Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Disengaging from Attachments That Hold Us Back

HI There! I have been away longer than I realized. Now I know what selling a home, moving out of state, buying and moving into a new home does to me. I go temporarily out of commission when it comes to writing. Though I have been remiss in writing, the move has provided me with another opportunity to practice the art of non-attachment. Over the past couple of months I learned lot about letting go of my vice-grip on being comfortable as I opened to greater opportunities for me and my husband to fullill our purposes.

My husband and I lived in the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. This is the kind of mystical, magical, beautiful place that takes your breath away when you meet those red rocks for the first time. We loved the sun-hat kind of weather that came with living in the desert. We have hundreds of friends and met people we knew whenever we went shopping or out for a meal. We were surrounded by great hiking trails, exceptional art galleries, and amazing views every direction you turned. And we actually left this wonderful home and playground.

We left because we knew it was time to go. Oh, we gave a lot of rational explanations like, "We needed some mountain air" and "We are able to buy twice as much house in Colorado." The truth is we just knew in our guts for some unknown reason that we needed to make a move. Trusting our intuition, we visited Boulder and Colorado Springs, and found the home we fell in love with in Colorado Springs.

We traded views of red rocks for views of the deer in our wooded back yard. We traded 300 sunny, warm days a year for a yummy hot tub overlooking snow laden trees. And we traded quaint tourist shops for big retail chains. We miss the charm and spectacular beauty of Sedona while simultaneously faling in love with the enchanting forests and big city privleges of Colorado Springs.

Though we knew would be happy in Colorado, the closer we got to the move date, the more we asked ourselves, "Why are we doing this?" The week were packing up the house, the temperatures were in the 70's in Sedona and the 40's in Colorado Springs. Our friends were telling us how much they were going to miss us at the same time we were feeling the lonliness of going to a new place. It is probably a good thing that it would have been very expensive to change our minds at that point, or we might have opted to remain where we were comfortable.

Even through our doubts we couldn't ignore the realization that the minute we made a commmitment to buy a house here, doors of opportunity flew open for Jeffrey and me. My husband sold five pieces of his original art in the two weeks before our move. He had three offers to help him advance his art career during our last week in Sedona, and another enticing offer three weeks after we arrived here.

As soon as we got to Colorado, my health challenges started to alleviate. I watch my physical health improve every day. I am calmer and more at peace than I have been for years. In just the few weeks we have been here, I have gained tremendous clarity about the timing and type of service I am here to provide - all in keeping with the further expression of my soul purpose.

Letting go of the life we had become so comfortable with and opening, with great trust, to a whole new life seemed to have created a doorway through which more of our desires and prayers could be answered. Hanging on or attaching to what we knew would have been easy. Letting go of what was famililar, trusting our instincts, and making the move was challenging on many levels. But it was so worth it!

Babba Sri Siva once said the greatest way to change your karma is to change your venue. Wow, did we ever discover the truth in that insight. Several blocks to our progress vanished simply by moving to the place we knew we needed to be.

After this move, it seems apparent to me that opportunity can only enter in, when you actually open the door and create some space for it to enter. You may not know in advance what the opportunity knocking at your door is really going to look like, but as long as you remain sitting in your easy chair, you will never know who or what is waiting to come in.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Reader Response to Article About Living Your Highest and Best Purpose

Your considerations are a good reminder. I find the kind acts that I offer through out the day, that uplift people (bc often they tell me so in gratitude) IS very much the same work I do with my music. Which is the "higher" calling. But in the end, as your elder learned on the other side, it's all the same work.

I think that keeps life fresh and flavorful and colorful and unexpected and surprising. Rockshaman.org

In the Eye of a Storm, We Often Find Ourselves

The following story was sent to me via e-mail and written by someone who survived Katrina. Since I do not know this person, I can not authenticate the story, but its message is certainly meaningful for any of us who have experienced severe "storms" in our lives.

May we all live our soul purpose,
Misa


Hello friends,

My famiy evacuated prior to the hurricane and is safe, Alex, my son, and
I stayed to care for pets that owners could not or would not evacuate
with them.
The conditions have been primitive and challenging, then they turned
very dangerous.

