To answer this key question, “How to Figure Out What to Do with Your Life.” I begin with an outline of how you might answer this question for yourself.
Part I—The Quest–I – On.
I will divide this question into three.
- How to Figure Out.
- What to do.
- With Your Life.
Part II—The Journey of Purpose.
I will then outline a map of the journey that takes you into figuring out what to do with your life.
- The Journey
- The Territory
- The Language
- The Stages
- The Paths
- The Steps
Part III—Let the Journey Begin.
Then I will share with you the benefits and challenges that you will meet on this adventure of answering “How to Figure Out What to Do With Your Life.
- The Benefits
- The Challenges
- Let the Journey Begin.
In answering the question, “How do I KNOW what to DO with MY Life?” I take the view that this question (Quest–I–On) is about living your WHOLE Life.
This extensive introduction to this quest is not a guide to choosing career opportunities or a guide regarding what job you should look for. This is not what you will get here.
It will however provide you with information that you will need to negotiate the ever faster shifting sands of time.
Living the Complete life you are intended to live means that you integrate:-
- Mind (with small ‘m’)
Most teachings on “What to do with your life.” focus on the power of the personal mind.
This is not what in wisdom teachings is referred to as Big Mind. This is the mind that is the voice in your head that I will refer to as The Madman in the Cave of Your Skull (World Party—The Waterboys)
Allowing this Madman in the Cave of the Skull which is your voice in the head is the primary focus of most education systems. It is the empathise on intellectual knowledge and achievement. It has its value, but it is unbalanced.
The focus is on doing and more doing. The result is that you live your life dancing in the dodo. Living your WHOLE life involves the rhythm of
- Doing and
- Being (Primary Focus)
This is the dance of Do-Be-Do-Be-Do. It is the dance of flow. It is the dance of living in alignment with the two worlds. These two worlds are.
- Time and the Timeless.
- Personal and Universal.
- Finite and Infinite.
- Form and the Formless.
These two worlds are not separate. However, most education will only teach you about the world of the personal, time, form and the finite.
This is the world of limitation. It is also the world of most unnecessary suffering. It is not the world of true fulfilment.
It’s your road, and yours alone.
others may walk it with you,
but no one can walk it for you.
When you learn the alignment of doing and being, you will know what it is you should do with your one wild and precious life.
This guide to learning how to live your life on purpose will give you a very different overview of what is on offer beyond career and job opportunities. It invites you to live the life you love. (Van Morrison)
At the end of this guide into the quest to discover the answer to “What will I do with my life?
You will at least recognise what you have available to you. This will be the education I wish they had given me when around the ages of 18 to 20 years I hadn’t a clue what I would do with the life I was living.
Speaking that Sweet Moon Language
So who am I to think I might ever be worthy enough to invite you into Companioning Your Greatness and living your one wild and precious life?
When I run Companioning Your Greatness Workshops, I like to introduce myself in the following way. This is because it is entertaining and it tells you much about who I am in a 3 Stages of Life outline.
I share with the participants of this workshop the following poem by one of my favourite mystic poets.
With That Moon Language.
Everyone you see, you say to them,
Of course you do not do this out loud;
someone would call the cops.
Still though, think about this,
this great pull in us
Why not become the one
who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon
what every other eye in this world.
is dying to
Stage I—Refusal to speak.
From the phrase “Admit something” until the word “Cops” was my 1st Stage of Life. It lasted until the beginning of my 30s.
I was born and brought up in Northern Ireland. I left during the period called The Troubles and went to live in England for 30 years.
One day I KNEW what I wanted to do with my life.
The Winding Stair.
On the Winding Stair, my mother gave me a book.
Inside was a treasure I did not KNOW I had lost.
Now oft times when I think of my mother, I wonder.
How come she knew the treasure was mine.
The book that my mother gave me was a book on Yoga. This was in 1967. The Beatles were producing The White Album and attending the Ashram in Rishikesh under the guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
I would later go to the same Ashram and spent six months learning to play the sitar (badly)
I KNEW I wanted to become a Yoga Teacher. I never did. Instead, I became an Accountant.
I wasn’t in love with who I was and so everyone I met I would say “Love me.” I wouldn’t say it out loud because someone might call the cops.
This was the period between 30 years and 50 years. I worked as an accountant. Most of the time I worked with organizations that were City Farms, Charities, Retreat Centres, etc.
I might never have ventured into Stage III if my elder sister Mary had not died. When she died, she was 54 years old. She was only four years older than me.
