Posts Tagged “Dr Kate”

Spiritual Power & Responsibility

Spiritual Power & Responsibility

Any kind of power is a magnifier. One main source of power comes from our financial standing. However, commensurate with financial power is moral power, which is a power that has indelibly shaped our world by bringing out both the best and the worst in people, individually and collectively.

It is not helpful to simply avoid money or spiritual knowledge so as not to be corrupted by it. This only leaves people who are less thoughtful in charge of our world and our souls. But how do we move forward on our life paths in ways that both support our spiritual advancement and ensure that we cause more good than harm?

After a number of personal and private events that have pointed to the repeated misuse of power by spiritual leaders, I have been thinking hard about how we spiritual seekers can be more responsible with our own power.

While the misuse of power is disturbing wherever it shows up, it is particularly disturbing when it involves those people who are ostensibly meant to be guides for our spiritual development.

We expect these leaders, consciously or unconsciously, rightly or wrongly, to show us how to be good people—people with refined inner consciences. We assume this will be demonstrated through both their examples and their teachings.

They do not need to be perfect—in fact, a spiritual teacher’s human limitations can be their best teaching tools—but they at least need to be above the worst acts of exploitation and abuse. Shouldn’t they have figured out how not to perpetrate hate crimes, support extreme injustices, and harm innocent children?

Unfortunately, as it seems, many have not.

And others, while not making the worst of mistakes, still falter and blur ethical lines.

All people make mistakes in the course of their lives. All people deserve to be forgiven and to have the opportunity to set things right. But if you have harmed people, isn’t that a sign to return to the foundations of your spiritual practice? Isn’t one of the foundations of spiritual practice acknowledging your mistakes and truly making amends?

Again, I do not think that spiritual leaders need to be perfect paragons of morality—in fact, I think that this perception is in part what creates these problems.

My questions are simply these: How does someone who commits themselves to a spiritual path come to act in this way? What makes it possible to grow in spiritual insight and power and still be able to justify the exploitation and abuse of others? And, for all of us who are on a serious path of spiritual development, is there anything we can do to ensure that we do not also go down the same road?

The answers are many and nuanced, but the main issue is perhaps the result of spiritual versus psychological development. While true spiritual development requires a continual practice of ethical and moral growth, it is possible to grow in spiritual skills without growing psychologically. This means the person gains spiritual skill and power but does not have the psychological development to hold this knowledge.

There is a longstanding split between the psychological and spiritual approaches to development, each one wanting to stake a claim on “the best approach.” Many spiritual people believe that their spirituality is an advanced stage of development that puts them above the need for psychological refinement. Many others don’t even know the different uses and purposes of these two different systems. It is perhaps more beneficial to see the two as mutually supportive approaches where one without the other not only limits our growth, but also sets us up for significant problems. If, for example, I am a gifted healer and medium but I have not yet resolved my inner misogyny or contended with the shadowy aspects of my sexuality, then I might function excellently as a healer and medium but still be challenged by my human beliefs and unacknowledged desires.

Many mystical traditions account for the need for psychological growth as well as spiritual development. In these cases, most often the psychological maturity of the person is seen as a necessary precursor to their use of certain spiritual tools. However, in a world where many of the teachings of the mystical schools have been lost or corrupted by unhealthy power dynamics, the seeker is often left without a clear path.

I have seen many spiritual people abandon their psychological development, believing that they have expanded beyond it, only to be diminished by that lack. They overly identify with the spiritual part of their experience, which allows for their human drives to operate more and more in shadow—sometimes with the complete denial of their existence.

While I believe that the secular and the spiritual leader are very different in many ways, I also believe that one key problem they have in common is how their power distorts their view of what is ethical. This power, especially when the ego attaches to it, can result in many unhealthy distortions that lead to harmful behaviors.

Spiritual leaders face the unique pitfall of being able to easily rationalize—to themselves and others—that their behavior is sanctioned by greater powers and is therefore justified. But this is simply their ego. More dangerously, followers of such leaders are all too likely to project their own disowned spiritual power onto the leader, making it even easier for that leader to believe in the propriety of their actions. This puts the spiritual leader—or anyone on this path—at a great risk of losing their way.

