What values, principles, or deep sense of purpose do you want your life to have exemplified?
I started reading a book. Yet another one. It seems to be one of my new hobbies ‘to start reading a new book and never finish’. But this specific one has resonated in a deep place within me so I am still reading. It talks about our soul’s purpose in life, both spiritual and worldly fulfillment and the four desires. More on that later. And the concept of finding purpose basically screams my name. My name’s written all over the fucking front page. Why? I don’t feel like I’ve found mine. Yes, I’ve come a hell of a lot closer to doing what I love doing. To living my life the way I want. Waking up every single day thinking and FEELING how blessed I am. But a piece is missing. A little piece of emptiness needs to be filled. And I have a strong feeling it has to do with my purpose. The very purpose my soul brought into this lifetime of mine. And it’s my duty to fulfill it. It doesn’t have to be something big. Like Nelson Mandela. Elon Musk. Or Gandhi. But it has to fill the little space of emptiness. The feeling of having no actual real purpose. The feeling of not making a difference in this world - regardless of how small. The feeling of fully and passionately dedicating all my time creating something. I love doing many different things. But none of them to the extent that I would ONLY ever want to do that. I’ve been excusing this with the idea that I’m a 'multi-potentialite’ (watch the TEDTalk on this, it’s great!) and yes, to some degree I still see myself in that concept. A lot. I love to try new things and never commit to one thing fully. Perhaps this is connected with not having FOUND the one thing to fully commit to. But then, this is my rational mind thinking about ‘work’ or a ‘profession’. When actually, finding one’s purpose is often misunderstood as finding one’s profession. Work. Or what people do for a living. But that’s not all of it. Merely a small part. And I’m starting to realise that by only reading the first few pages of my new exciting book. Dharma - the purpose - consist of our true essence. A deep deep desire of our soul to express the innate Self.
Let me explain using an example given by the book. A woman realises that she completely lights up and can fully embody her soul’s potential and purpose by ‘just sharing all of me’. This very simple thing is her Dharma Code. Her purpose. And it makes sense when you think about it for a while. If that’s all you do. In any situation of your life - not just your professional life - to ‘just share all of you’ - all your decisions, choices, actions and reactions will be based on your Dharma Code and with that you shape your entire life around ‘just sharing all of you’. So in whatever you do - breathing, working, relationships, studies, sports, reading, volunteering, teaching - you just share all of yourself. And that’s your very purpose. Because by doing everything based on your purpose, things will work out divinely and how they need to as you’re fully embodying your purpose.
The woman had been in unlucky relationships all her life, but found fulfilment in her teaching job. Upon reflecting, she realised that other than in her teaching she would always play small and safe. Never sharing all of herself fully. And with that failed miserably in all aspect of her life where she didn’t share all of herself. Including her past relationships. Yes, she had already found a ‘job’ she liked, but really that’s only a very small part of your life and does not contribute hugely to lasting happiness and fulfillment.
Another example was a guy that desperately tried to make his acting career work. Investing time, energy, money, sweat and worries - basically everything. His mission was to ‘inspire people to think and grow’. And he thought acting was the way to achieve that. But trying hard against your soul’s desire won’t work. Now he paints. And that’s all he does, every second of his life. No more effort, no more strain. Just pure enjoyment. And he is still following his Dharma Code to ‘inspire people to think and grow’ as he touches people with his paintings.
These examples illustrate that purpose doesn’t mean ‘job or career’. Not at all. And that’s where I’m headed. I feel that in terms of ‘job’ I have found something that lights me up. That I enjoy. But quite possibly I’m missing the actual definition of my soul’s purpose to be able to fully express that through what I do. In everything I do. To be able to do everything effortlessly and choose and commit to something that I want to invest all my time and energy into.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati puts it this way:
‘There will never be a storm
That can wash the path from my feet,
The direction from my heart,
The light from my eyes,
Or the purpose from this life.
I know that I am untouchable to the forces
As long as I have a direction, an aim, a goal:
To serve, to love and to give.
Strength lies in the magnification of the secret qualities
Of my own personality, my own character
And though I am only a messenger,
I am me.’
And yes, I promised to share the four desires. They basically describe all of what drives us and that we need on this Earth Walk to live a life of blissful fulfilment and everlasting happiness.
Now, this might explain to you partly why the book resonates with me so much. It speaks from a more realistic point of view and takes into consideration the beauty of our human experience. It doesn’t abandon all the worldly desires and pleasures like other Yogic philosophies do. Which has always confused me and given me reason for frustration. How can one abandon ALL worldly things completely to try and attain enlightenment when it’s SO beautiful to be human and to EXPERIENCE. The key that I learnt is to keep a detached sense of joy, pleasure and appreciation for material and worldly things which includes all physical sensations and sensual pleasures. And with that detached awareness it’s even more fun to dive into the experience fully. To explode with joy in a moment of ecstasy. To taste good food. To indulge in human connection and touch. To admire nature’s beauty and let it engulf you completely. Why would anyone ever deny themselves all this beauty to live in a cave never to return. Not me. So this books speaks about the balance between spiritual and worldly fulfillment based on tantric principles and the above mentioned four desires. I’m sold! And I shall keep you posted on the process. The book is essentially a course, a lot of work and commitment. Because that Dharma Code isn’t just cracked with a lil’ reading and sipping tea.
The book is called ‘The Four Desires’ by Rod Stryker. Thanks dear friend who recommended it to me. Much love.
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I enjoy studying, creating, exploring and most importantly eating nutritious food and balancing my life with yoga.