A few years ago I realized that I had fallen prey to the illusion of success that many of us have. I believed that if I had the perfect job, the perfect relationship, the perfect condo and the perfect trips, I would be successful and therefore complete.
A classic over-achiever, I learned through one too many viewings of after-school Oprah that I was responsible for my life. Always the planner, when I was seventeen I wrote out my vision for where I wanted to be when I "grew up", which entailed working as a lawyer on Bay St., living in downtown Toronto near the CN tower, dating a guy that most definitely wore a suit, and taking trips around the world.
As an over-achiever, the idea of this objectively successful life was alluring.
It was only once I ticked every item off on this checklist that the sparkle in my life began to fade and I was left disillusioned and lost. I had no clear sense of purpose or connection, despite everything I had built. If this is what I was working toward for so long, I thought, why didn't it feel that good once I finally achieved it?
Not even finished my twenties, I thought, "is this all there is?"
I was so stressed out and on edge with the demands I faced in my daily life between my law practice and other commitments that I thought I didn’t have any time to spend figuring out why I was feeling so stuck. Instead, I did what many of us do, and I scheduled over, Netflixed over, dated over, drank over, hit the gym over, and worked over the feeling of discord.
That was, until I faced a spiritual smackdown. It was February 1, 2014 and I woke up hungover. I had spent over a year running from my biggest fear, which was admitting that I wasn't happy even though I finally had the life I always wanted. I stepped outside into the brisk Winter air, and as I felt the cold pierce my skin and watched the sun illuminate the white snow around me, a voice came over me that said:
ENOUGH. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO be LIVING THIS WAY.
It was the voice in me that knew that while our lives are constantly evolving, they are supposed to feel exciting, magical and deeply fulfilling. If it's not, then something has gone amiss and we've been led astray. It was time for me to stop running.
I became insatiably curious about meditation, mindfulness, consciousness, the brain, optimizing human performance, goal mastery, spirituality, yogic philosophy, intuition, the science of gratitude and happiness, and what it meant to live a life of purpose. I wanted to determine how, exactly, to integrate these tools into a life that was extremely demanding and busy, with little spare time. I committed to making incremental shifts until once day I woke up and
my life felt magical, exciting, and deeply fulfilling.
Life is like a big, bright shiny room, but we often walk around with our hands over our eyes, forgetting the beauty of what is right in front of us. By connecting deeply with ourselves, we learn how to uncover our eyes, lead from the heart, and live the life we are meant to lead.