Start Where You Are

Precious few of us have the time to add yet another project to our already full lives. Yet here I sit, on a cool Sunday morning just days after my 52nd birthday, writing what I expect to be my first of many posts to my new blog, which I call Soul Projects.

I am not here for the money, the accolades, or even for the exposure. I am here because I have an unexplained, and until now untapped, desire to share my ideas with the world. Not because I think I have better ideas, but because I think I have good ideas on par with everyone else who is expressing themselves. That may not be a ringing endorsement of my work, but it has the benefit of being true.

My central theme for this blog is this: everyone needs a project they love. Everyone needs a project they enjoy. Everyone needs a project that satisfies their soul. This blog is mine.

everyone needs a project they love.

To begin a Soul Project, you have to find a Soul Project. And I’m still not sure whether one finds the project, or the project finds them. Whatever the case, a Soul Project often seems to emerge just when you need it the most.

Mine came to me mid-life when I discovered a real passion around writing. I found I had a lot of pent up ideas and I was ready to unleash them into the world. What I didn’t have, however, were readers.

The benefits of the internet are many, but by far the best thing to come from this free, universal resource is the ability for all of us to express ourselves however and wherever we want. It is the great equalizer. It is democracy at its basest form: everyone has a voice.

Yet that is not what motivated me to write. I fell into a practice of writing as a means of self reflection, and self healing, after a trauma that had set me back. But I quickly realized that the words I was writing, as a gift to myself, had value beyond the letters on the page. They had the capacity to heal me of my own inner critic.

Taking on a project to heal yourself of an inner critic who has been given free reign for years was not my explicit intent. I simply wanted to silence the voices in my mind that seemed to second guess me, undercut me, and tell me to stay small. But in my desire to stop the incessant chatter of an unsupervised mind, I found that I had a passion for practical tools that make life easier.

I found my first Soul Project.

A Soul Project is anything that calls you forward in life and towards a more authentic expression of the true you. It can be an interest, a desire, or even a passion, but it’s anything you do that seems to make the time fly by. It’s the thing you do regardless of what others think of it. It’s the project you take on because you sense a power of joy in it.

And in that project, you find yourself.

Soul Projects need not be grand, complex, or large. They need only speak to you on a level that is undeniable. A level where you say, I can’t not do this. I have to move forward.

My first Soul Project — writing — found me as I was comfortably counting the years until I could retire and find more freedom in my schedule. I was not looking to add to my plate. I was looking to shed some of my responsibilities and do more of the things people do when they have ample free time. Yet the pull of writing was something I could not deny.

It became my project of choice any time I had a free moment. It became my daily ritual, each morning before work. It became my favorite thing to do (aside from cooking and eating) and I filled up my off days, and my notebooks, with words. And with each word I wrote, I was overcome with love for myself, for life, and for what I was doing.

Soul Projects fill you up in a way that no other activity can. They seem to leave you fulfilled, yet still wanting more, at the same time. They seem to make you feel alive, and content, simultaneously. They have the power to wake you in the middle of the night merely to think about them.

These projects are what life is made of, but I see that many of us are unwilling to make time for them because we are already so busy. We used to call these projects hobbies, then side hustles, and now I am looking for this next evolution: these projects are the key to unlocking our true selves from the boxes we have trapped them in.

What we do for fun is a shout from our souls to get us to enjoy life more. What interests us is a breadcrumb on a trail carefully laid there by our own inner guidance. The passion we feel around doing something we love is the emotion that is showing us we are walking our soul’s path. That we are onto our purpose.

My goal is to free everyone from the confines of our culture and press upon them the importance of having projects you love. Not only do they make you happier, they reveal to you your own true essence.

What began for me as a healing exercise became a project I could not set aside. What became clear is that, on the way to creating this website and blog, I would learn more about myself than I ever thought possible. And it all started because I was willing to go all-in on a project that made absolutely no sense when I started it. Me, starting a blog. In 2023.

I live in Cincinnati, Ohio, which has been famously characterized as 10 years behind the times. Even with a 10-year grace period, I am late to blogging. Maybe I am even late to life. But one of the best things I have learned in my years of writing is that you can only start where you are.

And I am here.

I could wait until tomorrow, and still I’d be here. I could wait until I have more followers, and still I’d be here. I could wait for a more inspired post, and still I’d be here. Here is where I always am. Here is where my power lies.

I never understood the oft-cited rule on power — all your power is in the present moment — until I began to experience how alive, and powerful, I felt when I did something I truly loved. Once you do, you look up from your work and say, I love this exact moment in time. I love where, and who, I am right now.

That’s power. And I believe every person is capable of achieving it, if only they are willing to follow their hearts.

Following your heart was a new idea that I had to learn, and re-learn, before it clicked in. Projects that make you feel good are heart projects. Projects that make you feel alive are Soul Projects. And you find your Soul Project by first following your heart.

When I began writing, I did it for fun. I enjoyed it. I looked forward to it. Soon, though, I realized that I would rather write than any other activity. Which is a hard thing to realize when your plate is already full.

Undeterred, however, I have learned to mold my projects around my life, and my life is the richer for it.

What I am here to say is this: you too can find your Soul Project and let it carry you through life, riding waves of good emotions. Our common blocks to these emotions are easily dealt with, so that your true and innate desires will emerge.

You too can fill your days with projects you enjoy. You too can find an inner peace doing an activity you love. You too have something to offer the world, merely by being yourself.

My blog will focus on the ways in which we hold ourselves apart from our desires, and why. It will cover the common misperceptions that keep us from following our heart. It will positively, and relentlessly, cheerlead you to pursue any interest that captures your attention, to see where it leads.

Everyone could benefit from having a Soul Project. Everyone could find more happiness if they simply allowed themselves to let go. Everyone could fall more in love with life if they let go and allowed more of the time.

That’s what I did. I let go of my own fears, limiting beliefs, and misperceptions around starting a blog in 2023, and did it anyway. I showed up and said, even if no one reads this, I am going to have fun doing it. I am going to seize the joy of the moment, and use that power to better my own life, one post at a time.

Come along if you too are interested in finding out what makes you tick. All the answers, by the way, are locked inside you and the powerhouse called your heart.

In our culture, we celebrate the rational mind, but if I listened to that, I would never be writing, or sharing this. I would never have started my free newsletter. I would never have written as a mode of self healing.

The leap of faith I made was to begin believing in the power of my emotions to show me my best path forward in life. Which is why I knew I had to start this blog. It seemed like the most exciting thing I could do, once I cleared out all my fears.

You too can do this work. You too can answer the question, what do I want from life. You too can find projects you love to fill your days.

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