“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi
A few years ago, I felt like my world was falling apart. My oldest son had been diagnosed with Autism. I felt trapped in a corporate job that I was convinced was sucking my soul. My husband and I had recently separated. I felt overwhelmed, exhausted and, if I’m being completely honest, hopeless.
In the midst of the chaos swirling around me, I began feeling something tugging on my heart. A tiny pull towards making art, the process of creating… something. Art was something I’d always enjoyed as a child, but it had been years since I’d picked up a paintbrush or drawing pencil.
For weeks I resisted this pull. I told myself I was too busy. I needed to focus on my kids, my job, what I was going to do now that my husband was no longer living at home, the busywork of just living. Besides, all of my paints were dried out and new ones were so darn expensive – I didn’t really need to spend money on that right now, did I?
And yet, no matter how hard I tried to talk myself out of it, I couldn’t quite shake the urge to create.
Finally I gave in, and spent an afternoon setting up a small art table in my living room. For days, I walked past the table, admiring my supplies laid out neatly, envisioning myself happily painting away for hours.
But I didn’t sit down.
Instead, I continued telling myself how busy I was, how there were so many other things I needed to do, how I simply did not have the time to fritter away in an afternoon of painting.
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, this went on for weeks. I kept feeling this pull toward creating, and continued resisting it with a laundry list of excuses.
And then, one day I just stopped resisting. I sat down, pulled out a piece of paper and some paint, and got to work. I painted for hours that day, and the next, and the next. I would come home from work, feed the kids dinner, and then just sit down and paint. Like a starving person presented with a buffet, I gorged myself on painting. I could care less about what I was making, I just followed the pull to create.
In the middle of this creative frenzy, I read a magazine article about the sense of community found in art retreats. “Yes”, my heart whispered. “No way!” shouted my mind.
“Yes”, my heart repeated, tugging me softly.
This time, I followed the pull with much less resistance, shoving aside the thoughts that were telling me I was crazy, choosing to fork over several thousand dollars to fly to Maui for a week of painting at an art retreat. It was on this retreat that I was coached for the first time, and set on a course that would ultimately lead to the restoration of my marriage, my decision to enter Life Coach training, and a complete shift in the way I perceived and interacted with the world.
By following that initial, inexplicable urge to create art, I unwittingly altered the course of my life, and brought myself into alignment with my destiny. The simple act of surrendering to that ‘strange pull’ and allowing it to steer me towards something that felt like joy, completely changed my life’s trajectory.
So, what ‘strange pull’ are you feeling?
Perhaps it’s something you already know you love, or perhaps it’s something you’ve never tried.
In the case of the former, my advice is “Just do it”. Just… do it. You deserve a full, round, juicy life, full of things that light you up. Not ‘someday’ or ‘later’ but RIGHT NOW. So go do it, and keep doing it. Watch your life blossom and expand, as you’re doing more and more of the things you love.
In the case of the latter, my advice to you is also “Just do it.” The strange, gentle pull you are feeling, the one you sense in your heart space, it is trying to guide you toward your destiny.
Maybe your destiny is not tied to doing ‘the thing’ per se, so please don’t get hung up on that. My experience taught me that the pull is not necessarily an arrow pointing you directly to the destination, but it IS steering you toward the right path.
So if, for example, you’re feeling a pull towards an Art class, don’t build it up in your mind too much. Because maybe your destiny is pulling you toward the person who is waiting to meet you at that class.
Or maybe it’s pulling you toward that perfect little boutique space that just came up for lease, the one that’s waiting for you to spot it on your way to that class.
Or maybe it’s pulling you toward that big new idea, the one that’s waiting to unfurl itself across your mind as you’re moving paint around the canvas in that class.
You will never know what exactly it is pulling you toward unless you do it. And by doing it, you have no way of knowing what new thing you will put into motion. This is how your destiny unfolds, one ‘strange pull’ at a time.
Your right life, the one you are destined for, will never force itself upon you. Instead, it shows up in these soft, strange pulls, the ones that make your heart leap ever so slightly in response.
When you feel them, know that what is meant for you is calling you. Please answer.