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20 January 2012 2 Comments

Life Guidance Series Part 8: Energy As Guidance

Life Guidance Series Part 8: Energy As Guidance

In a very real sense all Guidance is energy and all energy is a form of guidance. Energy is the form Guidance arrives in, its parcel or packet. Energy is the way information is transmitted from source to source.

If you think about the way email arrives through a wireless channel, it becomes evident that your email also arrives via energy. Energy is more elaborate, specific, and diverse than matter. In addition to the energy that makes up the atoms comprising matter, a number of different dimensions have been identified–so far. Since energy makes up matter and also has non-material expressions, the world of energy is vaster than the material world.

The fact that information arrives via energy is not occult. Various devices read diverse types of information from different sources. Radios, FAX, geiger counters, and instruments that assess electromagnetic frequencies are examples. Similarly, people with different intuitive skills are sensitive to and learn to recognize and read a range of frequencies.

Energy is direct information. It is relevant, immediate, specific, fluid, constantly available, and accurately represents what is going on.

I am not saying that everyone always reads energy accurately. Everyone cannot read blood tests, correctly interpret complex informational manuals, understand all spoken languages, or recognize microbes under a microscope either.

Plenty of accounts show that many animals know when an earthquake or tsunami will come. Dogs and other animals have less on their minds than we do. They read people’s energy and respond accordingly. This extension from instinct is the most rudimentary form of guidance.

Everyone does have an instinctual response to energy. Whether or not we pay attention to these responses, we are able to sense other people’s emotions, motivations, and other energies just like dogs and animals do. It takes practice. We’re usually thinking too much or busy enacting partly-automatic social behaviors instead of attending to energy signals. To assume that if it exists one will be able to access it personally is an error.

Some people are quite good at reading others at a purely instinctual level. In addition to those who serve others, a skilled con or high-level criminal develops these skills. This example serves to break down the artificial walls between intuitive development and ordinary life. You will have seen examples in the media.

If we extend attention into the energy of a place, we can actually tell whether or not a dark alley is safe at the moment, or if sounds we hear on the porch at night are raccoon and possum escapades or an intruder. This skill relies on relaxing fear enough to access the intuitive processes that receive Guidance.

In Part 7 I mentioned that “Good guidance makes immediate changes in the energy in and around us” and “A skilled energy healer can can see or feel a client’s energy changing in response to his or her verbal input.” The energy in our fields, chakras, meridians etc. shift and change in response to Guidance.

Guidance IS energy. It comes in, from, and with specific energy frequencies. The energy arrives with a unique signature that holds clues about its origins, spiritual level, and application.

Just as a skilled acupuncturist can recognize complex patterns of energy imbalance related to organ dysfunction, skilled guides learn to identify different types of energy and understand what they mean, how they originate, and how they are expressed in symptoms, behavior, and life circumstance.

Any form of energy practice accelerates the development of Guidance skills by exercising your ability to recognize and receive different types of energy. Qi Gong, internal martial arts, acupuncture, Touch for Health, silence, grounded meditation, and Dances of Universal Peace are a few examples.

Learn to attend to energy.

How do YOU perceive incoming information?

How do YOU recognize the difference between Guidance and energy that is just information?

13 January 2012 6 Comments

Life Guidance Series Part 7: Good Guidance Changes Energy

Life Guidance Series Part 7: Good Guidance Changes Energy

Intuition and Guidance are always accurate: If it’s not accurate it is not Guidance or intuition but conjecture, guessing, projection, interpretation, or belief.

Learning to tell the difference between Guidance and personal opinion is a foremost task of an ethical person in the role of guide.

“Guidance” that does not resonate with personal meaning or change our energy and the way we live our lives is merely information, no matter how obscure, spiritual, or esoteric, and regardless of its source.

Sensing changes in the body’s energy systems (chakras, meridians, fields, etc.) can provide direct and immediate feedback for the effectiveness of guidance.

Most of us can access some degree of Guidance some of the time. We may or may not be able to differentiate it from our general welter of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and input from external sources.

Learning to sense the ways it impacts our energy is a skill that magnifies the effects of Guidance. Energy feedback trains us to recognize Guidance with greater confidence. Guidance can direct energy work while energy work enhances Guidance.

