When Passion Meets Purpose

Discover Your Role in Creating a Better Future

This is a unique moment in history. Negative and untruthful labeling has brought forward the worst in human nature, fanning flames of hatred around the world. It is essential that each of us — all around the globe — rise to the occasion. The challenge we face is opportunity in disguise. In this unsettling time, we must take ownership of our lives and our communities. It’s a chance to identify what we care deeply about, and take action.

Many of us have long felt a nagging sense that we should be doing more to make the world a better place, but our efforts have been sporadic and selective. We volunteer our time or donate money, but we drift from one cause to another. Our actions may be motivated more by guilt or even a desire to feed the ego than by the deepest needs of the world.

Now, in this time of extraordinary upheaval, I urge you to harness your fear and anger and use them to discover your role in creating the future. Rather than succumbing to helplessness, unleash your personal power to make the change you have always dreamed of. Clarify your role, and seek positive, peaceful ways to make an impact. This isn’t the crisis of any one nation, but rather the crisis of everyone who has been targeted — and everyone who knows that targeting is wrong.

Each one of us has a unique purpose to serve. Every soul comes with a figurative fingerprint, a blend of God-given gifts and talents. Some of us excel at fundraising, organizing, writing, or public speaking; others are at their best caring for children, preparing nourishing meals, or counseling those in distress. The soul naturally seeks ways to express the intention of its creation. Every one of us is meant to add to the world in a way that no one else can. If you do not act, that contribution is lost.

When we recognize our unique gifts, we express the purpose imprinted within us by the Divine. By listening carefully in cultivating our connection to the Divine, we receive both comfort and guidance. We find not just a generic meaning of life but the meaning of our own life. We embody universal truths in our own particular way, with the steadiness that comes from faith. Talent meets service, and our purpose is born.

We must respond to the dark aspects of humanity by being the light. We know that we will not achieve perfection in creating a better world for our children, but as long as we shall live, we can pledge to cast the bright glow of love and the cool waters of peace wherever they are needed. Here’s how:

· Identify your gifts and talents. We are most in touch with our innate gifts in childhood. What were your dreams? What were you good at? What were your favorite realms of imagination? These are early manifestations of your gifts.

· Choose an area of focus. What area of need calls to you? Let go of thoughts about what you “should” care about, and instead ask yourself what inspires genuine passion.

· Take one small step at a time. Don’t be discouraged by the magnitude of the problems or the amount of work to be done. It’s not possible to save the world all at once.

· Be authentic. Align your words and actions with your innermost values. Listen to the voice within, and follow the path of peace and harmony regardless of what is happening around you.

Do not allow feelings of sadness, hopelessness, outrage, or fear to paralyze you. Let them instead motivate you to purposeful action. A life that expresses your gifts, your faith, and your Divine purpose is a life fully owned and worth living. Have no doubt that it will change the world.

Eiman Al Zaabi is a personal transformation coach, spiritual teacher, and author of The Art of Surrender: A Practical Guide to Enlightened Happiness and Well-Being. In addition to her private practice, she works at New York University, Abu Dhabi, and lives in the United Arab Emirates with her husband and children. Find her at http://www.eimanalzaabi.com/ or on Facebook.

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