Dear Dr. Norquist:
I’m pretty much bored with life. I get up and go to work every day, come home and make dinner (and feed my cat) and then watch my favorite TV shows. I have a routine for everything. I talk on the phone a lot and go to mass every weekend. Sometimes I go shopping or out to dinner with my friends (whose children I’ve watched grow up). I guess I shouldn’t complain – being bored with life is a lot better than most people have it. I shouldn’t be writing to you about something so trivial – but I guess I am! Do you have a cure for a boring life?
Dr. Norquist responds:
I do not think this is a trivial question at all. You are listening to some place inside that is longing for more. This place is urging you towards more enlivenment, more aliveness. It is pointing you towards your next personal growth step.
Enlivenment is an expression of an inner state, an excitement about life. Curiosity, passion, inspiration, excitement, longing and loving are all expressions of this inner state. Kahlil Gibran (a 20th century Lebanese American poet) described it as “life’s longing for itself.”
Start by noticing this inner yearning for “something more” whenever it makes its presence known. As you move through your day, when you find yourself interested in or moved in any way by something you see, feel, hear, think or sense, notice it carefully. For example, perhaps you are touched by a TV show about animals or intrigued by a show about a certain aspect of history, or perhaps someone at work tells you about an adult education class that interests you. Your inner response (excitement, interest, intrigue) is a cue that this is an area you could consider adding to your life in some way. The more you listen to this inner response, the more boredom will recede from your life.
Remember, it is what excites you that is your guidance. Following what excites others will not be helpful in your enlivenment. Please try this and let me know if you have further questions. Thank you for asking this question!
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.)Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanya.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax at (201) 656-4700. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. 2011 Chaitanya Counseling Services