I was standing in the kitchen a little while earlier making myself my third lemon, ginger and honey hot drink of the day. Nursing a cold, having gone out at the weekend and just moved house, it’s now Wednesday afternoon and my week has been low on the productivity front. While my pace of life and attitude toward how I live my life has slowed down and relaxed a lot since my trip away, this feeling of not doing enough, fast enough, is a recurring anxiety that continues to resurface no matter how much I practise yoga, meditate, and know in my heart that those nine months of gentle soul-searching was the most rewarding and productive period of ‘work’ I have ever done in my life.
I noticed these thoughts and I tried to chase them away, reminding myself that I wasn’t well and that looking after myself should be a priority. There wasn’t anything really urgent that needed doing and once my foggy head had cleared I would be able to get everything done quicker anyway and with less stress on my mind and body. In the meantime I should rest and recover.
But still I felt that gnawing guilt.
We all have it. The guilt that we are not proving our worth to society when we are not ‘productive’. The guilt that if we are not ‘on our game’ we will be looked down on, punished, ridiculed, or pitied. That if we don’t work harder (and faster) than others we won’t get noticed, we won’t make it. And if we don’t get noticed – if we are not recognised and rewarded – then what good are we? Will we leave a mark on history? Or even on our friends and family? How many people will come to our funeral? Will our lives have meant anything in the grand scheme of things at all when we die, which we will obviously, one day, well… any day, really?
Yeah, that guilt. Recognise it?
Then I went to the toilet. And a voice in my head said, out of nowhere: ‘You have a purpose’. I chuckled to myself, realising immediately what it meant. (And wondering if I’d had too many lemon, ginger and honeys.)
I have a purpose. That is why it’s important that I do the work I need to do and that’s why it’s important I look after myself so that I can get this work done (in particular writing this blog and building the Healing Network), whether it be today, tomorrow, or next week (I do need to respect my body and look after myself). But it has to be done. I have to keep moving forward. Because that is my purpose. No one else can do it for me. It’s mine. And I’ve realised that now, so it’s my duty to do it.
When I worked in an office I didn’t feel that responsibility – that sense of duty. Because it was not my purpose to be there. I was there for the wrong reasons (money, societal / parental pressure, a desire to fit in and ‘do the right thing’, lack of self-worth). I felt it was wrong but I didn’t know an alternative and /or I was too scared to look for one.
Ultimately, I was too out of touch with myself to hear my inner voice, to follow my heart and to trust my intuition.
What I want to tell you is that everyone has a purpose. Everyone has a reason to be here on this planet. Everyone has a gift, and a unique set of character traits and experiences that means that gift is unique to you, that only you can give it. To give it is to serve your purpose. So really, it is your duty (and honour) to find it and to give it (to share it). Everyone has this gift inside (their true purpose). And once you figure it out (once you hear and trust your inner voice) it’ll all seem so simple…. so obvious… So… You.
Once you find it, you’ll see also that there is no need to compete with others, to compare yourself with others, to worry about what others think or to follow rules and belief systems about what is right, wrong, or valuable to society. Your purpose is inside. Your gift is there and it’s untouchable by external forces. It cannot be argued with. It needs no external validation, only your love and attention.
I discovered mine through yoga, and through going to India. You can read about that in my older posts if you want and haven’t already. But for a very summarized version: I got depressed, quit my job in marketing, went to India, discovered yoga, met soul mates, opened my heart, had an awakening, realised my true potential, discovered the beauty in life – in the universe, felt bliss / unconditional love, went to Burning Man… then came back to London nine months later.
After an initial very difficult stage of readjustment (understandable I think given the epic journey I had been on!) I was (and am) determined to try and build the Healing Network, as this I believe is my true purpose (or at least a huge part of it). The idea of this labour of love was conceived on a yoga retreat in January, turned into a Facebook page while in the Indian Himalyas in May, and has organically taken on a life of its own, while nurtured daily by me online and in the physical world. Ten months on and slowly but surely my gift as a ‘healing networker’ seems to be clear. The more I share and give (connecting healers and seekers and sharing healing experiences), the more I get back. And often I don’t have to do anything at all. The right people just keep coming into my life, and my gratitude grows by the day. I finally feel that I have a purpose that fulfills me in all the ways I could wish for (money aside, but I have to keep believing that it will come) AND it makes a difference to the world. It’s incredible. And it makes total and utter sense. What else could I possibly be doing? Having found it, it seems so obvious, so simple and so Me.
I wish everyone could feel this way, which is why I’m sharing this. I really urge you to ask yourself – to ask your heart – if you are living your purpose. Which doesn’t mean to say it’s easy, that there aren’t moments of fear and doubt, and that challenges don’t arise. But can you say that with each setback you learn more about yourself and feel even more strongly that you are on the right path? That you are the master of your own destiny and that as long as you follow your heart, trust your intuition and listen to your inner voice that whatever happens will be right (because it will be truthful, and it will be you)?
If you don’t feel this way, then yay!!! You have so much to look forward to! Discovering that there was more that I could give to the world, and more that I could receive (to see, to feel, to experience and to be grateful for) was the best thing that ever happened to me. And it’s there for the taking, for all of us.
When you live from the heart and honour your true self, you will blossom. Areas of darkness will illuminate, pathways in front of you will reveal themselves, obstacles will be cleared, and you will move forward with conviction, humility and grace, forging your path, living your journey, leaving your mark on the world.
The answers really are all inside, just waiting to be discovered, to be realised.
What most people don’t realise too, is that the more you gaze inward, the more you will glow outward. The less you care about what other people think, the more they will offer the approval and admiration that you most crave. The more you love yourself, the more love will come to you. And the more you focus your attention on your own needs, the more you will help support and lift up those around you.
It’s really time to stop making other people happy. Time to stop following the rules, obeying the status quo, too scared to bravely face what lies beneath – the person inside just waiting to escape. To be free. It’s time to start looking inward and get to know the person inside, as (s)/he has all the answers. And (s)/he is awesome! (Like you but more and better!) (S)h/e is going to make a difference.
And so, I flushed the toilet, washed my hands and started to write this blog post. The words just came out of me, beginning to rush around my head, then triggering an adrenaline rush that awakened my body, giving me the energy I needed to focus my attention through my head cold to get this written (not easy). I put on some tunes and got typing. Fast. Because that’s how it is when you do the thing you love, the thing you feel deep down that you are supposed to do, that is yours, that no one else can do, and that you have a duty to do. You do it because you have to. And because you want to. Doing it is a pleasure. Because to find your gift and then to share it (to give it away) really is, in my (and Picasso’s) humble opinion, the true meaning of life.