Life Purpose & Catalysts
Not long ago, our youngest who is 24, asked me about my take on the overall goal and Purpose of Life.
I was delighted to explore this topic with him. And he demonstrated one of my favorite qualities in a relationship; an open-minded curiosity.
My mind wanted to give him a concise answer, which I did somewhat. Yet, in this blog I want to combine the topic of life purpose with the concept of catalytic events; experiences in our life that has the potential of catapulting us towards more awareness.
To me, Purpose must have its origin in Love. Love is the necessary root system of Purpose. The crucial nourishing ingredient. Ultimately, Love is what we ARE.
Yet, it’s been impacted and restricted by fear. Fear can look like anger, intolerance, envy, self-hatred, condemnation, lack of trust, lack of self-worth and more.
Through bringing awareness, compassion, and healing to our fears, we are addressing the obstacles to Love. And thus, we’re addressing what gets in the way of Being and Extending the natural Essence of what we are.
So, basically, anything that can help me more fully embody and extend Love, no matter what I choose to do with my life, while simultaneously welcoming and working with my fears, feels deeply meaningful.
Other ways I could express purpose include, but are not limited to:
Being Fully Present, without being high-jacked by the past or future
To Heal and Love with Equality
Realizing what’s Real and what’s maya/illusion
Be who we are Created to Be
Remembering to Laugh, Play, and share our Joy, and not take our selves so seriously. Seriously! I’m speaking to myself here as well.
We act as Catalysts for each other
As some of my friends know, my latest buzz phrase is exactly this...that we act as catalysts for each other. Whether these catalysts inspire, challenge, or seriously trigger us…all can be seen as a “speeding up agent” of positive change if we choose to welcome it, or at least not actively refuse the invitation. In spite of the messiness of this world, I trust that Life is for us, always.
Catalytic Events are major turning points or wake-up calls in our life. Often, they are painful and challenging. Like a loss, a divorce, an addiction, a betrayal, falling in love with the “wrong” person, an illness, a forced career change, and basically any kind of perceived failure. They can also be temporary wins or successes that may feel threatening to our old way of life, or to someone close to us.
Catalytic events can feel like running into a stop sign at full speed. It makes us pause in the midst of all our business, it makes us fall to our knees, and in that falling down…there is so much potential for growth. What looks and feels like total failure can actually be the impetus for a spiritual awakening of some sort. “A Falling Upward” as Richard Rohr puts it.
When seen from the perspective of our Soul, these events are never the final story.
They are simply universal two-by-fours. Bottom line is; catalytic events can push us to grow more fully into our purpose, however we choose to define or redefine what that means to us.
Here’s a personal example. When I was 26, the young man I was finally ready to commit to, told me it was not going to work out. At this point, we had been off and on for quite a while, but prior to him sharing his decision I had felt so ready, so open, and less guarded. And his “no” emotionally knocked me out for a while. I remember the tangible emptiness I felt in the whole upper chest region. For a week, all I managed to eat was grapes.
In hindsight, the timing was impeccable. Not from the point of view of my ego, but from my soul’s perspective. I needed more time to find my own path, do my own healing work so I would not lose myself in the relationship, but rather be an equal partner, like two separate pillars holding up the same roof.
Life after heartbreaks goes on…
After hiding from the world for a few months, it was time to join the living. I moved to Bergen and started selling personal growth workshops…perfect, right?! I am convinced that the Universe has a great sense of humor. And I felt in need of some personal growth of course.
Healing from Pain
I kept rereading Khalil Gibran’s chapter on Pain, which felt reassuring and calming.
~ Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun,
so must you know pain~
Never-the-less, I also prayed that I would learn and grow with as little pain as possible.
I embarked on a soul-searching journey with the help of many voices. A journey towards more purpose and meaning, you could say. It was simply what I had to do to move forward.
This personal catalytic event led to profound changes for me, such as:
~ A deeper contemplation of love beyond romantic love, with the help of voices like Rollo May (Love & Will), Erich Fromm (The Art of Love), and Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled.
~ A deep dive into spirituality. After being raised in a loving, yet secular home and culture I felt open to explore, even though it also felt lonely at times.
~ Experimenting with yoga and meditation. Not that I stuck with it. But I would later revisit both, although prolonged seated meditation never seemed to work for me.
~ Seeing the body as a temple, and thus working on making some needed changes regarding what I consumed. At this time, I see it more as an Earth suit or vehicle.
~ Taking a closer look at my self-centeredness, and deciding to work as a volunteer for the Red Cross. This put me in contact with political refugees from Chile and further expanded my perspective on life.
~ Experiencing Consciousness Based Healing
Around this time, I finally healed from a long-time (going on ten years) hormonal imbalance that had impacted my reproductive system. The healing was directly linked to a shift in awareness and became my experiential introduction into consciousness-based healing and BodyTalk. If interested, you can check out this 15-minute video clip: Part 1 of my Consciousness and Health presentation.
What have you learned from your own catalytic events?
The more clarity you can have around this, the faster you can let go of grievances, including self-judgment, and move out of victim consciousness. Contemplating this can help you benefit from your hard-earned experience, rather than staying stuck in painful stories about what should or should not have been.
To wrap this up, I’ll end with something that came to me a few days ago.
~ We have nothing to fear. When we completely get this, love will flow through us uninhibited ~
From my heart to yours,
PS. The young man who “broke” my heart is now my husband.