You find your dream job, your dream home, your dream love… and soon, it’s just like every other. I mean, you appreciate it, you live with it, you do what’s needed, you might deeply love it… but that feeling of a rush and a spark fizzled out.
And then what?
This is the point where I typically loved to exit in the past.
Have you been there?
I’d move from city to city, jump from job to job, head from one relationship to another… all the while looking for the eternal flame of excitement that would sustain itself.
It didn’t realize at the time that what I lived for was a “high.”
Once the high wore off, what I was left with felt like it was not enough. Physically, I wasn’t feeling the rush. I always felt let down and I’d be told by “rational” people that this was how life worked in “reality.”
Not in my reality. And I bet you don’t love it in yours, either. Who really wants a lackluster life?
The rush always faded, whether I was in the most coveted of jobs or the most thrilling of romances, even if I was giving my all. I started to wonder how life worked in a more long-term fashion and if I’d have to settle for no spark and no passion in order to commit to a one single career or a relationship or a place to live …or anything, really.
Turns out, it’s extremely common. Craving the rush is like craving drugs. The more I got attached to this rush, the more I pulled into my life people with this similar love of the high. Everything became so much more fever pitched and unstable. I’d find jobs with this same feeling of high… I’d find “perfect” situations that would be not-so-great after a few months and I didn’t understand exactly why.
I always knew that to do anything real there has to be a deep level of commitment. So, I got very deep into committing, even if it felt strange and foreign and contrary to my thrill-loving, magic-and-glitter nature.
There are two things I realized: 1) I’m not crazy: it is possible to commit to things that are pretty consistently exciting. 2) We are the generators of this thrilling stuff.
If you’re ready to have the thrill back in your life where it’s fading, you can make it happen right now.
The thrill of the new- especially in love but actually in all kinds of endeavors where you’re deeply invested- brings your body and brain a flood of ecstasy known as dopamine.
Dopamine isn’t love. Dopamine is a drug high.
It’s the similar kind of high that narcotic drugs bring. It’s a very all-consuming, life-shaking high. It wears off, like all “highs” do. And when it does, that’s when things look differently.
That’s not a bad thing. In fact, there are much more long-term chemical paths of ecstasy that don’t give you the high and then the crash.
Here’s something fascinating: in long-term relationships that thrive, bonding chemicals like vasopressin are needed that actually “block” the dopamine rush. So, that initial “high” seems to be unattainable.
What’s interesting is… the chemical hit of dopamine in love gets swapped for the sustained high of endorphins. Endorphins are “runners high” brain chemicals. Endorphins are amazing.
And all the other hits of passion and rapture… they’re all still there waiting to be tapped into.
It may seem like everything’s faded when that just-cant-quit high wears off.
I’ve blamed everything from other people to timing to the alignment of the stars for a lack of that spark that once was blazing bright.
It’s actually a self-generated thing to stay in a space of magic.
Magic’s what we have to make for ourselves and then bring to others.
Acting like a spoiled child in a fairytale universe, I believed magic was just meant to come to me and shower my life with its radiance without my lifting a finger. I thought that’s how you know you’re in the right place… with the right people… because it’s just all excitement all the time just flowing at you…
In my own work, it wasn’t until I started my own business brimming with so much passion that I was bubbling over only to find that, eight months in, and loads of success behind me, I felt completely devoid of that spark. No matter what opportunity came to me, it wasn’t enough. That initial thrill was gone.
I was pretty stunned. In fact, I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t just bail on it. It was my own business and I actually created it!
This really put a spotlight on how responsible I am for the quantity of passion in my life.
I took a step back, romanticized my past days of working in art (which left me perpetually dissatisfied) and then decided I had to take it upon myself to create so much bigger than I ever thought possible. New mediums, new ways, new spaces… No one could do it for me. I had to create it myself. No matter what happened, I had to find that stuff of excitement inside of me.
I made online Camps that I dreamed about doing that are a perpetual thrill, I collaborated on home designs, I did so many new things that were totally new. It was scary and crazy and incredible. The world felt like perpetual stardust again.
Whatever’s lacking on the inside is being reflected on the outside.
This is feng shui. It’s also common philosophy. It’s also something I’ve only seen to be true.
This applies to dream homes that later feel “ok” rather than exciting. You’re bored of it. But, you’re also bored in your life, inside. Things get stagnant if they aren’t being attended to with care. Rooms need to be spruced up, lightened and brightened… Where there’s a lack of attention to details, that’s mirrored in the way you feel about the space.
Paying attention changes everything.
Mix in new candles, new colors, new things… Rearrange rooms. Hang art in new ways.
At best, we’re always evolving.
At worst, we start to blame fate and outside forces for what we lack.
If you want more of that “high” that sustains itself – the endorphins that keep life feeling radiant- realize it comes from you.
Keep risking and keep growing. Chances are, most people you admire take big risks and always find new ways to keep their life fresh and electric.
Feed yourself the attention, love and care you need. Take time for you. Do things that you love just for the sake of doing them.
Stay present and focus on what you have to give… not what you have to get. I can tell you right now, the more I looked to be admired and desired the worse I felt and the less desirable and admirable I became. You can’t dance around and make someone do your bidding. You can’t demand success from a job. All you can do is show up and give and connect and find that deep interest in life for yourself. Generous and open-hearted energy is the best-feeling and the most magnetic.
Stability is part of magic. When you’re the creator of your own passion, you aren’t shaky. You aren’t always searching for the next best thing, the next hit of magic, the next validation… You aren’t focused on what’s wrong. You aren’t looking outside of yourself for guidance. You can’t be blown by the wind.
It’s way easier to commit and to see your commitments flourish. It’s easier to see where you really do need to move on and where you need to sink in more.
If you’re feeling cranky, dissatisfied, let down, rejected, unappreciated or any of the above, find where it’s located in you. Find where you’re not giving yourself the attention, presence and passion you desire. Fill yourself up… then share that magic with the world.
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It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do.
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And, as always, please let me know what happens!