I read these words a few weeks ago on a post about following your career bliss, and how you know when you’re on the right path. The thing that resonated with me the most was these words:
“Describe a time in your life when you were at your best”.
When you think about this, what comes to mind? Is this time right now, or another time? How did you feel? What were you doing at the time, and where were you? What made this the time in your life where you were ‘at your best’?
My response to this question created images of my life in LA. Here I was, I just barely turned 30, I was living in a warm, sunny place and working as a freelance designer. My bills were high (of course, it was so. Cal.) but I made enough to keep a roof over my head, food in the frig and a little left over for funsies. I didn’t travel much back to Texas to see family, so I did miss that aspect of my life. But my friends in LA became my family. We spent holidays together and we took vacations together, even if they were just day trips to Malibu, Central Valley or up to Big Bear. I went to yoga class on Sunday to breathe, relax, center myself and decompress. I met my friends for karaoke on Monday nights to start the week off. I ate good food and I was active. I was happy, healthy and doing what I loved in the city that I loved. I woke up with the sunshine on my face and I often said to myself, “I cant believe I live here!”
I was surrounded by intelligent, happy, creative people. I was surrounded by the energy and the idea that life and possibilities were endless. I was home. I was working steady and creating what I loved. I was independent, I had a beautiful apartment. I had enough money to live on. I was experiencing true joy, vulnerability, self-acceptance and love for the first time. I didn’t need to ask anyone for permission for anything. I was experiencing new places, ideas, people, art and music. I was at peace and very much in touch with my creative side and who I was becoming. I seemed to literally blossom overnight in LA. This was my time.
I often ask myself if these best times are just a phase, or is it something that can actually last a lifetime? Why doesn’t it last?
It’s simple: we either operate out of Love or Fear.
All of our decisions are based on either Love or Fear. My decision to go to LA, was purely for love and for myself. I cast away all fears, quit my job in Dallas, took the money I had saved up, loaded up a Penske truck and moved out West into an apartment I had rented online but never seen. I was fearless and following my heart completely.
A few years later, my decision to leave LA was purely based on Fear. Long story short, I met a guy. Guy’s job transferred him to Texas. I felt I had to go, to keep the relationship intact. Fear told me that if I didn’t maintain this relationship, I may regret it. Or, I may not ever get married. Fear told me I needed someone to lean on. Fear told me I needed to stay in this relationship because being alone sucked. Fear told me if I didn’t leave LA now, I may lose everything in the downed economy. Fear forced me to leave my bliss. Some will think it was a smart move, but many will think it was stupid.
Personally, I think it was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done.
This was the time in my life where I was at my best and I disrupted that flow because of fear. Had I just trusted that God has my back always, and my Universe trust fund is limitless, I wouldn’t have left.
We may find ourselves in these same scenarios often. I have. But the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of this self social study are these questions:
WHAT are you doing when you are ‘at your best’?
WHAT makes this time in your life your ‘best’?
Name all of the elements that these ‘best times’ have in common.
Do you see a pattern or similarities?
For example, the second time in my life where I felt I was at my best was when I found myself newly single and about to embark on a 2 week trip to New York. The following months became what I described as the best and the worst times. I had just lost a dear friend to cancer, but my world felt like it was opening to new possibilities again. I was single, I was financially OK, I was independent and I was doing what I loved, traveling and exploring.
The top common denominators in both of my ‘best times’ scenarios is/was: Freedom. I am at my best when I feel independent, financially independent, creative and free. And that doesn’t mean I want to shirk all responsibility and live a gypsy bohemian life. It just means that when my basic needs are met, I am willing to do more in other areas to balance out and maintain that freedom.
So what defines or determines when you are at your best?
What keywords keep showing up when you think of times you were at your best?
Are you currently operating out of love or fear?