Giving or recognizing genuine Guidance requires being deeply in touch with yourself. Since energy reflects our actualities rather than our conceits, paying attention to energy aids self-awareness. Energy mirrors us. Authenticity is a huge advantage in the world of energy.

What is Good Guidance?

Good guidance makes immediate, healthful changes in the body’s energy systems. It is directly applicable to current life themes. If Guidance is used to look into the past, its usefulness comes from the past’s relevance to current goals, needs, and directions.

The most important guidance assists us to align directly with who we really are inside, and to bring forth hidden qualities and inspiration.

Good guidance helps us to clarify and anchor what we learn through life experience and inspires us to move into new territory. A point of view aligned with purpose and free flowing energy eases us and helps us to adjust positively to our circumstances.

A good guide identifies, supports and refines the most constructive direction in which we are just beginning to move. We are ready for and able to apply this guidance.

Good guidance fits like an ideal shoe for your foot shape and size. Words that guide one person may rub another raw, slop around in their life without providing support, or leave them unbalanced as they walk forward. Concepts, directions, inspiration, ideas, or instructions for something as significant as guiding your life should fit well. You don’t want blisters on your dharma (life walk).

A good guide is like a tug boat. Tugs bring huge ocean liners into dock or set them out to sea, safely and reliably. A tug serves the liner, which has its own power but allows the tug to navigate in tight spaces. The tug is not the focus or the point, but the movement of the liner.

A skilled energy healer can can see or feel a client’s energy changing in response to verbal input. Skilled energy healers often become effective guides: If you can see the energy change as you talk, you refine your skill by seeing what is actually working.

In my healing practice I used to do more direct energy work and less discussion. Now I discuss the issues that will allow the client’s energy to shift as I begin to address energy symptoms–and accomplish more in the course of a session. Done accurately, the discussion IS direct energy work.

Energy work and effective guidance accelerate one another. Appropriate shifts and changes in your energy systems advance the speed at which you can respond to guidance and put it into practice.

Energy interventions and Guidance work together when you work on your self too. Working with your energy assists intuition. For example, you may practice Qi Gong, visualize cleansing your fields, or balance your chakras and find that you get strong intuitive hits during or after your practice. Your intuition will also assist you in directing your energy practice.

What have YOU noticed about the way energy practice or therapies impact your intuition and your ability to apply your insights in daily life?

What makes YOU trust your intuition when you do?

18 November 2011 3 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 13: Making a Difference with Energy

Life Purpose, Part 13: Making a Difference with Energy

We each impact the world at every moment. Life Purpose is about being intentional about this impact.

I recently returned from a spiritual camp in which we used breath, intention, movement, music, and concentration to bring about a very real experience of being safe, loved, and connected with the entire group and with life itself. This had nothing to do with doctrine or belief–just direct experience.

If you have had direct energy experiences of unity with others you will fully understand what I am saying. I am not talking abstraction, theory or concept. I am talking about FEELING a sense of Unity–personally and palpably. When this happens in a group we can discuss the experience with the people who were there and discover that they felt exactly the same thing that we did. If you have not experienced this, remain open and motivated.

Even when we are in distress we are one with the world. We just don’t have our attention focused in a way that allows us to notice.

Personal issues block our access to feeling Unity. We feel isolated, alone, needy, or estranged when we are out of touch with our essential unity with others. Our influence becomes less positive when we are entangled in our issues. Learning to love yourself is service to others.

If you have not done so please read the post on Inner Work as Universal Service.

Working out issues that keep us from loving ourselves IS contribution to the world:

  • It strengthens our energy connections with others by making us more available and clear.
  • It allows us to effectively support others with issues we have already healed.
  • Our impact on everyone we come in contact with is more positive, and their added ease spreads to their contacts as well.
  • It makes your energy better as we begin to broadcast happiness and love instead of distress.

What if loving yourself is the one thing you can do that makes the most difference in the world?

Accepting and being larger than our issues is a spiritual act of healing. I have seen advanced spiritual teachers fall from their state of realization and harm their followers due to unresolved inner wounds, and motivated people who were once broken blossom into loving Life Purpose.

