» Be Authentic
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
October 4, 1998. We are sailing north from Cairns to Darwin,
Australia, near a stretch of undeveloped land. As we travel
farther away from civilization, I am able to go deeper within myself.
The waves rolling under the boat speak to my soul. Their messages
reveal the truth of who I am and what my purpose is, causing me to
feel refreshed, delighted, and at peace. Like a baby in its mother's
womb, I'm being carried and gently nurtured by the ocean while my
Hear Your Own Voice
The first step to living a purposeful life is to hear your
own voice. From the time we were babies, we were given
scripts on how to live. Our families instilled beliefs and
values in us, society told us what roles to play, and the
media showed us how we should look and what we should
own. Few of us were encouraged to follow the true desires
of our hearts. Often, our hearts contradicted our character's
role in the play.
If you want to live a purposeful life and fulfill your
dreams, you must throw away these scripts, plot your own
course in life, and discern whose voice you are listening
to. Is it your own authentic voice, or that of another, imposing
his or her values and ideas onto you? The voices of
society, the media, and our family and friends are strong,
often tugging at us to do the right thing. But if the right
thing isn't true to who we are and what our purpose is, we
will be miserable.
How do we know our truth? When we follow our bliss
and feel good inside, we are living our truth. Our bodies
are remarkable communicators, as they tell us when
we are living out of alignment with who we are. If we
are unhappy and stressed about work, we may experience
headaches or stomachaches. The other day, I felt tension
in my forehead, neck, and shoulders, and during meditation,
I asked my body what it was trying to communicate.
The answer? I had overcommitted myself and was
feeling overwhelmed. I had allowed someone to talk me
into doing something that wasn't in my best interest, and
my body was telling me no.
Signs to look for that indicate you may be out of alignment
with your truth are anxiety, anger, guilt, despair,
dissatisfaction, or physical discomfort or illness. If you
are not feeling joy in your life circumstances, whether
it's with a job, relationship, or your lifestyle, then it may
be time to go within and listen. Are you following your
heart and being true to yourself and what you desire? Or
are you living a scripted life, doing what you think you
should be doing?
To hear your own voice, it is helpful to know who
you are as an infinite spiritual being, as well as who you
are as a special human being with unique gifts and passions.
It is also good to know what you want from deep
within your heart, aside from family and societal expectations.
Learning to maintain your personal power and
not allow others' judgments to sway you from your truth
is an important step in the process.
By consciously taking the time to slow down and connect
deeply within yourself, to listen to your own voice,
you will be able to plot an authentic course to a more
fulfilling and purposeful life and will experience great joy
in the process.
Know Who You Are
The first key to being authentic and creating a life you
love is to awaken and remember who you are as a magnificent
spiritual being connected to all of life, as well
as who you are as a unique physical being with special
talents, gifts, and passions. Here is an example. Imagine
for a moment you are standing near the ocean on a
beach. Feel the wind gently caressing your skin and the
soft, warm sand under your feet. Hear the ocean waves
pounding on the shore. Now, picture your life being
like one of those waves: as they travel a long distance
before crashing on land and being drawn back into the
ocean, you travel the distance of life, culminating with
the crash-death-and recede back to where you came
Now, continue to imagine standing on the shore, and
observe the waves as they roll in and break. You'll notice
each wave is unique. None are the same; they all have
different sizes and shapes, just as our individual lives
are unique and have a special purpose. But, despite our
uniqueness, we are always connected to our Source, like
the waves are to the ocean, and are thus part of something
much larger than ourselves. Through this connection,
we have access to abundant resources and infinite
possibilities-to the same vital energy that created us.
We are therefore co-creators of our lives and have the
power, choice, and freedom to participate in the creation
process. It is up to us.
When we awaken and remember who we are as in-
finite spiritual beings made from divine love and light,
we step into our power as co-creators with God and are
able to tap into the energy source of creation to attract
what we desire into our lives. This energy is often called
the un-manifest, the void, or the source of infinite possibilities.
In The Power of Intention, Dr. Wayne Dyer calls
it intention. He describes it as a high-frequency energy
vibration that is all around us. When we step into our
power and are connected to our Source, we attempt to
match our energy vibration with the vibration of intention.
From this place, it is possible to manifest instantaneously.
The following story is an example.
While in the flow with my writing one night, the
wind was blowing outside as clouds passed in front of a
full moon, leaving a residue of yellow, orange, and purple.
I thought, Wouldn't it be cool to see a rainbow around
the moon? About ten minutes later, I went outside and
witnessed a miracle-a complete rainbow circling the
moon. Awestruck and filled with gratitude, I began to
cry. This experience showed me how quickly we can
manifest with our thoughts, especially when we are connected
to Source and are in the energy vibrations of
love and joy. I also took this as a sign that the project I
was working on was in alignment with my highest good.
Spirit was confirming I was on track.
