A New Labor for Labor Day

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

– Pablo Picasso

Happy-Labor-Day

I am so excited to finally be writing this particular post. I realize that it is also fitting that I am writing this on Labor Day since the topic is a new line of work/play that I am officially taking on.

As many of you know, I have written in the past about the search for one’s purpose or calling, about the frustration that can result from NOT walking in that purpose, and about what I think my purpose might be. Even if you don’t believe in each of us having an assigned purpose, gift, or talent, I suspect that you know the feeling of doing something that does not resonate with you versus doing something that makes you feel like you are “in the zone,” like you could do it forever. I believe that is the sign that points to a purpose.

I also believe that every gift we might have, as it is used, is an instrument of bringing about individuals’ and humanity’s closer approximation to freedom and wholeness. In other words, a purpose isn’t just some egoic desire that will make us feel good, successful, or loved for a fleeting span of time. A purpose is what is in us that the WORLD needs. All the while, yes, enacting our gifts  will  make us happy too because we will be closer to our Self and to God

I have been practicing my purpose at a new level and it has been beautiful, exhilarating, and miraculous. I have gained a growing understanding over the last 15 years or so through study, mentorship, and practice practice practice of some of my purposes: prayer for others, healing, and spiritual insight. I know that I am going to use these avenues to provide spiritual support to others so as to help them realize their own place and purpose in this world, their spiritual freedom, and their inner gifts. Even this blog is a part of that. I don’t know what it will look like every step of the way, but when do we ever, really?

So far in my life, that group of “others” for whom I have really activated my gifts has been restricted to a very small group of trusted individuals. But recently I have sensed the next step forming which is to provide these services to others beyond that group. And so, I am starting to offer my spiritual support services to everyone. I am making myself available to whatever that might mean and however that might lay out. So far, word of mouth has brought in a few interested people and we have begun working together. I’m not planning on doing any “marketing” at this point…just waiting to see what develops as I maintain this availability and speak openly about this purpose.

It has been a lot of fun and my techniques are becoming more and more defined and refined with each “session” that I have with these new clients. I feel that Va-Va-Voom! you feel when you are doing something you love and are called to do. What a joyful time! Soon I will be adding a page on Life As a Wave’s main site, called “Spiritual Support.” Keep an eye out for it and please, feel free to give me feedback since it is will be a first stab at presenting my work!

This blog has meant so much to me over the last 3 years, as I’m sure your blogs mean something uniquely special to you as well. I have learned so much from reading your blogs on everything from meditation and yoga to environmentalism and human rights, from philosophy and poetry to law and entrepreneurship. You all have helped strengthen my spiritual practices and have delivered encouraging energy that spurs me on. I appreciate each and every one of you who is participating in Life As a Wave and look forward to sharing the next fun steps with you as well.

For those in the United States, have a wonderful holiday with your friends and families. May we each walk more willingly and confidently in that lovely loving purpose that calls us.

My best to your best,

~~~S Wave~~~

 

 

Connection of a Different Sort

This month, per my agreement with myself, I have been reading, listening to, ruminating on, and talking about the idea of Connection. Although one of my intentions has been to connect more with others, and I have experienced the joy of some very special reunions and reconciliations, there is another kind of connection that continues to surprise me in its surfacing: the connection to self.

During some recent travel I began reading a book called Quiet Horizons: Releasing Ideology and Embracing Self-Knowledge.

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Much of what is in this book resonates with my own thoughts about my life as they have developed in the last few months. I am only nearly halfway through the book, but let me summarize at the highly-likely risk of oversimplifying. The author, my uncle Greg Jemsek, is extolling the importance of knowing yourself outside of what organizations and society may tell you to be and finding your own purpose rather than following the dreams and purposes of others. Uncle Greg :), a narrative therapist among other things, describes the psychological reasons why some people are prone to falling victim to “conversion” groups and offers the alternative of self-knowledge as a better path toward empowered fulfillment and community.

In my current situation, I can somedays feel the weighty fog of loneliness in a big city during an era where online relationships and identities (if we can call them that) have supplanted physical connection. But during this month of Here I Am, I am discovering (with the help of wise people who pointed it out) that life is laying out a path for me to connect with myself in a new way instead of struggling to find connection and belonging in others. In fact, I’m beginning to embrace the journey of self-knowledge despite the occasional loneliness as I see it more and more as the groundwork necessary for the authentic relationships I seek. It is time to connect with the bare essentials of ME, to cultivate a more genuine acceptance, even appreciation, of what I bring to this world. And as I do that, I eagerly wait for the unveiling of new connections with others that I’m sure will happen simultaneously.

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Are you connecting with yourself? Do you know that every day you are keeping company with a very special person? There is no one like you and there is no one who can bring to this world the particular thing that you bring. There is no one who can tell you what to be and within you is the power to be many many things. So before you make a contract with yourself that your identity is an affiliation — liberal, Catholic, husband, reject, accountant, American — remember that your true identity cannot be bound by any social construct nor its conditions.

How do you “remember” this? Sit down quietly with yourself. Say “Hello” to you. Imagine all the labels of identity falling off of you like clothing. Ask yourself a question that has been nagging you and listen to your essence, your intuition…you DO have wise intuition.  Soak in the truth that there is no other YOU in existence.

Or, wait for me to finish the book and I’ll tell you what an expert suggests you do. 🙂

For the time being, be YOU today! The world needs you.