Alex and I stayed and cared for the animals (we could handle no water,
electricity, & water in the steamy summer heat) until we felt our lives
were at risk, and we were able to escape the city out the back door as
security in the Big Easy deteriorated. Physically we are both in
excellent shape as I prepared for the worst before the arrival of
Katrina.

As far as emotionally, I have RARELY felt so peaceful, serene, and in in
a place of unconditional love since the hurricane started bearing down
on the city. A surreal sense of calm, oneness, and caring has
overwhelmed me since this challenge has arrived in my small microcosm of
the universe. I realize that this is a sign for me that I need to look
at. My heart feels more open than it ever has!

This challenge is happening for a reason, and even though it may not be
apparent at this point to most the world, I KNOW that the lessons that
we are to learn from this very low vibration that has been and is
continuing to be CREATED by OUR collective consciousness will help our
evolution on this planet.

Don't only meditate and pray for peace in my home in New Orleans, but BE
peace and love at every moment with everyone you encounter, be thankful
for all of our blessings...especially the simple ones we take for
granted. This is one way we can raise our vibration and that of our
planet, and the ripple effects will reach New Orleans and the gulf
coast.

If I can be in this placeof acceptance, love, and peace after losing my
home, my businesses, and and a city that I love so dearly, so can
overyone else. More than ever, this is what needed on our planet. Total
acceptance. And the knowing that we have a responsability to change what
doesn't work anymore, to change the things that were in place that WE
created that led to the currunt unrest in New Orleans, long after
Katrina was gone.

To me, THIS is the real issue we should be addressing. If we had not
created a situation where almost one fourth of my city's residents live
BELOW the poverty level, I know that the instability in the city would
not exist in the aftermath of a storm that only lasted a matter of
hours.

Until mankind addresses this deeper core issue, and until we correct
this inequity worldwide, there will be many more "cries for help",
however unacceptable, by the lower socio-economic groups of souls that
WE have created, much like we are now seeing in New Orleans. I feel
their pain, their fear, their feelings of loss and despair, and I
understand their unconscious actions for basic survival. They are not
crying out for just supplies, they are crying out for love and
acceptance from mankind.

How shall we respond?

This is a another opportunity for mankind to demonstrate and express WHO
WE REALLY ARE and to change what WE have created on this planet.

I am excited about this opportunity to accept what is, embrace it, and
decide WHO AM I IN RELATION TO THIS?

Life is full of challenges, and the universe will never fail to give us
opportunities to evolve. This is mine and I am blessed to have this
spiritual slap on the side of my head. I will make the most of this
opportunity. I hope that anyone who has been affected by the ongoing
events in my beloved hometown does the same. The consciousness of our
planet needs the compassionate, heartfelt love and light from all souls
touched by the ongoing events.

Please stop for 5 minutes RIGHT NOW and close your eyes, breathe deeply,
and passionately envision our leaders making choices and decisions that
will be for the highest good for all involved on the gulf coast. We can
let go and let God empower our leaders to hasten a rapid recovery of
this devastated area and pray for a major healing. Nothing is more
important at THIS moment RIGHT NOW.

Please forward this letter to as many people as you can, as time is
critical !

Take this challenge and use it to help us remember that we are all
connected on a soul level, and that love, compassion, and understanding
are the common threads that make human "kind".

Namaste' !

Scott

Thursday, September 08, 2005

How Can We Use Disasters Like Katrina to Help Us Stay on Purpose?

Hurricane Katrina shook us to the core. I've witnessed anger, sorrow, helplessness, frustration, and resignation in the eyes of many people I talk to about the effects of Katrina and our nation's response and lack of response to brothers and sisters living, and dying, in despair.

When I watch the news reports, my first emotional response is anger. I want to hold someone responsible for what happened. In our great nation - the country that responded with such swiftness and compassion to the people caught in the devastation of 9/11 - how could we possibly have let so many people suffer for so long after Katrina hit? What the heck happened? And why weren't those vulnerable levees shored-up before the storms?

