Creative work is…a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.
– Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
There is nothing I need to do, now that I’ve surrendered.
Now that I’ve opened my hands and heart to receive.
Now that I trust what I know will come.
I am now patiently waiting for the next clue to appear.
And, it will appear; if I am quiet and still in my heart and mind.
What a relief I now feel.
There is nothing that I must do.
Nothing to make happen.
No pushing or straining to see my will done.
No striving for the next thing.
I am now free to trust,
In the faith I have for Ultimate Reality.
I can now patiently wait,
for my future to unfold,
as it will, all on time.
And so it is.
by Cora Pacheco
Exploring my life purpose has been an ongoing project which intensified over the last couple of years. A few months ago, I re-discovered a book I bought a couple of years ago called Live Your Life Purpose by Dorothy Ratusny.
Ms. Ratusny provided the following questions which I found to be very helpful. Get your journal out, dear people, and answer these questions:
1. I am happiest when I am…
2. If I didn’t have to work for a living (and I had more money than I could ever spend), I would…
3. I feel most passionate about…
4. I feel the greatest sense of joy and fulfillment…
5. Others come to me for help with…
6. My innate gifts are…
7. My earlier life experiences have prepared me…
8. What I most love is…
9. I have the ability to…
10. What I have recently gone through has made me realize…
What are you waiting for? Get yourself that double espresso or a nice soothing cup of tea and sit yourself down in a quiet room, or on the deck, and get writing. I’m telling you, mining the answers to these questions will bring you gold, the invaluable, potentially life altering, kind :).
I was sitting in my Muskoka room the other morning, sipping my coffee, and staring out the window at the trees and clouds. I thought I had to tell you how much this almost daily ritual means to me, and because I want to encourage you to do it too.
Some days, I can only get five or ten minutes of this very nourishing activity. Other days, when I’m off work and the kids are at school, I can spend a lot longer sitting there journalling, reading and just re-charging.
That’s really the reason I am encouraging you to take some time to just sit and breathe and look out the window at the clouds – for the opportunity to re-charge.
Maybe you’ll remember this activity from your childhood days when, perhaps lying on the grass or on the beach, you could spend hours making out the outline of an animal or object in the fluffy clouds.
I also just like watching how the clouds move, ever…so…slowly – it is very meditative.
So, my friends, all of this to say,
take care of yourselves by taking some time to just sit and be.
I meant to post this on New Year’s eve, but alas, a technological glitch intervened. So, I’m here now, wishing you all a peaceful and rewarding New Year!
p.s. I also wanted to draw your attention to Susannah Conway’s blog post about Finding Your Word for 2015, which you can find here (you just have to scroll down the page to find it). I’m thinking my word for 2015 will be Courage.
One of the topics discussed in Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Peace is Every Breath is “Contemplating Aimlessness”. He says,
Contemplating aimlessness helps us stop feeling compelled to go around seeking after this and that, exhausting ourselves mentally and physically.
Aimlessness means not chasing after anything, not setting any more objects in front of ourselves to run after.
Happiness is available right in this present moment. We already are what we want to become.
It’s like a wave who goes looking to get in touch with the vastness of water. When she realizes water already is her own true nature, her very substance, she no longer needs to go looking elsewhere for it.
Everywhere you turn, life is full of wonders. The Kingdom of God, the Pure Land of the Buddha, is already right here, within and all around us; and the same is true of happiness.
Contemplating aimlessness helps us be able to stop our rushing around and experience a sense of contentment and joy.
I’m lingering on these words as they bring me peace: Happiness is available right in this present moment. We already are what we want to become.
I’ve been reading a book called The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. It’s about figuring out what your core desired feelings are. That is, the feelings that you most want to feel in your life. Such as a sense of freedom, joy, tranquility, abundance, security, etc. The reason for doing so is that it helps to know how you want to feel when setting goals or making choices. It’s like having a compass by which you can gauge whether you are going in the right direction. For example, one of my core desired feelings is freedom. Having realized that, I can now assess any new opportunities as to how or if they will provide me with a sense of freedom in my life.
The idea is that instead of just setting goals, you can ask yourself whether the goals you are contemplating are going to make you feel the way you want to feel in your life when you accomplish them. Sometimes we pursue a goal and then, when we get there, it leaves us feeling hollow, not filled up like we hoped it would. That’s because the goal didn’t align with what we were really wanting. I’m totally not doing Danielle’s book proper justice, so you’ve got to read this book yourself!
When I asked myself what is meaningful to me, I came up with being inspired and inspiring others. Another principle that is important to me is telling the truth. Truth is such a fundamental principle to me and is an important theme in my life as I learn to tell my personal truth (which is sometimes suppressed because I don’t want to ruffle any feathers or when I don’t want to shine a spotlight on myself).
When I let my truth come out, it feels so good, like my chest is clear and I can breathe deeply with ease. Following my truth and telling my truth is like keeping my eyes firmly affixed on my own North Star and trusting that it will ultimately take me home.
The Desire Map is definitely a great tool for discovering one’s truth!
noticing the mess,
the emptiness and discomfort,
and letting it be there
until some light returns.
– Anne Lamott