And Live A Life Of Purpose In The Present
A long time ago my wisdom teacher taught me to look at nature as a book of wisdom. To understand how to direct your life wisely, he would say, you need to work with nature’s patterns.
One of the patterns we can easily observe in nature is rhythmic alternation. Everything in nature alternates. We have the in and out of the breath, the rising and falling of the ocean waves. This pattern even plays out in the so-called ups and downs of daily life.
Life does not really go up and down. It just seems that way as life alternates between giving us what we want and then either taking it away or seemingly keeping it away.
In actuality life is always going up. Going through the dark times is really just setting us free from the limits and problems and pitfalls of the past for a brighter future. Whatever life seems to take away or keep away is a form of protection that permits something even greater to come our way.
But there is a natural, rhythmic pulse-beat, if you will, that does play out in our lives. As we resist it we are beaten down by it. As we learn how to play with it we are uplifted by its beat.
One way of playing with this alternating rhythm of all natural processes is in our approach to goal achievement for life-direction. The alternating pattern to follow is one that shifts from focusing on the part to focusing on the whole.
In this context, the part equals anything you are presently working on to advance toward your goals. I am writing this. You are reading it. You may call a client next, do some pushups or take a look at your bank account. Whatever you are doing to advance toward your goals represents a part.
The whole, in this context, is the goal itself with all of your present options for moving toward it. This is the large view; stepping back to view the forest instead of pinning your vision on the individual tree within the forest.
To apply this natural wisdom, focus on doing what you are doing, but then, just to make sure that you choose the best option right now for reaching your true goals, stop doing; step back and consider what it is you really want to accomplish and what your present options are for accomplishing it most directly.
Recognize when it’s time to STOP Doing
Rhythmically alternate your focus from the part to the whole; from the task at hand to the purpose behind it and a consideration of the possible things you can do to move toward the fulfillment of your true sense of purpose right now. This is how to wisely determine what to do next and it is how to live a life that fulfills you with a sense of purpose in the present.
Some people seem to think that they need to be busy, busy, busy in their tasks to make the most progress, without pausing enough to consider where they really want to go and what is the best route to it facing them in the present.
By letting go of what you are doing to calmly, quietly consider what it is you really want and what you have the ability to do right now to move most directly toward it, you access your own power of inner wisdom to guide you there.
One of the signs that it is time to stop doing for a moment of clarifying contemplation is a feeling of uneasiness unsettling you within. This anxious internal tremor arises to inform you that you’re in need of inner clarity to guide you on your right course right now.
What is it that you really and truly want in life, based on your deepest sense of self-understanding and life-wisdom. Take time to ask yourself that question and await the answer that rises into your conscious mind from deep within. Don’t fear letting go of what you thought you wanted, or believe you should want, to discover the truth about yourself. You may discover that what you really want right now is nothing the world can give you because what you really want right now is your own internal state of clarity.
Once you know what you really want, consider what you can do for it. When an idea comes, even if you are not absolutely certain that it is the best idea, give it a try. To resist your best ideas is to invite stagnation. Embrace the risk of inevitable uncertainty as a source of excitement.
As you alternate from the part to the whole, from taking action for what you want to considering in stillness your real goal and the best way to it, you enjoy the support of following nature’s pattern; you live in the inner peace of true clarity; and you experience the joy of being your true self.