Monday, May 4, 2009

Fulfilling Your Divine Purpose

Years ago when I first heard the words – you have a divine purpose – it was not inspiring or exciting or something I couldn’t wait to start doing. On the contrary – it felt like a burden, a BIG responsibility. Does that mean I have to be nice all the time? Does that mean I have to be perfect? Does that mean – worst of all – it going to be work and that is the end of having lots of fun? These are the thoughts that ran through my mind. And as you can imagine – it did not inspire me to jump right in and start living my divine purpose – if anything – I thought – well maybe someday – when I get older or wiser or have more time.

Or this burning question………..what if my purpose is something I don’t want to do – what if it is too hard or too much work?

Basically these thoughts kept me away from the idea of discovering or even thinking about what my divine purpose might be. If I didn’t think about it then I wouldn’t have to DO it and it didn’t really sound like much fun so that was o.k. with me!

I definitely had a few misunderstandings and since then I have learned a few things about divine purpose. And so now – every day – I wake up recommitting myself to my divine purpose and it brings me joy and I look forward with anticipation to how the day will provide opportunities for me to express it.

So how did I make that switch? How did I move from dread to anticipation? I learned a few things about Divine Purpose.

First of all - divine purpose is not about ‘doing’ anything. What a relief! That eliminates all the questions about: what if I don’t do it right, what if it’s not fun, what if I goof it up, what if it doesn’t leave me time to do the things I really want to do …… divine purpose is not about ‘doing’ anything.

secondly: a divine purpose is not a goal. Goals are finite, they have an ending. You may have goals that are an outlet for your divine purpose, but they are NOT your divine purpose. They can be completed whereas your divine purpose is never finished.

I can’t quite remember this quote but it goes something like this: How do you know your purpose on earth is finished? If you are still here – it is not.

There is a reason why you are here right now – and it is not about what you are supposed to DO, it is about your BEINGNESS. It is about WHO you are rather than what you do. Your divine purpose is about living with integrity and alignment with Spirit – with the divine. It is a way of living. It is a way of BEING.

This is what Edwene Gaines says about divine purpose:
Achieving your higher purpose does not require a job title or a license to do certain things. You only need to be who you are: the embodiment of love in all forms. By being who you are, you live your divine purpose in every moment through every situation you encounter. You become a living purpose, and every experience offers the opportunity for you to become more authentically you.

So this is the good news is this – our purpose is simple, it is easy to remember. Our purpose is “to be the presence of God.” easy to remember. “to be the presence of God, of Spirit, of the divine”.

There are times when this can be pretty easy – when we are with those who agree with us, when life goes the way we want it to, when there are no unpleasant surprises – but what about the rest of the time?

You go outside to get into your car to go to work and discover someone has broken into your car overnight. There is a multitude of ways we can respond and there are some things that we need TO DO. AND we can still stay on purpose and ask ourselves: “How can I be an expression of God right here and now. What God-like qualities can I bring to this situation?

Your sibling calls and tells you your parent has been taken to the hospital. As you go through all the things you need to do, remember to connect with your divine purpose and ask yourself – How can I be an expression of the divine, right here and right now?

Can you see that your purpose is not about doing anything, but about WHO you are? And the WHO you are guides the WHAT you DO.

Many years ago a study was done in the US to determine the worst job in the country – the one that nobody would want to do, and based on pay, conditions, and other factors, and they came up with this: the person who travels along the roads of Texas and replaces the cat’s-eyes in the center line. Someone went out to interview him and found him in the 100 + heat, by himself with his pickup truck full of cat’s-eyes, slowly making his way down the road, looking for the missing cat’s-eyes and pounding new ones in the empty spots. They told him – hey, did you know you have the worst job in the country. He looked astonished and said he loves his job; it’s the best job in the world, because every day he knows he is saving lives. He is living the divine qualities of: life and service to others.

What aspect of the divine is trying to express through you? Here are three SIMPLE ways that may help you be more aware of your divine purpose.

FIRST: Pay attention to the things you notice. Your purpose already lies within you and chances are you are already expressing it and living it – just didn’t think about it in those terms. What is it that you notice around you – in a day’s worth of activities –what are the ones that catch your attention? Listen to yourself for the clues. When someone asks you how was your day or what did you do today – pay attention to what comes up for you, what it is that you choose to talk about. it would be impossible to re-iterate all the day’s activities or conversations, but you will be selecting the ones you feel have importance or are worthy.

Did you notice how many people held open the doors for you as you went about your day? Did you catch someone’s glance and detect the hopelessness in their eyes? Did an article in the paper about an animal rescue program catch your attention? Do you love to hear about how people are designing zero impact homes – take nothing from the environment? These are the clues that draw you closer to what your heart and soul longs to do.

When I heard about the Tibetan refugees in India 20 years ago, it grabbed me, and I had a desire that never left me and took me 20 years to fulfill – that I would go to India and help somehow. Being a channel of God’s compassion is one of my ways of BEING. It propels me and energized me – it is never work. I don’t try to be compassionate; now that would be work! Rather I allow God’s infinite love and compassion to flow through me. And when I look back to the choices I made in my work place – I could see that they were all avenues where I could be an expression of compassion and hope.

SECOND: Listen to what people say to you about you. So often we brush off compliments and don’t hear them. Be aware of your strengths, your gifts - the things that come easily to us. Sometimes we do not acknowledge them or give ourselves credit for them because they come easily to us. Someone gives you a compliment - and you slough it off -- thinking “I don’t really deserve any credit for that because it was not hard to do, it took no effort” LISTEN when someone says this - this is one of your unique gifts, it comes easily and you express it easily - this is could be your divine purpose expressing. NOTICE THIS.

THIRD: pay attention to what does not feel right. You will know when you are off track if you are paying attention. Sometimes it takes going off track to notice and be more sure of what is right and true for you.

I was only in Unity for a few years when I attended a religious service at a local church. At some point in the service everyone was speaking a statement of beliefs in unison. Out of respect and really without thinking I was joining along. And I suddenly realized what I was saying and stopped – I realized that I did not believe what I was repeating and I couldn’t continue to say the words, so I respectfully stopped speaking. Even though the situation was a little uncomfortable, I realized two things. The first was that I acted on my beliefs – two, I actually HAD beliefs! That I could articulate or at least know what wasn’t true for me. This was a huge ah-ha. By embracing and starting to live my beliefs, I had a way of measuring or holding up to the mirror, what I held as true and what I did not.

We are all manifestations of the divine – and guess what – that means we can each express it in a unique way. A way of being that no one else on the planet can. The possibilities of how you can express your divine purpose are endless – infinite.

St Francis: “preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”