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28 October 2017 4 Comments

Cell Phone Addiction. What Happens to Our Dreams?

Cell Phone Addiction. What Happens to Our Dreams?

We dream while we are awake, same as we do asleep, just as stars are in sky in the day, hidden by light. Thoughts and images of the outer mind, like light, distract us from our inner dreaming, in which lives: inspiration, insight, intuition, aspiration, what we are drawn to in our deepest selves, our guidance, what we are called to bring forth. These interior experiences give our lives meaning and shape our lives. They truly integrate us with the greater world; they connect us.

Meditative consciousness, deep feeling, unity with all life, our values . . . All pulse and breathe behind the scenes. When we are inundated from the outside we are unaware of them. They are inward aspects of our selves.

Our interiors anchor the pulse by which we know our own essence and realize our real selves. They do not thrive on the surface, in the noise. They arise TO the surface, often silently, often gently, through a stray image, an impulse, a feeling, a longing, a need—perhaps even through our discontent. When we sit with IMG_1255discontent, feel into it, we find ways to hold ourselves accountable for meaning in our lives. We find ways to inspire ourselves by discovering what matters to us truly, and feel our way, if blindly, into giving things that matter shape and form on our outsides, expression, perhaps even life direction.

How do you think cell phone addiction and Facebook addiction impact our ability to experience and breathe with these subtle and essential states, pathways, impulses, insights, and realizations?

What do you think happens when we are jolted at random by little alarms throughout the day, something beeping, buzzing, vibrating, demanding our attention regardless of our rhythms, focus of attention, productivity and flow?

What happens to our interior rhythms?
What happens to our access to ourselves?
What happens to the waves of our inner dreaming and what now washes up on the shores of our awareness?

What happens when sensationalistic fear-based news constantly demands action, time, money, feeling and attention without respect to what we have to give, and we’re not even sure all of it true?

Certainly we have a part in the causes of the world. If these causes are not our own—or even if they ARE our own—what happens when they are louder than our own inspiration and meaning, and begin to take the place of our inner worlds and dreaming?

We also may be jolted, alarmed, drawn in, called forth and asked to respond to those who text when they are out of balance, when they feel hurtful or want to bully others or damage relationships with gossip, when they boast, when they encounter difficult moments without first settling in to the deeper source of their essence or reaching into their hearts but instead reach for their phones—their need for love calling them to do so, but they broadcast the trivia of their egos and the toxins of reactive states instead of mutually connecting, for they have forgotten that they impact you.

What happens when we forget the breadth of our feelings, our bodies, and our breath and take what other people think as the measure of who we are?

If we begin to identify with our reactions to the superficial group mind, rather than taking meaning and purpose from our inner values, personal beliefs, integrity, sense of honor, chosen and cultivated values, and what we are drawn to love, the opinions and reactions of multiple people begin to displace Presence and self awareness. What happens to conscience?

When contact with others is virtual, how do you come to understand real results?
What happens to your ability to perceive your environment, to partake in the beauty of nature, and to experience joy without reason?

The trend is to make our inner world, our dreams and the people right in front of us less important than whatever comes to us electronically. What comes of this?

It starts because initially, those who can reach us are the ones who are most important to us. Then the related behaviors become habitual.
What results from constantly favoring the immediacy of an electronic contact over the people and environment around us?

If fast-food-style connection substitutes for realtime relating, and we lose touch with our depths, what happens to our capacity for soul-to-soul contact?

What begins as more easily connecting can create a riveting preference when the immediacy of it and the habits it creates make it mechanical, compelling, and often irrelevant or even destructive to what we value more.

Ironically, the more desperately one turns to multiple contacts through electronics, seeking connection, the more disconnected one often becomes.

It takes a sense of self to feel connected and allow love in.

 

Someone sent me this quote after this blog was published:

Albert Einstein: 

“I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity.

The world will only have a generation of idiots.”

25 January 2017 0 Comments

Managing Unwelcome Changes by Creating Values, Purpose & Self Care

Managing Unwelcome Changes by Creating Values, Purpose & Self Care

World changes that offend our sensibilities and values can overwhelm our ability to adapt, leaving us with diminished vitality and weakening immune responses. Current energies and world changes are bringing up a sense of being wounded, overwhelmed, out of control, powerless, and/or hopeless for a lot of people. Last night one of the strongest, clearest people I know said he wanted to hide under a blanket.

