It’s Enough

There are times in which I feel I go in circles. I feel we all do.

I see the immense number of tomes out there on success, a best life right now, living in joy, having all we want and yet, I see the flip side on every street corner, in every grocery store line, and sometimes even within when doubt clouds the morning: If this great/perfect/successful life were so easy, wouldn’t we all have achieved a Life: On Task and On Purpose by now?

The first self-help book came out in 1859, The Guardian noted in December.  Self-help is a $15 billion dollar industry and is the best-selling genre.  So what is missing that trips us up inside, and yet causes us to reach for more books promising to help us discover what is missing, certain that someone else must know what it is? That’s the circle. And so I, personally, go quiet when trying to understand this Gordian knot.

Is it mere dissatisfaction with our lot; the self-help industry is largely an American creation after all. Could it be that our cultural dissatisfaction — which to my mind was beget by people dissatisfied with where they were originally and so sailed across oceans for an opportunity to build a better life — is just, well, our culture? That would cue the comment that Americans dream big, want lots, and thus would of course feel concerned if they thought another had more:  more happiness, more contentment, more stuff, more life.  And thus, s/he would be forever wondering what the other person has that puts a smile on the face; is it something I don’t have or feel?

Or is there something more than culture driving our binge on self-help?

I sometimes think that what is missing from living a life On Task and On Purpose is simply this: feeling enough.

And feeling our dreams and talents, no matter how humble they might feel, are enough.

Some might call it confidence that is missing, but we all know the confident person who barely masks feeling inadequate. Some might call it joy or connection, yet we all know joy doesn’t last long under the assault of disregard and connection can feel frayed when others disbelieve your heart-felt dream or longed-after talent is enough to put to use. I know this from experience; we all do.

Feeling enough:

Enough to feel even if just for a minute your dream work is valuable;

Enough to feel for even just a second that you have something specific that only you can do in your time here;

Enough to feel it’s okay to feel excited that this might be true.

 

I was honored to talk recently to high schoolers who attended a small public charter school designed to help them graduate. Most there, it seemed, hadn’t heard about a billion-dollar self-help industry and clearly most there weren’t sure they’d ever ‘be enough’ by others’ standards. But when asked, a few of them bravely shared aloud their dreams, the work they’d wanted to do since they were 9 or 10, in their life-time here.  From shy and sullen silence, joy was suddenly audible when the dreams were met with Yes! encouragement.

I can tell you that every one of their dreams was more than ‘enough’ to feel on task and on purpose, serving the Truth of their souls and life-hopes.  I hope they got the message:

 They are each enough to do the work, the dream, of their journey, on task and on purpose, just by showing up with passion, focus, belief that they can learn what they need to know, and with themselves and their Truth in hand.

 

You are, too.

By feeling enough, the circle of discontent and doubt can stop right there and instead lead out to a great path in the time one has here on earth. It’s the path you are here to undertake and the work you are here to do.

Blessings on your day today!

 

 

 

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As If alive…

So much is written about each of us living as if… as if… as if…

 And the ‘as if…’ is full of our dreams.

 

Live as if… you are enough.

 

Live as if … you are supported, being just who you are.

 

Live as if… you are worthy of joy, of love, of being seen and appreciated just as you are.

 

Live as if… you are entirely supported by an abundance within — one that is as vast it is as incomprehensible

and awesome as a night sky filled with equally incomprehsible distance, invisible substance, and star stuff.

 

For you are.

 

 

And then our Work-work voice kicks in: (Who does it sound like?)

 

“OK, I’m living this way…..  Yes. Now!…”

Enter heavy weight lifter from your inner vision, and the guttural sounds made lifting this enormous belief seem to begin.

“OK, I’m living this way…..  Yes. Now!…” 

 

When a child, was such imagination and vision ever so much work?

Did we scowl and groan at the weight of our ‘living as if’ we were the princess or the cowboy, the Ninja or the dancer, the sky-skipper, or the inspired Olympic athletes which in our imagination, heart, dream, and inner child-like souls, we actually were?