I have shaken my head and wondered why more willing and able Americans weren't sent there immediately before and after the storm to help get people out, get food and water to them, and take care of our sick and dying. "Where is our leadership?" I wondered. "What has happened to the heart of our nation?" I asked.

It is my belief that when we are in our hearts and living on purpose, we engage life with compassion, energy, and clear-headed responsiveness, When we are emotionally lost or not in touch with our compassion, we don't know what to do in the face of such seemingly overwhelming challenges.

In the aftermath of Katrina, I find myself asking, "Is the heart of our government a reflection of the heart of its people?"

If the answer is "no" then perhaps I can absolve myself of any responsibility. I can say, "I would never have allowed such slow and inadequate response to have occurred."

But can I say "no" and wash my hands completely, if I am one of the members of a nation that responded so slowly. Am I so sure I am not part of the probelm? If I look deeply within myself, am I so sure - so absolutely sure - that I would have done better? If there is any possiblity I could answer, "Yes, I might have been slow to respond with what was truly needed," then I must ask myself, "Where is my heart?" "In what way am I a part of a national consciousness that would respond with so little - so late?"

I can't point a finger at my government, if I'm not willing to take responsibility for my own part. I know, in good conscience, I must hold myself accountable, before holding a standard for anyone else to meet.

"What could I be doing differently in my own life to demonstrate greater compassion - and more swiftly?" I finally ask myself.
"If I choose not to blame myself or anyone else, what can I learn and apply to my own life as a result of Katrina's impact?"

As I sit with these last two questions everything softens. My anger is gone, as I realize I too loose touch with my compassion. I too respond slowly to the needs of others. On many days, just like my national government, I neglect to make my purpose for being here my priority. Like local governments, I sometimes choose to close my eyes to potential problems, not take preventative measures, and instead assume everything will be ok. like it always has been. Sometimes I decide to put my resources and energy elsewhere and neglect to put it where it is most needed.

If I don't have my own act together, I'm in no position to critisize anyone else.

So, I ask myself one more question, "Where am I most needed?" The needs I know how to fill best - that's where my energy belongs. That is my best service. That should be my priorty. That is where I will be living the heart of my Soul Purpose.

I reach out in the ways I know how to the victims of Katrina's devastation. And I remind myself to remember what I am here to do. When I hold myself accountable for fulfilling my purpose, I am in a better positon to hold my government accountable in fulfilling its purpose.

Our government was established to serve. No doubt, it is a daunting task to determine exactly what "service" means each and every day. Since our government is supposed to reflect the will of the people, perhaps we need to ask our leaders to restore the heart of the nation. Perhaps it is appropriate to remind our elected officials that service, and the fulfillment of this government's purpose includes swift, rapid, and compassionate response to our citizens in time of natural disaster, when they are in their greatest need. And whenever possible, our citizens be protected from damage to our lives and homes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Is Any of Our Purpose Passed On Through Our Family of Origin?

"Have you considered how much the unaccomplished goals of your anscestors play a role in the design of your Soul Purpose?" I recently asked my client.

In the pursuit of our individual journey, how many of us have taken the time to look at our individual purpose within the context of our family lineage?

Now for those of us who had unhappy childhoods, this might not be a pleasing concept. It can be difficult to imagine that the family we suffered through could actually play a role in passing forward a mission or purpose. But it does happen - more often than we might realize.

Think about it this way. Missions or purposes - when fulfilled - anchor in a quality of life we would like to see furthered. For example, if my purpose is to help people raise their standard of living, there is an improved quality of life that people I touch experience.

Or, if my purpose is to bring healing to ill and wounded animals, again there is a quality of life my actions create for the animals I treat and their human stewards.

You may be able to find words for that quality of life, or you may not, but you most certainly can feel it when you fulfill your Soul Purpose.

When my clients or students are struggling with the connection between their family of origin and purpose, I encourage them to put some effort and time into a very simple, yet very powerful imaginative exercise.

In the exercise, you imagine that you are on the other side (in heaven, a resting place, a neutral zone - and not on earth), before you put on a body suit and came to earth. In order for your soul to be given admission to earth, you must create (imagine) a life on earth you would like to live and defend your reasons for wanting to experience this life. Of course, this is actually the life you are living now. You are going to prepare a case for choosing this life.

