When I was a teenager my father, a man of very few words, once said to me, “There is only one person in the world that you need to care about what they think of you—make sure you can look at them in the mirror every morning.” At the time, I thought he was telling me to be honest, and think about the consequences of my choices before I made them.
Now many years later, I think he wasn’t just talking about being accountable for my day-to-day choices, but was telling me to go deeper, and ponder the ‘why’ of my choices. I think he was trying to help me see that the reason I was bouncing around like a little boat without a rudder on the ocean was I didn’t have a clear sense of purpose or direction—especially not one that spoke deep enough to my heart that it could help me overcome my fears, ineffective behaviors, and handicaps.
It has taken me a lot of years, but I have come to see that having a clear sense of purpose and a commitment to that purpose can serve as a rudder that can guide you through the rocky waters of every day life. A sense of purpose can also serve as a solid foundation for good, and solid choices to grow from. Our day-to-day focus can change as we move through life, but I have also found that within each of these ever-changing road markers there is usually a consistent thread. In my mind, this is purpose.
Purpose, from my perspective, is a burning desire or a calling to make a difference in a specific way for a specific reason. When I was younger I wanted to make a difference, but since I lacked a rudder of clear purpose I ran around trying to fix everything and everyone. My clear sense of purpose now is like a lens that I look through or frame my every choice.
Finding my purpose and holding tight to that thread has made me strong, and provided me with an unlimited supply of inspiration, creativity and courage. Whenever I question a choice or response, and I do it often, I force myself to go back to step zero-my purpose and look through that lens. From that vantage point I ask myself a series of questions: Why do you want to do or say that? Does this choice move you further away or closer to the change you want to facilitate? Is this choice driven by old fears and learned patterns or is this choice really in alignment with the difference you want to make in the world? Sometimes I have my answer quickly and sometimes it can take me several days to unravel the maze of confusion to find my answer. It is my father’s words and my commitment to my purpose that gives me the strength to keep going until I have my answer.
I have also found that a true sense of purpose often stems from our life experience—a wrong we want to make right. Our sense of purpose can come from an experience we had as children or something that we saw others endure that had a deep impact on our perception of life, sense of justice and/or our ability to thrive.
I found a thread of my purpose when I was 30.
I was standing on the corner of Fillmore and Jackson in San Francisco waiting to take the bus to the financial district to teach a movement class, when all of a sudden my life began flashing before my eyes. This was not a death experience, but rather an opportunity for me to see and experience how different my life and my relationship with my mother would have been if she had known what I had come to know through art and movement. It was at that moment that I made pledge to Universe and myself that I would do everything I could to help other moms and children have a better chance to grow and thrive. Since that moment my life has taken many twists and turns, but my father’s words and my commitment to my pledge to make a difference has given my boat a rudder.
The I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program is an outgrowth of that pledge. It has proven over the last 10 years to be a very effective tool for helping adults, parents, and children reduce stress, change perceptions, discover their authentic nature, make healthier choices and create more success in their life. Over the years it has been very rewarding to witness individuals move out of reactive patterns and create new more conscious responses. About three years ago I was given the opportunity to teach the ICWIB program to preschool teachers. The result has been beyond my wildest dream.
I was delightfully surprised by how quickly a 2 ½ and 3 year old could learn to identify when they were in their subconscious or reactive mind vs. their conscious problem-solving mind. I also pleased to hear how quickly they were able to switch from their reactive behavior autonomously using the ICWIB activities. Weekly I was hearing stories of children using the ICWIB activities to calm intense emotions and re-enter cooperative play effortlessly. I also heard stories of how the activities helped children express their needs, and move through difficult situations gracefully. These stories have touched my heart because what the teachers were seeing and I was hearing was the fruits of my pledge to the Universe.
Everyone has a purpose and everyone can make a difference, you just need to choose to look through that lens and move through your day in that way.
I invite you to explore the free ICWIB activities on our website: http://www.innereyepublishing.com/support/ as a way to help you reconnect with your authentic nature and purpose. If you are interested in exploring the program further join us on facebook or sign-up for our free newsletter so we can let you know about upcoming events, both locally and globally, that are available to the general public.
For more information about the ICWIB program: http://www.icreatewhatibelieve.com/