 

No, that ‘living as if’ was effortless. It was full of light and joy. It was easy, if not a preferred place to spend our time, away from the dreary, fearful, angry, harsh, lonely, or busy, noisy and chore-laden boxings of ‘home life.’

 

So why is it not now as easy as when we were child-like children?  Why do we need instructions and affirmations to remind how how light — light–filled and lightly — going It was to live as if our ‘visions’ and our ‘dreams’ were real?

 

I suggest it still is.

 

And, I suggest, that the heaviness, the Work-work weight-lifer, is learned, whether when we had to  ‘grow up’ or when we felt ourselves suddenly very alone in this world, learning to make our way forward.

 

So living ‘as if’, taking action ‘as if’ has become a verified tool. We use it as a tool to get our souls engaged in feeling, feeling our longing might actually be met with substance.

 

But stop. Breathe for a moment. Don’t hold ‘living as if’ as a tool, whether a chisel or a spade or a recipe book.

 

Instead, follow the feeling of Living — the lightness, the joy, the excitement of a child —  as if you already are the dancer, the Ninja, the light-filled being that as children we didn’t doubt were real, bursting forth from inside us. And listen to what that lightly, light-filled skipping, real being would do next – then do it. Do it as if … alive.

 

Sometimes, when doing that, we feel (perhaps again) the cold water of so-called reality (usually others’) in our face, damping our bright shiny fire of Living lightly.

 

Ignore it (this time).

 

You are here to shine, inside out.

Your dreams and yearnings are your Soul purpose and your sole purpose for taking up air today.

Close your eyes, dry the splash off, and again live,

as if,

you are here to really live on fire, inside out.

 

If it’s not destructive, nor hurting of anyone else, why not live while you’re spending time here?

 

I believe you can do this.

 

Here’s a reminder question:

 

The Queen or King of our fabulous Kingdom has commissioned me to do a special task, which only I can do.

It is to _______________________________________________.

I’ve got all the skills and resources to do so, so in this moment, I live as if it’s underway…

For, I’ve said Yes!

 

Now, I do these things right now to get started:

______________________________

______________________________

______________________________

 

Enjoy this day of living as if you are alive, for you are!! Yay!

 

Blessings on your journey,

 

Elizabeth Darby

Power

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sunblaze
©2013 lkshaw

It’s interesting that we talk of power — brand power, political power, spiritual power, God power, might vs right power, power to be ourselves, power to attain success — and yet when faced with needing to start over in life, or create one’s work, it seems we often feel powerless.

 

It seems having the …

— power to change

— power to believe

— power to start over

— power to express the best of ourselves …

 … is putting a lot of emphasis on the handle: Power.

Is this invisible potency what gives the uumph to finish the phrase and the day?

 

We seek power to change, rather than simply change, as in your life or my life now in this moment…

We seek power to believe, rather than simply believe (the active verb form) in good, self, God, purpose, kindness, or that there is Work we can create.

We seek power to start over, rather than starting over (as in I’m starting anew now. Power or Not, I’m doin’ it now, today!)

We seek power to express our best, rather than just ‘express my best’ in this moment.

You get the pattern.

 

Where in your life today did you seek the ‘power’ rather than ‘take the action’?

Yes, when not feeling power-ful, we can feel helpless or invisible, whether it’s economic power or power to move the world to a better place for all, or spiritually powered to meet the demands of another day of creating one’s work here.

It’s as if we are not feeling aware of the power already inside, we instead seek it first as a handle.

 

I’ll repeat:

It’s when not feeling power already inside, we seek it outside of ourselves

— as a cloak of ‘being enough’ — to take action.