Things really start to get out of hand when the spiritual person starts believing that they are the same as the spiritual wellspring they draw from, which tends to result in their losing the connection to their human nature. And, because transcendence of the human experience is a part of most spiritual paths, it is very easy for the spiritualized ego to “jump the gun” and see itself as more advanced than it truly is.

The problem can be succinctly termed “spiritual bypassing”—when we avoid our human suffering with spiritual tools, skills, or mindsets. The remedy is to engage in rigorous psychological development—to emphasize the experience of the more fundamental and human aspects of the self so as not to lose sight of them while spiritually advancing. When we are truly on the other side of our human issues I have no doubt that we will know.

We can protect ourselves from gross oversights by tempering our advanced spiritual development with humility. If we recognize our limitations and the perils of advancing without attending to our limitations, we are more likely to act in a measured way, build a solid foundation, and not seek spiritual power that we are unable to wield in a healthy way. Unfortunately, there has been so much oppression of people’s spiritual nature that it is challenging to hold both humility and empowerment. This is perhaps one of the greatest challenges of the era.

We also benefit from not seeing the tools or the skills as the destination. For example, a specific diet or giving up one’s possessions are tools to create more awareness about how one operates or where one’s weaknesses are—but this does not make one more spiritual, nor does it ensure that we are immune to the misuse of spiritual power, just as being psychically open or knowing a lot of spiritual information does not imply a level of moral spiritual development. If we confuse the skill or knowledge with the development thereof, we have fallen prey to our own ego and we are at risk. If we support others in believing this confusion, we have slipped even further. The solution is to stop our obsession with the spiritual light show, the profound wisdom, or the latest uncovered gift, and get on with being a good person.

Three of the most powerful things we can do to keep ourselves awake as we grow and develop are to put ourselves in situations where our motives are questioned, to put ourselves in environments that are not “spiritual” by design, and (like everyone else) to put our spiritual practices in action by living a regular everyday life. In short, we remove the things that insulate us from knowing the truth about ourselves. We ask to be shown our limitations. And we live side by side with our brothers and sisters.

My prayer is that all the spiritual teachers and seekers continually find their way back to their hearts, that they have the courage and humility to see their transgressions, and that they have the willingness both to make amends and return to the source.

The Essential Elements to a Fulfilling Life

The Essential Elements to a Fulfilling Life

Here’s a list of the elements I consider essential to living a deeply fulfilling life.

Passion:

  • Figure out what you love to do. People are happier when they do what they love.
  • Do it often. Doing what you love makes you feel more fulfilled.
  • Remove things from your life that are mediocre, beige, flat, or merely tolerable. You only have so much time, attention, and energy. Don’t waste it on what doesn’t matter.
  • Courage:

  • Know what’s important to you.
  • Know why it’s important to you.
  • Because, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” F. Roosevelt
  • Kindness:

  • Learn to be good to others and do it as much as possible.
  • Learn to be good to yourself and do it as much as possible.
  • Go out of your way every day to do something especially nice for a total stranger.
  • Gratitude:

  • Pay attention to all the wonderful things that are a part of your life both large and small.
  • Thank people for what they bring to your life.
  • Learn to find gratitude even for the things and people that you find difficult.
  • Contemplation:

  • Take a few moments each day to sit quietly.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Learn to listen fully to what someone is saying. Really take it in before responding.
  • Forgiveness:

  • Make a list of everyone in your life that you have an unresolved issue with and find a way to resolve that issue within yourself and (if possible) with them.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Make it a practice to forgive others as quickly as possible.
  • Play:

  • Make time to be creative in ways that please you the most.
  • Laugh as much as possible.
  • Remember that your life is what you dream it to be.
  • Does one of these essential elements particularly resonate with you? If so, I suggest that you write it down and put it somewhere you will see it every day. Every little reminder you create for yourself will help you stay on track!

