When most people talk about their hobbies, they say things to the effect that: “It’s what I like to do,” “It makes me happy” or “It’s my passion.” Those who don’t have hobbies tend to feel a little guilty or ashamed that they don’t and for good reason (though maybe not the one you might expect!).
At the core of you is a radiant focus of being. It is called by many names, but whether you believe in God or gods is beside the point, the fact is that life pulses from within outward, from the invisible to the visible. Most people’s identity is lodged in the outer, visible levels of being. This approach is problematic in that it fails to take into account the source of life itself and satisfies itself with the reflection or put otherwise, the shadow of the inner reality.
If you’ve ever been called “shallow,” you probably deserved it. In fact, most people live their whole lives in the shallow end of the pool of life. Take hobbies, for instance. Most people search for hobbies thinking that they’re looking for something to take their mind off of work or some other less pleasant aspect of their daily routine. They look for what they “like” to do, what gets their juices flowing and they generally find rest and regeneration while engaging in their hobbies.
I’d like to suggest another way to look at hobbies. A hobby is an aperture through which you can express your inner, hidden qualities of being, outwardly. In this sense you do not derive pleasure from your hobbies, you experience pleasure because it moves through you, from within outward.
Hobbies are useful in that they allow you to open the door to inspiration and pleasure in ways that can be difficult to accomplish through the more familiar routines and activities in life. They unlock your creative expression and if you’re smart about it, you can parlay the openings made possible by your hobbies into the other more well-worn areas of your living. In this sense, they allow you to breathe new life into your field of circumstance.
Adding a new hobby is like adding a new instrument to your band or orchestra. It can of course be played independently, but the true value of it comes as it synchronizes and harmonizes with the other tools for self-expression presently at your command. The more tools you have at your command and the more competent you become at using them, the more likely it is that you will find avenues of expression for the radiant focus of life within you.
That said, you must be careful of the consumptive mentality that is so prevalent in our modern western society. More does not always equate to better. In fact, I’ve found that unless you maximize the use of what you have available presently, there is little reason to add more. It is sad to see unhappy people sitting on a pile of plenty who feel that if they could only get the next thing, the new hobby, a little more personal time, etc., then they would know happiness.
Happiness is the by-product of fully actualized true purpose. No matter how effective you are at satisfying your outer concerns for comfort, recognition, achievement, etc., you will not know peace, happiness or fulfillment if you fail to let your mind, body and heart be the channel through which the inner you – the real you – be expressed from within outward.