 

Of course we do:  The word ‘power’ really didn’t come into use in our English language until the 12th Century and at the time was a noun all about being able to act with strength and might, especially in battle. It descended in apparently a rather vulgar way (cf Partridge’s Origins) through Latin from 842 onward as a noun for a sense of potency, and I’ll leave that image to your imagination.  In just a few centuries, power would be contained in political circles and in industry, with the manufactured electrical power suddenly invisibly fueling industry and the work of 19th C Empire, the engines of progress, and providing light to the common person.

Light from nowhere. Electricity flowing invisibly, suddenly everywhere… no wonder we are confused as to the source of our power and needing to feel the might of the term. Much of the 19th and 20th C spirituality is all about the unseen ‘power’ flowing through us and to us, our idea of God and might mixing away into an unseen flow of energy within us as magnetism, attraction, juice, that which we call upon to make our human efforts be successful.

I’m all for power and for feeling and doing what makes any one of us feel powerful enough to be seen. I’m all for expressing our light and using our talents and gifts, doing the Work we are here to do for this world.

When do you feel most power-filled to do this Work you are here to do?

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

 

Here’s a key, I think:  It’s a power-action circuit.  Take an action On Task and On Purpopse, feel power-filled. Feel powerful, take an action…

Do you feel more powerful when taking the action or do you feel you must wait for the power to kick-in first?

 

I express my best; I feel power–filled when I do. That’s what I’m here to do.

I believe that there is Work I am needed to do and I’m doing it; I am power-filled when I do this… I believe that for you, too.

I change my life —now— to create my work; I shine that inner flow to the outside when I do.

So do you, when you change, create, shine whilst in action. And it comes right back as a feeling of power, a self-circulating energy flow.

 

Waiting to feel power is feeling helpless. I know this; we all know this. Waiting to be recognized as ‘enough’ to be powerful is a long, long wait in a dark, dark closet. The electricity, the shine, the power flowing is within, coming out.

Taking action, shining one’s best, expressing one’s heart, soul, talents, creating your Work, that is taking action that makes a person feel powerful, handle or not, outer recognition or anon.

 

Back to our question:

When do you feel most power-filled to create and do the Work you are here to do?

What actions are you taking that feel to rev up the feeling of power within? Then the power that you feel is a result of these actions, taken with grace.

1) _______________________

2) _______________________

3) _______________________

We are, each and all, needed — by friends, beloveds, our visions and dreams, and by our Time here on Earth — to be our best, taking actions, and making felt the power that is our energy made visible.

In starting over and anew today, shine as only you can, through your actions, expression, believing and doing!

Blessings on your day!

 

Elizabeth Darby

Committed to Becoming

“Whatever else happiness may be, it is in neither having nor being, but in becoming…”

John Ciardi

 

 

So how are your New Year’s resolutions coming? Have you yet re-solved to have more resolve, as the root of these states of being is ‘to loose and to let free’ a way or a something; it’s a way of detaching and washing away.

 

I’ve been thinking about the difference between a promise – to others or to self – versus a commitment.

 

Which would you rather have, whether from self or from others, in this Life-time moment of your journey? A commitment or a promise?

 

Both promise and commitment come from the same Latin root as well: mittere,   which is first ‘a mission’, a sending or dispatching on a highly important journey often of a sacred sort.

 

So far, a promise or a commitment, both sound pretty good.

 

Our life-journeys, becoming a shining Best of who we each are, on task and on purpose, are a highly important and yes, even sacred journey. That we call it our life, or life-time, is just a reminder that the clock is ticking on this, our journey, whether we plunge into it with joy, commitment, promise, resolve or hesitance.

 

But for some reason, I’ve been feeling like all the ink on ‘promises’ is usually followed with a sense of ‘in the future’… as in I promise to … whether it’s ‘to have and to hold’ for an indeterminate time, or a promise to stop doing something destructive,  or a promise to accomplish something, it feels like we are setting our promise in the future.

 

 And yes, I know many also speak of God’s promise, and know it is not just now but for all time, so that’s set into the eternal now and future as well. But I’m not in the business of doubting God or that particular promise; some mysteries are best left mysterious as to ‘when and where’, so I’ve found. Time is relative at the God-level of Creation, I’ve come to learn.