    How to Develop a Path to Your Right Livelihood

    How to Develop a Path to Your Right Livelihood

    The more fulfilled we are, the more we inspire and fulfill the people around us. The more successful we are, the more we support other people in being successful.

    In fact, how we live our life is our only tool to making the world a better place. Who we are and what we do makes a huge impact on others. When we make the world a better place, we enjoy being in it more.


    Caring – as in really giving a damn – is essential to our fulfillment and success. The problem is that people often only care about meeting their own needs and having others meet their needs. They think that this is the only way to make themselves happy. While your needs are important, they are only part of the picture.


    Once we learn to move out of apathy and start caring, we step into a whole new way of being in the world where:


      We are at choice in all that we do.

      We contribute and feel a healthy responsibility to the world around us.

      We create a better world for everyone.

    This kind of positive impact is at the heart of Right Livelihood.

    People who feel fulfilled in their lives tend to be more generous, supportive, and available. They’re better able to give more to their partners, their children, and their community because they have the inner-resources from which to give.


    A successful life makes everyone richer. When you on the path towards your Right Livelihood, you provide more for your family, those associated with your work, and those associated with them.

    Every bit of Right Livelihood you create adds to the lives of others. It feeds, clothes, and houses other people as well as inspires them to create something for themselves.

    When we focus on a path that leads to holistic, comprehensive success, we increase the general wealth in the world.


    One of the first steps on your path to Right Livelihood is to find a representation of what you want to create. If you can see what you want then you can achieve it. When you can’t see it, you can’t actually have a relationship to what it is you want. When you imagine a bigger or more expanded life, you’re on your way to it. Did you catch that? If you can see it then you are on your way.

    Take a moment to journal about who or what represents Right Livelihood to you. If you don’t know, spend a few moments researching it.

    Want a step-by-step guide to find and live your life purpose? My Morning Mindset Life Purpose is an inspirational daily video series that delivers tips, insights and exercises straight to your inbox for three weeks. Morning Mindset will help you step-in your purpose and live your life to its fullest. Learn more here!

    10 Questions to Help You Create Your Ideal Work-Life

    10 Questions to Help You Create Your Ideal Work-Life

    How you answer these questions will reveal the impact your work has on you, your community, and your world.

      1. As a result my work, was anyone harmed or made unhealthy?

      2. As a result of my work, was anyone diminished?

      3. To do my work, was anyone required to earn less than they ought to, expose themselves to negative work environments or unhealthy work conditions?

      4. Through my work, are the contracts I make with others mutually respectful?

      5. Is there an excessive/harmful gap between my earnings and those who help me earn them, or the reverse?

      6. Does you work have a negative effect on your mind or heart?

      7. Is my work perfectly aligned with who I am? Do I love what I do, am I good at it and does it fill me with a sense of meaning?

      8. Does my work afford me the ability to work on other things that are important to me?

      9. Do I do my work for free leaving myself uncared for?

      10. Do I over or under-perform my work? Is my effort in balance?

    Give yourself 1 point for every statement you responded “no” to:


    8-12 Knocking it out of the park!

      You likely have created work for yourself that has both a positive effect on you and others! Keep honing it from here – there is always room for growth.


    4-7 Figuring it out.

      Seems there might still be some work for you to do with regards to your Right Livelihood. What is one change that you might make now to head in the right direction?


    1-3 Feeling the Burn.

      It’s very likely that the way you are working right now is harming you and others. This could be affecting you more than your realize. Is it time to start making changes?

    Want a step-by-step guide to find and live your life purpose? My Morning Mindset Life Purpose is an inspirational daily video series that delivers tips, insights and exercises straight to your inbox for three weeks. Morning Mindset will help you step-in your purpose and live your life to its fullest. Learn more here!

    What Right Livelihood Is All About

    What Right Livelihood Is All About

    Right Livelihood is taken from the Buddhist teaching of the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment. The path of right livelihood means earning your living in a way that does not cause harm to yourself or others.