In addition to dealing with issues that block our ability to love, we can change the world just by breathing with awareness. Any way that you get good energy flowing you impact everyone who comes in contact with you, and everyone who comes in contact with them. What you do with your energy, at home alone, matters.

Working intentionally with energy strengthens our influence, and we can learn to direct this influence. I have seen masters of energy who can clearly and powerfully impact the state and experience of a roomful of people through the qualities, frequencies, intentions, and awareness they place on their breath. Their prayers pack a wallop. They did not develop these skills by wanting to change people. They developed themselves.

The most important way we make a difference is through Presence, full attention, and our love. BEing in the moment has intrinsic value. When we bring ourselves fully into the current moment in a spirit of contribution the question of Purpose dissolves into direct, internal, moment-to-moment guidance.

Sense of Purpose is a form of internal guidance. Being in touch with your inner sense of purpose from moment to moment–let alone Life Purpose–rests on the same skills necessary to receive all other types of inner guidance.

The next blog series will be about Guidance.

What does it mean to YOU to make a difference in the world?

What have you done that has helped to develop your Sense of Guidance?

11 November 2011 3 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 12: Getting On with It

Life Purpose, Part 12: Getting On with It

This post speaks to additional challenges with Purpose.

The problem with “needing to know” is that intense focus on the mind and on outcome block the processes of feeling and intuition—the channels through which the information you long for might otherwise come.

So many people want to “know” what their Purpose IS. Beyond presupposing that Purpose is like a job, and that it doesn’t change, this prevailing attitude implies that we are equipped to live out Purpose without needing to be in touch from moment to moment.

Life paths are like labyrinths. They twist and wind, and we often cannot tell whether we are getting closer or farther away from our goal of returning to the center. The answer of one moment may not suffice in the next. Each challenge along the way calls for the discernment to commit more deeply, or to establish a new direction.

Being whole-hearted whenever we possibly can is one of the best investments we can make. Even if we make mistakes with more vigor, we then learn quickly and do not repeat them.

I have been deeply touched and honored to be present as clients discover Life Purpose. At times Purpose pops up quickly and clearly, like a revelation or an insight. When this occurs we are communing together in a state of grace, perceiving together.

If someone else tells you what your supposed Purpose is and you cannot feel it for yourself this can cause intense and painful confusion. That person has no way to assume responsibility for their effects on your life if they mislead you.

A healer once told me I had a strong and abiding connection with and should be following a certain Master, she with whom she was connected. After checking in and finding I felt no internal connection with this man I felt kind of slimed. Fortunately I was intuitive enough to sort this out easily for myself.

Occasionally I meet someone who cannot seem to keep alight the fire of inspiration or make anything matter enough to fully engage themselves. We’ve probably all had days when nothing trumps anything else. We stir around wishing we wanted something enough to feel connected with a goal or take purposeful action. This feels worse than being really hungry and not being able to find anything you feel like eating, and can go on and on for weeks, months and perhaps years.

Remember the time between high school and college when grownups always asked, “Are you working or are you in school?” Without purpose or plan you may feel useless and flat yet intensely frustrated, tied up with too many choices you don’t relate to, looking ahead at the daunting task of making a critically important choice, without information or inspiration. Where to start eating that elephant?

Lack or loss of goals and dreams can be devastating. I have wished I could do their work for them, but even when I have found and lit a spark, they themselves need to keep the fire going.

If you still have trouble developing a relationship to Purpose, here are some serious suggestions:

  • Rule out physical causes such as clinical depression, low thyroid, adrenal hypofunction, low testosterone, neurotransmitter imbalances, blood sugar and chronic occult (hidden) viral issues.
  • Then address feelings, beliefs, and the intersection of the two, as discussed in Post #2. Do this with a proficient therapist or healer.
  • Answer the questions that have come up through this series.
  • Read the Inner Work series. [link]
  • Get help to clear out energy that does not belong with you, that you may be carrying from a parent or other source.
  • Find ways to increase your physical and spiritual energy.
  • If it works for you ask the Universe or pray for Life Purpose, remember to stay in humility, openness, and surrender.

