Today I sat in a cafeteria eating hamburger helper tacos, with dirt on my hands, and slightly soggy socks from a morning on the field. As a child, teen and young(er) adult, this picture wouldn’t have represented success for me. Far from it in fact.
But as I sat and stuffed my face with tacos (free food is my favorite, no matter what it is), I talked with the man across from me about his long day in the office. He spoke of how he felt more drained and exhausted after a day behind a desk, than after a day out on the challenge course with big groups of kiddos. And my response solfidied everything I’ve learned about success in the past year and a half:
There’s a huge difference between draining your body, and draining your soul.
The man across me nodded knowingly, “Yep, that’s exactly it” he said with a smile.
For years, I worked desk jobs, stuck in one place, same routine, same stress. And slowly but surely my soul lost its nourishment. I had the same conversation again and again with friends and family.
I’d say: “I know I’m good at these jobs. I get affirmation and acknowledgement. But I can not truly say I’ve ever loved any of the jobs I’ve worked.”
This statement created a growing sense of panic in me. Would I always be one of those people who hated their job? Would I ever find something that didn’t make me feel exhausted, depleted and altogether unhappy at the end of the day?
Well, the cafeteria I sat in today is that of an outdoor education center in the National Forest. I spent 9 hours of my day on site, rolled out of bed before 7 and interfaced with a group of kiddos who were having a hard time.
But here’s the difference between that and every other job I’ve ever spent 9 hours a day at: even though there was stress, even though there was challenge, that didn’t matter, because even one good moment out in nature, with kids valiantly preserving through the struggle nourishes my soul enough to make it all worth it.
I left work today (an unpaid shadow day at that) feeling fulfilled and driven enough to write this post to you. I left work with a nourished soul and a tired body… just the way I like it. And better yet? With a nourished soul, my body still holds energy and excitement.
So for now, I’m signing off to enjoy the last bit of sunshine with a walk through the woods, and this message to you:
Your time and space is valuable. Your soul deserves to be fed. Pursue the people, places and things that nourish you, that leave you feeling full. That is success. Choosing yourself is success. An off the map, wildly different, non-conventional job can ABSOLUTELY be success!!
I encourage you to think about what nourishes your soul today and seek that out in your daily life, your work place and your relationships with others! And if you have an insight you’d like to share comment away my loves!
Also, if choosing to nourish your soul feels tricky, if you constantly find yourself choosing to stick to what you “should” do, rather than what fills up your tank, I invite you to join my 30 day online workshop on self care and empowerment, starting July 15th. Click HERE to register 💛