    There is a difference between Life Purpose and Right Livelihood even though they are often understood as the same thing.

    Right Livelihood has as much to do with the way you go about your work as it does the with your given profession.

    The reason Right Livelihood is so important is that everything we do can either contributes to or detract from our overall wellbeing. The more conscious you are of yourself, the more you will feel the positive and negative effects of your choices.

    If you want to help others in their transformation, whether through being a healer or acting as one, your work is limited or strengthened by a multitude of factors that fall under the umbrella of right livelihood.

    In general, I look at spiritual concepts as information that help point the way towards riches that we most need to discover. There are many versions of Right Livelihood across religious and spiritual teachings. I make no claim to the correct ones.

    Here are components of the path to Right Livelihood that I think might be useful to you as you move forward in your own pursuit.

    Passion:

      Start with something you love, something you feel passionate about. It’s impossible to create Right Livelihood without basing it on something that inspires your soul. We find passion by doing what we love and are excited by. It’s never too late to connect more fully with our passions.

    Growth:

      Allow for continual growth. You will change over time. To consistently be on your path to Right Livelihood you will need to define, refine, and redefine your knowledge of yourself to stay true to your path. If you can’t grow in connection to your work, then you might have hit a stumbling block on your path to Right Livelihood. Assess the impact that the lack of growth has on you. Sometimes it’s just a comfortable plateau. Other times, it’s a push towards something new.

    Alignment:

      What you do needs to be in alignment with who you are. Just because something worked in a certain way for someone else does not mean it will work for you. Your Right Livelihood depends entirely on who you are, how you are made and what you need to learn.

    Harmony:

      Do you feel more or less peaceful as a result of your work? Right Livelihood requires that our work creates an inner sense of wellbeing. That means that even if you do something you love, you can do it in a way that creates a lot of distress. If you take the wrong approach to your passion, you’ll wind up feeling stuck. Likewise if you do something that you do not feel good about, you may suffer a sense of restlessness that you need to attend to.

    Balance:

      Our work benefits from balance between our effort and our reward. Balance between our time at work and our time on other activities. When we get out of balance we lose our ability to function optimally.

    Positive Impact:

      It’s not Right Livelihood if it negatively effects others. I’m not talking about a bad day every once in awhile. I’m talking about the small and not-so-small negative impact that your work has on the world. Do you run a sweatshop, underpay people or dump toxic waste in the river? Or, does the organization you work for underpay people, run a sweatshop, or dump waste into the river? These are extreme examples, but more often than not our work has negative impacts on the world. Are you doing your best to make yours impact as positive as possible?

    Take a moment to reflect on where you are on your path to creating Right Livelihood. What is something you can do to advance your growth in this area?

    Want a step-by-step guide to find and live your life purpose? My Morning Mindset Life Purpose is an inspirational daily video series that delivers tips, insights and exercises straight to your inbox for three weeks. Morning Mindset will help you step-in your purpose and live your life to its fullest. Learn more here!

    5 MYTHS ABOUT LIFE PURPOSE IT’S TIME TO LET GO OF

    5 MYTHS ABOUT LIFE PURPOSE IT’S TIME TO LET GO OF

    Day-in and day-out, I talk to people who want to find their life purpose.
    I make a point to pay close attention to what my clients, associates and colleagues say as they describe the purpose-driven life they seek to live. As I see it, my job is not simply to respond to what I hear, but rather to figure out how I can help those around me get what they really need to feel happier, healthier and more successful.

    When people talk about finding their purpose they often also talk about identifying their passion. They want to have a sense of meaning in their life. They want to make a contribution.

    I go into great detail on what life purpose is REALLY all about and how to FULLY LIVE a purpose-driven life in my Morning Mindset series, LIFE PURPOSE. So, if you’re in the midst of finding your life purpose, this series is for you! Sign up here.

