It doesn’t matter if you do what you love, if you bring love into what you do

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Summer is ending, school has started, and life this last week was a chaotic mess.  I feel like it’s time to get back to some blogging.  This last week got me to thinking about how we deal with the details and everyday tasks of the lives we are creating.

I am a firm believer in the concept of consciously shaping our lives. Our thoughts create our reality. Our intentions for ourselves and others help evolve the world. To a large extent, I believe in the law of attraction and other new thought ideas. Yet, I think it can be foolish and dangerous to believe that we should only do tasks that we enjoy doing.

In the last week, I’ve noticed a number of coaches and authors writing about how important it is to ask for what we want and honor our desires. Much of this advice is useful. Asking for what we need and want in life is a critical part of taking responsibility and ownership for your life. But perhaps, culturally, we have gone too far in the direction of requiring that we should always get to do what we want with our life. We lose perspective on the idea of bringing love into what we do.

Have you ever noticed that many of the people you admire the most, do a lot of things they don’t love to do, but they bring love into whatever they do?

I recently saw a quote from the Dalai Lama — “Love is the absence of judgment.”

Sometimes, we need to bring a lack of judgment into the realm of our daily activities, so that we can love more fully.

This may not be true for most people, but I’ve noticed that the best opportunities, haven’t come into my life because I asked for them. Most of the time, the biggest career opportunities happened when I was doing work that I didn’t particularly love to do. Almost always, I had given up on the idea of doing what I wanted, and was working without attachment to results. I gave up having a judgment about what I was doing.

I’m not suggesting that we should spend our lives doing activities we don’t want to do. We should never give up our highest values and morals. But sometimes expecting to be able to do everything we want, leads to unhappiness, and a diminishing of love. Some of the people doing the greatest damage in the world have found ways to do exactly what they want to do, and that hurts us all.

tree trimming the side of the houseYesterday, a crew of men from Manny’s Tree Service, cut down a dead tree in my back yard, and trimmed another.  This picture shows to some extent how the big the tree was that was dying in our back yard. I was so impressed with how quickly they worked as a team. They were so good at what they did, and I really appreciated their efforts.

There is so much work to be done in the world that is needed, but not necessarily glamorous, esteemed or highly lucrative. How do we honor this kind of work more fully?  Frankly, the majority of the world’s population is doing work that is undervalued, and it doesn’t need to be that way.  The very least we can do, is value our own work.

This last week, I did a bunch of things that I didn’t particularly want to do, but activities that were needed. It was the first week of school for my sons, and I felt that my primary profession this week was chauffeur. Work projects came up that I hadn’t expected and took me away from my plans for the week. Not much of this last week was devoted to doing things that I love to do. One night, this week, I was struggling with feeling trapped and worrying how small my life seemed to be.

When I look back on this week, I remember that creating love in our lives and our world is often not particularly exciting. For me, the actions I took supported my overall intentions of being a good parent, a good steward of the earth, and working with people I respect deeply to create sustaining stories out of their life and work. Like so many other people in the world, I make sacrifices to live in a way that is meaningful to me. 

Most of the time, I feel lucky to be able to do what I love to do with my life.  I get to write blog posts and books, coach innovative men and women, work with my piano teacher to create songs, travel around the world, and spend a great deal of time with my sons, hopefully, helping them to learn how to create an enchanting adventure with their life.

When those times come when I can’t do what I love to do, and maybe feel not so happy about that, I can remember and choose to bring love into what I am doing.

Today’s contemplation:

How might you bring more love into what you do today and this next week?

