At this time of the year, the word ‘overwhelmed’ is heard in every home and crowded store across the land. Holidays that are supposed to bring joy often bring pressure as well. I’ve always thought this busyness to be unfortunate since year-end is an excellent time to reflect and check in with your life’s purpose. How can we do that if we’re fighting with people over the cool toaster on Black Friday?
In the book titled “I Will Not Die an Unlived Life”, Dawna Markova talks about keeping the purpose and passion in life. It is a wonderful, heartfelt, vulnerable book she wrote while fighting cancer. There are some real gems in here that can help us reflect at the tail-end of another year so that we can spin into the new year with intention. So, what are you going to be next year? How can you be a better version of you?
The first quote is the one she actually got from another favourite of mine, David Whyte reports being told by a friend of his:
“The antidote to exhaustion may not be rest. It may be wholeheartedness. You are so exhausted because all the things you are doing are just busyness. There’s a central core of wholeheartedness totally missing from what you’re doing.”
I’ve always thought that vacations were a bit of a misnomer, especially if that means sitting on a Lazy-boy and watching football. To reclaim our purpose and passion, we need foster curiosity about the world and about your place in it. How? It’s simple, and yet not so much so: silence. Silence is what Ms Markova suggest as the main pathway to knowing yourself –
“What are the courageous conversations you need to have with yourself, and how do you need to have them? May we allow ourselves stillness os we can open our minds to ourselves, and spaciousness so we can allow a moment of rest when all thoughts fly above us like kites in a strong wind.”
Okay, so we talk about wholeheartedness. Say we’ve always wanted to be an artist, but it has remained out of reach for whatever reason. What now?
“We all have islands of fear inside of us, but we also all have continents of wisdom and truth. How do we find our way to them when we are not educated in the interior dimension? These inner landscapes hold the patterns of our passion and purpose. Without knowing how to journey there, our lives remained unlived.”
How do we journey to our interior dimension? It comes down to questioning yourself!
“What question you would have to that would evoke the deepest wonder in your mind at this time in your life? What (people, places, events, situations) deplete your energy? What generates Energy for you? What is too soon for, too late for, just the right time for?”
More prompts could include: What’s unfinished for me to give? What’s unfinished for me to heal? What’s unfinished for me to learn? What’s unfinished for me to experience? Consider journaling these, as it can be useful to go back and review your answers at a later, quiet moment, or even every morning.
So to review, here are the three tips you can leverage now to recovering your passion and purpose:
- Rest may not be what you need. You need wholeheartedness in what you’ve chosen to do with your life
- To find that wholeheartedness, leverage silence and stillness, which can provide your mind and soul rest, and will help you ferret out your purpose
- To mine for your purpose during that silence, leverage powerful questions about what depletes your energy, what generates it, and what remains unfinished in your life
By exploring questions through true quiet reflection can your purpose be revealed. It is my feeling that God is there, in those silent moments, wooing us to find our greatest possible path. If you’re on this journey, make sure to not go it alone. I’ve only scratched the surface of this work and can think of no better companion than this work. I strongly recommend as a gift this Christmas or whenever for any reason at all.
Until next time – Be happy and wise!