 

A promise is a mission with a ‘pro’ in front of it — the old Latin root, pro as in ‘forward’.  No wonder when we make promises to ourselves or others, we have a sense of it being a future event, whether it’s starting from now on or, well, maybe, tomorrow. 

 

Check your New Year’s resolutions – did they start with a promise of when they would start, or with a setting free of last year’s hangover via resolution?

 

Commitment. It’s a sturdy word. It feels solid when you commit to yourself to do something, or when someone else commits to you and vice-versa. A commitment  feels like it’s already accomplished in some energetic way, as in ‘I commit to this work’ and ‘I commit to living fearlessly and on task and on purpose.’ Doing so feels already accomplished and is indeed already underway as soon as the sentence is over, with no …  after it.

 

Indeed commitment is a mission with a ‘com’, as in ‘sent with’; it’s to undertake together, and to be entrusted to take a risk with someone or something. It is telling self and others you are trust-worthy; your mission, should you decide to accept it,  whether of your work or your purpose is already undertaken.

Now back to happiness … which one feels when committed. Are you committed to making your life journey, on task and on purpose, as happy — as Yes — as might be possible?

 

Then let us return to the wisdom of the great John Ciardi, and his astute 20th Century observation:

Yes, happiness is found in the pursuit of becoming

 

May your life-time in the coming year reflect your becoming a person who has created your own work and path in life, putting to use your talents and gifts in service of our world, doing the work you are here to do . . . even as you work to create it today!

 

May this be your commitment to yourself, and to all those around you, cheering you on.  Including me!

 

Here is the rest of the quote, from John Ciardi’s delightful essay “What is happiness?” from oh so long ago, and still so accurate.

 

Happiness is never more than partial. There are no pure states of mankind.  Whatever else happiness may be, it is neither in having nor in being, but in becoming. What the Founding Fathers declared for us as an inherent right, we should do well to remember, was not happiness but the pursuit of happiness. What they might have underlined, could they have foreseen the happiness-market, is the cardinal fact that happiness is in the pursuit itself, in the meaningful pursuit of what is life-engaging and life-revealing, which is to say, in the idea of becoming. . . .

 

 Blessings on your day!

 

Elizabeth Darby

 

 

Believe in Your Purpose

To the 1.3 million long-term unemployed:

Who today must feel…

Scared? Angry? Frustrated. . .

Both in your search and your lack of support in a society where the recession is still very real, but more real is that the world of ‘work’ as you knew it is, likely, changed forever.

 

After the anger and the panic, what is the feeling of your current moment on Earth?

Bereft? Abandoned? Desperate?

 

Long-term unemployed is not a resume builder of a term.

I know that and you know that.

 

It is not a category to which anyone wants to belong.

I, too, know that. Everyone, with a job or not, feels that.

 

It is the purgatory of career and job, a gross fun-house of reflecting mirrors which distort one’s self-image into all kinds of shapes, most of them negative and a lot of them downright freakish. I know that; it’s a horrible place to be.

It feels to be a category that is the anethema of success, or even of ‘doing okay’ on this life-journey.

And so the sand grows quick as the sinking feeling of your heart and soul grows again burdened with this newest insult of continued support as you seek work cut-off by a population of unfeeling, insensitive politicians who neither feel your pain nor want to face those of us ‘unemployed’ in the statistical sense of ‘productivity in the economy’. While they, of course, collect bonuses for their action and inaction. It’s everything unjust and unfair to be subject to these puppeteers of the American promise.

Meanwhile, the media loves tossing souls into this ‘there but for the grace of God go the rest of us…” story.

 

But this is your life, your real life, not a ‘story of the moment. It is your visceral experience and your journey, and thus you can make it have the ending you desire.

 

We’ve all been there, most of us over and over. Starting over and over, But I know that does not help how you feel at this moment.

