How to get back on your (proverbial) horse

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When I lived in New York, I met a lot of interesting people.  One of my customers at the bar I worked at was Jim.  Jim was your regular, blue collared, middle-aged man.  He was married with a few teenage kids.  Jim told me one night that he was taking night school while working his usual 40-50 hour work week.  I asked Jim what he was taking and he told me that he was in law school.  I thought to myself, “what!? You’re my dad’s age, and you’re in law school?”  He must have sensed my surprise because he said, “I always wanted to be a lawyer, and now I can afford school, so I figured why not?”  Several years later, while visiting New York, I bumped into  Jim.  He had quit his job.  He was working as a lawyer.  Amazing.

I tell people Jim’s story because it inspires and reminds me that it’s never too late to try something new!

I am constantly inspired by the older adults I work with in their openness to try new things.  I am amazed by their trust in me to help them discover new pathways, new talents, or to rediscover old ones.  I am truly grateful that I get to witness people continue to bloom in their later years.

So, how do you get back onto your proverbial horse?  How to you go back to something you have always done or wanted to do and actually do it?

Here’s how:

Step 1:  Discover what your soul is craving

  • Sit in meditation, go for a walk, or journal.
  • Ask yourself “what is my soul craving?”  “What do I want to do more than anything else, right now?”
  • Listen.  Really listen.  If nothing comes to you at first, try again later, or tomorrow.  The more you sit in quiet with your own thoughts, the more you will start to know what it is you want and need.

Step 2:  Research your decision

  • Find out what needs to happen in order to do what you need to do.  For example, if you want to take an art class research where you want to take it, how much it will cost, what time of day/week it takes place, and what other resources you’ll need to purchase to get started.
  • Don’t rush this process.  Trust that everything happens when it’s supposed to happen.  If you missed out on something know that there will be something else that’s better suited for you anyways.  It’s better to find the right class, pair of runners, or guitar, before you jump in without enough information.
  • Do give yourself a deadline.  While you can’t get upset when things don’t happen right away, give yourself a reasonable deadline to ensure things happen.  If you want to take a sport in the summer, set yourself a reminder to enroll as soon as registration opens so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of your daily life.

Step 3:  Tell your loved ones

  • This is probably the most important step because telling the ones you love about your plans makes it so.  By voicing your intentions you hold yourself accountable to actually fulfilling them.
  • Unless you live alone, your loved ones will also need to know if they need to be home a certain night for child care, or if they need to give you space to do your thing.
  • If you face resistance from them, explain why this is important to you.  Perhaps they never knew you had a deep passion for parasailing, but once you explain how much this means to you, they will open up.  Remember, fulfilling your soul’s cravings will make you  healthier (yes, healthier, but more on that later), less stressed, and much more pleasant person to be around.  So it’s a win win!

I’d love to hear from you.  Leave a comment and let me know what your soul is craving.

Did you go for it?  How did it feel?

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