Living on purpose
Today I was sent an article by one of our friends here in Medicine Hat (read below) and it prompted me to think about what it is that "I do" in this world. I've been having some challenging moments here and there regarding my place in this grand game we call "our lifetime." I am a son, I am a brother, I am a healer, I am a designer, I am a partner, I am a friend, I am a grandson, I am a nephew, I am a connector of people. I am a frustration to some, I am a conundrum to others, I am searching for the answers and I am finding what I need. I am strong, I am weak, I am confident, I am afraid... I am so many things that make up this amazing shape and form but I know one thing is for certain... I am spirit in human form and I must remind myself that I alone walk this path joined by other spirits that also walk their own paths.
We so many times get caught up in the big questions that we fail to see or experience the essence of what the question and experience is. And to this I offer a thought... what I have done recently is to go within rather than with-out and contemplate what it is that I desire, need... and it is good.
Like a cork bobbing to the surface, so to does my memory to be in the moment and connect with my true-self when I need to. The teachers, our guides, our angels and The Source is always there for us, but remembering that I am more than the sum of my parts is very special and exciting!
Who are you and what do YOU do?
What Do You Do?
Living On Purpose
Recently I met someone for coffee. Tim was a new acquaintance and therefore one of his first questions of me was, "What do you do?" A standard greeting when meeting someone for the first time. I gave my standard response - "I'm a psychotherapist in private practice. I facilitate workshops for corporations. And I promote my book - Peace Begins With Me." Though I've given this response hundreds of times this time my answer felt hollow. Something didn't feel right, but I wasn't sure what I was sensing at that moment.
A few days later I heard a story that had a profound impact on me. It's the story of a church official in the 12th century A.D. who was inspecting a new church that was under construction. The building was to be a magnificent structure with multiple towers and steeples, beautiful coloured glass windows, and numerous finely crafted statues and sculptures along with other works of art. It was to be the kind of cathedral that takes more than a century to build and where all of the workmen and artisans who began the construction would be long deceased when the building was finally completed.
The story captures a series of conversations the Bishop had as he toured the work site. His first conversation was with a stonemason. "What are you doing?" he asks the mason. "I'm trimming this block to fit into that wall over there." A while later the Bishop speaks with a carpenter. "What are you doing?" the Bishop inquires. "I'm making a door." answers the wood craftsman. Finally the Bishop sits down to speak with an old man who is carefully sweeping up the piles of debris from the day's activities. "What are you doing?" asks the Bishop. "I'm creating a cathedral." answers the janitor.
How do you respond when asked, "What do you do?" What is your answer? Do you hold the greater vision and own your contribution toward this vision? Or are you seeing only the task in front of you? Are you connected to your higher purpose? Or is your life mostly about putting one foot in front of the other? Are you living a life filled with meaning or a life full of drudgery and frustration? The janitor recognized that even in the minutest of tasks he was making a contribution toward the building of a great cathedral.
I meet many individuals who have worked their whole lives to support a corporate or business agenda. Many are now wondering about their purpose in life. They recognize that working for financial compensation alone is no longer enough to fulfill them. More is required to live a rich life. There is more to be considered when discerning where to share one's time and talents.
What I know is that without a clear sense of my higher purpose the day-to-day tasks lose their meaning with the result that I lose my passion for life.
I wonder how our world might be different if when asked, "What do you do?" we responded with a clear declaration of our higher purpose and a vivid description of our own cathedrals? I'm confident answering in this way would lift and inspire those around us to discover and declare their higher purpose too.
Are you willing to declare your higher purpose? Would you be able to describe your cathedral the next time someone asks, "What do you do?"
I'm committed to sharing my cathedral - "I'm building a world of peace and joy".
And I can hardly wait to hear from you when I ask, "What do you do?"