Last week I came back from a blizzard in Snowshoe to a whirlwind of activity in Asheville! The photos below show two of my awesome private clients from their VIP Day Sessions – one happened in person and the other happened via Skype since my client is currently living in Puerto Rico!
The other main highlight was hosting my Find Your True Purpose Master Class with Linda Joy. The Master Class was a “preview” of my new program offering – the Find Your True Purpose Boot Camp!
I’m SO excited about this program, and I hope you will click here to find out more.
I also spent time last week finishing a book the publisher asked me to review. The book is How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness that Helps the World by Colin Beavan.
Since a large part of it is devoted to finding and LIVING your purpose, you can imagine how excited I was to read it – and present a review to you this week.
In How to Be Alive, Beavan relates a story of the late Zen Master Seung Sahn, who said that money, sex, fame, food, and sleep are what he calls an “outside job” but humans also need an “inside job” or what we might also call a vocation.
I’m with Beavan on this, and it reminds me of how so many of the women I work with worry that nothing they really want to do is significant enough to be called a vocation. Here’s the thing, though: your calling is never at odds with what you really want to do.
Marianne Williamson probably says it best when she says, “Some people worry that if they do God’s will or follow His calling, then they would be asked to be an accountant when they really want to be a musician. But what kind of God would ask a person with a passion for music to be an accountant?”
So how do you find your vocation? In Beavan’s opinion, there are two elements of vocation, “Vocation – the way you are called to be – is partly an expression of the prized skills and talents and passions inside you, who you are, because only that which is inside you can be called from you. Vocation is also your answer to what the world needs or calls for that most resonates with you.”
Unfortunately our culture has taught us that our desires are not an appropriate guide for our life’s work, and that has led many of us toward the soul-sucking job route. There is still no conventionally approved and widely celebrated path to an authentic, meaningful, service-and-passion-oriented life.
The standard life approaches ALL go along these lines: work like crazy to get some better thing, person, house, or job, which will THEN make you feel better in some way. But for me and many others this standard life approach doesn’t work. It leaves us feeling dissatisfied and longing for something more.
In fact, many of us have to hit some sort of bottom before we are willing to go against the flow and try something new. And at that point, the best way to find that something new is to listen to your life for the clues to your purpose and follow those clues to a truly meaningful and satisfying life.
So where do you start? Beavan says (and I agree!) that you start small. Start asking yourself questions like, “Where does my horse naturally end up when I open the stable door and let it roam free?”
You can look to times when you currently feel completely in “the flow” (activities that make you happy) or times in the past when you felt called to do something unconventional and what happened as a result.
Most peak experiences, as psychologists call them, occur because of a confluence of circumstances, including our state of mind, the novelty of the experience, the people we’re with, and how much we lose ourselves in the experience.
Contrary to what our culture seems to dictate, there are no conventional rules you can follow that will lead you along a path to what Beavan calls a “Good Life.” You’re going to have to find the path that emerges for you in each moment – what the Buddha called the Middle Way.
Also, ask yourself these questions:
What have you always wanted to do that you haven’t done yet?
What have you done that you’re really proud of?
What do you still want to learn?
Where have you always wanted to go?
These thoughtful and thought-provoking questions will help any reader explore, navigate and map a path to their purpose.
Of course, if you would like to go even further with me as your guide, I hope you will join me for my new program the Find Your True Purpose Book Camp! You can find out more and register, here: http://true-purpose-bootcamp.staceycurnow.com
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