 

So instead I offer this encouragement:

Just for a moment, believe You, just as you are in this moment, have everything you need to be the best You in this day.

Just for a moment feel like it’s going to be okay, this journey of yours, no matter how spooky the corridor at the moment.

 

Why?

 

Because if you are here, you clearly — clearly — have a Work, a Task, and a Purpose yet to accomplish.

 

Feeling that, in this moment, will allow today to begin anew, not ‘yet again’.

 

Your ‘job’ as you knew it may be gone and never come back like it was before.

 

Your ‘old way of being’ — however satisfying or unsatisfying your job and work was before you found yourself among the ranks of ‘long-term unemployed’ — will have to change. Probably it already has.

 

Your new way, the one that begins today, starts with your feeling, believing, and taking action as if you have a task at hand.

And you do.

You have an accomplishment to undertake. Starting today.

 

No, it’s not to find a job.

 

Your task and your accomplishment is to Create Your Own Work.

 

Create from your experience, breathe, strength (you have a lot it if you’ve been ‘searching’ for these last challenging years), joined with your unique talents the work you — and only you — are here to do.

 

What great thing would You — only you — like to accomplish today and tomorrow in your life? Not long term, just today and tomorrow.

 So often we get stuck trying to find the proverbial shoe that fits; lots of ‘advice’ out there talks of ‘retooling’ and reconfiguring and retraining. Lots of ‘re-‘ as in ‘do it again’, as if the first time wasn’t enough. We all know it was.

 

What if, just for a moment, you instead see what great Work is pushing to come out from inside you.

What do you see that needs to be done that you, specifically you, have all the talents, care and energy to do just where you are in this moment of Now?

What of You can Be, just in this moment, creating your form to fill rather than looking for the right size box in which to pour oneself?

 

It’s subtle: You create your box, your work, your form in this world —

as opposed to looking for a box of someone else’s making to fill.

 

A long time ago, my daughters struggled with their difference in this world: We all do at some point (or many) in our lives. They were and are highly intelligent girls, deeply heart-felt, with vision and dreams, a sense of story and purpose, all facets that simply didn’t fit the squares and circles of your average public school.

 

I told them then, as I tell you now:  Don’t chip away at the facets of you to squeeze into the square or circles that are ‘acceptable’, or to fit the Norm, whatever that is, or the fickle slots of a job-market. You are diamonds, with facets that sparkle. That which doesn’t fit, and maybe even has a flaw in it, is what makes you who you are. You are here to sparkle and shine, as only you can, with all your facets.

Here are a couple of soul-reminders from my book:

 

When I was 8 or 9, I loved to _________________________________

I believed my magical powers were ____________________________ and that I was (and am) here to do this magic in the world: _____________________________________________

_____________________________________________

 

When we feel bereft (I know this feeling well), sometimes the only way through it is to invoke Magic, and remember what endless possibility again feels like.

 

After all, you’ve been practicing and succeeding at the magic needed for survival for these past years of job-search, making ends meet, getting through each day.

 

You can do this:

 

Create your own work; do the work only you can do here, in this time and moment on Earth.

 

I believe you not only can, but that this is what you are here to do.

 

With blessings on your New Year, creating your new form in this world.

Elizabeth

 

 

 

Box of Life

It’s Advent. It’s the time of darker days leading to light.

It’s the time of year to quietly give away all of that  —

That

You know, the stuff sitting around — inside — which clutters the windowsill and prevents our shine from pouring out — whether through our eyes from our souls or from our heart/hearth and home into the dusk of shorter days of this time of our year.

And so, with longer nights, we are often faced with longer hours to look at the clutter of our hearts, souls, and living space.

So here’s is a little fill-in-the-blank for your soul:

Quickly, without looking really, fill in the following:

The real reason I can’t live this very moment, no matter how dark or busy or scheduled,

in joy, abundance, peace, poise, and power are:

1) _____________

2) _____________________

3) _________________________________

4) ____________________________________

5) ______________________________________

You might find a lot of name-calling when you fill in the blanks:

They didn’t, He refused, She said…

Name the “They” in your Life, or the He or the She’s that have somehow become crowded in with you in that clutter.

