A recipe for work made with love
“Here, I made something for you, and I made it with love.” My client was explaining to me this is what it’s like for her to bake bread and share it with her friends and family. I said, “This is how I feel about work. Everything I offer is made and given with love.” She said, “Wow, it would really change how the world would work if we all perceived it in this way.” I wholeheartedly agree. This is why the second week in the Vision Program is themed as reclaiming work as an act of love. I do believe work is an act of love – toward ourselves and others.
Work is an act of love – toward ourselves and others.
When people approach me hoping to discover their inspired work, they are usually so disheartened with what they’ve been living they claim they “hate” the whole idea of work. But it’s difficult to create work you love without first loving the idea of work itself. Before we even get to the stage of cooking up their inspired work, first we have to do the prep work to clear their heart space and get the ingredients ready.
The ingredients for your inspired work
The first two ingredients are related to each other: your beliefs and your story about work. They’re somewhat like the “chicken or the egg” situation. If left unquestioned, your beliefs will become your story and if you perpetuate your story, it reaffirms your beliefs. Now, if you are loving your experience of work, then you might not want to change your beliefs or your story. However, if you are having an experience of work that’s rotten, then you may have to refine these two ingredients.
Limiting beliefs: Beliefs are the patterned thoughts that we have conditioned ourselves to perceive as true. If you are holding onto limiting beliefs, they will taint the flavour of your work. You can identify limiting beliefs by how they make you feel. Any of your thoughts about work that feel “bad” are limiting you. Perhaps those thoughts did serve you at one time, but they are no longer serving you now. You can reduce their bitter effect by coming up with better feeling thoughts. However, sometimes it’s as effective simply to let those old thoughts dissolve by having compassion for yourself and what you have lived.
Old stories: Your work story is the story you tell yourself and others about your experience. Your story is strongly responsible for shaping your future. If you’re not sure what your work story is, ask someone who is close to you. I can guarantee they have heard it over and over, usually in the form of “venting”. It is common for a story to be comprised in a ratio of three parts distaste for what you’ve been living to one part craving for what you want to live. The problem is we try to cook up work using mostly old, dated stories so our work ends up feeling stale. To create fresh, new work, you must recognize which parts of your story are old and discard them.
The remaining ingredients: Once those two crucial ingredients have been purified, you are ready to add the remaining ingredients. There are several required for creating your inspired work. I’ve listed them all in the recipe below.
Inspired Work: A handcrafted recipe made with love
Prep time: As long as it takes
Cook time: Your entire life
- 12 limiting beliefs, ground into a powder, dissolved in compassion
- 1 story of work, the old part removed and discarded
- 1 heart, left whole
- 1 vision for the world, clarified
- 10 EACH of your greatest strengths, gifts, and talents
- 1 big dream (add more, if desired)
- 1 handful of potential creative ideas, for garnish
- 1 dash of real commitment (optional, but recommended for best results)
- Preheat the oven with your creative fire.
- In a large bowl, with purpose, add your dissolved limiting beliefs, work story, whole heart, and clear vision. Allow to marinate as long as possible.
- When ready, stir into the mixture your strengths, gifts, and talents.
- Choose a container expansive enough for cooking up your big dream. Add the mixture to your container and bake until your work begins to become real.
- For delight, sprinkle with as many creative ideas as possible.
- Your inspired work will keep indefinitely in a warm and loving space.
As mentioned above in the ingredient list, one of the keys for the best results is to add a dash of real commitment, meaning your dedication to your work must be more than just a mental exercise or an action taken as a means to making money. You must show up wholly and fully to bring your work to life. Even after you have created your work, it requires your continual care to keep it from becoming unappetizing again. Keep your soul self engaged by sprinkling your work with fresh creative ideas. Keep your creative fire stoked by allowing life-force energy to flow through you. Keep your love alive by tending to your heart.
The world needs work made with love
To live your inspired work is a vulnerable act – you are offering the world your heart. When people don’t respond in the way we hope, such as they don’t champion our initiatives or buy our products or show up for our events, it can be crushing. When my offerings are not received with the same enthusiasm with which they are created and offered, my heart breaks a little (sometimes, a lot). This is why inspired work is for the courageous. It requires staying open even when our hearts ache.
In a time when the world feels so unwelcoming to so many, it is essential to keep creating work from a place of love and giving it without reserve. In essence, this is what inspired work is. It is the work made from love for ourselves and extended as an act of love toward others. It is a home for nourishing our hearts and sharing them with the world, hopefully making it a more hospitable place for all.
For those who are hungry to get in the kitchen and start creating their inspired work, let’s get cooking. We have a feast to prepare.