Remember: Purpose is a sense. Hence: Sense of Purpose.

Use sense about your purposes.

When you heal yourself you can attract and sustain what is best for you. If you do not, you are likely to undermine what you want.

Remember: We need to be in partnership with life, not control it.

Like any other type of sense, Sense of Purpose is a skill to nurture and develop.

Sense of Purpose and ultimately Sense of Guidance are developed by making a daily habit out of paying attention to what we really feel and need and what life is currently inviting, making choices that support our best interests.

What do YOU do to get in touch with your feelings, senses, or intuition?

What is your worst fear about being in touch with your intuition?

4 November 2011 0 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 11: Misconceptions About Life Purpose, Part 2

Life Purpose, Part 11: Misconceptions About Life Purpose, Part 2

Continuing our tour through common misconceptions . . .

What you do for meaning should provide money and security:

Some people’s purposes in life have nothing to do with their profession or pocketbook. Others are intimately related. If you hold Purpose hostage to what you are trying to GET from life you may miss what you need to BECOME or CONTRIBUTE to be happy.

While some are busy trying to get rich or engaging their fears of the future they are neglecting their actual Life Purpose.

When your inner values and spirit inform your external life you are more likely to be happy than you will be if you allow external goals to become your entire life.

Getting what you want leads to happiness:

Haven’t you ever gotten exactly what you thought you wanted only to discover that the worm in the apple weighed almost as much as the apple itself? Learn from this. Square peg, round hole. Square peg, round hole. . .

Your desires got you into involved in the schoolyard of life. Now use your intuition to enhance your choices.

Success Story: I can never forget the rich man I met once in a workshop. He had his “ideal job, dream home with swimming pool and tennis court, trophy wife, and 1.5 kids”. He woke up one morning and realized all this wasn’t who he was. He hardly knew his wife and kids beyond the roles they played with one another, and he wasn’t happy. His wife was wedded to the things and images he was now considering giving up to discover his true Self.

One of the keys to a meaningful life is learning to listen to deep desires of your heart, which create positive momentum in life, while relaxing superficial desires that drain or distract.

Life Purpose requires a time line and a plan:

Life Purpose lives in the realm of heart and soul. Some people enact their Life Purpose without ever knowing–intellectually–what it is. We may actualize goals that express meaning and purpose without intentionally creating a structure.

Goals and dreams that motivate and inspire us may or may not belong on our to-do lists. Whether or not we accomplish them is less important than having a positive reason to get out of bed in the morning.

If you ever watched “The Matrix” you may recall that in giving up the notion that he was “The One,” the main character experienced things that led to him realizing he ACTUALLY WAS “The One.” Sometimes the purpose of plans, events, and lesser purposes is to position us for greater Purposes than the ones we are consciously planning. Life does not conform to static forms but morphs and shifts, especially when we transform.

Being good at something means you are supposed to do it:

Advice abounds to the effect that if you’re good at something or have the equipment you should aim to make a living at it. Got long fingers? Play the piano or guitar. Sometimes it’s true–but it is certainly not a cosmic rule.

I would have made a great lawyer—and been miserable. It’s not all about money and talent. When I started there was no name for what I do, but I ended up here. I am not sure this would have occurred if I had determinedly imagined I was “supposed to” do something else.

Avoid jumping at something just because you can do it well. And as for this “supposing” thing. Take responsibility for being the one doing the supposing!

Sometimes skills and talent represent traits and qualities that are already fully developed. You might find more purpose in developing new skills, and stretching into undiscovered talents in pursuit of wholeness and expression.

Your Purpose means living up to your full potential:

The point of pursuing your potential is motivation, self-discovery, expression of values, living with full engagement, meaningful contribution, and overcoming imaginary limitations. The point is not to exploit every possible asset.

One of the five biggest regrets at the end of life is:

“I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

Let’s be realistic. Given human potential, there isn’t remotely enough time in a life to live out your full potential. You possess so many potential skills, talents, and capacities that full potential is not possible. Don’t exhaust yourself trying to become something. Be who you ARE and find out what gives you a sense of purpose, meaning, and pleasure. Pick that.

You are worth just as much even if you live an ordinary life–if such a thing exists.