    Myth #1 Your Life Purpose is Your Vocation

      This is one of the mistaken ideas that I tackle first when I talk to someone who wants to find their life purpose. Why is this myth about life purpose so pervasive? I think it’s because we live in an increasingly work-centric society that doesn’t teach us that there is a difference between our life purpose and our work. They are, in fact, two totally distinct things.
      Truth be told, it’s absolutely possible to integrate your life purpose into your work. HOWEVER, when people feel stuck and struggle to identify their purpose it’s often because they’ve come to think of their career as the place in which they’ll find their purpose. Or, it’s the reverse. In this scenario, people try to find their life purpose through the process of developing their career and meet with tremendous frustration. Either way it just does not work.
      Solution #1: Ask yourself: “Am I trying to trying to figure out my life purpose or my next career move?” Allow yourself the space to see your life purpose and your career as separate things.

    Myth #2 Your Life Purpose Can Only Be One Thing

      Because people often conflate their career with their life purpose, they often think that their purpose is one specific thing.
      As kids, when we’re asked what we want to be when we grow up, we tend to say things like: “I want to be a fireman” or “I want to be a ballerina.” As adults, when we think about life-purpose, we mistakenly hyper-focus on a single outcome the same way we did when we were young. But this is not how things really work. Instead, once you begin to feel into what a purpose-driven life might look like, a number of options often emerge and many of them will be equally satisfying.
      Solution #2 Don’t try and narrow things down too soon. Ask yourself why an idea appeals to you rather than if it’s the right idea or not.

    Myth #3 You Must Find Your Life Purpose Before You Start Living It

      Our life purpose is intimately connected to what we love most. This means that when we start doing what we love we take our first steps along the path towards our purpose. This also means that we don’t need to wait to live a purpose-driven life. All we need to do is to determine what we love and do it as often as possible.
      Solution #3 Do what you love to do. Discover more things you love to do. And make time to reflect.

    Myth #4 Only a Fortunate Few Live Their Life Purpose

      This is a tricky myth. On the one hand, a fortunate few actually do have a career that successfully integrates their life purpose. On the other hand, I’m not sure if these people are particularly fortunate. It can be overwhelming to tie up your livelihood so closely to your passion.
      When we recognize that our life purpose is a combination of what we most care about, what we love to do, and what we value, it becomes clear that we always have the option to live our life purpose. It’s not necessary to fit our purpose into our career. Rather, it’s necessary that we fit our purpose into our lives.
      Solution #4 Figure out what you care most about, what you love most to do, and what you value the most and proceed from there.

    Myth #5 You Should Be Able to Figure It Out On Your Own

      It seems like common sense that WE ALONE should be able to figure out our life purpose. Right? It’s ours after all.
      But, sometimes we have a difficult time seeing it BECAUSE it’s so closely connected to who we are. When people come to me looking to find their life purpose, I often give them a series of exercises. I ask them to answer a set of questions and I tell them not to spend much time worrying about the answers. Instead, I prompt them to write out the first thing that comes to their mind and send me what they wrote. When I reflect back my synthesis of my clients answers, a funny thing happens. More often than not clients have an Eureka moment where they finally see what their purpose is all about.
      Solution #5 Find the support you need! Sometimes you need outside eyes to see to help you see within yourself.

    So, if you’ve been coming up empty as you look for your life purpose, it’s time to de-mystify your thinking and try on these solutions. Most important, though, is to start with what you LOVE.

    Want a step-by-step guide to find and live your life purpose? My Morning Mindset Life Purpose is an inspirational daily video series that delivers tips, insights and exercises straight to your inbox for three weeks. Morning Mindset will help you step-in your purpose and live your life to its fullest. Learn more here!

    What Is ‘Life Purpose’ Really?

    What Is ‘Life Purpose’ Really?

    Life purpose is a big topic of conversation in the world of personal development. Lots of people want to live a purpose driven life, yet all too often these same people struggle to define what their purpose is and how to go about living it.

    While life purpose is commonly thought of as fate or destiny, I prefer to think of it as the expression of your whole self. In other words, it’s less important that you know it and more important that you are it.

    In my Make It Happen Guide, I write, “Whatever you want or dream of you can have. It’s already in you. You’re the one you’ve been waiting for.”