When we get overwhelmed, confused about our values, or depleted, organizing moment-to-moment activities often becomes difficult. Retirement can also cast one into the odd mire of not knowing how to organize one’s time, activities and priorities. No matter how it comes about, not being sure what to give value to takes the wind out of our sails.

Meaning, purpose, and motivation are enlivening and energizing. They give life rhythm. They are intimately related to our values.

An inner call to live out and actualize our values and ideals contributes to overwhelm. We feel we must DO something but are not sure what to do, where or how much to give, or how to make a difference. Reconsidering values brings up conflicts that challenge or alters our concepts about ourselves. This takes a great deal of energy. It is important at such junctures to step back before we step forward, to consider whether or not any particular action calls to us or has our name on it. Once we detach a bit it is easier to sense whether or not we are truly called to any specific action.

Not having a sense of what truly matters to us or how to move forward is debilitating. Our energy cannot rally. Uncertainty is tiring.

Uncertainty can make it hard to organize ourselves to do anything, to stay well, or to recover from illness. When we are overwhelmed or cannot find a clear sense of how to move forward into life, returning to foundational self care is essential. We need a manageable, concrete priority. Self care is an excellent priority. Intensifying self care can serve as a temporary goal.

Learning to be kind to one’s self is healing. I am not talking about indulgence, although healthy pleasures can be kind. I am talking about the types of kindness that don’t have a backlash. Here are a few examples:

Find and feel into any places inside that hurt. Accept the sensations and emotions you encounter by allowing that they are there instead of IMG_7516rejecting them. Intentionally breathe tender compassion and love into those places, feeling them, yet gradually filling the body and heart areas they occupy with kindness and gentleness.

Nurture yourself with the clear intention of making yourself feel better, not by numbing or distracting, but by building yourself up with excellent nutrients and kindness.

—Don’t force yourself—invite. Alternate doing things that will improve your conditions, however small, with rest, nourishment, and gentle exercise.

Lie on the floor and stretch a bit.
Walk: It puts your body in rhythm, which is strengthening and reduces stress.

Face losses squarely and grieve if you need to. Sometimes creating a loss that you can control is therapeutic. Getting rid of something that is broken and can’t be fixed, throwing out a plant that cannot thrive, cutting down a sick tree, or giving clothes you don’t wear to charity are ways to concretize a sense of loss—constructively. Constructive loss allows us an avenue to move though our feelings and opens the way for something new.

Create rhythm in your life by keeping some activities steady and consistent, at the same time every day or week. This may sound boring but it is an antidote to chaos and overwhelm. Rhythm helps us to keep moving instead of becoming further overwhelmed by having to determine what to do all over again. Rhythm can make the difference between being productive and feeling stuck.

Here are additional suggestions for creating a short-term sense of purpose to give you focus, rhythm and organization when you don’t know what to do or you’re going through transitions:

Aim to give yourself a clear focus with a strong priority. Pick something possible now, as a spacer until you can deal with the longer term.

Clear the decks so your life is smooth and things are open when you get busy down the line. Do the things you have been putting off. This can bring relief and make you feel virtuous. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve you in your ongoing.

Face anything you can finally finish. Confronting and removing the obstacles brings a sense of completion. It makes us feel stronger and more clear. These can be small things like straightening out a billing issue, returning a product, working through piles of paper, or doing the laundry. Taking on the ordinariness of these tasks can help us feel unstuck and provide a sense of continuity. We can give them meaning by noticing that it is a kindness to ourselves to reduce our sense of burden and overwhelm in any small way we can.

If you can manage it, identify something you have been wanting to do for a long time but have not been able to get to. It could be a project around the home, an online training you paid for but did not view, or digging a garden plot. Make this project a priority. Welcome the activity as a way to organize yourself.

Which of these interventions speak to you at this point in time?

25 December 2015 6 Comments

You Do Not Deserve God’s Love ;)

You Do Not Deserve God’s Love  ;)

We have it backwards: “You don’t get love by being good, you get good by being love.” ~TD

Issues about whether or not we deserve love are relics from childhood. Divine Love is not earned. Some might call it a birthright. I agree—but with prejudice. “Birthright” language evokes entitlement, which is often toxic. It also presupposes that we are separate from Source. Having the right to something brings Cosmic Teaup the sense of not having it, and having to demand it.

But where would we demand Love from? This again smacks of childhood wounding.

