Why do you do what you do? Seriously. Have you fully examined your daily life recently? Are you giving your greatest gifts to the world? Or are you living in fear of failure, disappointment, rejection and the like?
I ask these questions of myself constantly. Since my return to the U.S., I feel they are all the more relevant. There is a collective energy in the U.S. that fuels a feeling of needing to be something or someone. While I cannot completely separate this energy from my own conditioned habits and tendencies, after spending a lot of time abroad the past 3 years, its clear to me that this environment is a significant challenge to one who decides to reject societal norms and attempt to live a life based on his or her own experience.
This begs the next question- what is a true experience? Some might say a purely sensual experience, receiving input from the outside and not modifying it. Science holds this view to a degree. Something can be measured, tested, and repeatable results found. Therefore in the view of science, an apple on the table is the same for you and me and exists independently of both of us. It weighs so much, has a certain volume and a number of characteristics that can be measured. From another standpoint however, that apple does not even exist without an observer. When the so called ‘world’ or outside meets your senses, an often overlooked part of the process is that you also meet these sensations with your conceptions. Conceptions being defined as the complex structure of thought and memory that has accumulated over your lifetime. This meeting between sensation and conception occurs at the level of perception. A simple example highlighting this is two people having a highly different reaction to an approaching dog. One perceives a cuddly creature they want to pet, the other perceives a dangerous animal to be weary of. More subtle examples include varied perceptions of the aforementioned apple, or simply a response to a word or phrase in our language. This has all been a long-winded way to say that not only the environment we’re in, but also our deep-seeded conditioning and habits play a huge role as to how we perceive the world.
Many might think that to truly give their gifts, they need to be in an environment where they are helping the less-fortunate or sacrificing comforts of life to server a higher purpose. This is a great excuse to remain in the realm of not-changing anything. It doesn’t matter if you’re a corporate executive, a stay-at-home mom, a laborer, or a a million other labels we have for ourselves. How are you meeting the world? Are you deeply examining these hidden tendencies and habits?
What if you don’t know what your greatest gift is? It’s the same for each of us – Being Fully Alive. If you are fully alive in each moment, you are LOVE, and emanate love. This does push the question up a level to “How does one actualize being fully alive” – and this is the very topic I want to unravel over time for myself and share this journey with my readers.
After all, is there anything more important than this?