    People tend to make the mistake of looking for their life purpose outside themselves.This search ultimately leads to a perpetual feeling of disconnection.

    The more outward you look for your purpose, the further away from it you feel. This is because your quest for it is built on the false belief that your purpose is something beyond yourself and not a natural expression of who you are.

    Living your life purpose requires connecting with the deeper and truer aspect of who you are. If you’re curious as to how to plug into your purpose, here are my best suggestions.

    Pay attention to where you feel connected, excited, passionate, and positive.

      These are clues to deeper truths about yourself and your life purpose. The main point here is to do more of what makes you feel good.

    Let yourself think “out of the box” thoughts.

      Sometimes we get stuck because we judge our inclinations as destructive or negative. We say to ourselves, “If I did what I wanted all the time then I would screw up what’s important to me.” Yet, even negative thoughts or “out of the box” ideas can lead us in the right direction. The trick here is to act on these zaney thoughts in a way that honors your values and morals.

    Honor your dreams. They are with you for a reason.

      Your fantasies provide clues to your deepest desires, and following your desires can profoundly connect you to yourself and your purpose.

    Your purpose is not necessarily your vocation.

      Though one day you may turn your purpose into your career, to do so kind of misses the point. I suggest to think less about what work you want to do and more about what kind of impact you want to have. This will give you a better sense of how to orient your career and how to align it with your purpose.

    Want a step-by-step guide to find and live your life purpose? My Morning Mindset Life Purpose is an inspirational daily video series that delivers tips, insights and exercises straight to your inbox for three weeks. Morning Mindset will help you step-in your purpose and live your life to its fullest. Learn more here!

    The Muses in Your Life

    The Muses in Your Life

    In Greek Mythology, the nine muses are goddesses that rule over the arts and sciences, and are said to bestow inspiration on the subject of their domain. They were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, song-lyrics, and myths that were related orally for centuries in ancient cultures.

    I think that the muses still have much to teach us about finding meaning and inspiration in our day-to-day lives.

    So, for today’s newsletter, I’m going to introduce you to each of the nine muses and point out the place in your life they can offer their inspiration!

    Calliope the Muse of Epic Poetry

      Calliope can help us find inspiration to create the stories we live by. Calliope is the chief of all muses and this makes sense. How we engage with our world is determined by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Calliope can help you write your story, and she’ll help you find meaning in it, too.
      Question to ask yourself: If I could create the story that I want to live by, what would it be?

    Clio the Muse of History

      Clio’s name is derived from the Greek root κλέω – meaning “to recount,” “to make famous,” or “to celebrate.” She is known as the “proclaimer, glorifier and celebrator of history, great deeds and accomplishments.” Clio can remind us to learn from the past. Yet, she can also remind us to write the past in a way that serves our present.
      Question to ask yourself: How can I remember the past in a way that reveals the fullness of my present potential?

    Euterpe the Muse of Music

      Euterpe is also known as “the Giver of Delight.” She reminds us to recognize the music and melody of our everyday life. Through Euterpe we see that the commonplace has a beauty and an inspiration to it.
      Question to ask yourself: Are your daily rhythms inspiring or are you allowing yourself to be inspired by your daily rhythms?

    Erato the Muse of Lyric Poetry

      In a famous Greek hymn to the muses, it is Erato that charms the sight. Erato reminds us of how important passion and love are to an inspired and meaningful life. Many of us yearn for passion, but are reticent to weave passion and love into our lives.
      Question to ask yourself: Are you letting yourself fall in love each and every day? Are you nurturing your passions?

    Melpomene the Muse of Tragedy

      Melpomene’s name was derived from the Greek verb melpô meaning “to celebrate with dance and song.” Melpomene helps us see that our pain in life opens us to our true potential and a sense of life’s deeper significance. It’s not just the happy moments that create a sense of meaning and fulfillment. Our struggles and tragedies profoundly shape how we know ourselves and what we come to value in our lives.
      Question to ask yourself: Have you embraced tragedy as a necessary part of life? Are you expanding or contracting as a result of the pains you experience?