Here is how it works. You right your rationale for choosing the family you want to be (and were) born into, parents who will raise you, your race, culture, year of birth, religion or spiritual views, economic and social environments, family politics, and nationality. If there will be any challenges to growing up, such as birth defects, disabilities, abusive parents, abusive family members or role models, poverty, or any other significant challenge - you must defend your right to experience these challenges. Further, you must explain how these challenges will ultimately assist you in fulfilling your purpose.

You must also state what quality of life you hope to inspire on the planet during your lifetime there. Perhaps you expect the outcome of your life to inspire hope, compassion, respect, honor, brotherhood, forgiveness, beauty, etc.

Then you describe the role you will play to engender these qualities in yourself and perhaps, in others. Will you be a teacher, healer, scientist, doctor, politician, salesperson, etc?

When you define the quality you choose to create, you identify the emotional impetus for living and breathing here on earth. When you define the role, you identify the general avenue through which that quality can be imbued. These awarenesses are at the heart of your Soul Purpose.

The challenges help us embody what we value. Your parents, grand parents, great grand parents and back may have hoped to bring that same quality into their lives and the lives of others. They may have found the challenges overwhelming. They may or may not have overcome them. Nonetheless, you might be surprised to discover shared intentions.

Of course, if your parents are living, the best way to uncover this is to ask them. Before my father died, I asked him what he thought was his purpose for being on earth. Like a Native Sun-dancer, though he was a white Catholic male who had never been to a native ceremony, he said he was here to suffer for the people.

In his mind, suffering consciously as Christ did, transforms painful energy so that others do not have to suffer. It was some years before I realized I was unconsciously living my father's purpose. While I acknowledge his purpose as a noble calling, I also recognized his mission was not my mission. Indeed my mission was closer to my mother's purpose, bound in the powerful energy of mother/teacher. The surprise to me was that the mother I thought I had little in common with, was the parent I had the most in common with.

By observing her life, I was able to understand more about my own purpose. I was also able to see how the challenges I faced were a reflection of challenges she had faced. In some cases, she did better. In others I did. But indeed, that realization was not as significant as recognizing that gifts I had received from my lineage were the exact skills and perspectives needed to overcome our family challenges.

I had inherited both the challenges and the gifts to overcome them. In moving through each of my family of origin's pattern of challenges, I was moving closer to the discovery and fulfillment of my Soul Purpose.

if you have the courage, I certainly encourage you to try-out this family of origin exercise. It could be a discovery worth uncovering!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Is It Possible We Discover Our Soul Purpose Right on Time?

How many of us spend hours of our lives wondering what it is we really came here to do? How many of us wonder - what if I'm not doing it? What if I don't recognize it? What if I'm on purpose and then let myself become distracted by something less meaningful?

A friend of mine once told me that we are like time release capsules. Each of us becomes aware in our right and perfect time. The challenge is in allowing the not knowing to be an acceptable state of being.

For years, I fretted and worried that I was not living up to my potential. "I should be doing more," I would tell myself. "I should be doing something more significant."

What I failed to notice was that each of those "insignificant" jobs was preparing me for what I ultimately came here to do. Once I remembered why I was here and what I had come here to fulfill, all those "insignificant activities" became significant.

So, now I ask myself, "I wonder what "insignificant" task I am doing today that is going to have a significant impact on my future?" "

Another question I like to ask is, "How will my current life appear to me when I look back in time to this present moment?"

For years, I was painfully hard on myself for not living up to some unknown expectation I had of myself. Now I realize, I always have been on my path - detouring a bit now and then to check some things out, or to stubbornly attempt to do things a different and less effective way - but basically living my chosen destiny. Most of those activities I deemed as meaningless did indeed have meaning.

I recently read the following on a web-site referred to me by a friend and was completely inspired by its wisdom. You can visit the web-site if you like at http://www.whatsuponplanetearth.com/latest.htm.

