“If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. Sometimes the great famine of blessings in and around us derives from the fact that we are not living the life we love; rather, we are living the life that is expected of us. We have fallen out of rhythm with the secret signature and light of our own nature.” – John O’Donohue
This quote from John O’Donohue came across my path recently and I was reminded once again of the importance of being in alignment with that which we love and allowing it to feed our internal flame bringing us fulfillment, meaning and, hopefully, joy. When we do live the life we love blessings naturally follow because we are not longing for something else. Our life’s cornucopia overflows with the plenty that abounds in ever given moment when we take time to recognize it.
A couple days ago the invitation from the bright blue sky and the warmth of the mid-winter sun drew me outdoors down to the willow patch. Here, low and behold, were pussy willows bursting with fuzziness and robins flitting about feeding on the few remaining fruits of the shrubbery. At first I was shocked and concerned to see what surely is a springtime scene here in the deep of winter. This must be out of rhythm with the nature of wintertime and yet here it is. As I reflected upon the willow I remembered its gift of flexibility and realized in that moment that part of living this life that I love requires flexibility. I, too, must adapt to my environment and milieu and respond according to the circumstances. My expectation of pussy willow and robins was for them to show their face in March not the end of January and yet in their flexibility to live within the rhythm of their true nature they responded to the warmth of this winter by appearing early. How do I betray my true nature by rigidly holding to a preconceived idea of how it is suppose to be? Have I missed an opportunity to fully love my life because of upholding an image or doing for others what is expected of me?
Perhaps you say you cannot live the life you love because you must work at a job, any job, to put food on the table and house your children. And yet, we can always bring a piece of what we love into our daily life. Maybe you bring in a plant that gets placed on the corner of your desk and your love swells. Before you know it your desk is moved to where there is a window that the light pours through. Then next you are given a position that is more suited to your abilities and it continues on from there because you brought something you love into your life and life responded, blessings began to naturally find you.
A friend told me the story of being in the busy parking lot of Whole Foods doing the weekly shopping. All around were cars and people with much hustle and bustle. In the midst of suburban hubbub was an exquisite flaming red sunset. She stopped in the moment and let herself love her life by appreciating that “there is beauty everywhere in the world.” So perhaps instead of seeking a life that we love we recognize and are grateful for what we love about our life and the more we love our life we step fully into living the life we love that supports our true essential nature bringing us many blessings.