Have you ever asked yourself this question?
I’ve had the benefit of asking this question to hundreds of good people from all walks of life, and here’s the thing: few can respond with any conviction.
About half of the people I’ve asked freeze on the spot, and their eyes roll back a bit - shocked to realize they don’t have an answer.
Those who do respond tend to do so with a platitude like “peace on Earth” which bears little to no relationship to how they spend their days.
Isn’t that fascinating?
Each day, we jump out of bed, brush our teeth, and charge out into the world, but really, we have absolutely no idea what we want.
We’ve allowed ourselves to follow material paths that we think will bring us success and comfort, and then lead lives totally misaligned to our soul’s desire.
This is mania – and it’s no wonder we face record rates of pride, depression, anxiety, fear, and apathy. We’re allowing ourselves to be disconnected from our higher self, inner truth, and inherent power and divinity. All the answers are within. All of them!
Having spent most of my career chasing the next thing with absolutely no idea why, here is what I’ve learned along the way which I hope can be of service to you:
Answering the call to live our purpose is often described as the “Heroes Journey”, the archetypal story that spans history and cultures the world over. To walk the path, Joseph Campbell famously recommends that each of us “follow our bliss”, which is some of the finest advice I’ve ever heard. If you want some inspiration for your journey, check out the film Finding Joe (1h20m).
Not a single one of us are a random permutation of evolution. Each of us is here for a reason and has unique gifts and talents to give to the world, but whether we discover them depends entirely on us.
An article that made a profound impact upon me many years ago is The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, which lists the following:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Simple. But not so simple. Follow your bliss.
The reason people freeze is that the answer to our “why” isn’t stored in the mind, it’s stored in our soul. The universe keeps it there waiting for us to connect with our higher selves and are ready to ask the big questions.
A principal tragedy in all this is that most of us are over-identified with “mind as self”, trapped in our own prison as a result. As the saying goes – the mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.
We need to return the mind to its rightful place in the hierarchy of self – as a powerful tool in service of the whole.
This is why plant medicine can be so illuminating, enabling us to reconnect with our higher selves and gain the answers that provide purpose and meaning to our existence.
With a reason to live to 100, you will. You’ll bounce out of bed, take care of yourself, eat well, and engage each day with more energy, love and joy. Easy.
Lacking purpose? More difficult. Why not grab that burger? What’s the point, anyway?
The first time I asked the question, there was a massive void. There was nothing I wanted. Nothing.
Not money, definitely not fame or power, not any specific relationship, or experience. In that moment, there was a complete void – and if I’m to be honest, in that void, I felt despair. Did the universe have NOTHING for me? NOTHING? Aghhhhh.
The answer pushed through that vacuum, clear as day. It was a vertical knowing rather than academic knowledge – on a cellular level.
What a moment, what a revelation. Purpose. Meaning. At last! Instructions are clear – thank you Universe. It’s a big ask, but I’ll get to work. Scout’s honor!
Be open to what answers may come. Integrate the experience, understand its implications, and take your time. What you’ve been shown is a next step, but by no means an end point for you. There are more lessons still to come along the path that will help you follow and refine your path.
When I was first shown that I was to be a future employee “of the plants”, it took me some years to develop the understanding to be confident and comfortable to make the transition. This is sensitive work as you can appreciate. Lots of retreats, mistakes, and poorly guided integration. The truth is, only once I knew lots about what didn’t work for me, and what did work for me, and what worked / didn’t work for many others, did I feel I had something to say.
You don’t need to quit on Monday.
Once we understand the breakthroughs that are available on the spiritual path in understanding ourselves, the universe, and the relationship between the two, it’s quite likely that this axis of personal development will take on increased significance in your life.
Hope my dribbling made some sense!
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