Have you done the math? If you are employed full-time that generally means that you are at work an average of 8 hours per day, 5 days a week, for a total of 40 hours. Give or take. So, 40 hours a week multiplied by 50 weeks a year – accounting for some much-needed vacation time – equals 2000 hours. We have 8760 hours in a year. If we are lucky, we sleep away 2920 hours which works out to almost 40% of our remaining time spent in our vocation.
If this data is not enough to support how important it is to love what you do, then I don’t know what is!
We are Meant to Work and Play. What if We Can Do Both at the Same Time?
The reality is that many of us spend additional hours thinking about work, contemplating our careers, pondering workplace dynamics and solving problems related to work in our “free” time. At the end of the day, a great deal of energy – physical, mental and emotional – is expended in the fulfillment of our work responsibilities.
Work is not meant to be drudgery – something to be avoided and dreaded. We are meant to be active, to contribute, to serve. There is a time for work and a time for rest – a time to produce and a time to play.
What if we considered that our chosen vocation was just another opportunity to express the truth of our soul? What if you could actually work in a job that was fulfilling for you – one in which you had a sense of meaning – one where you experienced great joy and excitement? A job where you had fun!
What if you created a career that offered you all that you yearn for – those things that money can’t buy?
Work Life Balance – Yeah, right!
What is all this talk about work/life balance anyway? Is that to say we aren’t living when we are working? I’m sure that sounds as silly to you when you read it as it does to me when I write it! The best way to create the kind of balance we are yearning for is to wholeheartedly embrace all of who we are and to bring that fully to all that we do – to connect on a soul level.
Think of your soul as the place where your purest self resides – the truth of who you are at your core – stripped of roles, relationships, and obligations.
What I am suggesting here requires that we dig deep into our stores of self-compassion. It is a no brainer that we strive to be a vessel of compassion for others – especially in the role of a helping professional. The well will run dry if there is no expression of self-compassion.
In a place of self-compassion, you will create a space of grace for those hard-to-accept characteristics you discover, and you will find the courage to express more readily your natural gifts in the world.
Fun, freedom, relaxation, joy – these are not activities – they are states of being. Fun is an energy. Freedom is a state of mind. Relaxation is a presence. Joy is a foundational emotion.
If your soul had an expression, what would it say?
How does the expression of your soul feel?
I realize these are not necessarily easy questions to answer in a moment or two, unless you have already been exploring this in your life. Approach the pondering with a sense of curiosity and a willingness to discover something new about you. And have fun!
Let’s get started!
What precious gems did you uncover in response to these soulful questions?
How can you integrate what you have learned into your vocational life?