It was a life-changing event for me. I asked myself, “If I had only another four years to live would I be doing what I am doing now.” The answer was an emphatic “No.”
So we left England and returned to Ireland.
Learning to Companion Greatness
This is where I would begin learning how to speak that sweet moon language that every other eye in the world is longing to hear.
It would involve me moving from being an accountant to becoming a storyteller, a writer, organic gardener, a workshop leader and more.
This would be where I explore the adventure of sharing my voice in a way that would light up the darkness. The full moon is a symbol of wholeness.
If you have never lived in somewhere like rural Ireland where on cloudy dark nights you will not know what real darkness is. It is where you cannot see the road in front of you.
So in older times we had Ceili’s (dances at cottages) on full moon nights because it was the full moon that lighted the way home and back and kept people safe.
How I speak with a full moon in each eye is through.
- Mystical poetry.
- Mythological Storytelling.
- Heart song.
This is the language I use to invite others to light their own way home to the KNOWING that is the Greatness within.
While we begin with the question, “How do I figure out what to do with my life?” I want to change this question, to reflect how I intend to invite you to find a meaningful answer to this question.
I will change the question to
How do I learn to flow with the purpose of my life?
Changing the question in this way moves the focus to
- From Figuring it out to Learning.
- From Doing to Flow (Being)
- From Absence of Purpose, to Purpose.
Let’s look at how that changes the focus of the question.
When you change the phrase, “Figure it Out” to the “Phrase “Learn to” there is an immediate sense of expansion. You have time. You are open to learning and to possibility and potentiality.
“Figuring it out” really pressures you to come up with a solution. It imposes a deadline. This tends to be driven from the dictates of the personal mind or ego.
The personal mind is always old.
It may the tool to use to try to ‘figure out’ what you are going to ‘do’ with your life, but “doing” is not the essence of learning to live a fulfilled life. It is the only tool which they educate us to use.
The personal mind with which you try to figure out what to do with your life is a collection of other people’s thoughts. These are thoughts that they themselves have collected from others.
These are the thoughts of others that the mystic poet Mary Oliver calls “bad advice.” (The Journey)
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life that you could save.
The phrase “Learn to” expands the opportunity. This invites “inner learning” and INNER KNOWING. It also invites the magical experience of learning HOW TO be thought through.
Change the phrase “do with my life” to the phrase “Flow with Life” and you align with the One Life.
Figuring out what to do with your life for many people gets them in the dodo. They become addicted to doing. The more they do, the more they find they have to do.
Flow allows you to become more of a dance. You align with the rhythm of do-be-do-be-do. Life becomes more magical.
You flow from the Source of Life, and there is less struggle and limitation. You have less need to know what you will do with your one wild and precious life. It focuses you on being available to being done through by BEING itself.
People are confused and unsure, they seek answers to guide them to joy, tranquillity, self-knowledge, salvation―but they also demand that it be easy to learn, that it require little or no effort, that results be quickly obtained. ― Erich Fromm, The Art of Being.
Purpose gives meaning to your doing.
Let the beauty that you are be the work that you do—Rumi.
The way I phrase the original question does not include the essential need to find meaning and purpose not only in the work that you do but in the life you live.
Purpose and meaning align you with the Essence.
It is not so much about what you do but what you allow Creation to give through you. This is the union of Being, and Doing, but the focus is from the primary energy of BEING. You become a living gift-giver.
You will be guided to KNOW what you are to do from the BEING you are. The ultimate purpose of your life is to serve Love’s Purpose as it designed you to express through you.
Whatever does not bring you alive is too small for you—David Whyte.
This program of learning How to flow with your Life Purpose I call Companioning Your Greatness.
This term “Companioning Your Greatness is take from a question in the poem by W. B. Yeats entitled These are the Clouds.
Have you made greatest your companion even though it be for children that you sigh. – W. B. Yeats
These are the Clouds
These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye;
The weak lay hand on what the strong has done,
Till that be tumbled that was lifted high
And discord follow upon unison,
And all things at one common level lie.
And therefore, friend, if your great race were run
And these things came, so much the more thereby
Have you made greatness your companion,
Although it be for children that you sigh:
These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye.
W. B. Yeats
So I invite you on a journey in learning to Companion Your Greatness that will allow you to figure out what to do with your life–your one wild and precious life.
To begin with, join me on the Facebook group Loving Your Life Purpose where I will add unit by unit the program Companioning YOUR Greatness—Loving Your Life Purpose.
This will share with you the quest to answer, “How to figure out what to do with your life?”
In the meantime.
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