11 thoughts on “It doesn’t matter if you do what you love, if you bring love into what you do”

  1. Ah, Karen, this is such an interesting and important topic! For me, although my life has been immeasurably improved by prioritising the things I love to do (writing and yoga) and making sure they are a part of my daily life, equally important is prioritising where I give my energy. So, for instance – my family and my home is a priority for me. Many of the tasks are not fun, as you know, but they contribute to my priority, so I accept that. I am the secretary of my children’s school’s P&C. This can be very difficult at times, and like last week, i ask why I do it. But another of my priorities is my children’s education and the community that we live in – so I keep doing it because it fits. I guess what I’m trying to say is that within our bigger desires, are a whole heap of activities that are not ideal – and all we can do, is like you say, bring our love to these tasks. Great post xo

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    1. Thanks Sara, the little and larger tasks within our priorities plus living our dreams can wear us out. I know I can get disheartened by them at times. I think you are doing a marvelous job with creating a great life for your family and children. Here’s hoping that this next week brings us both some unexpected pleasures amidst our must do tasks. 🙂

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      1. Yes, so true! I was thinking while I was writing that, that maybe there are other ways to fulfil our priorities – and we should be aware of that when our tasks become onerous in an ongoing way…

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  2. This reminds me of the Zen Buddhist saying: “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water”. In other words, it doesn’t matter what you are doing; it’s your state of being that makes the difference.

    I’ve felt for a long time that what has happened to women’s work (and by that I mean raising children and creating a home) is that we have ceased to bring love to our work. We decided for some reason that because the work is often difficult, maybe boring, certainly repetitive, that it has no value and that we are better off doing something more ‘meaningful’. That’s fine for many; we aren’t all called to the exact same lifework. But for those who are, that work is very fulfilling. My Mum raised nine kids, grew gardens, canned hundreds of jars of a huge variety of fruits, jams, jellies, as well as pickles and relishes., cooked, sewed, embroidered, mended, taught us so much, and lots more. She also found time to write poetry, much of which was published. She made things to beautify our home. She read a lot. And in the first years we lived in small one-room cabins or other small homes with no power, no running water and no indoor plumbing. The last place I lived at home had five bedrooms and one bathroom, three gardens, a couple of fruit trees, and was heated with a wood-burning furnace. Mum cooked on a wood-burning stove until I was in my late teens, which is when she got her first fridge, too. She did the laundry in a tub with a scrub board, later on with a wringer washer. She never complained, not once, and still, at 91, misses much about those days. Did I mention that she cooked all our meals from scratch, baked bread three times a week, made pies, cakes, cookies on the days in between? AS we kids left home, she took in foster babies for a decade or so. After that she taught herself to spin and weave. She did much more than that, too. I think the secret of her success is that she brought great love to her work. She was no more perfect than any of us, but tome she is a wonderful example of what women can do, if they choose.

    Thanks so much for this post; I’m going to re-blog it, as I’m sure some of my followers will enjoy it, too. This is a message we all need to be reminded of from time to time. ~ Linne

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    1. I agree with you about the way we view “women’s work” as less than. Thank you so much for sharing your mother’s story. My mother, who is now 84, also inspired me by the love she infused into the life of our family. I have a had a lot of internal conflicts about raising children and creating a home over the years. At this point, I am grateful that I have had the chance to live as I have, and hope that my sons also care about how to be loving in all they do. It’s tough because they are at an age when being rebellious is more important. 🙂

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    2. Your mom sounds wonderful. Each women needs to follow her heart. Some needed more or rather different things to make them feel fulfilled. I needed a combination of activities in the home as well as out of the home. The balance in my life was important. Hugs, Barbara

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  3. I am a friend and follower of Linne’s blog and love this too! As a woman who quit working to care for my mother in law who is still fighting cancer this is the way I look at every single day that I care for her. I just try to enjoy what ever I am doing and share love while doing it. I am hoping to some day return to the job that I really enjoyed but for now grandma is my labor of love and it is much harder work then the 40 I was doing before she got sick. But making every day a good day is my goal. So if in the end this work was not what I wanted, who cares I had a chance to spend so time with a wonderful person, made them feel better and worked my ass off and loved every little miracle she experiences. This is not what I wanted but it is exactly what I needed and I am doing it well.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience. I believe you are changing the world for the better with the choice you have made. Sometimes, we have to trust our hearts to tell us what truly is worth doing with our life. Blessings to you and your mother in law as you move through this difficult time. Your story reminds me of the Einstein quote: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts. You are living in a way that counts. 🙂

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