Each of us has an inner compass, an infallible mechanism for self-direction or guidance. You can call it your inner pilot or, if you like, you can call it your soul. It doesn’t matter what you call it. What does matter is that whenever you are actually listening to this inner compass and following its guidance, you tend to feel peaceful, focused, dynamic and alive. When you do not listen to its guidance, you tend to feel scattered, unfocused, nervous, lethargic, and possibly ill. What most people don’t understand is that there is a timeworn, ancient and reliable process for learning how to stay in touch with the focused, peaceful and dynamic part of you that wants to take you to your true goal, and to support you in putting on that incredible theatrical performance that is your life.
negative habits that keep you from owning your soul, your life purpose.
Let’s say the same thing in another way. Most people think that if they could only identify their purpose, they would be happy, focused, energetic and alive. They think that what is keeping them from pursuing their purpose is that they don’t know what it is. But that is not the way things actually work. Finding your purpose is like finding a clear-running current in a river: it takes you effortlessly along your way, but only once you get past all the log jams and garbage that choke up some of its tributaries. Similarly, if you get rid of your own log jams, your purpose will take you effortlessly. You will recognize it by the fact that where you are feels right. You will have let go of resistance to the current of your life.
The problem, of course, is that most of us are addicted to the log jams of our lives. We may say to ourselves that we would rather not have them, but we cling to them. We cling to worry, to fear, to self-doubt, to procrastination, to staying in intolerable circumstances, to accepting abuse, to giving abuse, to self-medicating with drugs, food or alcohol, to seeing life as unfair, to blaming reality, others or ourselves for our situation, to thinking someone or something else is supposed to save us and make it alright, and so on. We cling to what we say we don’t want.
I have written about some of these issues and how to free ourselves from them extensively, in my first book, The Art of Effortless Living. Stay tuned also for my next book, currently being completed. In the meantime, here are a few reminders about finding your purpose, becoming the champion of your life, and truly learning to live your dreams:
1) Practice centering yourself every day of your life: through meditation, yoga, breath awareness, prayer, and so on. Make inner peace your strongest value, notice when you let something else take priority (something like anxiety, fear, disappointment, restlessness) and return to making your center the most important thing.
2) If something in your life is not working for you, you have three options: change yourself, change the situation, or leave the situation. If changing yourself (for example, listening more, or becoming less impatient) is not the solution to the problem, work on changing the situation (telling others in a respectful but firm way what you need in the situation). If changing the situation doesn’t work, then summon up the courage to let it go. Leave the job that doesn’t work, the relationship that is abusive or demeaning, the social network that is no longer life affirming for you. You can’t get what you want if you don’t have the courage to leave what isn’t working for you.
3) Practice courage. The word courage is derived from the French word for heart, spelled “coeur.” To have courage is to have a big heart, and to have a big heart is to have courage. Be courageous, step out for what you want. Give others their due, and don’t try to force your opinions on them, but have the courage and the heart to live a life that makes sense to you. There is no other way.
4) Remember that this world needs people who are calm and courageous, people who own their own power. Give to the world by giving the best of yourself: your inner peace and your courage. You will profit, and so will everyone else. Yes, even if they get mad at you at times, and resist the direction you take, your calm and your courage are the best gifts you can give to others. Why? Because every person finds their purpose when they build their calm and their courage, and every person learns how to do that primarily from having the example around them of other individuals who are doing the same thing.