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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?

28 October 2011 4 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 10: Misconceptions About Life Purpose, Part 1

Life Purpose, Part 10: Misconceptions About Life Purpose, Part 1

Let’s take a tour through common misconceptions about Life Purpose. Part of this is summary and review, heading into fresh insights about the things we’ve covered. We will also break new ground:

  • Success and Life Purpose are the same thing
  • Life Purpose refers to your entire life
  • You will be known and seen in the world by doing your Life Purpose
  • The status and magnitude of your activities reflects your worth
  • Your purpose has to be something in the outer world
  • You need a particular job or role to serve others
  • The status and magnitude of your activities reflects your worth
  • What you do for meaning should provide money and security
  • Getting what you want leads to happiness
  • Life Purpose comes with a time line and a plan
  • Being good at something means you are supposed to do it
  • Your purpose means living up to your full potential

We’ll pick through these misconceptions one by one.

Success and Life Purpose are the same thing:

What is the difference between success and Life Purpose?

Success is generally defined against the backdrop of superficial, societal values. You are comparing yourself to other people, or to an external standard of accomplishment.

Life Purpose (also known as Soul Purpose) is that which actualizes not the brightest, best, and most recognized potential, but the elements of heart and character that invite authenticity, joy, balance, and expression of core values.

Life Purpose is that which gives your life meaning and value—to YOU. We are social creatures in an energy web of oneness, so our experience of meaning and value is not separate from our contributions and relationships with others. Since Purpose is personal, when it is lived in the outer world, authenticity is required.

Life Purpose refers to your entire life:

Motivations, values, and attitudes transform during the course of life. Even when you commit “your life” to something, what you are committing is your life energy, full participation, will, and intention. You are not placing the years your body will live in a trust for that commitment. You cannot count on having years. Your life is your life force, not your years.

Life Purpose does not refer to one thing you have to do or else you have failed. It refers to the way you bring yourself to what you choose to do. There are many different ways this can play out, according to the unique requirements of an individual life.

Purpose can change. You may have many purposes.

You will be known and seen in the world by doing your Life Purpose:

Being in public view does not measure either success or Life Purpose, just as money is no indication of our worth as individuals. If money equaled worth, Mother Teresa had no worth. We know this is not true.

The status and magnitude of your activities reflects your worth:

Gandhi used to require all of his followers to take shifts cleaning the latrines. Humility and willingness to do whatever is needed has always been the mark of the truly great.

Your purpose has to be something in the outer world:

Life Purpose may be as simple (not easy) as:

  • Learning to love yourself as you are
  • Mastering a tendency to project blame onto others
  • Becoming able to maintain body awareness instead of getting spacey
  • Discovering how to feel safe inside yourself
  • Becoming able to trust yourself
  • Standing in love or peace no matter what happens
  • Bringing to the planet a specific, necessary energy; being a connecting point for that energy, broadcasting or receiving it

I believe in the possibility that people exist who have influence the workings of the entire planet through their profound mastery of energy. Can you say that such a person has no purpose because no one sees it?

You need a particular job or role to serve others:

Balanced, powerful people penetrate and permeate the energy of those we touch or engage with, whether professionally or in the line at the bank. You may impact players on the world stage, set the stage, or influence how the audience receives the play in the course of your normal life.

Cynthia felt no meaning in her job answering emails for an insurance agency. I suggested she send, from her heart, a specific and personal blessing with each email, invisibly. She began to love her job.

We’ll finish the other misconceptions in Part 2 . . .

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?

23 September 2011 3 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 4: The Comfort Trap

Life Purpose, Part 4: The Comfort Trap

When the idea of Life Purpose arises, the first thing that pops up for quite a few people is terror that Life Purpose will take them away from all they know and love. Since I began this series I have heard several versions of the following:

“What if once I get healed or discover my Life Purpose I find that I can no longer tolerate my _________.”
(Fill in the blank. Spouse? Job? Residence? How I allow myself to be treated? All of the above?)

This is a fascinating question. What we’ve got here looks like this:

I am unhappy with my circumstances. I think maybe I should be doing something else because I cannot fully value what I’m doing. But I don’t want to do anything that would take me away and I’m afraid to make any changes.

Sometimes we don’t change unless the terror and discomfort of remaining the same are worse than the terror of change. Either/or thinking and imagination about the future are usually at the root of this fear. “I must either endure this forever or leave (totally, suddenly, and without preparation, into the unknown).”

Unhappiness comes largely from resisting where we actually are. We get happier with our circumstances by investing in them fully and using them to grow.

