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  • Catherine Dolan

What Lights Me Up?

Updated: Jun 29


I was catching up with a girlfriend over coffee the other day, when she asked me the most intriguing question: What really lights you up?

It is an outstanding and very thought-provoking question. A few things that make me tick are obvious; the rest I had to ponder a bit, nonetheless, I loved the question and thought I’d share.

Twenty things that make me tick; or said another way – twenty things that make my heart so happy:

1. My faith: It is central to who I am. Reading and filling my mind daily with quotes that support my faith lights me up.

2. My family: This includes my three children, my significant other, my fur babies. Loving them hard is precious time that makes my heart over the moon happy. So much love.

3. My friends: These friends stretch me, support me, play with me, laugh with me, cry with me, and, lately, drag me through the really tough times. Without them, I would be lost. I am damn lucky. I love them hard, too.

4. Gratitude: Being thankful for the abundance in my life both big and small things has changed my life. I invite and welcome more abundance by thanking and appreciating what already is. I also have gratitude for the not- so-sexy-sometimes-down-right-ugly parts of life, too, because guess what? They are simply opportunities to redirect, grow and learn.

5. Love and unbridled passion: These ignite me and make my heart happy. Enough said.

6. Music: Good music elevates my soul. And just picture it: White-girl-cannot-dance style dancing with my kids and my friends. Often, I dance when I am alone all the while wailing the lyrics off-key.

7. Being an outlier: I never fit a mold – so, why start now? I am embracing my weird, and that makes me happy and at peace for the first time in ever. Rocking status quo energizes me.

8. Meditation: This practice helps me to focus and ground my intense parts - for a brief moment, anyway. It’s becoming a central part of what makes me tick. Meditation can literally reprogram the neurological pathways in the brain.

9. Giving: The art and act of giving ignites the hell out of me. Giving all of myself to those I love feeds my soul. Giving back to help others is real, impactful, life-changing contribution. I’m talking giving financially, yes, but let’s not underestimate the power of giving love, joy, laughter; time, attention, energy.

10. Time spent in nature. I love it all. The mountains, the beach, the park, a walking trail, sitting outside on my porch, hiking, walking my dog. Being surrounded by trees, water, sand, mountains, sky, sun, stars, and moon with earth under my feet calms me

The rest are pretty straightforward:

11. Empathy and Kindness.

12. Exploring new things and stretching myself: This week, it was Krav Magra; last week, a hot air balloon ride; soon, plane jumping. (Sorry again, Dad, I know.) It could be a new recipe or a new walking trail or a new restaurant. Heck maybe even a new drink.

13. Reading all topics: I try to keep one business, one self-help and one just-for- fun or educational in the loop at all times.

14. Writing.

15. Goal setting and the sweet culmination of said goals.

16. Travel: I’m game for just about anywhere.

17. The practice of yoga.

18. Being a clean eating foodie: Food is fuel. Enough said.

19. Alone time where I can be still and quiet.

19. Marching to the beat of my own damn drum.

20. Coaching and inspiring others to become their best selves.

I really love asking myself the question of what lights me up. It gave me pause; it made me think. I realized that answering these questions helped me to define who I am and where I want to focus time and energy daily.

So I ask you: What makes you lights you up?

Sending you all much love ~


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