From an energy perspective, to invite higher Love we need to resonate with it. To resonate with Divine Love we become it. This means finding, sensing and feeling the quality of such Love inside—and amplifying it. Doing this is an act of creation. This does not mean it relies on fantasy. Fantasy is a sidetrack. The path is to locate the resonance of Love inside by learning to focus and call it forth from within. Then we blow on that like an ember. This takes spiritual work. Anything that stands in the way must be embraced—but not allowed to stand as a distraction.

When we have something, we can give it away. If we do not have it, it is not ours. Having Love means receiving it first. When we seek that in other people we are bound to be disappointed, as we probably were in childhood.

We do need to generate love for ourselves—but we need to catch the perfume or resonance of it somewhere in order to really grasp just what it is we are seeking. Finding Source can be very abstract. Most of us need one or more human role models to get a sense of how to ‘run’ that Love in our bodies.

The role model we choose is less important than learning to bring forth Love. Since I am writing this on Christmas eve, I would be remiss not to say that Christ could be one such model. Owing to various conceptions and experiences, that name aggravates some people, and many have belief systems that cause them to recoil from religion.

A current of Love and truth underlie and run through religions, but codes of belief do not in themselves produce the miracle called Love. Whether or not we are attracted to one or more religions, we take great benefit in identifying someone, somewhere, some time, who represents to us the possibility of being a human who is capable of experiencing and expressing the vibration of Divine Love. The word “God” can be too abstract, and also laden with freight. “Source” is abstract as well.

From where do we receive the impressions that stimulate in us true inspiration?

This is a wonderful question to ponder in this inward time of year, when we long to bring forth true joy, blessing and generosity.

Ideal Love will be a little bit different for different individuals, depending exactly which vibration of the rainbow of all love is key for that mind, heart, and soul to take the next step toward becoming it oneself. The being, saint, prophet, person, spiritual teacher, or element that inspires us may even change as we develop. It is important to learn to identify and allow our hearts to be impressed (like soft clay) by real Love when we see it, and to own as our privilege in being human, our right to enjoy and express that Love.

Having God’s love (change the g-word if it bugs you) means having it flow through us to others and into the world. It is not something we earn and then receive like an award for being a self or being good. It is something we cultivate and practice over many years or even lifetimes. Seeking to GET it enhances ego issues about deserving. We get more of it by giving. I am not talking about over-giving, driven by old wounds, I am talking about expressing from your heart.

No matter what is going on with us it is okay to allow Divine Love to come though us. If this depends on mood or being in a particular way, we will withhold it. When we let Love touch us despite our shortcomings it will help us to move beyond them, gently over time. Even if we do not move beyond them, our lives will have meaning and value because we have been vehicles for Love. There are no prerequisites. Concentration, attention and intention invite it. Noticing and making room for it when it comes helps sustain it. These are aids. There are no prerequisites.

Please feel free to comment.

I send you love in this traditional time of calling forth Light.

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20 June 2015 3 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 50: Spiritual Saving for Our Ultimate Retirement, Part I

Managing Your Energy Part 50: Spiritual Saving for Our Ultimate Retirement, Part I

“In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be, and in order to find myself I must go out of myself, and in order to live I have to die.”  ~ Thomas Merton

Questioning the purpose and value of our lives need not be morbid. It arises from a longing for something more, something important. Beyond distraction, looking to relationships for belonging, or seeking to diagnose these feelings, they can be seen as a call of the soul for meaning.

Let me make a quick aside and say that belonging is meaningful, but does not substitute for being able to create an internal and a more universal sense of meaning. I am saying that if our only source of meaning depends on belonging with specific persons and groups, this may be insufficient. We can lose people and groups can disband. In addition to belonging with people or groups, we need to develop a sense of belonging in, of, and as our Selves, as citizens of and participants with the Universe.

As we mature emotionally, we learn that life purpose is not all about what we do in the outer world. We P1040289learn that meaning supplied by external situations and relationships is transitory, and can be eroded by life’s inevitable losses. This realization can hit hard around retirement. I have also seen it arise in the young and brave, the profound, and in those struggling with illness.

When we are truly able to know that we will die, how we spend our time and what it means to us become vital.

While we may well have meaningful projects and purposes in the world, daily life is our foundation—and may eventually become all that we can sustain.

When we do not create and imbue our days with a sense of meaning, we feel hollow and unsatisfied. Daily life can become like going through the motions, or even drudgery. We seek something to make it worthwhile.

Enacted with Presence and Love, taking care of day to day needs is inherently meaningful. Our experience is a matter of what we bring to it.

Remembering that we will die supports living fully.

