Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fear of Purpose

Many people claim they want to discover their life purpose, yet are held back by fear. Often times there is a small voice within that gives repeated messages that their is "more" to life and that their true purpose is not yet discovered. Some of the signals of a life purpose wanting to be lived is a dissatisfaction or boredom with the current state of one's life and a growing desire for fulfillment. Although one may strongly feel the pull to discover their purpose, fear can keep it's grip even stronger. It can be much so that some people give up the notion of following their dream and opt to play it safe.

What I believe happens is that even considering changing our lives in some way, such as leaving our jobs, going to school, or possibly moving to a new place makes us question if fulfilling our dreams is worth it. We may not be particularly happy with the status quo, but imagining taking a leap into living a fulfilling life can put us into a sweat when it causes us to stretch into the unknown.

I see this phenomena of meeting and addressing fear as being a normal part of the process and encourage people to be gentle with themselves in their self discovery. Giving themselves some time to think about what their life would be like when they are fully living their purpose is a great way to experience the accompanying feelings of joy, peace, contentment and excitement. Allowing these feelings not only creates greater clarity, but when strong enough, fulfillment can be fully experienced and felt (before it actually occurs), creating more of a sense of sureness as the fear factor diminishes.

The fear filled resistance that can appear when on a quest for a purpose driven life is simply our egos trying to keep us safe and small. I believe the more we experience the joy of living fully, the more courageous we will become.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Turning Point

There have been numerous occasions in my life when I began a new practice of some sort. With each new experience would also come an adjustment. Sometimes they would be difficult and challenging adjustments and sometimes easy.

Depending on how important the activity and the results were to me, would determine my level of commitment. Eventually, with many of those new practices, I reached a turning point. I could either drop it and let it go, or persist through any challenges that showed up until I realized my goal.

One of my greatest successful turning points was in developing my ability to meditate. My first attempt at being silent and emptying my mind only created more stress since I was such a failure at non-thinking. The prize of peace, however, kept me in a state of optimistic persistence. The next time, it was a bit easier. I actually felt different at the end of my fifteen minutes. Soon, fifteen minutes turned to thirty and then a full hour. Had I given up early on, I would not have this wonderful practice present in my daily life now.

When I see the challenges I face as potentially being stepping stones to a better me and a better life, it is much easier to keep going and not turn back when the turning point appears.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Director

Every theatrical play, television show and movie has a director who has a vision for how the story they are depicting will unfold. He or she is responsible for making decisions that will guide their vision to life on stage or screen. Just as the theatrical director is the main decision maker and guide in the creation of a theatrical piece, it is the same of each of us in living our own lives.

I happily take on this role of director of my life and take responsibility for all of the decisions that need to be made. You see, I have a vision for how I want my life to be. I don't know every sequence in the story at this point, but I do know how I want to feel in the process. As the story unfolds, I trust my own sense of how the scene will play out and how I will be in it.

Just as a theatrical director will sometimes solicit the advice of others or occasionally has to shift gears when some unexpected event occurs, that is true when being the director in your life too. There are times when I will ask the opinion of a friend, or will do some research on a topic and sometimes even have to let something go when the unexpected happens. Even in those times, it is my role as director to discern if this information matches and aligns with my ultimate vision.

The big difference, however, between a theatrical director and the life director is that in life, it is not being lived primarily for the amusement of others. What may be right for me, may not be appealing to every viewer. As the director, I am willing to accept that and know at the end of the show, I may be the only one applauding.......and that's okay.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Conscious Consuming

In following the train of thought since the last blog entry, Facts Without Fear, I've been thinking about the responsibility of the public as consumers.

If it is a beauty product being sold, beautiful models will be showing off their perfect hair, flawless complexions and the perfect body shapes. If it's beer, a bunch of friends having a wonderful time will be recommending that brand, so you too can have that much fun. If it's a diet pill being sold, there will be amazing before and after pictures of people just like you, showing drastic improvements to their bodies.

In spite of the pervasive use of "selling" tactics, we do not consume everything we see or hear about.

The same goes when promoting sensational, frightening news stories. We will be bombarded with stories of violence, health threats and the potential of impending disasters. If we're conscious, we won't give our full attention to every story that comes before us. We will discern what and how much information is best for us and make our choices accordingly.

If we are to be conscious with our consuming we will not get pulled into the hype, the glamour, the "advertising promise", or even the fear. If we are awake and aware we will turn off the television or turn the page of our magazine when we see that the information being presented does not match our needs or desires.

Consciously choosing is empowering. It puts you in charge of making the decisions that are best for you. Rather than greed, promised beauty or fear being what you receive, it can be peace, trust and the knowing you can direct your life in a way you see as best. It is always your choice!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Facts Without Fear

I imagine most people agree that the words we speak and hear can have great power over how we think and feel.

I was looking at the cover of this week's Time magazine and read the title of a focused article on the cover, So You Think You're Insured? (Think Again). I can only imagine the response of many readers as they glance over those words. I'm sure the intent is to keep the reader alert and aware of their true insurance coverage and how to deal with the potential for bureaucracy within the medical and insurance systems. I'm sure it's effective in creating that response. Unfortunately, I believe it most likely also creates a deepening of fear for many readers.

I don't argue that articles such as this one should be published. They should. It is by learning from the experiences of others that we too can benefit and be better off as a result of that learning.

What I am referring to is the use of words to deliberately instill fear into the hearts and minds of the reader or viewer. Must we have fear to be responsible for our health, our finances, our homes, our pets, our children, our automobiles, our credit cards and our food choices? What would be the impact on the general population if we were given the same information, but in a positive and empowering way?

I believe most people are at their best when not in fear. I believe we can make more reasonable and sound choices and investigations when we are feeling strong and appropriately responsive, not fearful and reactive.

Look around you and notice some of the latest book titles, headlines and topics for prime time news show coverage. What I am noticing is most of the time my senses are fed fear-filled messages, rather than empowering and educating information.

What is helpful for me is choosing what magazines and books I will buy, what shows I will watch and in which conversations I will take part. My preference will always be aligned with facts without fear.