Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” — David Thoreau
It can be tempting to live a life of what-ifs. You can live your whole life playing small and shrinking into a place of comfort and security telling yourself that you’re setting up your own story and, once you have the money, once you have the right relationship, once you have the right tools, once you have enough knowledge and once, and once, and then finally, you’ll begin to live, and everything before that moment doesn’t really count. This is not the way to live. And we are all guilty of it. Note to self, please don’t do this anymore.
So ask yourself with true honesty, are you tired of feeling like you are living some half-life that doesn’t feel purposeful? I know that I am. I know that my playing small is no longer acceptable. I’ve spent far too much time hiding, running, chasing because I was scared of being seen. I’ve spent too much time not shining my light as brightly because I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I’ve spent to much time not feeling good because so many other people don’t feel good. No more, no more, no more! When you dim your light, you are only blending in, but when you shine your light you are giving others the permission to do the same. And we need leaders, not followers. Quit shrinking to blend in. We were not brought into this planet to sleepwalk through life. It is time to learn to live again.
The question is how right? How do I learn to live again?
Realize this — to be completely free, you must first understand and begin to practice the truth, which is, that your happiness cannot be based on a situation or outcome, because as soon as the situation changes so will your happiness. True happiness, joy, and freedom reside in this understanding. The understanding that goes beyond the mind, the kind of understanding that you feel in your soul and that feeling is that you are enough without any of these external attachments. Right here, right now just as you are, you are enough. Go ahead and say it. I am enough.
Now that you have the understanding that you don’t need external validation to feel fulfilled. No matter how old, how young, how rich, how poor, how successful, how praised or how lost you currently feel, If you have this feeling inside of you, this feeling of a half-full life, one that just doesn’t quite light the fire of your soul then I invite you to take the first step and ask yourself the following questions.
#1. Ask, God, please reveal to me the reason why you created me.
I used to think that the idea of my finding/discovering my purpose was such a complex and elusive idea and that one day I would have this big ah-ha moment and bam I would suddenly know exactly what it is that I’m supposed to do. Over the years, however, that has changed and through using nature as my teacher I’ve settled into something much more simple. My belief is that every single one of us has a purpose. The very nature of this Purpose is intrinsic to your very being. The same way that a rose seed is meant to be a rose plant that grows buds that turn into flowers and then blossoms. I believe that God created all of us with the same purpose. That PURPOSE is simply to be a reflection of God itself. To develop, to grow, to blossom, to expand, to share and to contribute from a place of love. This is my definition of Purpose.
#2. What is my unique gift(s)?
What makes us as humans special is that we share a common purpose but we individually have unique GIFTS. I truly believe that every single one of us has a unique gift that has been instilled in your very being. For some of you, that gift may have been obvious from a very young age, while for others it may be more of a discovery process and for some, it may still feel like a total mystery, but I promise you it is there. The fun and exciting part is discovering this unique gift.
The question is how right? How do I discover this gift?
Ask yourself, what would I do, how would I live, how would I love, what would I create if I wasn’t trying to get something? And by getting something I’m talking about things such as money, attention, validation, praise, etc. Follow that curiosity and be honest with your thoughts and feelings. Your gift doesn’t have to be something grand to be important, it might be something as modest as being a great mother, or teacher or even helping others discover their gift.
So many people are terrified to share or live their truth because so often we are afraid of failing or being shot down, ridiculed and judged. Do yourself a favor and hold space for thoughts and opinions and growth and exploration. Being honest is liberating and so is expressing your gift.
All too often we fall into this social programming of “what am I supposed to do” and we forget to listen to that deeper calling that is saying “this is what I am meant to do”. Living from this place of needing to be or get something creates so much unnecessary pain and suffering. We see so many people in this world working at jobs they hate, chasing meaningless material possesions they think will make them happy and constantly pushing and struggling to get more, be more and do more. We are literally killing ourselves, and for what? So we can have a bunch of stuff or look impressive to our peers? Yuck. Look, I understand that we all need to do what we need to do to get by and this is all part of our growth, but this hamster wheel, rinse and repeat mentality does not have to be your end all be all reality. Life is too short and too precious for this.
The idea of never discovering, following and sharing my gift, that is truly terrifying to me. I know that we were created for so much more.
#3. How can I share my gift?
Purpose + Gift + Contribution — The ultimate fulfillment of our soul is sharing our gift with this world. When you align your purpose with your gift things get powerful. This is where the momentum kicks off and you truly can begin to fulfill the calling of your soul. When you begin to share that gift you become so lit up and divinely fueled. This is flow and when you are in flow you are happy and the world is a better place.
There is no more of this daily trudging to have to go do or be something. Your entire perspective shifts and you become awake and alive. You want to wake up in the morning and feel that vigor of giving your deepest gifts to this word. That fire is unquenchable and burns so brightly that It spreads and inspires. Can you imagine a world like this? Can you imagine the things that we could accomplish and create? Imagine a world where everyone is following there deepest calling… Oh my God, what a beautiful world we would live it. That may sound like some la-la land utopia, but is it? I don’t think so. I believe that it is possible, and I believe it starts with every single one of us deciding to be who we are MEANT TO BE. This is our true nature. Our nature is not that of problems and fear, and doubt and worry. Our true purpose and nature is something rooted in a love that is so powerful and expansive that it is never in absence and never without infinite possibilities.
It is time to set those limiting beliefs free. The ones that have chained you to some false version of who you truly are. They are no longer allowed to hold you back. It’s time to throw them off and see them for what they truly are. They are just beliefs — fears based. So please, I encourage you to encourage me and those around you by making this choice. Right here, right now in this moment, you have the power to make that choice. Make the choice to wake up and say “this is my life and I am enough, I have sheltered my light for too long, but today I choose to let it shine. Take that first step, just one small step, that will lead to another, and another, and another. Every day you are made new. Every day more and more of your purpose and truth emerge from within you. This type of courage, this type of love has the power to change the entire world.
Thank you for taking the time to read and please share the word.
Shine on — Robert W. Dean