Each day, more and more of us report an insatiable and inconsolable restlessness. Finding ourselves wrapped in the trappings of success and radiating an air of inexhaustible competence, we are unable to escape the hollow feeling that our lives have no real meaning or a purpose that feeds us from the inside.
You would think with all our knowledge, resources, access to world class expertise and affluence we would be the happiest and healthiest people in the world. But the reality is that in the United States, 87% of our rapidly expanding health issues are stress related! With all of our opportunities to lead and live a quality life, why are our rates of suicide and depression some of the highest in the world and increasing every year? We lose market position daily despite working more hours than the citizens of any other country. Nothing can satisfy our restlessness and emptiness. More prestige, more money, another Lexus, and a bigger house will not satisfy that hunger. To make matters even worse, many of us cannot articulate exactly what is missing. All we know is that most certainly we feel that something vital is escaping our grasp.
Many of us feel more comfortable with our professional identities than with who we are underneath the title on our business card and the role we hold at work. We are more comfortable at the office than at home. We feel more at ease with coworkers than with friends and family. We find it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to be quiet, silent, and alone with ourselves. I once asked a client how she relaxed and cared for herself. After a prolonged, painful silence she said, “I have no idea how to relax. It’s never entered my mind.” Relaxation was not only missing from her vocabulary but her life! I am hearing more and more from my clients that they want to move beyond this empty, vacant darkness and learn to feed themselves and their souls rather than their egos.
I believe the economic and political conditions are presenting a prime opportunity to revisit our core values. This is a great time to rediscover the passion that once propelled us into living our dream, not simply dreaming our dream. They say there is often a break down before there is a breakthrough. I find that hopeful and helpful rather than disturbing and disappointing. Our paradigm of “much wants more” has left us empty and searching for new answers.
Life is not only out ahead – it is here and now. We can embrace this ‘less than perfect world’ and pick up our paintbrush and draw another picture on our life canvas. We truly are the artists of our lives! We create our lives every day by the choices we make and roads we take.
Brilliance comes in many forms and is often seen most vividly in the darkness of night. Go bravely into the night — and find the light – OR allow the light to find you. Be careful to not allow the superficial and transitory trappings of success keep you in the dark.