"And know as well that your purpose will not arrive for you until it is time on the planet for your purpose to be needed and utilized. All is in order with your evolution and with your purpose. No worries. "

My own impatience with myself has taught me to recognize the significance of every moment. The clues to my destiny lived inside of my desires, resistances, hopes, fears and dreams. I can't help but wonder if I would have enjoyed the journey more, if I had payed more attention to what I was actually doing rather than worrying about what I thought I should be doing. And perhaps, I could have garnered satisfaction from knowing I was taking steps to fulfill my Soul Purpose.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How and When Is Input From Others Helpful To Us in Living Our Soul Purpose?

"I'm just not sure which way to go?" my friend was saying to me. "There are so many potential ways to bring my work out into the world." My friend had been listening to input from professionals and nonprofessionals, each with their own unique idea about how he should ultimately produce and market his art work. Rather than becoming clearer as a result of hearing all this input, he was becoming more confused.

So, I encouraged him to stop thinking about all the input he had been getting and return to his thoughts to his original reason for sharing his art with the world. We explored the following three questions:

1) What unique experience do you bring to your viewing audience?
2) What underlying message behind the art expresses your true Soul Purpose?
3) What approach and venue for sharing your art makes your heart sing?

From my observations, it seems that a Soul Purpose expresses a core belief or message we long share with the world through our actions. In effect, it is the message behind our act of love - our service to the world or our community.

Now, I'm not suggesting that we all need to stand on a soap box. Far from it. I think, for the most part, the best expression of Soul Purpose is reflected far more significantly through our creations and actions rather than our words. The exception to this is when our Soul Purpose is naturally best expressed through word based modalities such as writing or speeches.

I love it when I'm invited by someone to be part of an experience that gives me new insights. I would much prefer to have a full-bodied, rich and personal experience of someone else's Soul Purpose than be told about it. Take my artist friend - or an artist you know - isn't it much more exciting to experience their art, pehaps with a short story about its meaning and creation than to hear them talk about it?

I knew if he got in touch once again with the experience he uniquely shares with the viewer, he would once again access his unique gift - his reason for existence. We then explored the underlying message. His message is elegantly simple and quite profound. He gives people an experience of the process of creation through his art.

Embracing his true message may feel like a stretch at times, because it seems bigger than human. That is a good sign. A Soul Purpose is bigger than human. If it didn't feel bigger than how we see ourselves currently, we would have nothing to explore! We would become bored.

Out of all the approaches and strategies proposed to him, there was likely to be one that felt a little bit ominous, but would also feel like a perfect fit for him - something his body would sink into when he thought about it. Also - the approach would excite him and stimulate his own new ideas.

He paused for less than a minute before he succinctly described how he most wanted to share his art.

Now, I didn't ask him what he thought. His mind was already full of ideas. I asked him how he felt - what his heart had to say. When checking in with his heart about what was important to him, he knew immediately:

1) What he wanted people to experience through his art
2) What underlying core message thoroughly captured his attention and grabbed the attention of his viewers
3) What approach and venue scared him a little, but energized him completely as soon as he thought about it.

Once he spoke out loud his desire, message and vision, he was free to choose from all the input he had received the specific ideas and suggestions that applied to his vision. Now he could use that sharp mind of his to sort out which input would be truly helpful in living his Soul Purpose.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How Do You Know When You are Living Your Highest and Best Purpose?

It was a gorgeous morning, and getting quite hot already. It was only 7:00 in the morning, and I was ready to find the air conditioning. The desert can be like that - stifling hot.

The evaporative cooling system needed some attention, so even though the temperature was uncomfortable, my husband climbed up on the roof to make some repairs.

We were expecting our friend, Bob, to come by at 8:00 with an estimate for some work he was going to do for us. He arrived on time and I told him we needed to go up to the roof to get my husband because he was reparing the cooling system.

"Now is that his highest and best purpose?" he asked me, teasingly. (I thought this was a particularly great question in light of the fact I had just started this blog on discovering one's soul purpose.)

I thought carefully about how I was going to answer this question, because it seemed significant.

"Well," I said, "given how hot we can expect it to get today, I'd have to say for the moment, it probably is his highest and best purpose."

Bob chuckled and followed me to the ladder, where he scrambled up to give my husband a hand.

