Some of my client ask me, as their mentor, about meaning of life, purpose and to help them figure out the direction of their path. So today I have a conversation with you, tete-a-tete.
I wonder that you read or heard of Joseph Campbell, of his book Hero With A Thousand Faces, or his Mythological series on TV (with Bill Moyer,) and who is still the top authority on mythology. And by mythology is meant the stories the peoples of this planet live and how they embody their purpose. You are not alone in seeking the wisdom, the truth of your purpose, in completing yourself.
There is a tendency to be more spiritual about the path, the purpose and direction. If I may suggest, no matter how spiritual, we only experience our lives because we are in our body. Hence the experience that we have is much about what our body experiences: physiologically (yes, that’s the number one! and the basis of all since we are in our body), mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
So attending to one’s body first would change the experience they have in the rest of the areas.
Having said this, purpose of our life, direction and a sense of satisfaction is important to us, humans. We tend to seek a sense of satisfaction much more than we seek good health, or purity of thought, experience in the present moment or just the smell of roses. Moreover, we tend to seek the information about our life, and live in the future, imagining that the moment of satisfaction is coming and forget the body through which we experience the sense of life itself.
While we live in our imaginary future, like in the movies, when we are with that imagination, we are not having the experience we are actually having, because the experience we are actually having is the experience in our body not in our mind. That is, we are in the imagination and not attending to the sensations in our body, that tell us what is the experience we are having now. Warm, cold, hungry, or relaxed. Instead we tend to put our attention to the qualification of events, that may or may not lead toward what we project into the future, expectations of that future ( or the judgement of the past events,) and therefore, expectations of people who are with us in that future (or the past).
Therefore, we have a lot of disappointment because of the clash of those expectations with what others project for themselves, or for us, which are different from those we project for ourselves. Be it personal relationship or work. We tend to live in a delusion that what we imagine is true. But is it TRUE?
What we imagine is only that, our imagination, a story we are telling ourselves about what we imagine, project, think. Nothing else. What if we could imagine a different story, the one we say we want?
A while ago you asked about my story. I will tell you. My parents, loving and caring, both architects, projected for me to be an architect. They both loved their profession and thought it would be a great profession for me: being an architect gives a certain higher status, which provides well for a good living, stylish, intelligent, surrounded with worthy people, etc.
Yet, I did not share that view. But while silently dreaming of some vague fantastical future for myself, I followed their advice and completed my architectural education, with a PhD in modern architecture, and a life laid out for myself: great steady income, perfect success from the start…. But somehow, I did not think that this way my life is an exciting adventure, and I wanted that – adventure.
I thought, (and years later when I became a student of Joseph Campbell, I learned,) that
If you know what’s going to happen in your life, you are not living your own life, it is somebody else’s path and you got to find out your own.
If I follow my father’s life path, I know what’s going to happen. I will be successful beyond expectation, because I was trained well to be just that – successful.
But what about my own adventure, discovery, learning experiences, love, passion and creations??? I wasn’t so in love with architecture, like my father, but rather with people, who make it, people whose pain and suffering is beyond description, and whose love and passion is unique to each one of them, and who confuse themselves with being like others, and doing what others do for their own success.
Granted my story is not your story, but you get the picture? I am only showing you that the fascinating mythology is a story you are creating about yourself in your own mind, and it is your own writing of your own story that matters the most.
So I quit architecture, and went to banking, to Wall Street, as my new direction. I thought I picked it all by myself. I didn’t realize I chose it because I still followed the values imprinted in me by my family: You are only successful if you have money. Quickly, I climbed up the ladder of success to the top, and being one of the executives in an international bank, I had all the money I wished for, flying first class, shopping on Fifth Avenue, and dining in fine restaurants, yet I had no satisfaction. Somewhere deep inside me there was unfulfilled desire for doing something of a different value. You see, when we have something of value to us, and we think we can have the other thing (what we say what we want) without giving up anything for it, be it time or energy, or money, it is a delusion.
We think giving up is for nothing. We forget that we could gain a world if we gave up a value for another value. So I didn’t know, but I felt it, asI kept switching the industries, not the values, switching the doing not the being.
At that time in my life, I had no love, no meaning, no satisfaction. And that life wasn’t ME! I have to have love, meaning, depth, inspiration and satisfaction in my life. This is me.
So I continued my search. Came 9/11 and I quit Wall Street. I went into a journey of fighting disease and attending to my body (in the 3 subsequent months I lost about 6 sizes of weight).
I found that life is an adventure only when I am myself, living a life when I can be myself.
And I craved that adventure. I went on a journey to find what I like and what it is that I want to do with myself that makes me feel inspired and grateful, with meaning and satisfaction.
So I opened a private consulting business of New York Awareness Center to share with the world how important it is to be yourself, and to actually know what this means to you, to be yourself every day. How interesting your life becomes and how little space there is in this life to lament about the past or project into the future, because all there is is your amazing moment of the present. No wonder, they call the present a gift.:)
So now, when I wake up in the morning and say, AHHH, what a wonderful moment, I feel great, I appreciate my body that is healthier than 20 years ago, more agile and flexible, I function better and with peace in my mind that I made that choice.
I used to think, I want to make a lot of money so I can give it away to charities. Then I started to think, I want a lot of money, so I can buy things, so I can live well. It’s ok, but when it reached the point when I started to want more and more, and still had no end point. I stopped. I had to make another choice, because unless your life resonates with your personal integrity and your inner truth, there is no finding peace.
Because otherwise, there is always going to be that longing for something else, craving for more, other, different, and ultimately we end up living in a dream, not in our life. There is no secret.
The purpose of life is in the living.
It’s the LIVING that most of us miss, and think that there is more, later, further down the road.
All biggest philosophers discovered that the essence life is in the moment. Buddha talked about it, in the enlightenment he had. That’s why he didn’t want to leave humanity without this knowledge. But we don’t want to believe it. We want to bypass it straight into the future where we are the way we want to be. So why not be that now?
I don’t know if I serve the Earth in a large way. If I ever be famous, even though I have written books, trained students and travelled throughout the world to give classes. But I hope that I serve humanity, influencing one person at a time, and it is my humble way of contributing to the Earth’s future. There is no secret, nothing is hidden, nothing is lost. Yes, it may be forgotten, but as soon as we remember to do it, to be who you are, you will have all you want that same very instant. I know it, I have been there, and since then I made it my specialty to disclose it to interested people.
Today, I suddenly caught myself waiting for you comment, (as you might have caught yourself wanting to write that comment to me::)) and I thought perhaps that I care that you have what you want, because I can hear it in your thoughts that you are longing for something. And when you think you have concerns (let’s not call them problems, as there are no problems) that tells me you have check points to attend to.
What will change your experience is knowing what you are giving up to be who you tell yourself to be, and give up that.
Stripped down of masks to your core is the only way you can be without limitations, that it being yourself only.
That alone will create a different story for you. And some people around you may like it and some people may not. But if you get it, you will be happy, and content with your path.
Well, I’ve gotten a bit philosophical on you today. Must be the weather or hard week before the holidays, as I am preparing to embark on a family trip. I am wishing you the best holiday ever, just because you are already an enlightened being, and today you got an infusion of wisdom and love that may propel you to your solutions.
Be the buddha you already are.
Tags: buddha, experience, follow your blisss, joseph campbell, living, satisfaction