘did’, but how she was doing it. She realized that she wasn’t feeling important because she wasn’t producing an end product. What Kari learned was that the spiritual positiveness of herself was extremely important to her husband.
With the determination to regain her spiritual energy and a new thought pattern of her ‘sense of self’, Kari began her journey to recovery. Over time, armed with her ‘new’ self-image and with a small change in her perspective of her ‘chores’, Kari’s feeling of importance grew and expanded into other areas of her life. What Kari discovered was that she alone and how she projected herself was the most important aspect of her role as homemaker.
Our Spiritual Self is the catalyst for our Fulfillment.
After a change in your ‘Sense of Self’ has begun, it is time to look at areas ‘outside’ your ‘self’ for adjustments in order to rediscover the joy of Life.
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Begin by asking:
1) Am I feeling ‘trapped’ in a job that doesn’t excite me?
2) Am I in a seemingly endless pursuit of material things to give me comfort and pleasure?
3) Do I just wish I could escape from the ‘daily grind’ of everyday chores that need to be done?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you needen’t feel alone.
In the United States, we are so busy trying to get where we are going, we have lost the excitement of the ‘getting there’. How many times have you heard someone say that they know they drove home from work last night, but can’t recall anything about the drive? What is missing is the ‘attention’ that was given to the ‘act’ of driving. Fulfillment is not in the end product of what you do, it is found in the act of ‘doing’.
Happiness, contentment, satisfaction, pleasure all come from feeling fulfilled in what you do, as you are doing it. Parents and teachers are often saying, “Do your best.” “Try harder.” “Concentrate.” Where does the ‘passion of the doing’ come in, the ‘attention’ to each step of the project? If the person driving home but not recalling the drive had paid attention to the joy of driving: feeling their hands on the wheel, working the pedals, noticing the scenery a little more, they may have recalled the turns, the road signs, the ‘drive’ with a new enjoyment. Most likely, the person was distracted by thoughts about work, or home, or the amount of traffic on the road, perhaps even the radio or cell phone took their ‘attention’ away from the ‘act’ of driving.
There are ways to accomplish what is considered a ‘chore’ that can add to your sense of fulfillment, if everyday tasks are getting you down.
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Find the pleasure in the ‘doing’.
* Washing dishes~ Instead of just getting them done and out of the way, pay attention to every detail. Feel the warm sudsy water, how the dishes feel when they are clean, appreciate the meal that was eaten in them, how tidy the counter is when you are through.
* Taking a walk~ Instead of thinking of all the details of work and home, be in tune with the walk. Listen to the sounds, notice how your feet feel as they hit the surface of the walkway, how your breathing changes, how the plants are different than the last time you passed this way...
* Weight control~ Instead of dreading a diet or taking a ‘quick fix’ pill, pay attention to the food, the preparation and the eating. Take your time in choosing the ingredients at the grocery store, relax as you measure, slice and dice vegetables while preparing the meal, explore healthy new choices that excite you, construct a chart to graph what you eat, create a menu plan for each meal, look for alternatives to your favorites. As you eat the meal, eat slowly as you savor each bite.
Of course, reality strikes and there are times when daily chores are difficult to enjoy in a leisurely fashion. Just ‘getting the job done’ is a common theme. But, if you are experiencing an ongoing struggle to do the daily chores, you may want to ‘make’ the time so that you can do the tasks carefully, thoroughly and pay attention to the joy of just ‘doing’.
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An example of how Fulfillment can come from the mere act of ‘doing’:
Rick and Steve were house painters. They were hired for a job that involved painting a house for an older woman. The woman’s sole intent was to make the dilapidated house presentable for sale. She told them outright that she needed the cheapest job and to just ‘slap’ the paint on as quickly as possible. The quote that had been given was for a one-coat, outside of the house only job. The morning they began, the woman said good-bye and left for work, expecting the job to be done in a short time. As they began the preparation for the work ahead, Rick and Steve decided that they couldn’t leave the ‘details’ alone. To just ‘slap’ on some paint would rob them of their joy.
Even though there was no expectation of payment beyond the initial estimate quote, Steve and Rick proceeded to perform a ‘Deluxe job’ at a ‘Rambo price’.
They were enjoying the challenge of creating a masterpiece out of that old house. Old boards were replaced, others sanded smooth, they refurbished the decorative trim that was falling off on the garage door. The men fixed the planter boxes that were dangling from the walls, taking them down, planing them smooth, replacing the brackets that held the boxes in place and painting them with a careful brush. The extra attention was costing them in supplies, time and labor, but they were being satisfied by the simple act of ‘doing’.
The painters were thoroughly fulfilled throughout the job. As they stood back and recalled the shape of the house when they had begun, they were awed by the transformation. When the woman returned home, she just stood there in the driveway and tears streamed down her face. “It’s so beautiful!” she exclaimed.
“I couldn’t stand to sell it now!”
You can find a way to make even the most menial task an adventure, complete with a challenge and an expression of yourself. If you develop strategies so that every part of the chore has your interest and gives you enjoyment, you will find Fulfillment.
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When the burden of the ‘doing’ is too overwhelming, unfulfilling or dissatisfying, whether it is a small task, a lifestyle or a job, then it may be time for an honest look at where your priorities are. Fulfillment is everywhere, if your passion is in the ‘doing’ and not in the end product of results. To be satisfied with a ‘job well done’ is not necessarily enough. If you are finding joy in ‘how’ you are doing it, your fulfillment will be there throughout.
When you are Fulfilled with your emotional, physical, and spiritual self, you will find fulfillment in all you do. There is a contagious nature to Fulfillment. It begins to glow from the inside of your being and spreads to the tiniest part of your Life’s journey. Look inward to find the joy that abounds.