What do YOU do to make a difference?

How does doing it make you feel or impact your life?

21 October 2011 2 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 9: The Work of Another

Life Purpose, Part 9: The Work of Another

Here is the complete quote with which we began the series:
“Your work in this life is to find your work, and to give yourself to it with your whole heart. And not to do the work of another no matter how great their need.Buddha

Inspired contribution to the Greater Whole is meaningful and fulfilling. Giving, without respect for the context can interfere or distract, making it all about you instead of helping out. The word “giving” does not imply what happens with the receiver. “Contribution” implies that we are
participating in something larger than our own efforts; making a difference.

‘Sensing into’ the situations we seek to enhance improves our assessment of when and what to contribute, so that giving may be fully of benefit. This skill complements being in touch with what and when it works for us to give.

The skill consists of paying attention to the potential results of our participation, and aiming to maximize the outcome for others. Without this sensibility we may give what is not needed while overlooking something absolutely necessary, like shipping in crates of Coke when the people need a new well.

Aim to sustain your vital forces and enhance your ability to give by honing discernment.

Contributing to the world by participating in loving service is the most meaningful thing we can do. Love or service cannot be forced as acts of self-assertion. We do not need to be in any way perfect before we set out to help. By involving ourselves we learn who we are and what to develop in order to actualize our values.

Pure service includes exercising wisdom to consider the results of receiving a gift or service. When we do for others things they are able to do and need to do for themselves we weaken them or interfere.

We cannot exercise, eat or eliminate for someone else, and we cannot do their Inner Work. We cannot open another person’s heart, motivate them, or give them insight without their willing participation.

The old maxim about teaching a man to fish instead of fishing for him comes to mind.

I was in a relationship in which I attempted to get the other person to take care of himself better, and to develop greater insight and inspiration. That failed. Of course, it ended in resentment on his part and exhaustion on mine.

When someone wants to learn to fish they motivate themselves. You can show them and give them tips, but they need to be pulling for it, and to take up readily what they are able to do themselves.

When we attempt to do the work of another, it’s like being a mother who wakes her child up for school every day, never passing along this responsibility as the child grows. As an adult, this person lacks the wherewithal to get to work on time.

Buddhists and several other spiritual groups customarily offer the results of spiritual practice for the benefit of all beings, everywhere. Is this doing their work?

It is not.

Generating positive energy and making it available to those who need it is constructive (except specifically for those who habitually feed off of others). So is praying for others. As long as you are not attached to how or whether specific people take it up you are okay. When you want or need someone to respond in a particular manner it is time to question your motivations. That is not love.

How do YOU FEEL when you are trying to do the work of another?

What if the things you do to try and make a difference interfere with experiences others require to develop strength and compassion?

What if getting your energy strong and balanced by taking care of yourself with respect and compassion helps the world, not only through everyone you encounter but by bringing helpful energy into the world through the portal that is YOU?

What if your love and self-acceptance empower your prayers and positive intentions to enhance the energy-pool we all share?

14 October 2011 1 Comment

Life Purpose, Part 8: Balanced Contribution

Life Purpose, Part 8: Balanced Contribution

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill

With respect to Life Purpose, it is natural to consider not only what we want to GET from life, but what we can bring to it. Giving allows us to receive in special ways that put us more deeply in touch with our values, qualities, and other people.

How and why we give is a window to motivation—and to Purpose. What do you enjoy contributing? What does it do for you to contribute?

Like so many essential life skills, learning what and when to give depends on sensing inside ourselves.

Once we are able to tune in to our inner voices and body sensations, we can sense inside whether or not we are called to contribute in any given moment. Learning to notice this call is crucial to spiritual and emotional health. The same skill tells us where we need our boundaries to be in any moment or situation.

Knowing how much to give and being comfortable with our decisions makes for ease and clarity in personal relationships. It allows us to feel good about our contributions instead of feeling like we can never give enough to be acceptable, or that we might be selfish and insular.

Most of us over-give, under-give, or both in different situations. Balanced giving builds self-esteem, boundaries, spiritual values, and the wonderful feeling of Purpose and meaning that accompany heartfelt contribution.