~~~S Wave~~~

The Purpose of Connectedness

Here is what I think the ultimate purpose of connectedness is:

539832_10200183891134171_1644080990_nThis picture has become my inspiration and my reminder of why I meditate, pray, write, reach out, and keep on keepin’ on. Here is what it speaks to me:

1. We are connected in order to help each other rise higher in consciousness and liberation.

2. In higher consciousness we are like children in our openness, curiosity, clarity, and trust.

3. Ascending higher, we begin to leave the baggage of the world behind us. Fears, anxieties, distractions, confusions begin to fall away.

4. In connectedness and higher consciousness we become more free to create beautiful things together which adorns the whole world around us.

Grateful, as always, for you,

~~~S Wave~~~

Higher Selves, For Greater Good

“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.”
― Robert M. Pirsig

Where did April go??

I’ve been so so busy and have missed writing for Life As a Wave. It’s a new month which means I should be picking my next Here I Am intention, too. Eek. Ive hardly had time to think about it! (Spoiler alert: it may have something to do with a redesign of this blog, so stay tuned!) Life has been good, and incredibly busy…did I mention that already?? I just posted on our Facebook Page: “I have never worked so hard so happy.” And it’s true!

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Yes, jumping man in jeans, that is good advice. The trick though is that you don’t have to wait for a job to make you jump. Jump in gratitude for EVERYTHING ELSE you have to be happy about (there is ALWAYS something) and pretty soon you’ll discover that your job makes you jump too! If it still doesn’t then okay, maybe you need to open up yourself up to the possibility of a new job.

As for me, in the last month I’ve gone from “What is my purpose?!” to “Bring on my purpose!” I’m not going to wait around for a divine calling while squandering my here and now. Every moment we have is part of our purpose. Ask for a purpose and it will introduce itself to you. And don’t you dare restrict yourself to just one purpose. In the last two months I’ve gotten a promotion in my “regular” job as a speech-language pathologist, received a request to manage a major fundraising project for a start-up, been invited to submit a painting to a non-profit arts magazine, and completed an energy-healing class. I’m not tootin’ no horn here! I have simply realized that I am more than just one thing and that my purpose is a story not a title.

Most importantly, I have realized that I can choose to be happy and that I can only do that with the spiritual practices that elevate me above all the potential anxiety and pessimism that would try to drag me down.

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So onward and upward, Life As a Wave readers! Your purpose awaits your invitation! I’m going to keep inviting mine and you do the same. Let’s say it together…”Purpose, I invite you into my life TODAY!”

Now together let’s become our highest selves…

for the world’s greatest good.

Hearing and Heeding

As promised, I wanted to follow up the previous post with a brief description of the book, Manifesting Michelangelo, which I read about 8 months ago and reread last weekend. It is written by Joseph Pierce Farrell who is an energy healer. He is unique though because he works closely with Western medical providers to foster “integrative healthcare” that includes mind, body, and spirit. He founded Global Health Institute which is a “medical education and research foundation that is composed of a cross-disciplinary group of healthcare professionals.”

The book, though, isn’t about his current work so much as it is about how he got to where he is. I reread it because I recalled that in the last few chapters of the book, he gives advice about finding and following your calling.  Here is what he had to say about “callings” :

Our true nature, the sacred inheritance I have talked about throughout this book, is what we need to bring forth so that we can identify with it and I’ve lives that are aligned with who we are on the deepest level. By doing that, we not only make ourselves happier and more fulfilled but also spread that happiness to everyone around us… The second reason…is, of course, to repair the world, or what is called in the Jewish tradition tikkun olam.

Last weekend, I updated you on my current in feelings about my calling. In short, I feel some discontentment with what I am currently doing with my time and energy and I am keeping the faith that my true (or perhaps, next) calling will blossom in time. So I was curious. What did Farrell say about the steps he took to find, or to maintain, his connection with his “true nature?” (Granted, he had something of a Saul moment where an inexplicable light overtook his every faculty and he was swept into a trancelike state before reemerging with new understanding, enlightenment and healing ability. Does anybody else out there ever wish something like that would happen to them?? *hundreds of hands raise* heehee.)

