This conversation is a continuation of a previous discussion titled Are You Living Life Too Small?. In that essay, I challenged the notion that living a “small” life is indicative of not living your purpose. In this reflection, I address the confusion that a number of us are feeling about the connection between the amount of money we earn or have and how that is often held as a mirror of our value.
All around there is an overwhelming cacophony of voices challenging us, almost accusingly, that we may be living small lives. These voices are most recently found in the superabundance of coaches and mentors to coaches. Their question, “Are you living your life too small?” seems to declare that if we are living a small life we are not living our purpose. We are, they say, born to express our greatness. The obvious implication is that if a life is small, then we are not being all we can be. It is the life of “greatness” that we should pursue and that is worth living. But what if you don’t have the desire to pursue greatness? Is it possible that a “small life” can be capable of giving expression to its dharma and expressing its greatness in that way? And how does a person measure whether or not they are living their life in just the right size? To begin to answer this, it is helpful to look at what living one’s greatness might really mean.
Is it about living an exalted life, that is, one where you are famous and glamorous and impressive and influential and make lots of money? Or could it be about what your life looks like when you authentically follow your bliss?
Living your greatness may mean that you live a celebrity-style life. It may mean that you share your gifts in a very public arena. It may also mean that you share your gifts in smaller, simpler, quieter and less visible ways. Maybe you do your best work as an anonymous guardian angel. Being human, we have a tendency to be literal in how we evaluate acts of benevolence, measuring their greatness directly in proportion to their size. But consider how grateful we are when we are offered a glass of water when we are thirsty, or a piece of fruit when we are hungry. Think of the deep nurturing we experience when we are listened to and seen for who we are. Reflect on how important it was for you to be cared for as a child, or when you were sick. Reflect on the fullness you feel when you nourish the grieving and hungry.
Could living your greatness be about carrying out your soul intentions, in other words, your soul’s purpose?
Everyone Has a Unique Purpose
Each person has a unique purpose that is encoded within them. Bear in mind that if what we do does not come from the heart we can get hooked by our negative ego, who wants plenty of worldly recognition. As you know, purpose is not limited to what we do; purpose is also about being, about presence, and reflecting your light. We come in with different agendas – some agendas are large, and some are small. We will not have exalted agendas in every life. Some lives are meant to be quieter; some lives are lives of rest. Our work is to give our gifts to those who need them. Our specific gifts are inherent to our soul’s purpose for the life. Whatever our gifts, they will always improve another’s condition or situation. Living our lives in just the right size comes with the appropriate giving of our gifts. Spirit will take care of the size of the venue or arena in which you are to express and contribute your unique gifts.
Be the person that you were meant to be. You do this by paying attention to the desires of your heart. These desires hold the clue to your soul intentions. Fulfillment comes when you create from your heart. You will know your purpose when you experience a deep sense of personal fulfillment; you will know, from your sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, that this is what is right for you. Your soul intentions are not about a career; they are not about making lots of money or being famous. Your purpose is something you do whether you get paid for it or not. Your soul’s need to carry out its intentions is the motivation.
Your Soul Purpose is your True Calling
Your soul purpose is your true calling, and when you are aligned with that calling, you will find the level for its appropriate or natural expression. It’s mythical thinking that you can find your soul purpose by listening to other people’s ideas or opinions about what that should look like! Be wary of claims and suggestions that the VALUE of your soul’s work is directly tied to the amount of money you make.
Your Soul Has its Own Signature
Every thing has its own rhythm, and moves and breathes according to its own nature. Every thing contains its own unique spiritual signature. You are unique. You come from the Tao; you are a unique aspect of the Tao. Now, what would you like to do as Tao? Do you want to rest? Do you want to sit in the garden? Do you want to make soup? Do you want to provide a home for a shelter dog or cat? Do you want to explore the mysteries of the quantum field? What do you, as the Tao, need to create in order to express your unique “greatness?”
You’re here to manifest your unique spiritual signature, whatever that is, whatever it looks like. To believe that you first have to be great or “live your greatness” before you can express your uniqueness can be confusing and misleading – not to mention – can ultimately stop you dead in your tracks. Forget about being “great;” focus instead on getting in touch with your unique spiritual signature, and then on expressing that. When you are expressing your unique piece of the Tao, your life will be a beautiful reflection of who you are, and you will be living who you came here to be, and doing what you came here to do, and the “size” of that expression will be in sync with your soul’s intentions. That size could well change over time, but to attempt to create a size based on pressure from gurus who tell you that you are living your life too small, that living your soul purpose is directly tied to your income, and that the size of your income is a direct reflection of whether or not you’re living your purpose, is to completely ignore your own soul and to buy into a false understanding of what it means to live your greatness.
Assigning Value to a Soul
The notion that the size of your income is a direct reflection of being true to your soul intentions is based on assigning a VALUE to SOUL. Let’s go ahead and do that. What is the dollar amount your soul is worth when it is fully expressing? Is it $50 an hour? $450 an hour? Is it 400K a year? 5 million? Since we are pieces of God’s own Soul, perhaps it would help to consider the value of God’s handiwork. What is God’s value? How much is s/he worth? If God were to demand an annual salary for maintaining and sustaining the Universe, what would that come to? What amount should be awarded to God for having created the Universe? And since God has been working for an eternity, what is s/he retroactively owed, including interest and those well-deserved bonuses?
It’s impossible to answer these questions. We can see how ridiculous it is to try to assign value to your your soul or its purpose. On the other hand, I believe that we can, with complete conviction, state that when we’re lined up with our soul intentions, we are as powerful as God. Because God is in all of us, we are all uniquely qualified to express he/r purpose. How we give expression to God-in-us is inevitably sacred and holy. How can we judge the value of what is sacred and holy? Acts of service to others are acts of service to God. And if these are all worthy before God, how do we begin to define what a life of greatness looks like?
Maybe your soul purpose is to make money, or maybe your soul purpose will have the outcome of making money, but don’t assume that making a buck is the soul’s primary purpose for being in a physical vehicle. What is most important is that you create a life that satisfies your soul and provides you with a sense of genuine accomplishment and makes you happy. That life may be quiet and obscure or in front of thousands, or even, millions. The goal is to allow your soul to step forth and express its uniqueness. That uniqueness includes the style, manner, and size with which it expresses. Soul intentions are not tied to the material world, though they will inevitably express inside of it. The soul is not about hierarchy or ego, or competition. The soul is about sharing, about giving and receiving. It is about coming from love and being fully present in love.
Be Present to the Moment
Focus on being present in the moment – to yourself, to your guides and Higher Self, to those around you, and to the Earth and all her inhabitants. When you are present, you are in tune with all that is, and can far more readily act in alignment with your dharma and be available to respond to the needs of the moment. When you are fully present, connected with your Higher Self, and consciously following your guidance, you are being true to your soul’s purpose. Deep satisfaction comes from the benefit to others of the natural flow of your gifts. When you are in flow, you can see your purpose in action. When you are expressing your soul, you have found your true identity and there is no longer any reason to compare yourself to others or to pursue activities that do not fulfill you. At this point, you are present to your life and fully engaged, and your very presence uplifts others simply because you are being yourself.
Follow your true nature to find out what size life is right for you. Congruency is attained when who you are, what you say, and what you do are in alignment. When you are aligned in thought, word, and deed you have mastered how you direct your energy. When you have mastered how you direct your energy, you are able to fully manifest who you are in the world. You are powerful.
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