Giving for the wrong reasons interferes with the ability to be on track with Life Purpose.

Giving to appease, please, or protect ourselves from criticism is toxic to Purpose. Over-giving tends to oblige and bind others. It is usually about control, and is therefore detrimental to intimacy. Over-giving is draining. Bleeding out energy to “contribute” to people who are not receptive is invasive.

Giving too little can lead to feeling small, stingy, disconnected, meaningless, emotionally impoverished, hard, and/or defensive.

If you over-give:

  • Try altering the way that you give, even just a bit.
  • Try giving different things or in different ways than you usually do.
  • Change WHEN you give, even by a few minutes or seconds.
  • Give to different recipients, even once.
  • The feelings and insights that accompany these changes will enable you to explore your patterns gently.

If you under-give:

  • Catch yourself at moments during when you are withholding or resist giving.
  • Pay close attention to what you feel at these moments.
  • Listen closely to your internal dialog. What is the nature of your conflict? What motivates each side of the conflict? How do your feelings change with each side? Which side do you like better?
  • Try giving just a little bit more is comfortable, like stretching tight muscles. This can feel freeing and oddly relieving, and it gets more interesting as you practice.

Over- and under-givers:

  • Study your discomfort, consider what you get when you give.
  • What are you trying to preserve and why?
  • Has your life changed since you began these patterns?
  • How would giving differently impact your life?

Once you are in touch with and have done some regular work with your patterns you will be able to bypass all this by simply turning to your heart and going by what FEELS right in the moment.

What if who you need to be to live your Life Purpose requires being able to sense exactly who you really are, what motivates you, and what you can and cannot give?

What if success is measured not by external goals but by giving exactly the right amount in any situation, from nothing at all to your entire life?

How would this model of success change what you do or how you live?

How do you sense what is called for from you?

What happens when you shift your aim from trying to succeed to making a contribution?

8 October 2011 4 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 7: Living Your Values

Life Purpose, Part 7: Living Your Values

Are your goals, dreams, and motivations inspired by heartfelt values or motivated by buried emotional issues?

What if you are already lovable, worthwhile, and even precious, without having to prove anything to anyone? If you knew this to be true–and could feel it–how would this impact what you feel you need to do in the world?

The nature and fruits of our influence in the world depends on our values. Goals and dreams are constellations of our values. Values are like the stars we use to navigate the ocean of our lives. Without values we are rudderless, driven by compulsions and the winds of momentary desire.

Purpose embodies motivation. What motivates you?

Several years back, in an email conversation within a spiritual group, one guy was avidly pushing his philosophy that spiritual values require political action. Tension grew as several people politely tried to say that not everyone was politically motivated. The political guy kept pushing.

I sensed frustration and even anger behind people’s indirect responses. I finally jumped in and wrote: Politics is divisive. Spirituality promotes unity. If you are spiritually inspired to involve yourself in politics it is your duty to do so. If you are not, your time is better spent contributing in other ways.

The tension released and I received some ‘thank yous.’

Let me clarify here and say that voting, and other societal duties are in a different category from Life Purpose. You vote. You get license tabs on your vehicle. You do not confuse this with Life Purpose. Taking an active stand in the world for a cause requires passion, purpose, and involvement. You may find Purpose in such expression. Such Purpose may or may not feel spiritual to you, depending on your values and approach. This is a highly individual matter.

To know our own values as pure sources of guidance we must lift them up and clean them off. Practice washing away these sources of confusion:

  • Other people’s values including parents, siblings, spouse, friends
  • Conditioned social “values” based on competition, superficial circumstances and material gains that have no special meaning for you personally
  • Reactions and compulsions such as greed, lust, excessive concepts about security
  • The need to prove yourself worthy
  • Reactions AGAINST, such as proving you are NOT what a parent or teacher thought you were

Values change as we develop. Updating our concept of success and our sense of purpose as we grow supports living motivation.

What do you value now that you did not feel strongly about before?

Motivational speakers often say, “never give up and never quit.” It is one thing to give up and quite another to discover that a goal no longer suits us or feels appropriate. Killing yourself off to make something happen may occur at the cost of your happiness and health. Whether or not the goal is worth this use of your life depends whether the goal is truly your Life Purpose. Pay attention when the exertions necessary for success begin to turn you or your life into something you don’t wish to sustain.

