To know what a fulfilling life is, let us consider an unfulfilled life.
Maybe a busy life, with a tight schedule, lots of routines to perform, no enthusiasm for any part of it. Nothing to look forward to, a feeling of tiredness, of indifference and lack of interest.
What to do to turn that around?
I know of people who lived a life like that, until they found out of some serious threat to their life, a serious accident, a diagnose of cancer, a sudden death of someone dear, a loss of a limb, loss of a job. All of a sudden life is upside down, and we wonder, what is life all about, what am I doing here, what is the meaning of all this?
After that incident one cannot take life for granted any longer. For many, a new way of living starts, a new respect for oneself, a new appreciation for the ones close to us, a realization we are living the wrong life and a complete change is desired. For others it is a wave of remorse for things done in the past, or a decision to forgive others who hurt us or to forgive ourselves.
I have heard of people saying, that an incident was the turning point in their life, they were shocked and sad at first, but eventually became grateful for what happened. Some how they became engaged in their own life, their families and what was important to them.
These people, most likely have a fulfilling life now. They may have found meaning, taken responsibility for their life, and have taken a deep interest in doing it right. And that is wonderful.
Is this the only way to have a fulfilling life? No, it’s not. We can start taking responsibility for our life and have respect for life before we get hit with a two by four (figuratively speaking).
In our society, there is so much emphasis on youth, vitality, results, productivity, beauty, improvement, and the future. There is nothing wrong with all that, they are all very desirable aspects of life, and all these aspects of life would become even more precious if we remember we are all mortals, and every phase of life is impermanent. If we remember our own death and be grateful because we are alive and appreciate everything that manifests for us in this amazing life.
It seems to be unusual to speak of death when we are exploring “how to live a fulfilling life” and yet it is very important because most of us don’t live with the awareness of death. Death is life as much as birth is life. We tend to want to enjoy life, celebrate birth and ignore death. If we do that we are not honoring life.
When we honor life there is an appreciation for every event, every second of life we experience, even when we think we made a mistake, we learn from it. Every moment is a time to enjoy, a time to be kind, to love and to be happy.
Being passionate about something is also honoring life. How to uncover our passion? We want to know who we are and how to choose what brings us that good feeling of well-being and satisfaction.
We were all born with passion. We were a tiny seed with a passionate desire to manifest in this life in our human body. There was an incredible competition of millions of other seeds who also wanted to manifest in a human body and we made it, we became who we are today, and that is a passionate beginning! That same passion is still there waiting to be activated and appreciated.
When you wanted to be fed, you cried, that was your way than, to assert your needs and wants. All that you wanted was freely expressed, and very often, your needs were not met for one reason or another and as you grew more, many times you were reprimanded for what you wanted and eventually wanting and demanding became a hazardous thing and little by little you decided it was easier to forget about asserting your needs and wants, and your passion became buried, not available to you any longer.
Now if you want to awaken that passion again, there are ways of doing it, if you really want it, make some effort getting it and start using it.
To start with, think of something you really enjoy, it could be anything.
Let’s say you enjoy walking in nature. Ask yourself, why do I enjoy walking in nature? And you answer truthfully, because, it’s fresh, there is so much space, I don’t feel crowded, there is a quietness that ‘s very pleasant, and after a while I feel I belong, I am part of nature… In a few minutes you found some things about you. You found out you like space, freshness, quietness, and you like the feeling of belonging and be part of something.
Now, let’s say you enjoy the company of your dog: and like the last time, why do you like the company of your dog? You answer: because he’s so cute, he’s so friendly, curious and smart. He likes me a lot, he responds to me when I talk with him, he knows a lot of things. Again you found out a lot about yourself. You found out you like cute, curious and smart, you like that he likes you, and responds to you when you talk with him, and that he knows a lot of things.
Again in just a few minutes, you learned a lot about yourself. This is self inquire. If you continue doing self inquire you start to be curious about you, what you like and why, how many things you like and you are just remembering why. The liking yourself and appreciating your self comes first and later it becomes a passion for what you do and choices of what you want to do.
Enthusiasm for life, glad to be alive and giving expression to all your wants and desires an knowing how to satisfy every desire. You are victorious again, and this time you will keep this feeling of knowing how to Be. When you live with Passion, you live a Fulfilling Life.