What Makes You Come Alive?

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman


I do not cease to be amazed at the beliefs we as humans hold onto even though they do not serve us well.

Just over a month ago I was involved in a car “crash”.  Straight into the back of someone’s car at 35mph. Totaled my car and jacked up my neck and back and hand.  Shook me up truly.  Relative to the birth of my children, nothing on the pain scale previously ever went over a 5 out of 10.  Not this time.  The pain of holding up my neck was so excruciating I couldn’t find relief and subsequently went days without sleep.  I tell you, nothing will mess more with your emotions than experiencing major stress in your life (we were in the middle of a new job for my husband, moving, new school for kids, son pulling an aquarium to shatter on his face, and parents hospitalized) and then adding on top of that lack of sleep.

Emotionally I got completely tapped out.  Before the wreck even happened I remember having emotional cues telling me “Vanessa you are going into reserve fuel.  Take time to stop and fill up.”  No, I couldn’t. I didn’t.  Nope, not until a “crash” forced me to stop.  At that point I felt like I had to pull out a white flag and say, “okay, I surrender. I don’t even have any reserve fuel left.  Now, I’m complete on empty.”

There was only one other time in my life that I felt so completely spent. I think it is completely telling that I used the analogy of being a car to describe how I felt. As if I’m a machine.  Going, going, going.  Coming to a crash has been hard but it has been good.  It has given me a chance to honor myself and say, “No, you are not a machine. You are a being, a soul.”  As a matter of fact I’m urged to start a being movement.  How are you BEING?  Vs. How are you doing?  What makes you come alive? Vs. What do you DO for a living?

This has been such a good place for me as I’ve slowly emerged from the state of feeling overwhelmed.  It has allowed me to acknowledge the things that were not working. I had too much on my plate. As a matter of fact, there were people and activities in my life that I had lost sight of the reasons why.  Coming to a crash allowed me to take a step back and seriously evaluate what I really wanted to do.  I am slowly and deliberately adding back only the things, the relationships, the activities that prayerfully belong.  Coincidentally, my business, my relationships, and my days reflect a more vibrant way of being. I am able to show up more fully present wherever I am.

Most profound has been an evaluation of the thoughts and motivations to which I previously gave space.  Motivations driven by what others wanted, by what would please someone else, and what would not disappoint someone else.  Hello?!?  I had a new awareness of my tendency to give preference to something that would honor someone else even to the detriment of my own desires. It has been powerful to have awareness of what beliefs we think serve us well.  I feel so much more alive!  I’m getting clarity of what I want and taking bodacious, courageous action in that direction with confidence in the deepest place of my core.  I am more resilient than ever to the opinions of others.  Awareness is an amazing turning point..

This Thanksgiving I was having a conversation with a family member I love dearly, encouraging her to pursue what makes her come alive and talking through the possible ways to earn money by offering that gift/service to others.  Her response when she identified a resident passion was “but I don’t have the degree or experience to do that.”  I asked her the same thing I asked myself about my beliefs; and the same thing I ask you about any beliefs you’ve been tempted to hold onto…

“How well has it served you to date to hold onto that belief?”

Are you ready?  Come with me to let go of any beliefs and patterns that have not served you well? Awareness is the first step.  Second is a prayerful assistance requested of our Maker—that He will reveal our most alive state in Him.  Lastly, finding someone who holds us to our most alive state, no matter what we look like now. Then go confidently in the direction of newly revealed Truth.

Here’s to you discovering what makes you come alive.  I celebrate your radiance.

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