On Saturday night, after attending the Project Volunteer charity ball, I was enjoying a cup of tea whilst pondering the night's events, how inspirational the evening was and the energy of the people that attended. click on the link for more information on project volunteer
Maybe it was particularly inspiring to me as I have been in a unique position seeing the vision of David Villa-Clarke, the founder and President of the charity, grow from an acorn of an idea to a fully fledged tree providing support to the orphanages in Botswana.
We all know of charities that are out there helping people but when we connect to a cause that is 'making a difference’ and we can see that difference, well that is magical.
I was also appreciating how refreshing a good cup of tea can be, but maybe it shouldn’t have been, as when made with purpose it can be an art form! (more about that later).
Looking for your life Purpose, don’t waste your time!
One of the common questions I get asked is ‘what is my life purpose?’ Which makes me wonder where did the notion come from that there is a purpose lost out there looking for an owner.
I was part of the 'where's my purpose club’ until I got bored and frustrated with not making progress and quit. Also who says you have a single purpose? Why is it limited to just one? Also can't it change from time to time, with age or experience.
The question “what is my life purpose?” isn’t particularly helpful in my opinion because it overlooks our most potent super-power (creativity) in search of the things we think we have lost or haven’t yet found. A bit like Clark Kent asking where his glasses are so he can see properly, forgetting he is Superman and actually has X-ray vision.
Purpose isn’t found it's created.
Back to that refreshing cuppa. Ten years ago when I first started running the Inner Guru retreat I met my first tea master. Sanboa is skilled and trained in the art Oolong tea. He hosts the most amazing tea parties connecting people from all walks of life through the art of preparing, making, pouring and drinking Oolong tea. Here is a short documentary about Sanboa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJtFwsZEYD4
The second tea master was a lively wizard called Sunbird or Sunny to his friends. Sunny had a chai van and would make his uniquely brewed elixirs and serve them at festivals. I remember once working with Sunny when he had lost his inspiration and asking him “where do you feel most purposeful in your life?” He took a moment and said "when making and serving the perfect cup of chai.”
Now it’s important to say that Sunny was involved in all kind of projects that were inspiring and for the greater good of humanity and yet he felt most purposeful when he was revitalising someone’s soul with the experience of his perfect cup of chai.
Unfortunately Sunny is no longer with us, he died in a road accident a few years ago on his way to do what he loved best, making the perfect cup of chai.
"The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created - created first in mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found, but made, and the activity of the making them changes both the maker and the destination.” author unknown
Whether it’s creating a charitable cause to give back, connecting people over a cup of Oolong, or nourishing the Soul, the purpose wasn’t lost and found, it was that these guys wanted to Make A Difference in their own unique way and decided to do it in a way that was purposeful for them. I also like to call them M.A.D people.
Actually the clues to our purpose are scattered in various areas of our lives and it’s the ability to take these different elements and make a tapestry that brings them to life in one place.
Where do you feel that you do or can make the greatest difference (for your self and others) The feeling you get when you helped someone. The sense of accomplishment when you have made something from scratch. The satisfaction you get from solving problems. The joy you get from helping people or yourself learn a new skill. Or the fulfillment you get knowing that just by showing up and being authentically you, that you have made a positive difference in some way.
These things may already exist in your life with your friends, family, colleagues, etc. You may be already touching key elements of your purpose and you just don’t know it.
So what’s your collage that you can’t see the complete picture? Awareness- if you are not aware it’s doesn’t really exist in your reality Intention- knowing and deciding what you want to do with it. Bring context Focused action - acting on that intent - in a purposeful way. Sensitivity- is your intended action having the desired effect?
You may now see that the mystery behind purpose isn’t where to find it but how do you choose to create it. Weaving together the various things that are meaningful and touch your soul in this life.
I have found that a most powerful question for initiating this process is; How do want to make a difference?, What can I offer life? Or how can I best be of service to...