I am listening to reflections from the audience about our film Showing Up; Dare to Live from Your Heart. It is our second premier, this time in Mexico. The viewers are primarily expats living here in Ajijic where the theater is located.
These mostly retired folks are interested in living a full life – a life of purpose. They teach me something about our film during the Q and A that follows the film. One man shares that the film came at an important time in his life. I hear passion and curiosity in his words. He is at a turning point. He hears wisdom that helps guide his next steps. Three or four others stand and share how the film touched them. Their observations are illuminating.
Our film is not entertaining.
That might sound like a bad thing.
It is not.
Showing Up is more than entertainment. It engages the audience at a deeper level. It asked them to take a look at their own lives. It touches the heart of who they are and who they want to become. What does it mean to dare to live from your heart?
They want to know.
We all want to know.
You may ask, “Hey Nancy, why is this distinction important to me?” Noticing the difference between meaningful activities versus passive entertainment helps us make choices. Distinctions create clarity. Clarity helps us decide what it means to live from our heart.
Many of us pay attention to nutrition. We aim to consume healthy nutritious meals. But, at times a cookie hits the spot. There is a place for both. However, a life of cookies cannot sustain us.
There are times when entertainment is the right choice. To sit back and view a musical performance, a fluffy movie or an intriguing mystery is what we want. It is a relief and a distraction. But a life of distraction is like the cookie diet. It is satisfying at the moment, but it will not sustain us. It does not feed our soul.
Entertainment and engagement are two different ways of being.
These are the differences that I see…
• Asks us to show up.
• Draws us in.
• Stays with us.
• Often passive.
• Lets us be laid-back.
• Is fleeting.
Engagement helps define our life’s purpose. It causes us to be self-reflective. Who am I? What is my life all about? When am I at my best? Soulful questions reveal meaning. Why is meaning important to each of us? It connects to the core of who we are. It is what we mean when we say we are living from our heart.
Research suggests that at least twenty percent of our time needs to be spent on meaningful activities. That is about three hours a day. The researchers studied five hundred doctors to arrive at this percentage. Interestingly, more time did not increase their sense of meaning. What brought each doctor meaning differed. We each have a personal definition of what brings purpose to our life.
Now, I am back home from the Mexican premier. Director, Keith Kelly, and I are working to let others know about our film. Realizing that it is not about being entertained is a breakthrough. It clarifies how we continue to present Showing Up. Yes, there are entertaining moments. However, it asks something of the audience. What does living from your heart mean to you?
How do we spend those three hours per day of purposeful activities? I looked at my day to discover meaningful moments. Here are some of mine…
Cooking especially for others.
Walking at the arboretum, especially with friends.
Deep conversations with Don.
Helping others, workshop, retreats, circles.
Creating, writing, painting, etc.
Connecting with friends and family.
Spending time in meditation.
To live a life of purpose, we must answer that same question.
What does living from your heart mean to you?