What is our life's purpose?
Why are we here?
Is there something we're supposed to do?
Is there one unique gift each of us is given? One unique purpose we're supposed to accomplish? One major test we need to pass?
Or is our purpose a moving target -- always evolving, always changing?
How can we find our life's purpose? What do we look for it, and where?
And if there is something we need to do, why does life get in our way?
Why does it often feel like we're swimming upstream?
If you've ever contemplated these questions, you will love this week's topic on the Unleash Your Peace Podcast (iTunes, Website). Over the course of five consecutive episodes, released Monday through Friday, we will dive into this huge topic and explore the origins of life itself in an effort to gain clarity on what the human actually is and why we are here.
In the search for our life's purpose, the greatest mistake we make is holding on to false beliefs about its very nature.
We internalize messaging that tells us we have one job to do here in the world, and that our life's work has to be something grandiose that changes the world.
We learn that it is selfish to focus on our own wellbeing, and therefore our life's purpose has to come with some sort of sacrifice to ourselves while helping the most number of people. We hold this belief in one hand while simultaneously cultivating a deep desire for an easier, more abundant life in the other.
We falsely buy into the notion that there is are finite ways of doing things. We study those who have what we want and try to recreate the steps they took to get to where we would like to be. We read their quotes, use their techniques, implement their processes, and feel increasingly like perhaps success is not for us when things don't work out the way they should. Except that deep within us, we know that success, abundance, happiness, and joy are our right.
We encounter and build duality atop duality, and no duality is more destructive than our belief that the answers we seek are outside of us.
Life is riddled with duality.
We don't know who we are until we lose ourselves.
We don't see the light, until we sit in darkness.
We expand only through contraction.
And feel connection only when there is separation.
Our very existence here, on this physical plane, is a duality: we are non-physical infinite beings, having physical, seemingly finite experiences. There is no duality greater than this.
Another great duality that informs our lives is this: We come with a strong desire to do something in the world and for the world, but as long as we seek the object of our creation -- our life's purpose -- outside of us, we do not find it. Our life's work is never outside of us. The deeper we go into ourselves to find it, the more its echoes are felt by the world.
What I mean when I say to look within yourself is simply this:
Listen to the whisper of your Inner Being, which speaks to you in inspiration. Trust this inspiration. Be willing to take action in its service.
Is this not what surrender is? A coming together, a rejoining with that non-physical, infinite part of you that holds all the answers?
Here are a few other powerful dualities:
It is when we know the least that we know the most.
It's when we let go of control that we are guided toward our dreams.
It's when we stop trying to understand every turn that we find the quickest way to our destination.
Is this counter intuitive?
You don't need to go far to validate these statements.
Look at your own life. Was there a project that simply seemed to work out, from beginning to end, as though by magic? Was there a time when you had a great idea, and just knew what to do, and next thing you knew, your idea was actualized?
Look at any successful person for whom success came with ease. You will see a flow of movement running through their project or their career. It seems they knew, intuitively, where they needed to be, whom they needed to talk to, what they needed to do, in order to get to where they desired to go.
Look closely. Imagine being at the beginning of their journey with them. Imagine standing in that space of uncertainty, during a time this person could barely pay rent, when they had to crash on people's couches, when they lived in their car, when no one had any knowledge of the ideas, the books, the businesses, the products, etc. they held in their head, when they had very few options and an infinite number of ways to move forward.
Imagine standing in that uncertainty with them. What came over them that they were able to take such sure actions? Is what they did different that what you did in the service or your project that just worked out?
I am never surprised when I listen to people who have created their dream lives and hear them say their path opened up when they finally began listening to and trusting their inner wisdom. We do this intuitively on occasion. But how powerful would we be, if we could live this way intentionally? How much of our dreams would we actualize, if we knew consciously the power of inspiration?
If inspiration is so powerful and can lead us to our dreams, then why is it so difficult to follow it?
There are many ways in which we get in our own way. Here are 10 of the most common:
- For starters, the voice of inspiration is always a gentle whisper, which is all too often drowned out by the voice of our ego, which will tell us all the ways in which things can go wrong.
- We don't even ask the question. Inspiration's voice is so gentle that you won't hear it if you're not listening. And if you haven't asked yourself the question of, "What would I rather do? What brings me joy? What is it I'm here to do?" you will most likely not hear the voice of inspiration at all.
- We don't like or trust the ideas in our heads. Inspiration is not an idea. We translate inspiration into ideas. Inspiration is like a block of gold someone hands to you. It's beautiful and valuable, but until you make something with the gold, it's nothing. So, you make earrings, bracelets, necklaces. You might make gold teeth or fountain pen nibs. Depending on your life experiences, skills, and desires, you will have your own specific uses for this block of gold. The same is true for inspiration. You receive a block of knowledge, and with your mind, you translate this knowledge into ideas that make sense with your specific life experience. All this to say, if you have an idea that gets your heart beating a little faster, it's a good one. Go with it.
- We begin to look far into the future and plan for the worst. If you've listened to the episodes from week 2, you know that energy is magnetic as well as vibrational. And energy flows where attention is goes. So, spending an un-due amount of time on doomsday scenarios is the best way to create them in your experience.
- We look at our current resources and modify our dreams according to what we think is possible. What we don't take into account when doing this is that we have no idea what resources are actually available to us. Our radar screen shows only a tiny radius around us, while infinite number of opportunities are available to us just beyond what we are able to see, if we're open to receiving them.
- We play it safe because we don't have faith. Receiving an inspired idea is exciting, but because it's not yet manifested in the physical world, it may feel like it's not real. Imagine you ordered a pair of shoes online. Are the shoes any less real because you don't instantly have them in your hands? Do they become real only when you're holding them? Do you sit by the door wondering if they will ever arrive? Or do you go about your business as usual, having complete faith that they are on their way? Living from inspiration is like this. You know that the vision you've had is already yours and on its way to you, so you do the work in front of you, having complete faith that what is already yours is on its way to you.
- We are not wiling to be vulnerable. When we go inward and take action based on what is within us, we expose ourselves. This can feel very vulnerable and uncomfortable. This is why writing your best work, painting your best painting, writing your best song may feel like you are bleeding onto the page. It's okay to be vulnerable. Open yourself up, and allow others to see you. You might find that this vulnerability is exactly what helps your audience connect with you on a deeper level.
- We put too much pressure on our ONE life purpose. We do not have one purpose. In fact, our life's work is continually evolving and expanding as we do. Allowing it to move and morph into what it needs to be is a big part of our journey.
- We freak ourselves out by the sheer scale of our visions. You will never have a vision that is too big or too small. Every vision you have, whether it's to start growing tomatoes or start a tech company, is exactly the right thing to do. If the idea excites you, it's part of your journey. Do it. Enjoy it. Focus only on the step you have right in front of you.
- We suffocate it with doubt. There is nothing more destructive than doubting every action, every step of the way. This is the opposite of surrender. If you're experiencing doubt, there is internal work to do. You don't trust your intuition. You don't trust your Inner Being. You don't trust inspiration. Doubt is a separation from the greater Self. Find your way back to your Source, and you will have clarity.