    Polyhymnia the Muse of Sacred Hymns and Agriculture

      Polyhymnia helps us see the deeper meaning in nature and the natural world. The truth is that the world around you is constantly communicating with you, so it might be time to open your ears and listen.
      Question to ask yourself: Have I stopped to listen to what my environment is telling me?

    Terpsichore the Muse of Dance

      Terpsichore reminds us to dance with life – to bring flow and grace to our life experiences so that we can enjoy more of what life has to offer.
      Question to ask yourself: Are you flexible in your approach to life?

    Thalia the Muse of Comedy

      Thalia teaches us the humor in “it all.” All wisdom contains some humor. And, for our lives to have meaning, we benefit from seeing the humor in our experience.
      Question to ask yourself: Do you remember to laugh every day at the wonder and weirdness of life?

    Urania the Muse of Astronomy

      Urania is often associated with Universal Love and the Holy Spirit. She imparts the insight that life is bigger than we can ever understand. Yet the quest for understanding can bring us great meaning.
      Question to ask yourself: What is the spiritual foundation of my life?

    Are you looking for a way to help other people transform their lives and have a profound impact in the world or a pathway to strengthening your work with others?

    The Master Transformational Coaching program is designed to give you individualized training and top-notch resources to help you become profoundly successful doing what you are meant to do.

    To learn more about this opportunity and how it might be right for you, CLICK HERE.

    If you are ready to take this next step towards your life purpose, I can’t wait to meet you.

    Find What You Love! (And Do More Of It)

    Find What You Love! (And Do More Of It)

    Living your purpose is the key to your fulfillment. When you embrace your life purpose, you commit your effort to what you’re best able to do. And this has infinite positive outcomes.

    Living your life purpose blossoms a sense of wellness throughout your entire life. You experience true harmony because you’re not emotionally invested in any particular outcome and so you’re better able to make lemonade when life gives you lemons.

    Each and every one of us wrestles with a nagging sense of unfulfillment until we understand that it’s in our power to create our happiness and to live our passion.

    For example, if I believe my actions and interactions make no impact, then I’ll have a negative perception of my life inside and outside of my workplace. Or, if I perceive myself as a victim in all circumstances ― and feel as though the world sets me up to knock me down ― I will shy away from circumstances that might prove my belief otherwise. Instead, I’ll likely create situations that prove I’m at the world’s mercy. This perspective will leave me blaming others, feeling resentful and stuck.

    On the other hand, if I believe that my actions have the potential to make a positive impact, then I’ll feel more positive about my life, more excited by my choices, and – ultimately – more fulfilled and satisfied. Moreover, if I see a situation that is dangerous, negative, or hurtful, I’ll feel it’s possible for me to take action towards a positive outcome. This creates a virtuous cycle. Over time, I’ll see the net effect of my positive actions and will likely find it easier to face challenging circumstances in a positive way. This makes a profound difference in my life and the lives of others.

    So, what does this cycle of positive action have to do with Life Purpose? Well, in order to move toward your life purpose, you need to feel as though what you’re doing makes a difference. Otherwise, there is no reason to bother.

    Whatever it is that you feel passionately about, you can do it! In fact, you were meant to do it.

    Think about yourself in the terms used by Alan Watts: “You are the perfect expression of the universe exactly where you are in this moment.” Or, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray.

    Since my work is all about helping people achieve a feeling of success and fulfillment in their lives, I’ve made a list of fundamental questions that will help you identify your life purpose! This list will give you a good sense of where to focus your energy as you take your first bold steps towards the life of your dreams.

    Passion:

      1. Figure out what you love. People are happier when they know what they love.

      2. Do it often. Doing what you love makes you feel more fulfilled.

      3. Remove things from your life that are mediocre, beige, flat or merely being tolerated. You only have so much time attention and energy don’t waste it on what does not matter.

