Imagine my disappointment: I took my study-hating butt back to university for a degree in Nutrition Science, studied biochemical reactions in pathophysiology for 3 years, quit sugar and gluten and dairy and booze, learnt meditation, got yoga certified, found and faced some big character villains, recommitted to creativity, bought a vitamix... and then realized I've been missing a MAJOR piece in this proverbial puzzle of "Health" (it's a jigsaw titled Do-Re-Mi, a picture of Julie Andrews and Captain von Trapp frolicking and singing in the Austrian living hills with their seven perfect Kinder).
Intention. Purpose. A mission.
I've heard clever calm folks like Deepak Chopra and a few enlightened priests and self-help authors preach it, but their abstract clichés fell on deaf, lazy ears. I never actually really gave the concept any more thought than: " YAH, I have purpose! I'm going to work tomorrow so that I can afford to buy rent and organic watercress and fancy cheese and those cool blue jeans I pinned so that I'll be happy and likeable and have many friends and a family, and an ego so stroked it has carpet burn. Rise, rinse and repeat, till death does me part. Pursue my posterior, you deep-pocketed messiah-wannabes"
Well. Joke's on me. Here is the bottom line of all this "intention" BS:
You have something unique about you, a natural ability that others view as a 'strength' and when you're nailing it, it feels like a fire in your belly and like you could probably fly if you tried. Doing this thing makes you feel completely authentic and energised and badass, and puts a literal skip in your step.
Not doing it makes you feel stuck, frustrated, bored, out-of-flow, irritable, inferior, misunderstood, depressed, anxious and like you're surviving, not thriving.
Many people are scared of accepting the responsibility of their uniqueness. Because A Big Thing can shake the ground when it crumbles and we're very scared of shaky soil beneath our feet. You can't blame us - we live in a huge, insecure, threatening world and we're taught from a very young age that "everything is dangerous" and "if at first you don't succeed, find an excuse and give up,". Along with "broken things are ugly", "flawless is perfect and commendable, here's a trophy!" and "don't expose your vulnerability because then people will see your cracks and fears and know where to ninja-chop you".
Computer says NO! You MUST absolutely be vulnerable in order to really be happy and healthy. "The courage to be imperfect" as Brené Brown puts it in the best Ted talk in the history of Ever. We must train ourselves to be honest about what we want and brave enough to take massive, scary risks to summit the peaks of our daydreams. We must be ready to fall on our face, repeatedly, and allow people to help us dust off and get back on track.
Cruising in the safe lane sets you up for sadness and sickness and some potentially serious regrets along the way.
The "wannabe messiahs" and purpose-driven peeps with the pudding to prove it, say this is how to find more aligned flow in your life and work:
1. Learn to fit-out
Forget what your parents and teachers and the 'popular' kids have instilled in you all your life. Stop trying so hard to fit in, blend on, camouflage against, lay low, with the status quo. The real bizniz happens when you find and feed what it is that makes you fit OUT. What is odd about you? What do people always thank or compliment you for? If you disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, what would be missing? It's okay if the answer seems 'small-scale', roll with it, it probably isn't at all. Take or leave or laugh at this this pro tip, but it's fool-proof effective: Get quiet and comfortable and ask yourself who you are. For 10 minutes. Every day. For the rest of your life.
2. Practice courage
Do small things that scare you, daily. Re-strengthen your gutsy muscle and become braver. The neat thing about this is it's just a matter of literally re-membering: you once belonged to the Fearless Kids club: a group of mini-humans who are curious and race around crashing themselves into all of life without an ounce of worry or whim. Remember how many times you failed and fell over? Was it such a big deal after all?
3. Ask not "what do I need?" but "what needs ME" ?
Service is a bit of a buzz word in the mind-soul-health realm. And again it has to do with your mission, ambition, the thing that drives you on the deepest of deeps. You're not a fony idiot, you need a real reason to get up and give give a sh*t about something every day. The bigger that thing is, the more people it touches, the more passion-driven it is, the more likely you are to be effortlessly motivated to keep going and growing at it. It's okay if you want to keep things 'safe' and make your life one long un-deliberate string of indulged fleeting ego urges, but I think you're smarter than that. Way smarter. And I think you secretly agree. It's a disservice to the world not to share your gifts.
Don't make us wait. The suspense will kill us. And you.
Let's get working on training our courage and vulnerability, with the same reverence that we use for sit-ups and trail runs and vegetable eating.
So long, fare well, auf Wiedersehen goodniiiiiight.