A few weeks ago it was the last day of school for my 13-year-old daughter. As she jumped for joy with her math final finished, happiness floated in the air. Remember the song, "School's out for the summer!" and the great feeling of freedom after taking your last final? As Annie rejoices at the thought of reading lots of books, getting ready for interesting camps, sleeping over with friends, and traveling to distant relatives, business life goes on. Most parents with at-home kids, are working parents, and we do not have the summer off. Tomorrow is the not the last day of work, it is the beginning of a more complicated juggling act until school restarts just 11 weeks from now in August.

Perhaps your kids are older or you don't have kids. Regardless, you must know a recent graduate. My nephew just graduated with a Bachelor's degree and is off next week to intern in Nepal for the summer, doing meaningful work before embarking on graduate studies. Rather than worry about finding the best summer paycheck, he will have a priceless experience, meet new people, learn about a different culture, explore, and grow.

What if you brought that sense of freedom, joy, and exploration to your work and life every day? Is it possible to perceive each day as an adventure and learning experience, regardless of attachment to the exact outcome? Perhaps some of the pressure and stress would lift, your creative juices would flow, and with renewed energy you could continue the pursuit toward your passionate purpose.

Here are PRACTICAL POINTERS to create a mind shift:

Pause for a moment, close your eyes, and visualize a flower. Recall Edward Abbey's wisdom, "Wildflowers, like love, blossom best in openness and freedom." This is also true with people. Ask yourself what you need in order to allow your sense of freedom to bloom. And then, give that to yourself. Perhaps it is just a mind shift — realizing that you have as much freedom as you allow yourself.
Next, do something for YOU for a change — something that will stimulate your sense of joy, exploration, and wonder. Rather than all those picky, endless little-and-big tasks on the to-do list, do something, even if small, for yourself today. For me, I dream of hanging out in my hammock even for a few minutes in my secret garden with the aspen leaves shimmering against a brilliant blue sky. The birds chirp and a gentle breeze brings the smell of sweet flowers. My laughter rings out.
Give yourself permission to slow down, play hooky for a few minutes, and breathe. In between your in-breath and out-breath, there is a magical, infinite moment of possibilities. Your true self is waiting inside that moment to be released.

The worst of times? The best of times? Which are these? It depends on your perspective. You have the power to turn it around. Allow yourself to BELIEVE in the freedom, joy, and adventure of business and life. And then refreshed, take action on your pursuit!

Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com and www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com)


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