This quote from my third spiritual teacher remains apropos:
“If it is your highest option to become a spiritual teacher and you become a garbage man, you have wasted your life.” He paused and added, “If it is your highest option to become a garbage man and you become a spiritual teacher you’ve wasted your life as well.”

Some people have destinies that require global involvement. Some people are envious of these people. Such envy is rarely tempered by understanding the burdens, sacrifices, and discipline such a life requires.

I believe that we are drawn from within and prompted by our environment when we have big work to do in the world. Pushing ourselves into positions of prominence for personal reasons rarely leads to happiness.

As we develop spiritually and open our hearts we are more likely to be inspired to contribute to humanity through service. Inspiration to serve can stem from a felt sense of being connected with others.

Following inspiration develops qualities of the heart and provides the personality with ample opportunities for growth. The motive force behind this impulse differs from a desire to be in the limelight and to find personal importance through leaving one’s mark upon life.

What if your ability to be in touch with yourself and to know yourself and your values is THE MOST important purpose in your life?

The discomfort of longing for meaning and Purpose has great value if it can get you to explore who you really are and what you really need.

What types of experience bring you meaning?

What experiences make you feel connected with yourself and with life itself?

1 October 2011 2 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 6: Saving the World

Life Purpose, Part 6: Saving the World

Saving the World sounds like a positive Life Purpose. Yet there is something grandiose about presuming to know what is best for the entire world–and in seeing one’s self as the agent for its execution.

Let’s look at the way well-intended ideas about Life Purpose may be Frankenstein in disguise.

Tanya told me during a session that she wanted to Save the World. (Name changed, with permission.) As a child she fantasized holding a seat as Supreme Court justice, as a sanction to impose order and control.

“What do you want to save the world FROM?” I asked Tanya.
She surprised me by saying, “From ME!!

With tremendous courage, honesty and faith in her own core goodness Tanya saw that Saving the World can be a way to feel superior while seeking to fulfill a young fantasy of living in a totally safe world—one she could control. The small, scared part of her was hiding behind an aggressive part that longed to “get ahead, to dominate and conquer.”

Saving the World does not occur by marching out to impose one’s ego-driven image of justice onto others, scrapping with others in competition for the same bloody honor. Tanya could save her own world by relaxing her compulsion to control, and learning true compassion for herself. Doing this alone contributes to world peace.

If you think in either/or, and you are a competitive perfectionist, you may feel you must either save the world or be worthless and useless. Familiarity with the way our wounds bias our points of view allow us to make intentional life choices instead of living out unconscious dramas on the stage of life. If you take on a large role, it is for more fulfilling reasons.

A drive to save the world may be about leaving your mark, like carving initials in a tree or gouging them in stone. The urge to cry I exist, globally, can spring from fear of death. It is like the urge to combat mortality by having children. Wanting to prove how special you are to the world can be like trying to fill a black hole.

These urges are not wrong. Desire does drive us, and creates the dramas of life, the lovely ones included. Living with Purpose is about experiencing a sense of meaning and making intentional choices.

In the world of energy, motivation is everything. Motivation establishes the resonance of our acts and their ultimate effect. If we are thinking big and plan to impact others, the nature of our influence determines whether or not we actually serve the world. If the drive to save the world comes from inspiration your actions may be a boon to mankind. If that drive emerges from unacknowledged inner wounds it creates havoc.

Take, for example, a nurse or doctor in a psych ward, whose need for control, approval, or glory casts them into competition with their team or those under their care. Their service is compromised. On the other end of the spectrum someone with ‘a meaningless job’ can be a light in the world by performing service with loving kindness.

A wise friend (Evelyn Roberts) said: “Today’s freedom fighters are tomorrow’s tyrants.”

Ego drive intense enough to presume one’s personal will onto the world may be epic–but is it service or merely drama? Does it play out Life Purpose or merely create karma?

A strident man strode into a spiritual center, talking about saving the world before it was too late. The perceptive fellow who received him asked: “What part of the world are you interested in saving? If it is yourself that you are trying to save, we can help you.”

