Another influential quote came to me recently from Martha Beck, "Every time life brings you to a crossroads, from the tiniest to the most immense, go toward love, not away from fear. Think of every choice in terms of "What would thrill and delight me?" rather than "What will keep my fear—or the events, people, and things I fear—at bay?"
Maybe because it's summer and I have time to dream on long hikes or paddles on the pond, I have been getting these amazing little nudges from spirit lately, as I ask myself simple (ha!) questions such as,'What am I doing with my life? Why am I here? What is my purpose? Am I really making a difference in people's lives? Am I being redundant? Is what I am offering boring or interesting?' And, then soon enough I read a quote that goes straight to my core, or mirrors exactly what I believe but have not been able to articulate and I am grateful for this tribe of seekers of which I feel a part.
Last night I came across some musings on a FB post, from Liz Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame) and again, every word hit me like a bolt of lightning- an articulation, in writing of what I feel is most true, most aligned with what I believe and know on a gut level, and the difference I want to make in people's lives and the world. She speaks so clearly and perfectly to the specific offering that makes my heart hum as I work with both my own growth and evolution and in the lives of my clients and students. Here is a small piece of that post:
"For reasons that you may never understand, you have been given stewardship over a human soul — which is, of course, your own. This soul was born into YOU — born into your very specific life. Your soul, born into this life, is what my friend Rob Bell calls "a unique event in the history of the universe." There has never been one of you before. Nobody has ever tried the experiment of YOU yet. Nobody has ever tried being this particular soul, lodged in this particular body, born into this particular family, arriving at this particular moment in time, raised in this particular culture, faced with these particular challenges.
(And, as Rob also reminds us, that realization alone can be a comforting thought, when you are feeling lost and overwhelmed: NOBODY HAS EVER TRIED THE EXPERIMENT OF YOU YET. Why did you think you were supposed to get it right on the first try? You are a unique event. There is no precedent. There is no operational manual. So show yourself some mercy, if this business of being you seems impossibly tricky at times. You have to figure you out as you go. Sometimes "figuring yourself out as you go" can feel like you're tinkering with the engine of a car, while you are also driving that car down the highway at 70 mile an hour, and while you are also the passenger. Perfect. I think it's supposed to feel like that. It's a strange situation. Have patience with yourself.)" - LG
Read Liz's full post HERE.
This post stopped me dead in my tracks as it was a double-whammy. It speaks so clearly of the invitation to find out what your own specific calling or purpose is in life and also (if you read the full post) articulates (better than I might have ever done) the medicine which I hope to support my clients with which is that capacity to move toward JOY, BLISS, PEACE & EASE (the inner Yes Yes Yes!!!) and to recognize the things that assault, appall or misalign the soul (the inner NO NO NO MORE!) Thank you Liz Gilbert and Martha Back (and many others) for articulating and giving us all permission to listen within and ALIGN deeply and radically, sometimes against all odds, with our SOUL and to take it into our own stewardship and custody.
This can be a powerful, radical and challenging act. It takes guts, gusto and warrior energy. To set boundaries on our own behalf, change our lives, invest in our soul's deepest desires, and become fierce stewards of our souls is not necessarily a gentle or easy process. It calls upon us to make our lives and our selves our number one priority. It asks us (like the Buddha in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta) to
'Be a lamp unto yourself". And, it requires a great deal of personal inquiry and self-trust. As the quote by Liz G above states, there is no operational manual for our soul's unique design. Sometimes, like salmon swimming upstream or Thoreau poling up an unexplored river, the journey can seem arduous or challenging. Sometimes it will seem as easy as following your nose to a favorite beautiful spot in nature where you feel completely at peace, but most likely there will be ups and downs. Expect that. As Rilke says, "Just keep going. No feeling is final."
When we are on our path there are trials and errors, there will be moments of ease and moments of deep self-doubt. There will be moments of feeling lost and feeling found. There will be companions who will journey with us for an hour or a lifetime. A life of integrity and truth, that is buoyed up by the soul is not for the faint of heart. It takes a warrior's heart, but in the end, the rewards, discoveries, integrity and joy that is harvested make the more arduous parts worthwhile.
I have to admit, sometimes I wish I had an easier job. Wouldn't it be lovely to just work at Dunkin Donuts (I am from the Boston area after all!) or sit at a desk and have someone just tell me what to do or which direction to go, or maybe I could direct traffic or become a nurse or go back to lifeguarding???? But the truth is, I do believe that I have this very specific purpose. Sure there may be many facets to it but when it comes down to the core of it all- I want to support humans in aligning with their own SOUL. To follow that bright, true, inner, sparkly YES and to even trust that the inner NO is true and fair and reasonable to listen to and follow. To help clients realize that yes, you can trust yourself and that you have all the answers within you. In this way, I suppose I do want to become redundant or not needed as we all become more and more adept at becoming stewards of our own souls.
Ahhhh...the weight of self-trust. I beg of you, risk it- love your soul first.
And, let me know what amazing things happen when you do!
If you would like some one-on-one Soul Support, I am still offering discounted rates through September 15th. Sessions can be done in person, or on the phone or Skype. It can be easy & relaxing! Check out the details HERE.
And, if you are looking to dive into your Soul more fully, check out my Fall Soul Support Group & Autumn Weekend Retreat at Sky Meadow. Register soon to reserve your spot!