But no matter what the vehicle, Farrell emphasizes that:

Many of the world’s spiritual traditions teach that each of us possesses a divine gift inside, a gift that we were born with. This gift takes many forms, and our task is to locate and identify our inner passions and dreams, because when we do that we will discover what we’re supposed to be doing in life.

In the final chapters of his book, Farrell offers 5 steps for finding your life’s purpose and changing the world by just being what your soul longs to be. As I list and describe them, I challenge you to think about which steps you have taken, which ones have you yet to take, and which ones maybe need a tune up.

Step 1 is Look. By this he means:

Be alert to whatever messages come to give you a clue from your soul to your true calling. The clue may arrive at any time and in the most unlikely place: sitting on a bus, walking or driving to work, watching television, taking a shower, or sitting on the john in the morning.

Step 2 is Decide. Farrell encourage us to listen to “deep within” to decide the steps to take toward our calling. Once you have decided to step toward your dream–possibly leaving a more comfortable path–people and events will come into your path to encourage you along.

So one you start paying attention to your subconscious or strong emotional responses to people and events, what do you do? First, see if these messages connect back to some with or desire for change that you discovered while working on Step One. After you look…you will probably identify one or more areas for possible change, either in yourself or in the larger world.

I love the next step. Step 3 is Connect, which as you know is a concept so near and dear to the hearts of our authors.  Farrell’s sense of connection here refers to connecting with a higher power, or what he calls Source. Farrell does this through meditation, qigong, and other practices. It is in these moments of connection that Farrell encounters the unconditional love and compassion that he then transmits to his patients through his thoughts, hands, and intentions. For me, this connection to God is where I find the clarity of thought, the insight, and the wisdom to understand and accept where I am while believing that the future is unwritten and full of promise.

The most important thing to keep in mind is this: that the journey to connect to Source is not an intellectual pursuit. You don’t connect through your intellect. … One way to begin opening the heart center is by sending out feelings of gratitude for all that you have received. … So you allow your heart to swell until it expands to the ineffable presence of the Divine, and in that moment you are connected to the Divine. …At that point, I am no longer doing anything. …I become a conduit and surrender to a higher power. … Once you acknowledge the force and begin to play with it, you can master it and use it for many things. One of those uses, of course, could be healing individuals of physical ailments. but you can use the same force for healing social ils or the pody politic, changing where you live or the kind of work you do.

Step 4 is Act. Someone reminded me recently that sometimes when we have come a long way in our growth, the universe allows a big challenge to be put in our path in order to get us up to the next level of growth. I can sense that my next “act” is beginning to peck its way out of its little egg. Farrell says that taking action is crucial not only for personal fulfillment but also, and more importantly, to repair the world we live in.

We have all been given gifts. What we decide to do with those gifts is our gift to God, but how we act on them is our gift to humanity. We all have a choice to stand by and watch or to be among the noble spirits who manifest change on this planet for their larger family.

Finally, Step 5 is Manifest. This step has to do with the “wakes we leave behind” that reach into the lives of others that we may never meet.

What we need to understand is that we all have that same potential to create wakes that can smooth the way for others and leave lasting benefits. Sometimes those others may consist of our families, our local communities, our colleagues at work, or maybe just one other person — a spouse or partner, a parent or child, a friend in need. But as we manifest our change, the wakes we leave behind spread out just as a boat’s wake does on the surface of the water. We start out by changing our lives and the lives of loved ones, and then they change someone’s life, and the effect ripples outward until many more people are affected by what we have manifested.

Revisiting these ideas even as I now write has reinvigorated me and reassured me that, just like each of you, I am right where I need to be. That’s why I love the blurb that I included at the top. It reminds me to be grateful to be me. I hope that this has given you some food for thought. And I hope you will join me in taking steps toward meeting and walking in our highest calling.