    Courage:

      1. Know what is important to you.

      2. Know why it is important to you.

      3. Because, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” F. Roosevelt

    Kindness:

      1. Learn to be good to others and do it as much as possible.

      2. Learn to be good to yourself and do it as much as possible.

      3. Go out of your way everyday to do something especially nice for a total stranger.

    Gratitude:

      1. Pay attention to all the wonderful things that are a part of your life, both large and small.

      2. Thank people for what they bring to your life.

      3. Learn to find gratitude even for the things and people that are difficult.

    Contemplation:

      1. Take a few moments every day to sit quietly.

      2. Keep a journal.

      3. Learn to listen fully to what someone is saying. Really take it in before responding.

    Forgiveness:

      1. Make a list of everyone in your life that you have an unresolved issue with and find a way to resolve it within yourself and if possible with them.

      2. Forgive yourself.

      3. Make it a practice to forgive others as quickly as possible.

    Play:

      1. Make time to be creative in ways that please you the most.

      2. Laugh as much as possible.

      3. Remember that your life is what you dream it to be.

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    Need a Break From Your Everyday? Play Is The Way.

    Need a Break From Your Everyday? Play Is The Way.

    We all need a break sometimes. When we’re kids, breaks are given freely during playtime and nap-time. The importance of play to psychological development has received a lot attention as we watch our kids feel the pressure to achieve more and more at a younger and younger age. This pressure, though, extends to us parents, too. By understanding the importance of ritual and play to our identity, we can better recognize when we need a break and what it should look like.

    The most normal and competent child encounters what seems like insurmountable problems in living. But by playing them out, in the way he chooses, he may become able to cope with them in a step‑by‑step process. He often does so in symbolic ways that are hard for even him to understand, as he is reacting to inner processes whose origin may be buried deep in his unconscious. – Bruno Bettleheim

    I think Bettleheim’s assessment is as applicable to us adults as it is to our children. As technology infiltrates our lives, it is increasingly difficult for all of us to be “on vacation” or “out of touch.” Our moments are crammed full of information and activities – from compulsively checking our smart phones to over-booking our days so we don’t have any time to decompress. The net effect is a slow but sure erosion of our lives into a never-ending to-do list. We may not even know when we need a break.

    What I know is that play is a necessary component to a full and fulfilling life. In fact, ritual, play, and creativity are central to the evolution of consciousness and culture.

    Ritual – whether it has it’s roots in religious, cultural, or personal expression – allows us to create a symbolic container for our experience and work towards a desired outcome. Rituals allows us to mark something that holds importance to us. It provides a means of working towards a solution or resolution to something that remains unresolved in our lives. Play, on the other hand, refers to the process rather than the outcome. At it’s best, play is a pleasurable expression of our essence and that leads us in unexpected directions.

    While ritual is often associated with religion and religious practice, recent research suggests that ritual may be more rational and secular that it appears. According to an article in Scientific American, “even simple rituals can be extremely effective. Rituals performed after experiencing losses – from loved ones to lotteries – do alleviate grief, and rituals performed before high-pressure tasks – like singing in public – do in fact reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence. What’s more, rituals appear to benefit people who claim not to believe that rituals work. Recently, a series of investigations by psychologists have revealed intriguing new results demonstrating that rituals can have a causal impact on people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.”

    At it’s core, ritual permits us time and space to contemplate and honor meaningful connections in our life, while play takes us outside the parameters of our daily lives and into a sense of timeless creativity.

    Dr. Stuart Brown from the National Institute of Play defines play as a voluntary and pleasurable act that “offers a sense of engagement, takes you out of time” and whose efforts are “more important than the outcome.”

    The effects of play can be profound as it allows adults and children to express parts of themselves that don’t come out in everyday activities. Further, play creates novel alternatives to otherwise ordinary situations and trains us to have fun. Play also kick-starts our creativity and prompts us to use it in the manifestation of something external to us. This process reveals what is most important to us because we tend to innovate around what we believe is most relevant. Play and ritual are both integral to our understanding of the nature of who we are. When we need a break, turning to play and ritual are a good place to start.


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