Two weeks ago I started coughing a persistent, dry cough. Uh oh, I thought. Bronchitis? Yikes. I rarely get sick. What’s this all about? Little did I know that my bronchitis was a Divine messenger delivering timely information!

About two days after the coughing set in, a house guest arrived for a weeklong stay. Fortunately for me he just happens to be an allopathic doctor with a holistic outlook on life. He told me the best thing I could do to heal was sleep, so I did.

After clearing my schedule, I slept for two solid days, and then rested for six more. During that time I read 3 books (Conversations with God 1 and Abundance and Right Livelihood by Neale Donald Walsch, and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.)

Perhaps the books instigated my experience, but as the week progressed I realized my body was trying to communicate a message with me, not just that I needed to rest, but something much bigger. Knowing there was a greater purpose to the bronchitis, I started to embrace the illness and use the down-time as a sort of vision quest.

I fasted (because I had no appetite), prayed, read, created a “lifework vision” collage and listened for guidance. After several days, I finally heard the Big message. It was simple, but profound:

Do what you love. Always.

Of course, that’s exactly what I thought I’d been doing. My life is filled with joy so I was a bit confused that I was receiving this message.

But after some serious reflection, I realized that even though most of my life uplifts me, raising my Spirit so high that I walk around feeling in love, there are some areas in my life that make me feel completely uninspired, or “out of love.” And that’s the problem. When I feel uninspired I shut down. Stop growing. Start dying. (I also stop attracting new clients and making money because I energetically close for business.)

All three books helped me hear this Big message, especially one section of Conversations with God. The book suggests that when faced with a decision we try asking a specific question to help us move forward in a way that supports our growth. It’s simple, but profound, and I encourage you to try it.

Here’s how it works:

Whenever you’re faced with a decision, an emotion, a reaction, pretty much anything, ask:

“What would love do?”

This question is important because love is always life-affirming. It’s self-nurturing, not self-sacrificing. Love makes us feel energized, uplifted, “in love”, juicy, inspired, full of Life.

So when there’s a decision to make, ask “What would love do now?” Then listen for inner wisdom in the form of some sensation, or maybe an inner voice. Trust your first response.

For instance, when there’s an emotion at play, like anger, ask, “What would love do in this situation?”

Would love complain or have a temper tantrum? Would love gossip? Would love find a helpful solution to the problem?

If there’s a situation that is tricky, ugly or scary, ask, “What would love do right now?”

Would love try to guilt someone into something? Would love take a leap of faith?

In all of life, we only have one of two choices:

1. Go with what love would do.

2. Go with what fear would do.

Love always makes life-affirming choices. Fear does not.

I find this approach particularly useful when trying to grow meaningful lifework (and help others do the same). Over the past few years I’ve discovered the number one thing that prevents most people from successfully growing lifework they love is fear, not lack of marketing skills. Fear shows up in any number of guises, mostly in feeling too:

  • busy
  • inadequate
  • old
  • young
  • uneducated
  • unfocused
  • indecisive
  • unclear
  • alone
  • financially strapped
  • not ready
  • vulnerable

The list goes on and on. These are almost always fear-based, unconscious strategies that keep us from growing into our greatest Selves. It’s probably safe to say that we all experience these feelings on some level. It’s also safe to say that we can all move beyond these fears by embracing what love would do.

How would your life be different if you constantly asked, What would love do in this situation? (or maybe you already do this…if so, share how your life flows. I’d love to know!)

Next time you encounter a challenge notice what you want to do, but before you respond or act, ask, “What would love do?” and see if there is a more life-affirming choice you can make.

Because if you truly want to grow somewhere great, this is one of the best ways to do it!