I have been thinking about his question ever since he posed it. On the one hand, my husband or I could have determined that our highest and best purpose would be to begin our usual day and call out a repairman. It would be easy to argue that our hghest and best purpose is always done through the service we offer others in fulfillment of our missions. Theoretically and for the most part, I believe that is true.

And yet, from time to time, we may find ourselves getting up in the middle of the night to tend to a sick child. We might put some of our career activity on hold to care for our elderly parent. We might continue a good paying job to provide for our family while developing a career during our off-hours that is in more alignment with our mission.

If we choose to be of service to the people we love when they are in need, are we off purpose?

Practically, I know sometimes our highest and best purpose occurs when we respond to the needs of our family and friends. Sometimes it is the best avenue through which to express our highest purpose. If our purpose is limited to a career or particular action, it is probably not big enough.

If we consistently took care of others in order to avoid our truest, most meaningful work - if we were using it to escape, then indeed we would not be living our highest and best purpose. And yet, there is a place for loving acts of kindness within our life of purpose.

Some years ago, a dear friend and elder told me about a realization she had during a near-death experience. When she met with guides on the other side, together they reviewed her life. She was quite surprised when they told her that doing what she had gone to earth to do was very good. But what they really deemed significant were the thoughtful, kind acts of love she offered along the way.

In other words, it is good to live our purpose. That is what we have come here to do. Yet we would be missing out on the deeper meaning of our purpose if we neglected to do the little, loving, thoughtful things along the way.

Monday, July 11, 2005

As We Get Older Does Our Purpose Become Clearer?

Recently, I have had the honor of assisting a couple of dear friends in their preparation for elderhood rituals and celebrations. An interesting phenomena occurs as these women acknowledge their passage into what I consider to be the real prime of their life.

As they look at what they want to accomplish between now and the day they exit this world, they become dedicated to identifying and committing to fulfilling their soul purpose. There is a power in acknowledging their death. Recognizing the limit of time here on earth catapults them into the full memory of what they came here to do, as well as a burning desire to bring their purpose to completion.

Simultaneously, I observe these women acknowedging all of their gifts and talents, as well as their broad range of interests. They review their years of life with a fondness for all of the experiences they enjoyed and perhaps a little regret for the ones they never had time or enough impetus to do. The adage and frustration of "so much to do, so little time" probably never has as much meaning as it does when you realize your time on earth is growing shorter.

As they approach elderhood, I notice them growing calmer with this frustration because they seem to surrender to the fact they arent' going to get to do it all - and instead find peace and joy in what they have been able to experience. Instead of spinning in regret, they ask themselves, "What is most important for me to do now? I've tried out all kinds of careers, raised my family, provided for myself and others, given to my community......and before I go, what legacy do I want to leave?"

Unless we are born with the memory of our purpose and retain that awareness through out our childhood, most of us spend our lives discovering what it is. We spend decades slowly pulling out our awareness of purpose from under a cloud of confusion and fogginess. Elderhood seems to push the awareness to the surface where it can be embraced and acted upon with determination.

Both my friends tell me retirement sounds like a foreign concept to them. How could they possibly think about retiring when their whole life is ahead of them? The most they truly have to give and experience is happening right now. They are living more of their true purpose now than they ever have before

Some of us are fortunate. We know and accept our purpose when we are younger. Some of us have always known it and acted upon it. But for those of us who have had to dig down through layers of forgetfullness to remember, it can be reassuring to know our own natural progression to elderhood will help bring it to our awareness.

Friday, July 08, 2005

What Does Our Response to Terrorism Teach Us About the Life We Are Creating?

What do you do when people are killed and wounded by terrorist attacks? Do you write, talk, cry, fight, get angry, pray?

I sing. Why do I sing? Because singing calms the beast. I sing to the beast within humanity that has the capacity to be so cruel. I sing for all of us to replace hate with love and revenge with compassion. I sing to the beast because I know that capacity exists inside of everyone.

It rears its head when we are not watching. It happens when we are thinking I could never do something awful to someone else. That's when it happens.

It happens when we are in our car stopped at a stop light and someone rear-ends us. We jump out of our car yelling at the other person, or quietly cursing them. It happens when we squeeze as much out of their insurance company as we possibly can, whether we deserve or need it or not. It happens when we blame the other driver, thinking of them as stupid or incompetent.

