Tuesday, July 17, 2012

7/18/12—Finding Your Purpose

Today's Draw: Ace of Water from the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert. Do you know your purpose in life? Do you suspect that, at this moment, you're living out of alignment with your purpose? And how can ego concerns help you find your true north?

Here we are midway through All About The Ego week and I'm worried I'll run out of things to say before week's end. Fortunately, this Ace of Water has come to us before and what I said about it then has applications to the ego. The entry was all about seeking your personal holy grail. There's a link to it at the end of this entry for Facebook users. 

What often happens when we get too caught up in things like money and reputation and appearances is that we make choices that detour us from what we really came here to do. And few, if any of us, escape getting caught up in ego matters. It's part of being human.

One way this might look is that someone who's really talented at art might choose to be an architect instead of an illustrator. They do this because the perception is that architects make money and artists don't. Architects are also mainstream in society and artists exist on the fringe. 

So we make the practical, acceptable, "smart" choice, rather than the one that calls to us. And we subordinate our artistic side, when that's probably the side that better drives purpose we came here to express. By the time we get to the point in life that we question how our life aligns with our purpose, we've convinced ourselves that art isn't part of it, so we struggle to find our holy grail.

For most of us, finding our purpose—our holy grail—follows a process similar to the salmon's. They swim hundreds of miles to live most of their lives in the ocean, but return back upstream again to spawn in the freshwater spot they were born in.

Like the salmon spawn swimming in the fresh waters of the river, I believe we were all born with a clear compass pointing to our purpose. As we moved toward adulthood, we swam closer to the ocean and our lives adjusted to the saltwater of "real life", which includes ego concerns. We swim around in that for much of our lives, then move away from our "saltwater ways", making our way back to the clarity we held before the ego concerns of adulthood overtook our lives.

Obviously this doesn't speak for everyone. But the majority of us work and live a certain way for many years before we begin to realize that there's got to be something more...a higher purpose. So how you do you begin to find *your* purpose? Well, I think the clues are scattered throughout your life. So think back on your life and explore the common denominators in questions like:

•  What did you want to do when you were a kid?
•  What are your favorite hobbies? And why?
•  If money were no object, what would you do?
•  How have you chosen to volunteer in the past?
•  What is effortless for you that is hard for other people?
•  What energizes you?
•  What was your proudest day? And what about it made you proud?
•  What do you "get" that you think others don't get in life? 
•  What do yearn to have the time and/or resources to do?
•  If you knew your unique talent, what would it be?

When I looked back on my own life in this manner, writing was always a talent of mine, as was my ability to envision things through the eyes of others. And as I grew older, I saw my desire to help or heal others emerge, along with a desire to teach. My proudest moments as a writer have not been the awards I've won, but rather when a client reports back that they got results. I cry at shows where people have emotional/spiritual breakthroughs or they achieve their best moments. I've also become a very spiritual person and someone with a wide body of knowledge in spiritual matters in my adulthood.

So when I look at all of that, I see my purpose as healing and teaching others with my words. And, quite frankly, the times I've been most engaged in my writing career are those times my writing has taken a spiritual, healing, educational bent. This blog is one of the things that is bringing my entire life into alignment with that purpose. But it's a process that's taking years to complete. It's about way more than my career. It's about who I am as a person. Like the salmon, I have to readjust to fresh waters again.

It's important to note that some of the things that go into making my life's purpose aren't things I feel like I was born with. They were lessons that emerged from my immersion in the saltwater of the ego. Just as the salmon lives much of its life in the ocean, so do we. That experience is what matures the salmon and brings it to full adulthood. And leaving that experience leads them back to the legacy they were meant to create.

So seeing what I came up with for my life's purpose, what clues can you excavate about your own? Or do you already know it? And where are you in the salmon's journey of life? Once you uncover your purpose and become energized by it, you'll see the ego concerns that have dogged you will begin to float away.

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