Suppose we consider death our Ultimate Retirement. There is much we can do to prepare, and this particular type of Inner Work has inherent meaning and value. Living well in preparation to death has similarities to planning for retirement. Unlike planning for retirement, planning for Ultimate Retirement does not involve putting things off or holding things back for later. It consists of doing things now that will appreciate over time in addition to making daily life more meaningful.

Earning for retirement supports hope for a golden period. Whether or not that period is indeed golden will depend in part on these preparations. It also depends on being able to support a sense of meaning without the organizing principles and structures of work life, and in the face of unavoidable losses that accumulate through the course of life.

What makes retirement happy and helps us to decline with dignity and grace?

Part of preparation for retirement or death depend on coming to grips with losses; taking joy in having had experiences in our lives, even if they are no longer be available. Part of it is also gratefulness for what we are able to experience in the moment. We can learn to appreciate the past, but still release it—without being bitter or destroyed by the difficult experiences or angry about losing the pleasant ones. Without denial or being insincere, this means practicing surrender to the realities of life. It is never too soon to do this Inner Work.

Short of a near-death experience we rarely become suddenly able to accept life and death gracefully. It takes practice and intention. It is meaningful Work. This Work begins as soon as we are able to do so.

Think about those you have seen who are preparing for death. Many become bitter, regretful, contracted, and fearful. Some bring forth a precious courage and generosity of spirit that inspire the living.How and when do we become like that? 

Do you have any role models for aging or dying positively?

How do/did your models inspire you?

How do YOU create a sense of meaning during daily activities?

25 November 2011 4 Comments

Life Purpose, Part 14: Ways to Contribute

Life Purpose, Part 14: Ways to Contribute

Here is a wide range of examples of meaningful ways to contribute. Mix and match:

Does your vision of making a difference include political impact?

  • Canvass for a congressperson or someone running for office
  • Get signatures for an initiative
  • Volunteer at a caucus

Are you passionate about world welfare?

  • Join the Peace Corps
  • Help with Doctors Without Borders
  • Raise awareness about important issues

Do you want to help the Earth?

  • Support an environmental cause
  • Set up a living will that supports old growth forests
  • Send healing energy to problem areas
  • Give up using plastic bottles

Do you want to help people?

  • Support your neighbors with earthquake or emergency planning
  • Volunteer at a hospital, food bank, or crisis line
  • Serve in a soup kitchen
  • Get involved with Kiva, for microloans to those in need in other countries
  • Read to the people or play music at a senior center
  • Become a Big Brother or Big Sister
  • Learn conflict mediation

Do you love animals?

  • Volunteer or get a job at an animal shelter
  • Take care of strays or find homes for them
  • Adopt Greyhounds that used to race

Do you want to develop your energy, or support others through energy?

  • Learn and practice Qi Gong or other techniques to balance, tune, and strengthen your energy
  • Learn energy medicine or go to practitioners who use it
  • Send the energy of love and support to people and nations under duress

Are you inspired to develop your own or other people’s ability to experience peace and states of grace?

  • Meditate
  • Practice watching your breath
  • Practice random acts of kindness
  • Express your love

Are you in a partnership?

  • Ask your partner what you can do to improve your relationship
  • Offer to take a chore off your partner’s plate when s/he is overwhelmed
  • Spend half a day a month doing anything you have avoided that your partner wants you to do

Do you read this blog?

  • Work intentionally with the questions.
  • Please pass my posts to people who will benefit from them. They take about 7 hours each, and I’d like to see them serving lives!

Here is a loving conversation that occurred between two friends:

Becky told Karen, “I get the impression you have something important to do in the world.”

“Thank you.”

“I’m just a piano teacher,” Becky said. Her tone implied that she could not be important or make a large contribution in this role.

“Stop!,” said Karen. “It’s not about ego; it’s about Path. Don’t minimize who you are and what you do! You are awake and aware. You are touching all the people you work with. Your purpose is just as big as mine—it’s your energy and love. That’s the gift. For all you know you could be teaching the next Beethoven!”

Karen went on to say, “I used to think I would Save the World. I now understand that we can help the world, improve and impact the world. That’s heart. SAVE the world? That’s bravado. No one person can save the world. We can only save ourselves, and help impact those who appear on our path. –And you’re doing it.”

Dive heart first into life! (Comment credit to Evelyn Roberts.)

What are YOUR favorite ways to help, improve, or impact your world?

What do you get out of it?

Great Christmas Gift idea! Simple but potent tools effectively clear out unpleasant energy & promote higher awareness.

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 . . .

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?