It happens when our unwed child comes home and tells us she is pregnant and we chastise her for allowing herself to get into this condition. It happens when we condemn her for choosing to have an abortion, keep the child, or give the child up for adoption, It happens when we choose to critisize her choice rather than walk with her compassionately through her challenges.

It happens when we complain about our boss, but never talk directly with him or her directly about our frustrations. It happens when we gossip about someoneat work. It happens when we rake our employee over the coals, whether privately or publicly. It happens when we sue another person or business.

It happens when we assume we would make better choices than someone else has made; when we assume we are better.

It happens every time we punish our children in anger. It happens every time we make a condescending remark to our spouse. It happens every time we make someone feel bad about themselves.

It happens every time we judge another through the eyes of superiority, anger, hatred or revenge.

Terrorism is what we do to ourselves and each other. Terrorism is "I'm right. You are wrong." Terrorim is "I'm going to make you pay." Terrorism is "I don't care how badly I hurt you, I'm going to make you see my way."

Terrorism is the beast that lives inside us all. That is why I sing. I sing to calm the beast in me - in all of us. I sing for love, compassion, and understanding because when the beast is calm, terrorism will die.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Is Love Your Soul Purpose?

In numerous classes, I have asked my students, "What is your unique purpose here on earth?" Without fail, their first response is "To love."

"How wonderful!" I respond, "I believe to love is everyone's mission here on earth and what flavor of love are you here to experience?"

Love is like ice-cream. It comes in a lot of different flavors. You can get different textures of ice-cream, created from different kinds of ingredients. You can get gourmet, designer combinations or plain vanilla. You can get a simple single scoop ice cream cone or order a super delux sundae. So what flavor, what style, what uniquely you ice-cream combo gets you jazzed?

Are you a go out and change your counrty by becoming a politician who believes in preserving the earth and the family kind of ice-cream person? Or are you a dedicate my life to home-schooling my children to be caring, responsible, intelligent people kind of ice-cream person?

Are you a counsel underprivileged folks to break through barriers to create satisfying, meaningful lives for themselves kind of ice-cream person? Or are you a create a multi-million dollar business promoting technological advancements to improve planetary quality of life kind of ice-cream person?

The way you most enjoy being of service to others is a big key to discovering more about your soul purpose. It is in giving and receiving our love that we experience the greatest satisfaction and one of the best ways to give and receive is through our service.

Notice that none of the examples I have mentioned above are just about a job - they reflect a quality of life we are imbuing on the planet through our service work.

If the way in which we are providing service to others is not satisfying to us, then we are not in our best alignment with our purpose. Maybe we are in the wrong type of job completely. Maybe we need a new environment in which to work. Maybe we need to look at the lessons our work is asking us to learn about ourselves. Or maybe we just need to become clearer about the quality of life we wish to create and then determine the job, career, or means through which we want to instill that quality or flavor of love.

Finding our flavor(s) can be a lot of fun. You might be able to describe it in a few words. It might be more like a feeling than a thought. Best of all, it is a way we live when we just can help ourselves. We simply have to live the love that is within us.

When I say Martin Luther King, do you get a sense of his mission? How about Mother Teresa? Peace Pilgrim? Mahatma Ghandi? The Dalai Lama? Erma Bombeck? John F. Kennedy?

When we look at people who have a strong sense of purpose, their love and spirit seem to flow from the pours of their soul. Each of the above individuals did their work differently, yet each of them lived from the very center of their being, using the best of their skills, giving the best they had to give.

Our soul purpose transcends religion, cultural barriers, and race. When living our soul purpose we are coming from a core that resonates for many other people as well as ourselves. It sits in the center of the best humanity has to offer.

In living out our soul purpose, we get to ask ourselves, where and how we most feel alive in our acts of service. Do we love to teach, heal, care for, debate, parent, arbitrate, discover, write, dramatize, organize, conceptualize, paint, supervise, calculate, minister, enhance, etc.