My California Pizza Kitchen Calling

Could working at a pizza chain be a life calling?? Why not. I have a friend who worked there for years. He was (from what I surmise) the director of development and training and he LOVED his job. He loved working with people, thinking outside the box to develop new ideas, and fostering customer relations with every encounter. When he talked about his job he was so enthusiastic; he was bubbling with energy. When I told him how rare it is to run into people who speak so passionately about their job, he asked me if my job brought me that kind of passion. “I think so,” was my luke-warm reply. I had just made a career change and although the change felt right, I couldn’t say whether or not it was going to be my “passion.” Time would tell.

My job is wonderful. I love working with children and families in a helping profession. I am unendingly thankful for a career that provides me with financial stability and with time to pursue other interests. My work environment is warm and happy and  my colleagues are friendly and supportive. I can absolutely see how the work we do would be fulfilling to a person.

But….

The passion isn’t there for me. Then today, while reading Manifesting Michelangelo,  I rested for a moment on the following passage:

The feelings that register within you–in your heart, throat, stomach–those unconscious clues will reveal to you your sacred purpose. … By listening to your inner signals and allowing your reactions to your environment, workplace, and family to register, and by paying attention to the message within, your sacred gift, the reason you were created for, will reveal itself to you. That sacred potential within you is your inheritance waiting to be claimed.

I looked back and contemplated the path that brought me to where I am today. Had I followed my “inner signals?” When I was younger, I always loved animals and nature. I enjoyed being alone or with one or two others. I loved reading great stories and writing my thoughts. I loved being contemplative. I can’t recall what I wanted to “be” during high school. Maybe it was “photographer” or “writer.” In college I started out as a creative writing major. But I felt compelled to find something more “realistic” which was really an excuse to escape the pressure of performance in such an abstract world. I needed the comfort of something more structured…something science-y. My mother, knowing I enjoyed working with children in my part-time work study assignment , and knowing I was fascinated with language, suggested the career of Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). It made sense: it was a science-based profession, it was well-received by people concerned with “stability,” and it forecast a clear path of 2 years of graduate studies then a job.

So here I am now–with a brief stint of PhD studies mixed in there–working as a SLP and enjoying the work that I do. Yet, there is this abiding lack of passion for what I do day-to-day. I don’t want to be working for the weekend and having to sing Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 to rally myself many mornings. Now, I fully believe in making the most of what you have, expressing gratitude for your blessings, and believing that the seeking soul is always right where they are supposed to be. I read recently, “Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. I’m not looking for an escape, but I am curious. Could there be more of a connection to my work? Could there be something out there that I would feel passionate about doing every day?

I think the answer to this is going to be a two-way street. The first lane, me…making the most of the time I have in this job by facing demons that arise, walking in love and appreciating the moments full of potential and opportunity that surround me. The second lane, God (as always, please consider my meaning to be God according to my experiences and beliefs while you may prefer Source, Universe, Divinity, Higher Power, etc.)…unfolding the roadmap toward a meeting place where my deferred “desires of the heart” come together with the gifts, knowledge, and skills I have now. What I know is that the loves from my childhood are still those which bring an effervescence to my soul today. They are still my California Pizza Kitchen.

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But this post isn’t just about me. It’s about US. I want us all to be living those “sacred potentials” that are our “inheritance,” our California Pizza Kitchens. I want us to be free individuals that are complete, fulfilled, and capable of passing all of it along to others.  Tomorrow (hopefully tomorrow) I will tell you more about the book and what the author says about finding and embodying your “sacred potential” and how to use it to help others. I’ve gotten so much out of this book and I hope you’ll visit our site again tomorrow to find out about it.

Always with much love,

~~~S Wave~~~