Meditation, Connection, Inspiration, Purpose
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, by Didier Descouens.
Finding Your Life's True Purpose
Finding your life's true purpose starts with inspiration. Inspiration comes from connection to a higher power, and connection comes from meditation. So meditation is one good way to find and begin living your true purpose!
Insights and ideas come at the strangest times. They generally occur when you're relaxed, or when occupied with tasks you can do on autopilot. As your mind wanders, ideas come for whatever happens to be on your mind. Key times include:
- In the shower
- Waking up
- Going to sleep (especially if you turn in before you're actually falling asleep)
Meditation & Connection
Of these, perhaps the most powerful source of inspiration is meditation. The reason, undoubtedly, is that meditation leads to connection—a deep, inner connection to the higher power that guides our lives (when we're listening!).
From that connection come insights and ideas of the highest order—the ones that serve our deepest and highest purpose. So Meditation --> Connection, and Connection --> Inspiration.
Meditation --> Inner Connection --> Inspiration
Making a Record
The next stage is to act, to manifest the ideas and insights. Coming "out of the blue", they're a gift—but a gift that is generally meant to be shared! And the first step in manifesting the gift is to record the inspirations.
As Deborah Pena writes in her great Meditation Journal article, "the longer we go without capturing and/or acting upon those (insights, ideas, etc.), the more they may slip away from our memory".
True words! I started journaling back in High School, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. So doing something like that is second nature to me. I keep a notepad in my pocket. And one in the car. And another by my bed. And one more on the small table next to my meditation station. Wherever I am, I generally have paper and a writing implement nearby.
Of course, I don't want to interrupt a great meditation/connection by writing things down every time something comes to me, so I generally use the "short notes" a technique I developed when I was practicing Dream Recall.
Short Notes & Dream Recall:
Waking from a dream, I would lie in the position I was in when the dream was occuring. (It helps to stimulate recall--a clear indication that "mind" takes place in the whole body, not just the brain.) I would then run through the dream. I'd start with the part I remember, near the end. Running it through, I would generally recall an earlier bit. I'd run it through starting from that bit, and continue the process until there were no more earlier bits.
That process moved the dream from subconscious awareness to short term memory. Then I would encapsulate the dream with a short word or phrase, and repeat it a couple of times to cement that anchor in my memory.
After waking from the next dream, I would repeat the process. Then repeat the anchor for the previous dream(s), followed by the anchor for the latest one.
By the time I was ready to get up, I might have a set of 5 or 6 short anchor phrases memorized as a sequence. When I did I get up, the very first thing would be to write down that sequence.
Then I could begin writing. Taking each anchor phrase in turn, I made a quick bullet list of things that occurred in that dream--again, single words or small short phrases. When I was done, I had an outline of the dreams I had experienced and what had happened in them.
I would then flesh out the outline. Taking each dream and each bullet point in turn, I'd write a detailed description of that point. When the writing spurred additional recollections, it became another a quick note in the outline, so I could get back to what I was writing as quickly as possible.
If memory stalled, I would lie down again and find the position that stimulated recall. It worked a charm, even hours after the dream had originally occurred. I got so good at it that some days I was spending as many as 4 hours writing up my dreams.
(I can't say that any great growth occurred as a result, so I discontinued the practice. But I got awfully good at creating short phrases, recalling details, and fleshing out an outline!)
I generally use the "words and short phrases as anchors" technique in the car, in the shower, and other times when it is difficult to write. The only exception is when the insight has produced the exact wording I need for something I'm writing. In that case, I write down the wording verbatim, just as soon as it is practical. But most of the time, I create a series of anchors.
When ideas strike in meditation then, the first step is encapsulate them in a short word or phrase to make an anchor. I'll repeat it in my head a couple of times, and continue meditating.
The next time an idea comes, I'll do it again, and go over the sequence of anchors, putting the new one at the end. Then I'll go back to meditating.
When it becomes difficult to recall the first anchor or two, it's time to write down the list! So I do that, and go back to meditating.
Manifesting the Connection
Of course, not every meditation leads to ideas and insights. But most of them do. The trick is to not be too attached to having them. The goal, after all, is the connection. So that comes first. But it seems to me that the connection produces a pipeline of insights and ideas that are intended to be manifested in the world! So when I do that, it feels to me that I am fulfilling my higher purpose. In a way, I am literally living my dream.
And when I am manifesting, I reconnect to the meditation that produced the inspiration, reconnect to the source of it all, and re-experience the great inner sensations of joy and positivity that accompany the connection! So acting on those inspirations feels as though I am accepting the guidance of a higher, inner power, and living my life's purpose. (Yay!)
So the first step in the manifestation stage is to capture the details encapsulated by the anchor. Each one is like a puddle. When you step in it, it may be shallow, or it could be several feet deep! So when I start writing up the details, it might take me one minute, or 10, or an hour. Some days, an inspiration will turn out to be tip of an iceberg, and once again I find myself writing for hours!
An inspiration might wind up in this blog, or a book I have in progress, or one of my other blogs, or my business plan, or production plan, or a design I'm working on. In short, the write ups from the notes go to wherever they make sense, to be published &/or acted on.
Of course, not everything gets written up in a timely fashion. As a result, my desk is littered with notes! That cluttered desk is a sign of an active, creative mind. I'm sure of it. Yes. It most certainly is. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)