Most of us are multi-talented, so determining one flavor of love is likely to be a waste of time. But discovering which of our talents we enjoy the most and seem to make the biggest difference give us indicators about how we can best spread love around the world. Knowing what we are passionate about, compelled to talk about, and even more importantly - compelled to do something about give us clues about what we are here to express and accomplish - our unique, significant contribution.

Are we here to love? Well, I like to think so. What flavor of love are you?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Do We Define Our Purpose By What We Resist?

Chatting with a couple of friends today, it occurred to me that one of the ways we find meaning and define our lives is to live in resistance to something we don't like. In other words it could look something like, "I'm not sure what I stand for, but I sure as heck know what I stand against."

I'm not convinced this is the best perspective from which to live one's life. If we choose to live from this stance, we will always be at war with someone or something. However, recognizing what we won't and don't stand for can provide a platform from which to discover what we do indeed find meaningful and significant.

For example, if I know I do not believe I need Big Brother watching over me, then I might also know I value personal freedom more than the restrictions of an ever-watchful government. Now I can ask myself, is my value of personal freedom core to my purpose here on earth?

If my resistance to the concept of Big Brother is intense, it might well be an indicator that becoming a champion of personal freedom may indeed play a role in my soul purpose. If my resistance is minimal, this core issue may be important, but is probably not fundamental to my mission.

Of course, being passionate about a concept like personal freedom does not necessarily mean that the foundation of my purpose is absolutely built on this premise, but it could. At the very least it deserves consideration.

More than once I have consulted with clients about the direction of their personal journey, only to discover what they were resisting the most provided a key to their true work. In my own life I have become quite upset when I hear someone claiming a title or credentials I know they have not earned. It grated on me, until I realized I have greater respect for myself and others when we actually deliver more than we claim - when we walk our talk, with the emphasis on the walking.

In time, this concept became fundamental to the premise of Soul Purpose. If we are living our purpose, we are making a difference in the world that is visible and credible. We have no need to exaggerate or brag because our actions speak loud and clear. In examining my resistance, I was able to uncover a value that was foundational to my soul purpose.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Have You Discovered Your Soul Purpose?

A few months ago, I had what I guess you could call a near-death experience. When I realized I might not be returning to life on planet earth, I had a crystal clear realization about my life. In an instant I was aware that I had chosen to come to earth to complete two significant tasks. Behind these choices I felt a deep commitment to my purpose and I knew I was not ready to leave. I wanted desperately to complete my missions.

When I opened my eyes, I was lying in bed with my arms around my husband, breathing, seeing, smelling, hearing - my body and mind fully present and alive. I was still here. Though shaken and deeply moved by the experience, I was relieved to know I was still in my human form - still had the opportunity to do what I came here to do.

Since then, I have gone through personal moments of resistance and denial in which I did little to nothing to shape my life in the direction of my purpose. Somehow, I thought I could go on just like before, assuming these chosen tasks would somehow happen on their own. It took me a while to realize that taking responsibility for creating my destiny was, at least in significant part, what the journey was all about.

Such profound experiences as near-death simply cannot be denied. The awakened knowledge about my purpose continued to tap on my conscious awareness until I finally surrendered to the greater plan. Surrendering meant commiting to my purpose, asking for help, noticing who Spirit sent to me - fully receiving their help and advice - and finally putting the knowledge that would guide me toward my purpose into application.

Funny, the awareness of my missions had been there all along, but clouded by all the talents I had and choices availalbe to me. I kept waiting for some unknown something to help me identify my purpose and motivate me enough to fully embrace it. Frequently, I thougth I knew my purpose, only to discover it was part of my journey, but not the purpose itself. Occassionally, I actually commited to some aspect of my chosen missions and moved toward them. Now, I affirm my purpose each and every day - the completion of one task and then the other.

With great joy and a full heart, I am now slipping into what I call the golden path that is uniquely mine. It was always there. And today, I notice more of the gifts that are there to assit me in achieving my heart's deepest desire - my destiny.


If for some reason, I am not able to fulfill these chosen tasks, I can be at peace because I have chosen to live each day dedicated to their completion. And if indeed the journey is more important than the destination - well, I'm on the journey I dreamed into being.