Standing at Attention. Living with Intention.

©By Mary Schoessler, Co-Founder & Transition Coach, SacredJoy™;

Worry, stress, angst used to sit in my passenger seat on the way to work, listening to me while returning drive time rush hour voicemails. Between calls, I frantically hoped I’d make it on time to my first meeting. On time was no more than five minutes late, ten max. Upon awakening each morning (morning was anytime after midnight), I immediately jumped up and into my to-do list. Slamming down a few cups of coffee, I started with trying to complete everyone’s unfinished expectations from the day, or days, before. Often I felt like the remote control to someone else’s life.

Today, I drive to work, most everywhere, peacefully and calmly. Desire, urgency and joy are my new passengers. My to-be list balances my to-do list. My to-give list brings purpose to my to-live list. Most of my work resides in my heart vs. scattered amongst countless emails, texts and hurriedly scrawled notes. I write down primarily what I choose to accomplish that’s important to me — tasks that will assist or bring joy to others and myself. Values-driven inclinations have replaced the ‘cover my ass’ tasks assigned by others.

I still attend to many tasks requested by others or experience times with too little sleep as I work to complete my commitments. What’s different is my work aligns with personal purpose, contribution and legacy. I’m driving my own vision, mission and values as I seek opportunities that align and complement others.

For years I helped draft and support those of companies, haphazardly sliding my own personal objectives in, making personal concessions as required. Meeting company year-end budgets and strategic planning goals took precedence over personal purposeful alignment of and with my higher Self. My ego self advanced forward, accumulating and doing whatever it took to use my college education and achieve the substantive goals I assumed were most important. It took its toll — emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Purpose, passion and well-being were not words in my vocabulary. Those days are long gone.

It was not an easy path, finding my way out of living life after following others expectations, plans and definitions vs. my own. Joseph Campbell referred to it as the Heroe’s Journey, with a fall and/or a call. I got both. Falling hard, I had to answer the call. I could hear it faintly pulling me out of my mechanical doing self, but it took several years, almost a decade, to allow myself to fully step in and embrace it.

Defining my values, finding my voice, understanding my ancestral roots and place of origin, digging deeper into what I wanted vs. listening to others’ voices of what I should want, hearing the internal spiritual voice of my own being vs. the external voices of all others and finding my worth was not a one-stop destination. (If you thought that was a long sentence to read, try living it!)

I went on a world tour, stopping where I shouldn’t have, staying longer than I wanted, unpacking and repacking, reluctantly boarding and unboarding while meeting new passengers along the way. Some reminded me I needed to go back home to where I started from, scolding and quasi shaming me for my self-centered detour. Others encouraged me to trust. Fly higher. Skydive! Free-fall for awhile. I would land exactly when and where I was supposed to — safely.

Honoring my stories, figuring out those that brought joy to my heart, which ones needed to be reframed, released or shelved with learning and legacy served as a tutorial guide for defining my purpose and passion. Responding to and receiving all that was new in my life was life changing. And life challenging.

Novel learning’s, philosophies, intuitive talents and spiritual skills steeped in wellBEing replaced my old core competencies, performance plans and success markers, burying them in the back corner of the ‘who cares/so what’ closet. Pushing my comfort zone into the WTF sphere slammed me through formidable walls out into the wild terrain of universal collective consciousness, wholism and spiritual awakening.

Ending up in the mainstreamed packaged ‘mind, body, soul and spirit’ didn’t begin to pay homage to the journey nor adequately give me a functional box to bring my newfound purpose and calling to fruition. I had to create my own box. Or circle as it has become. Remember, I said I had a return ticket. I just didn’t realize it came with a frequent flyer pass.

Explorative, experiential learning journeys always lead to arrival. You end up somewhere. What or who you find along the way, where you end up going, be it someplace familiar or completely foreign, is far more grounding when you grasp firmly onto your values compass. Your values reflect your experiences, giving courage to your voice. Your voice gives a response to your calling. Your calling gives purpose to your passion. Your passion gives value to your life. It all comes back to value. What is your value, how do you express it? Does it give you joy? For some, defining our values is a five minute exercise, for others, it becomes an arduous exercise of contemplation, introspection and revision.

When we pay attention to spirit’s calling, use our soul’s learning to courageously onboard and unapologetically follow the passion in our hearts, it fires up vast personal hidden contributions. Some call those contributions ‘following our dreams’. I might suggest they align more closely with creating our authentic reality. When we answer our personal calling, our dreams and reality fuse, coexisting and allowing us to contribute through the wholeness, the rich completeness of our I, the Me.

Paying attention is the first step in living with purpose. What are your emotions telling you? What is your physical body telling you? What are the thoughts and beliefs racing around in your mind trying to tell you? What is your heart trying to tell you? Stand or sit quietly, attentively listening to all the wisdom — above, below, within, beyond. Allow it to command your attention. Simply listen to your internal voice as it speaks personal truth. It will validate that you are living your amazing life with purpose, passion and intention. Or, it will offer you a ticket leading you on a deeply called adventure.

I advise responding and using that ticket, setting a daily intention that your calling also serves your highest good. Then trust that may occur. Setting that intention could save you a few layovers along the way. My own calling taught me that intention brings attention to ascension. Therein lies a well-lived, fully awakened, transformative life that contributes to one, to All. It begins with attention to awareness, giving intention to purpose and going within to willingly ascend by ‘sharing the rich value of your I, the wholeness of your me’. Enjoy the ride!