Instinctively know we need to be willing to surrender attachment to forms and circumstances to be spiritually free. This does not mean that it is spiritual to leave the entangled life web we have weaved. Sinking in is a more effective way to become free. This is done by becoming Present and authentic, and seeing where things go.

What about surrendering to your current circumstances with the sincere Purpose of resolving your issues there? You will either transform your relationship to your life so you’re happier, or gradually work through it to the point of freeing yourself from it without trauma.

Time is ticking ticking ticking. If you use up your life avoiding being Present where you are you are literally giving up your life. Is this situation you say you do not like worth your life?

You will need to face your current discomfort, moment by moment, and make some real responses to it if you want a happier life. Terrifying yourself with being trapped in your circumstances or floundering without them is not the real issue. The real issue is that your fear of discomfort keeping you stuck. You will be MORE comfortable if you address your discomfort. But you need to FEEL it to address it.

Staying the same is not actually comfort—it is familiarity. Discern the difference between familiarity and comfort. This will help free you from fear of change.

Fortunately, when we tune in to our core authenticity and become loyal to ourselves, our relationship with ourselves forms a steadfast and absolutely familiar basis of operation that remains with us no matter how circumstances change. This core self forms and informs our relationships, through our loyalty to ourselves within these relationships. Thus we become more and more comfortable in our relationships as we become true to Self.

The act of trying to be somebody other than we are makes us unhappy. Here is the most common regret of all at the end of life:

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Being loyal to yourself is prerequisite to Life Purpose. If you’re not there yet, becoming loyal to yourself can BE your Life Purpose. We have more than one.

We grow and morph as we accumulate life experience. Being integrated and healthy involves making the adjustments necessary to infuse our current values into daily life. Change can come about gradually and gracefully. Huge changes, if essential, can occur with preparation, foresight, and collaboration with those we love.

What do you tell yourself about Life Purpose?

Could it be that my circumstances actually support me in that Purpose?

Could it be that taking on what I am resisting and having difficulty with is a part of my Purpose?

16 September 2011 4 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 3: The Intersection of Feeling & Belief

Life Purpose, Part 3: The Intersection of Feeling & Belief

Life Purpose lives at the crossroads of Feeling and Belief. It is shaped by the collision between:

  • What we feel about ourselves
  • What we feel about participation in life
  • Who we believe ourselves to be
  • What we believe about participating with others

What we believe informs our behavior in specific ways. We may believe, for example, that Life Purpose must be recognized by others to be valid. This type of belief is largely subconscious. As a belief alone it remains inactive and theoretical–unless we activate it by aiming to put it into direct practice. As our energy becomes engaged, feelings arise.

What we feel informs our behavior in totally different ways than do our beliefs. We may feel that we are incapable and inadequate. Emotional patterns that sabotage success are quite common.

The intersection between beliefs and emotional patterns operates according to our unique personality structures. Following our example, when we combine a belief that we must be recognized in the outer world with feeling incapable of measuring up, we come up with an interpretation like: “I must contribute to society to be a worthwhile human being but I can’t.”

Life Purpose is shaped by translating belief WITH FEELING into day-to-day action, and shaping our time to express what we value.

Whether or not we can access our sense of Life Purpose is determined by the degree to which we can align positive feeling and belief, so that insight and action are not derailed by conflict.

Feelings, if used for awareness, provide us with the opportunity to revisit and revise our beliefs. Take note of the feelings and beliefs that arise as you read this series.

Interpretation, like the quote above, can become activated and rub us raw after listening to talks or exposure to teachings about Life Purpose. A belief that inspires some personality types and serves development casts other types into despair, or excessive striving. A passionate, ambitious personality will suffer more keenly with Life Purpose issues than someone who feels fulfilled through the bonds and exchanges involved in family life or artistry. Passionate energy needs positive direction.

When beliefs and emotions are not congruent (harmonious), they cannot empower the actions we take in the world in healthy ways.

From an energy perspective, beliefs and emotions that intersect smoothly weave patterns that support, magnetize and attract people and circumstances that allow you to express your sense of purpose. Beliefs and emotions that clash form nodes or clumps of energy in one’s personal fields. These inconsistencies are associated with inefficient or blocked function.

The more passionately we aim to do something that expresses our life meaningfully the more steam we build toward action. When emotional patterns derail the urge toward action, distress or despair can result.

In my role as healer and guide I naturally discover imbalances and specific issues that underlie such distress. Misconceptions or unfortunate interpretations about Life Purpose can be at the source of this distress. In the next several posts we will investigate common issues and misconceptions related to Life Purpose. I will offer insights that can alleviate distress and frustration to help get your energy on track with your sense of meaning and purpose.

Why do you want to make a difference in the world?

What do you seek to gain or take from your experience?

What are you willing to give to life?