Finding my Life Theme while calling bullshit on “should”

Last week, I write a blog post about how I didn’t have the patience to sit down and write a different blog post. It was nice to cut myself some slack. And now, I’m back with what I missed.

The assignment for week 8, was to Find Your Life Theme. Inspired by Alex Franzen who wrote a post that began, “I believe every life has a theme.”, ended with “Here’s to thematic revelation,” and in between, it asked questions designed to help one identify the overarching theme of their own life, Judy urges us to give it a try.
I think this will be an interesting exercise for me, just like heart mapping was! Hope you join in, too.

The link to the post doesn’t work anymore, so I’ll paste Alex’s post and then answer her questions below (the non-italics and underlined text).

Alex’s Post & Questions

I believe every LIFE has a THEME — like a novel, a symphony, or a curated collection of art.
Your theme is an intricate composite of your family’s themes, your ancestors’ themes, your tribal-cave-man lineage, and your unique DNA. Stories, lessons, weaknesses + wishes. Percolating through the generations. Uniquely embodied … by YOU.With every decision we make — in this lifetime — we’re just playing variations on a theme. We learn the same lessons — over + over. We teach the same lessons — over + over. Our obstacles, talents + final-breath messages — they never (really) change. They just reveal themselves, in new + unexpected ways. Like I said — variations on a theme.
It’s fascinating to percolate through your life + hunt for themes.

It’s a more than a playful exercise in self-discovery — it’s extremely practical. Because once you’ve discovered your theme, you can tell your story. Your real story. The big story. The story with universal resonance + impact. Not just what you’ve done + when, with whom — but why. Some of my LifeThemes? Starry-eyed self-expression. Laser-lucid communication. Elastic resilience. Immersive devotion.

My biggest, most visceral theme? Supreme reinvention.

So. Want to discover your LifeTheme? (I thought so.) Let’s start with three elements, three questions — and a fill-in-the-blank statement. I’ll prompt you along. Here we go …

Your Cellular Obstacles
Your CELLULAR OBSTACLES are the troubles + challenges that keep promenading into your life, in different shapes + forms. Over + over + over. Your worthy adversaries. Your all-too-familar arch-nemesi. That fear you just can’t shake. The mistakes you can’t help but make. The merry-go-round loop in your head. Oh. THIS again.

QUESTION: What are the lessons you can’t help but keep learning (and quite likely, teaching — through living example?)
1. I need to let go of things which aren’t good for me.
2. I need to follow through on my dreams.
3. I need not fear that I am not good enough for something.

Your Magnetic Talents
Your MAGNETIC TALENTS are the big-money skills, easy-as-breathing abilities, natural gifts + visceral magnetism that you exude, when you’re operating at full capacity. The stuff you’re freakishly good at. Your borderline-prodigy abilities. When you’re using your MAGNETIC TALENTS, you’re actively in LOVE with your work. (In other words, you’re a GENIUS.)

QUESTION: What are you freakishly good at / completely in love with / frequently praised for / undeniably skilled at?
1. Organizing and decluttering.
2. Making simple, yet pretty handmade gifts.
3. Interior design, decorating.

Your Final-Breath Battle Cry
Your FINAL-BREATH BATTLE CRY is the message or mission that you’d HOLLER into the ether, if you had 25 seconds to live.

QUESTION: If you had the entire WORLD tuned into you — broadcasting live, from a top-secret location — what would you want the human race to know / remember / change / release / revive / believe?
1. Love really does conquer all.
2. Be open to possibilities.
3. Leap and the net will appear.

Your LifeTheme Statement…

My CELLULAR OBSTACLES are: letting go, following through on my dreams, fear.
And the biggest, most vital lesson that I’m destined to learn + re-learn in this lifetime is: only I can truly do something about the previously mentioned, no one else can.
My MAGNETIC TALENTS are: Organizing and decluttering, making handmade gifts, decorating.
I put them to use — every day — by: Creating a calming, clean, clutter-free environment we feel good coming home to.
I hide them whenever I: am with certain friends who aren’t into creativity and don’t understand that in my case, outer order truly contributes to inner calm.
But I’m ready to come out + tell the world that I’m in wildly in LOVE with my ability to: clear my head with during the simple act of reorganizing my drawers.
My FINAL-BREATH BATTLE CRY is: imagine the possibilities.
Because I believe that: love really does conquer all, and I don’t want to die before reminding the world that: if you have the passion, then you’ll succeed in getting that job, saving up the money, being with the man of your dreams; you’ll succeed with anything, really.
My Life has a Theme. And if I had to synthesize it into single word (or two, or three), it would be: Leap, and the net will appear.

For week 9, the assignment was to Call bullshit on “should”.

This being the first week at the new job, I think that it helped with my calling bullshit on “should”.  I let everything that wasn’t important, and that I could set aside without feeling obliged to follow up on, and did my own thing. I learned, a lot, even if there’s still soo much more of it.
I ditched going home to see my mom two evenings and instead went out with a friend whom I’ve been planning to take to a recently-opened coffee shop for months, and with two other girlfriends I only talked on the phone with for a while now, because I truly want to nurture those relationships as well.
I went to lunch an hour later on Friday, because I wanted to finish what I had started, even though practically every colleague from around my desk told me not to work that hard.
I asked a former colleague I get along really well with, to bring me my meal tickets from the old workplace, because I didn’t want to see and have to be polite to the person because of whom I needed to stay an hour and a half overtime on my last day at that firm. I was so much happier interacting with someone I actually like.

And the obligations I couldn’t get out of? I took j’s advice and reframed how I thought about them, or made them more fun.
I cleaned the apartment while searching for things to make toys out of, for our kitty, Pixel (he played with a tinfoil-ball for two hours, I’m not exaggerating! He also knocked off our Mimosa plant from its shelf, again, but that’s a different story.). I went to the market and listened to music on the walk there/back.
It was, all in all, a really good week! :)

For this week, week 10 that is, the assignment is to Practice Pleasure.
As j herself phrased it (and I fully agree!), “you can’t “relish” an activity unless you’re fully present, fully engaged. Practicing pleasure isn’t just about doing what you love, it’s about surrendering to it. […] Experiment with what lights you up inside, feel your own radiance, surprise yourself with just how brightly you can shine.”

Have you done any heart mapping? Either this week, or any time before? I’d love to see it if you have it published on your blog, or took a picture of it!

Also, how are you doing with calling bullshit on “should”? I do hope you’re good at letting go of obligations you don’t necessarily need fulfilled, and positively reframe the rest.

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

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3 Responses to “Finding my Life Theme while calling bullshit on “should””

  1. “Leap, and the net will appear.”

    A good, and honest, hope. Belief, even.

    And not untrue, often. One of the (few) things I have learned over the years of leaping is that, sometimes, the net does not appear.

    And yet that should not stop the leap. The living in the hope, in the belief, that the net will appear. For living optimistically, in hope, in belief, is a fine way to live.

    There is something oddly elegant about the acceptance of the possibility that no, this time, the net may not appear. And accepting that. And leaping anyway.

    It can be astonishingly painful to land after a leap during which no net appeared. Yet it didn’t kill me (despite my best efforts.) I can’t say such made me any stronger. Perhaps a little more clear-eyed.

    But still living. In hope. In belief.

    If there’s a theme—that may be it.

    • That is saying something, Kevin… it’s a good thing to believe that the net will appear, but it also necessary to accept that sometimes, it might not.
      I believe that it’s best to stay positive, to live with that hope, because if one stops hoping for that net to appear, it could paralyze them from going on. And I don’t even want to think of what could happen when one gives up that hope.

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