Clearing the way for a purposeful and intentional life
Since the beginning of the new year, I have been taking time to sit and listen for a sense of heartfelt purpose in life, and intentions that I can carry in my days. When I say heart’s purpose, I am speaking of something that is beyond the personal will and the ego. While these are important human functions, instead I am referring to a purpose that emerges from something greater. It is the sense of how we have been called to be in life and, consequently, what we have been called to do. As such, it is not something we come to know through the mind or the ego. These are products of familial, societal and cultural conditioning, and can be useful, even brilliant. However, I am speaking of something more intuitive, a direction that life keeps pointing us toward as our way and our work in the world. Know that this does not have to mean something grandiose; in fact, it can be small and impactful. This purpose is often something we feel, though if our days are full and moving fast, we may keep missing the call. Sometimes it is the truth of impermanence that can wake us up to our inner calling, what really matters, and what this life was truly intended for. In fact, you can even use this as a point of reflection at the end of a meditation.
What would matter if you had a year left? What begins to matter if you had a week left, perhaps just moments? How do you want to Be in this life? What is your heart called toward? How does this guide you in what you do and what you make time for? What do you say no to and what do you say a resounding a yes to?
These are invaluable contemplations. When we come home to a sense of purpose and direction, we feel more resilient in the face of life, across the movements of success and failure, triumph and challenge, loss and gain. Life does not hang on a single outcome because it carries a greater overarching purpose.
It takes time to hear the call, and it requires that we listen often and regularly. Once heard, we take time to know our purpose through our minds, but also to feel it in our bodies. This is important so that when we find ourselves speeding through our days and our weeks, forgetting how we want to be and what matters, we can eventually remember because it has been known and felt through this living, breathing body.
This is an exploration I will continue to sit with myself, and one that I will offer in classes through the next few weeks. For today I will leave you with a poem by Martha Postlewaite that perhaps will resonate with you.
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worthy of rescue.