Purpose and Passion Collide for Spiritual Gut Punch
Updated: Apr 24
Yesterday, I woke up at 4:30 a.m. with every intention to write.
I do this from time to time. I wake up between 4:30 and 4:45. I jump in the shower to let the hot water invigorate my naked body. I brush my teeth, pour myself a big glass of ice water and I write.
I’m trying to be intentional about turning this into a bonafide habit, because that’s how I got over the hump and finished my debut book, The Tacos and Chocolate Diet.
Full transparency: I’m falling short, writing only a couple times a week. On some of those days, I’m only spending 10 minutes banging on my keyboard. I’m definitely NOT in a productive rhythm.
Over the last couple of months, when I get up and write, I focus on my second book, Stop Eating Sh*t Sandwiches. Sometimes I write an entire chapter. Other mornings, I’m lucky to pen a single paragraph. Needless to say, it’s definitely still a work in progress and writer’s block is very real.
Yesterday morning was a little different, though.
Again, I had every intention of writing, but I decided to go back and read some of my old blog posts instead. (I think I was hoping to discover a catalyst for the current chapter of Sh*t Sandwiches that I’m currently slogging through.)
Instead of finding inspiration. I discovered a cold, hard truth.
In July of last year, I got into a fantastic rhythm of writing. I was writing every day and releasing one blog post a week. And not to nominate myself for president of my own fan club … but those posts were pretty effing good.
Here are some of things that I wrote about:
Jesse Itzler and his challenge to figure out what you really want
The end of my running streak after 4,150 days
Again, they were solid narratives. (It’s amazing what happens when you write on a consistent basis. Those “muscles” get stronger. It’s just like going to the gym or training for a marathon.)
But while I was reading those posts again, I had a gut-punch realization. I stopped and took an intentional breath of temporary defeat. Then, I whispered this to myself: “I am wasting one of the most profound gifts that God gave me.”
Hold on … real quick … this blog post is totally starting to sound egocentric with a nauseating layer of cut-rate “Cocky Polish.” But here is my whole-hearted promise: This realization is coming from a place of humility. The fact that I’m not maximizing my aptitude for writing is absolutely embarrassing and tragic.
Again, in July of last year, I was getting up and writing every day. The words were flowing. I was in a wonderfully great rhythm. In early September, I just stopped. (Please don’t ask me why, because I don’t know the answer.)
Between September 9th and right now, I have written exactly one blog post and a handful of partial chapters in my new book.
It makes me sick to my stomach. Re-reading my old blog posts threw some rancid chili and eggs on that nausea. Again, God blessed me with the ability to communicate through the written word, and I have been wasting that blessing.
Random question: Are you familiar with the word Dharma? (Don’t look it up in Webster’s Dictionary. That will only confuse you. And don’t immediately attach it to a culture or religion. Take it from someone who did that ... that is shortsighted.)
I’m in the midst of listening to Jay Shetty’s book, Think Like a Monk. He goes into detail about Dharma. This is how he beautifully explains it: Dharma represents a person's calling; it is using your natural inclinations – what you thrive at – to serve others.
Shetty says that Dharma is when purpose and passion collide for the greater good.
It’s hard to explain all the emotions I started feeling as Jay Shetty poetically explained all of this through my AirPods. On the heels of re-reading my old blog posts, his words made me realize that I have treated my Dharma like a glorified hobby for most of my adult life.
I was sad.
I was disappointed in myself.
I was infuriated.
I was confused.
I kept asking myself the same question over and over again: “Why?”
Radical honesty: I think this staggering realization sent me into a tailspin of depression – a black hole of self-doubt.
So, what did I do? I moved. I refused to sit still and let the darkness engulf me. I started writing this particular blog post. I took a purposeful step to embrace my Dharma, which is to use my gifts of writing and speaking to inspire other people.
Real quick … NO! It’s more than just inspiring people. My Dharma is to generate hope and spark intentional action by putting the spotlight on God.
If you’ve heard me speak or read some of my other blog posts, my message has revolved around self-care, self-love and mental resilience. Make the important things important, starting with you … right?
Well … that is mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
In the last four years, I have hit rock bottom more often than I care to admit right now, but making myself a priority – focusing on those four pillars – saved me. Especially my relationship with God through Jesus.
God has always been a part of my story, and He’s been lurking in the shadows of every blog post that I’ve written and every keynote I’ve delivered. I’ve never hidden my faith, but I have fallen short of screaming my love for Christ from the rooftops.
Again, I haven’t whole-heartedly embraced my Dharma … until now!
You: “What does that mean?”
Me: “I’m so glad you asked…”
It means I’m making a commitment to get up every morning to write – connect with God and let Him speak through me.
It means I’m making a commitment to revamp my keynote – share my rock bottom moments and explain how I came out on the other side. (Spoiler alert: It was God.)
It means I’m making a commitment to lean into Him when He tests me.
It means I’m making a commitment to constantly express my gratitude for His love, kindness and grace.
It means I’m making a commitment to nurturing my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being.
It means I’m making a commitment to live my mantra:
Eyes on God
I am a warrior - stay in the fight
Again, Jay Shetty says that Dharma is when purpose and passion collide for the greater good, and my Dharma is to generate hope and spark intentional action by putting the spotlight on God.
Let's ride ... er ... write!