We are possessed of a whole range of different motivations and inclinations. Finding and following our most beautiful and uplifting motivations is a true route to meaning and purpose in life. Bringing forth the parts of us that want to create something that really matters is an art. There is purpose and beauty in energizing those aims and goals with life breath.

Do you want to Save the World, or are you struggling to save yourself through external acts?

Does the world want to be saved?

How will the world respond if you attempt to save it?

Who do you feel a need to be seen or recognized by?

What do you need people to do or say in recognition of your deeds?

Are you absolutely certain that you will feel better, happier or more worthwhile if you accomplish large goals?

30 September 2011 4 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 5: Almost Everybody’s First Purpose

Life Purpose, Part 5: Almost Everybody’s First Purpose

Life Purpose is the course of action that best actualizes not your brightest, best, and most recognized potential, but the elements of your heart and nature that invite authenticity, joy, balance, and expression of core values.

Life Purpose–also known as Soul Purpose–is the way you align yourself with the Greater Whole to give your life meaning and value.

A sense of purpose is a steady goal we use to inspire ourselves into ongoing action in a specific and meaningful direction.

Steady goals and dreams draw us into experiences we might otherwise avoid. They motivate us to grow and to face challenges that bring into focus facets of ourselves that would otherwise remain latent.

Steady goals and dreams sometimes lead away from what is familiar. At the same time, they provide the means to achieve consistency of motive and intention over time, a center around which to organize experience and come to know ourselves.

We previously explored what happens when we make Life Purpose into an unattainable dream.
Here are a few more types of traps (I changed the names):

Thomas could not connect with desires or motivation. He desperately wanted Purpose but would not take risks. He had learned early on to shut down self-expression to protect himself.

Patricia came from a wealthy family. She felt entitled to work just for fun. She wanted a job like that of a top-notch medium with a television program—without intuitive skills, training, or personal application.

Katherine had a passionate and loving heart. Out of fear she lusted for control and superiority in the guise of world service. Rigorous self-exploration inspired her to note, “My idea of service would have been toxic to myself and others!”

Some get involved in the structure of institutions to make themselves feel valid, powerful and important. Agencies with heaps of rules attract petty tyrants. You know: People who thrive on imposing obstacles and take delight in obstructing progress and projects with obscure rules and regulations that confound common sense.

Inner Work can free motivation from the grip of our issues. Some need to address issues first, to be able to step successfully into external goals. Others find Inner Work gentler and more effective than hard knocks on the world stage.

If you have not done so please read the post Series on Inner Work.  It forms background necessary to fully understand most of my other posts.

For almost everyone, this is a good place to start:

  • Take back your authority to think for yourself about what is important for you to accomplish in your life and for what it means to you.
  • Change any vague, impossible to enact, non-supportive, notions about Life Purpose to beliefs you can actually work with in your day-to-day life.
  • Sacrifice fantasies that you are REALLY so special and different that your Life Purpose is absolutely staggering—but you just quite face it. This is a recipe for failure. Creating pressure and standards that we cannot live up to is counterproductive. If your purpose IS huge you will do it real time, without fantasy.
  • Develop a relationship with what is meaningful and important to YOU.
  • If you make even a small effort to answer the questions I bring up in this Series you will have made a great start.

In my decades of experience as a healer and guide I have come to believe that Almost Everyone’s First Purpose is to get in touch with who we really are, and to release emotional wounds from the past. Some few people have big destinies to be played out on the stage of life, and do so regardless of their inner hurdles. As for the rest of us:

Beyond question, inner wounds interfere with our ability to perceive, interpret, trust and carry out our Life Purposes. Dealing with this interference is the first work in front of us. Chewing what is on our plate carries inherent meaning and purpose. Doing our Inner Work is the one thing that will most improve our lives—including our ability to succeed in the world. Consider facing yourself one of your main purposes in life.

What if the things you do to TRY and make a difference take you away from your actual Life Purpose?

What habits, beliefs, needs or relationships, or addictions do you allow to have authority over you?

What do you avoid dealing with that prevents you from living your life with greater meaning and value?