When we remember who we are as magnificent, powerful,
spiritual beings always connected to Source, and as
unique human beings, the world opens up to us, and we
realize there are infinite possibilities for creating a purposeful
life filled with our deepest dreams and desires.
The challenge is to stay in this place of remembrance
and to live in our essence on a daily basis. One way to
do this is to create an affirmation or mantra you say to
yourself daily during prayer or meditation or while taking
a shower. An example is, "I am pure divine radiance
overflowing with love, light, and joy." As you say this
to yourself, create a visual picture of radiant light pouring
from you, reaching far out into the galaxy. Feel your
power and own it. This is the truth of who you are!
Express Your Passions
Coming into the fullness of our being, of our potential,
requires that we know who we are as magnificent spiritual
beings while we express our uniqueness through our
passions-what it is we love, what makes our heart sing,
and what causes us to feel we are touching God. It is different
for everyone. Our passions, when combined with
our gifts and talents, often lead to our unique purpose
or calling. Our deepest dreams and desires also give us
clues as to what will fulfill us, feed our spirits, and make
a positive difference in the world.
Ideally, our passions will be integrated with our life's
work. But expressing our passions is not necessarily what
we do for a job to make money. It is how we are in the
world. For example, maybe you creatively express yourself
through writing, drawing, singing, or playing the drums.
Maybe you enjoy assisting others in their healing process
and naturally gravitate to situations in which you have
the opportunity to be of assistance, despite whether you
make an income or not. These avenues of expression
cause us to feel awake and alive. They reflect who we are
as unique individuals.
As we allow our passions to be expressed, we become
like instruments, vibrating beautiful music. Spirit is able
to work through us, guiding our steps, showing us the
tone, tempo, and keys to our music. The details of how
to navigate the way to our dreams reveal themselves. We
can then step effortlessly into them, sailing smoothly with
calm seas, sunny skies, and fair winds. The process takes
us where we want to be.
Figuring out who we are regarding our passions and
gifts is another process. Often, we do things we don't enjoy
as a way of ruling out what it is not. But eventually,
these experiences give us clues as to what it is. For example,
while working in advertising sales, I really enjoyed
connecting with my clients, working independently, and
developing ads-the creative part-but I didn't like the
pressure of deadlines and cold calling. I also felt something
was missing, as I wanted to make more of a direct
difference in people's lives. This experience helped me
realize my desire to be a therapist and work independently
while creatively expressing myself. Thus, starting
my own business was the perfect outlet for my passions
Susie, a thirty-five-year-old owner of an organic healthfood
store, was a schoolteacher for twelve years before
opening her own business. She enjoyed teaching but always
felt restless, which caused her to search for something
else. "As a teacher, I felt a real sense of frustration,
like I was caged in and suffocating. My creativity wanted
to bubble out," she shared.
A previous experience working at a winery in Chile
showed her how much she loved things that are natural,
things from the earth. She also has a passion for helping
others become healthier. When combining her passions
with her gifts of being organized and determined, opening
her store was a natural fit.
"This is it. This is where I'm supposed to be," exclaimed
Susie. Her restlessness is gone; she is in alignment with
her passions and is making a contribution on a daily basis.
Not only is she contributing to individuals and the community,
she also sees herself as "a pioneer in the twenty-
first century." She said, "I'm parting the way for a healthier
earth and for our children to be healthy."
After opening her store and living more passionately,
Susie smiled and said, "My life has just started. I'm so
much happier and feel like I'm a different person. I have
my health back, my mind back, and my sanity back. I
feel a deep sense of peace and happiness."
In retrospect, she didn't even realize she wasn't satisfied.
"We get good at faking it, convincing ourselves
we're okay," she explained.
When asked what the process was for finding what
she loves, she stated, "You have to love yourself first and
know who you are and where you're coming from. This
involves shedding judgments and abusive behaviors, as
well as connecting with Source. When we love and forgive
ourselves, doors start to open. Spirit says, 'Here's
what you're ready to do.' "
Doors began opening early on for Marguerite, a yoga
instructor. She is one of those rare people who discovered
her passion at a young age, when she began taking yoga
classes at thirteen. Teaching now for over sixteen years,
she feels like her work is a win-win situation, since she
gets paid to do what she loves. "It's a joy. I feel inspired to
get up in the morning," shared Marguerite.
An important aspect of her work is that it reinforces
her values of engendering peace and health. She is able
to make a contribution by assisting others to experience
more peace and health, and at the same time, she experiences
it for herself. In the past, when working for
someone else in a job, she would come home tired, feeling
as though she were "chained to a cement block going
to the bottom of a pool."
Since being in alignment with her passion, Marguerite
is more satisfied-"I'm smiling instead of whining,
enjoying instead of complaining. Life is much more ful-
filling, and I can't wait to get up in the morning."
When we follow our hearts and express our passions
in every area of our lives, we give others permission to do
the same. Our joy and contentment spill over, creating
a ripple effect-like a rock tossed in a lake whose waves
reach the other shore, our energy and vibrancy are far-