“Stories are good for the soul.”
I love stories. I love anything that creates a story – books being my first love, then films, then television programmes. Now there are subscription boxes to hundreds of films and tv shows, there are new books published every day, and the world of stories seems to grow every moment.
I watched a film recently called Soul. It was such a lovely film.
It begins with Joe, a Jazz piano player and teacher, who is struggling to get into the bigtime of becoming a Jazz musician. He believes it’s his purpose, his reason for being.
Just as he gets his opportunity, Joe suddenly falls down a hole to his death and wakes up on the conveyor belt to the Great Beyond. When he realises what’s happened, he manages to leave the road he’s on and breaks through to where new souls are born – called ‘the Great Before’.
There he meets 22, a soul that has spent their time mulling around the Great Before for eons, refusing to go to Earth and be born. They’re stuck there until they find that ‘Spark’, which, when they do they’ll be ready to go down to Earth. Over the millenia they’ve had many ‘mentors’ to try and help them find their Spark, but each one of them has failed.
Joe pretends to be a ‘mentor’ for 22 so he can find a way back down to Earth again, but in the process of helping 22 they both find themselves on Earth in different bodies! Joe and 22 have to find a way back into their normal selves, while discovering the true delights and meanings of the world around them.
I honestly loved the whole set-up of the story. It’s a beautiful piece on the reason for living, what life’s really all about, and how perception can also give life meaning. It also made me think long and hard over what my Spark would be.
I personally think my Spark is stories. My purpose is, as Soul says, life – to live it in the only way I can, delving into books, being enchanted by films, binge watching tv shows. All to eventually write my own story.
There’s a question that Soul brings up – is your Spark your purpose? The answer is… no. You have a Spark that makes your life what it is, whether you love to read like I do, love sports, gardening, or playing video games. These are the things in our lives that mean something, that spark joy (yes, I’m quoting Marie Kondo).
But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Doing the things you love while living your life. You might not do it as your career, but that doesn’t mean your life is unfulfilled.
I wrote a piece last year called ‘Finding your Ikigai’, your reason for living, but I’m beginning to wonder if sometimes the thing that gives us a reason for living isn’t what we do to earn a living. There are many of us working a full time job for the intention of getting enough money to do the things we love – to travel, to take on sporting activities, to buy more books to read and review, to knock off at 5pm to crochet or knit. We all have something that makes life worth living – but I know now that that isn’t necessarily what you do for work.
If you do work in your dream job, that’s great news. It means that you’ve found your niche, your raison d’etre, and better yet you’re getting paid for it.
But what if you haven’t found it yet, what if you don’t know your Spark?
I say, don’t worry. Keep trying new things, keep learning and living. Because that’s the true purpose of life – to keep on growing. And the only way you grow is through change. Through trying something different.
If you’re unsure where to start, and likely feeling a bit anxious about the whole thing, I say start small. Maybe you’re a good cook but never baked before – so try and bake a cake or cupcakes and offer pieces to the neighbours (but not to worry if it doesn’t work out!). Maybe you love walking, but never find the time – so look for opportunities to walk friends’ dogs or sign-up to a dog-walking agency. Maybe, like me, you love learning as a whole, so I suggest signing up to some online learning platforms like FutureLearn or Skillshare.
The world is filled with things just waiting for someone to come along and try them out.
What’s your spark? And do you think it’s part of your purpose?
Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x