This conversation is a continuation of last month’s discussion. In that essay, I challenged the notion that living a “small” life is indicative of not living your purpose. In this month’s reflections, 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. (This conversation is not about the very real need to earn a living, or how much money you need to keep the roof over your head.)
Last month we noted that lately there is an overwhelming cacophony of voices chorusing the seeming accusation 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 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 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 finding deep satisfaction? 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 really means.
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? Is it 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 righteousness 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 ego – who wants plenty of worldly recognition. As you know, purpose is not limited to what we do; purpose is also about being, 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. And again, we don’t always need to know how our gifts affect others – it is our job to act on them. 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, no matter what you are creating. 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 discover the next gene sequence? What do you, as the Tao, need to create in order to express your uniqueness?
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 on getting in touch with your unique spiritual signature, and then on expressing it. 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? $150 an hour? Is it 400K a year? 2 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-earned bonuses?
It’s impossible to answer these questions. We can see how ridiculous it is to try to assign value to your soul’s 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.
Be Present to the Moment
Focus on being present in the moment – to yourself, to your guides and higher self, to the souls around you, to the soul of Earth and all its inhabitants. When you are present, you are in tune with all that is, and can far more readily act in alignment with your dharma. When you are fully present, connected with your Higher Self, consciously following your guidance, you are being true to your soul’s purpose. Deep satisfaction comes from the benefit to others of the outward flow of your gifts. You see that you have a specific purpose and came into this life to shine the brightness of your personal light. 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 who you are.
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.
Exercise for connecting with your unique spiritual self:
Remember how you felt when you were in love. You had so much energy, you could do anything. You didn’t need much sleep. You had so much joy that the world was constantly filled with light. Life was filled with light and love and endless joy. You lived at the fullest expression of your being, and you lived your life fully connected. You were in deep acceptance of what is. Life was beautiful; life was heaven on earth. It is from this state that we are able to experience our truth. It happens because we surrender our false ideas of who we are. You can get back to this state of pure joy by remembering and embracing the heightened connection you had to every thing. You can call it back. You can do this by releasing the need to be anything other than what you are – call back the feeling of being in love. Embrace your Divinity and ask to stay in alignment with what is love; that is, with what is true, good and holy. Ask to be a blessing and source of happiness to others in my life. And ask to be happy and content with who you are now, and where you find yourself.
What Does the Soul Want?
What does the soul want? The soul wants to be fully present and interacting in life. Whatever supports being present and engaging in life is also that which supports the soul. It is in these activities that you will find deep satisfaction – not in the pursuit of achievement, wealth or fame – but in the process of being fully present to life and engaging life with your unique signature. How do you get there? It’s actually quite simple. We do it all the time, without thinking about it. Follow your bliss. Follow your joy; follow your yearnings. If we follow our joy, seeking to sustain that joy as we go, then we will find ourselves shaping a life that is in sync with our soul intentions. When you authentically follow your yearnings, the shape and size of your life will gradually come into congruence with your soul intentions.
The size of your life – whatever that is – is completely unique to you and will be found by acting, in each moment, on what calls to you. When your mind, body and spirit are united, you follow your soul intentions exactly. You become a Master. When you align with your soul purpose, that is, your soul intentions, that is when the angels and ascended masters come to your aid. As you consistently do what feels right – discerning what is true for you from what is not – this is what will lead you to your right life. It is here that you will find that you are living out your purpose – which may be properly called magnificent – regardless of the “greatness” of the life.
What can I do today that will bring more love and more happiness into my life and the lives of those around me? Is this not the greatest value – that what mattered about how we lived was how we loved?
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