Striving to become …


“Seek not greater wealth, but simpler pleasure; not higher fortune, but deeper felicity.”
― Mahatma Gandhi


We are living in a time that would have us believe we have to strive for more, accumulate things, reach for enlightenment, find our life purpose and make a difference in the world.

I have to admit there was a time I when was caught up in all of this and that I failed. I failed because I was striving for something that can’t be caught.

I spent years on the treadmill in an attempt to prove I was good enough. But good enough for whom? I am not sure, for I don’t really think anyone noticed. Yes, I did get the praise and the pat on the back for a job well done but, if I were to go back to all those whom I was trying to impress I wonder if they would even recall those situations.

What I discover along the way is that life is ever changing. It’s a roller coaster ride that changes so quickly it’s impossible to give it meaning. For as soon as we assign meaning to it ‘poof’ it changes again. Life is a perpetual series of endings and beginnings. 

We also change. The ‘you’ who is reading this is now is not the same as the ‘you’ who went to sleep last night. And, you are most definitely not the same person you were in your teens. Think about it, the only things connecting them are experiences. This is our purpose, to live life fully and to enjoy it. 

Maybe we don’t have one life purpose, but several over our life time.

Could it be that enjoying our life exactly as it is at this moment is our life purpose? Instead of wanting and wishing for something bigger and better we realize that at this moment we really do have everything we need. Or marvel at the vastness and miracle of life – that fact of our being.

Instead of striving for enlightenment, which is something we already have, perhaps we should set our sights on being more human. See each other through the eyes of Namaste, which in Sanskrit means ‘I bow to the Divine in you’. Going beyond the story of who we thing someone is, to seeing the Divine in them. To share love, compassion and understanding without trying to change them.

Rather than pursuing wealth and praise, we gave of our talents and gifts willingly without expectations. When we take pride and joy in what you are giving the rewards, even monetary ones, come easily and in abundance. 

I spent many years trying to find my life’s purpose only to discover it was exactly what I was doing at any given moment. If I was being true to myself, listening to my inner wisdom and allowing my higher self to guide me, I was following my life’s purpose.

That could mean doing the dishes, walking along the beach, teaching adults or just sitting and looking out the window. 

We don’t have to go looking for it. It is right here right now! It is what you are experiencing now. It’s what you bring to this experience that counts.

Are you striving for false expectations and imaginary stories or are you in a place of acceptance with a sense of wonderment?

Change the channel.

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.”
– Deepak Chopra

The other day I took my car in for an oil change and came away with an unexpected gift. habit before I leave my car for service, I shut off the audio and slide my seat back. I move the seat back as a curtsey to the mechanic’s knees. I assume they are taller than me. As for turning off the audio, I don’t like it when the service folks change my programming or radio station.

Do you also have something that bugs you when it gets changed? I have to admit that there was a time when I had a long list.

Getting back to the oil change. When my car was ready I got into it, adjusted the seat and headed off to the next destination. As I was driving along something caught my attention…the music was different but enjoyable.

I checked and sure enough it was on a different station. I left it there and began to pay more attention to the music and before I knew it I was welcoming the new tunes I was hearing.

Looking back at that incident I realized it was a good metaphor for life. Often we cruise along doing the same old, same old out of habit. This routine can become so comfortable and easy that we don’t want it to change.

Then when something unexpected happens we immediately attempt to get back to that comfortable old space. If we can get back to the status quo quickly all is well, if we can’t then thoughts of fear, anger and unease grab hold of us.

We might even get into the thought circle of questions: “Why me? Why do things like this always happen? Why do I have to change?” Or simply, “I don’t like this and don’t want this!”

I have been there! Now that I can look back on it I see how much time energy I wasted on these thoughts that created nothing but unhappiness and stress. My favourite game used to be the thought circles!

Much like discovering the new radio station left by the mechanic, life often presents us with different ways of looking at or doing things. We have a choice to welcome them in or set a road block of misery. The great thing is, we always have a choice.

Change and choices are constant. We are offered so many channels and programs, it seems like a waste if we don’t grab on to some of them.

With a different program comes new vistas, new experiences, and opportunities.

You can stay where you are or you can change the station and discover something new. A surprise is awaiting you!

Share a time when you embraced the unexpected to find something new, wonderful or enjoyable.