The Lost Art of Avocation


As a recovering high achiever and workaholic remembering to stop, slow down, smell the roses, and enjoy the journey is something that challenges me, but I am making progress! For example this week I have renewed my commitment to spending time in my 'avocation'.

Avocation, it’s not a word that is used much these days so let me share with you my take on what it means. Our avocation is what we do for our own pleasure, enjoyment and relaxation. These are pursuits that call us away from our regular work and that provide us with the fuel we need for everything else in life.

AVOCATION: is what we do for our own pleasure, enjoyment and relaxation.


If you are anything like me your mind is excellent at keeping you super busy with ideas, creations, commitments and jobs to be done at work or around the house. You figure that when things slow down and/or you achieve ‘xyz’ then you will have more time for hobbies, enjoyment and pleasure. Sound familiar?

So as part of my own commitment to enjoy my life 'now' I went and bought myself a guitar today. When I first started learning the guitar a few years back something quite unexpected happened. Making music opened up a well of HAPPINESS inside me that I didn’t know existed. It crazy how good strumming a guitar and using my voice makes me feel inside. 

As I work with women on realigning their careers with their soul purpose there is typically an absence of them doing things for their own pleasure and enjoyment. That’s because women are natural nurturers. Looking after and focusing on others gives us a certain kind of satisfaction in life, yet we often lose our sense of self in the process.

Men however tend to continue making time for their personal interests even while having work, family and community commitments. They are not apologetic about it either like women can be (and we sure could take a leaf out of their book).

It’s time to make redundant the old paradigm that a woman’s role in life is to place herself last and sacrifice her happiness for everyones else. It helps to remember to ‘secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others’.

Avocation Examples 

In the beginning it can be quite confronting when you ask yourself "what would I love to do for my own pleasure and enjoyment?" If that)s the case with you then here are a few ideas to help you connect with your own inspirations:

  • Taking yourself on a cinema date (a personal favourite of mine!)
  • Buying yourself a beautiful fragrant bunch of flowers for your living room (such as White Oriental Lily's <3 )
  • Painting, drawing, photography and other creative pursuits.
  • Walking, Running, Skating, Surfing, Dancing etc.

Take Home Project

  1. What are the things that you loved doing as a young woman (before partners, marriage and children?), write them down!
  2. Which of these things can you commit to doing this week? ... or this weekend even!
  3. What might stop you from creating this time for yourself? And how can you overcome that? (Every problem has a solution, you just need to look for it).


Danielle Gardner
Business & Marketing Mentor

P.S. Join me in the Lightworkers Business Circle for women.