There’s not much space for the answers.

The reason is I want you to write really, really small…

Because these ‘reasons’ are making you live really, really small…

Now then put these  ‘reasons’ for living small in a plain cardboard box.the box of life

Why?

Better to do it outside yourself rather than keep that box of small-life inside, no?

Now, what to do with it?  Obviously it’s nothing of you— your best you shining and full of light of a life on task and on purpose — that wants to be handed on, given away, or wrapped into a nasty surprise for others…

No, this is a present for your self. You’ve put all your feelings of small and reasons for living any further moment of your life in a small way into this box.

Time for transformation:

Now go through your little list and change the pronoun to “I”…

In doing so, you’ve transformed your box of ‘reasons for living small’ to a box of choices for living your life fully, by realizing the ‘reason’ is a personal one:

If a She didn’t love you, you’ve transformed it to “I don’t love me”;

If a He let you down, you’ve transformed it into “I let me down”;

 If They won’t accept you, or believe in you, or support you,  you’ve transformed it into

“I won’t accept me, or support me, or believe in me”…

Open your box, look at your reasons for living small, as if in a box, and change them into

‘I … “  but also add:

“But now I can…’

The magic of this present to yourself is you can end each of your ‘living small’ pinchy reasons by this magic of the season incantation:

‘But now I can… support me, believe in me, love me, be reliable to me…

 — with light, love, and heart and soul and light—

 now I can.”

And as you do, you are letting the light —

of your soul and your being,

your shine,

and the infinite energy of the Universe which animates you into life,

moment to moment, breath to breath —

Into your personal Box of Life, clearing darkness,

allowing the light to flow in, out and into this moment of your life-time  here.

No open box can hold the light, after all..

Now you can radiate shine and leave that smallness behind.

And now you can choose:

Live now, in this moment, no matter how busy, scheduled, or dark,

shining and feeling it from inside.

You are choosing to live On Task and On Purpose, shining brightly,

beaming out of your Box of Life.

Choose light, choose love, choose abundance, choose joy,

choose using your unique talent,

and see what happens… now!

The light is soon returning to us; Life is here now.

Blessings on your day

and thank you to each and everyone who has honored me with

a moment of their time spent reading and writing to me his year!

Elizabeth Darby

Asking the Right Questions

I ask a lot of questions in my book and in my life; doing so is the basis of both the work and the Work of finding our way in life and through Life, in story and in Story, in our journey and in the Hero journey that is every life-time spent.

 

Asking questions is how we start off engaging with our life, even as babies and toddlers.  After the natural, instinctive curiosity of ‘That?’ to define our surroundings, and soon after ‘Mine?’ becomes the declarative ‘Mine!’ we move quickly into the danger zone of questions:

 

‘Why?’

 

Asking ‘why’ is lovely. It’s pushy, to ourselves and to others around us.  It pushes boundaries, understandings, norms, and entrenchment. It’s often perceived as demanding, as asking why can unsettle a shaky authority and states that the person asking has as much ‘right’ as anyone else.  Why is the mover of principle and the test of character from here to the Pearly Gates.

 

But ‘why’ also has a shadow power: Doubt. 

 

Asking it at a wrong moment in your personal journey can cause chaos and confusion and, well, self-doubt as you thrash with an unanswerable knot. 

 

Why did I do that?

Why did I choose that? Or why did I choose this?

Why is this going on in my life.  

Why is that the rule?

It’s both a powerful question and a hazardous one, because often as not, there may not be an answer.  Or the answer may be I don’t know.

 

And let’s face it:

 

Why do I love thee? …

 

            is a very different question than

 

How do I love thee…?

 

Here’s where the asking the right question comes in when defining one’s path from here, the choices looming ahead, and when fathoming your heart to choose one’s vocation, calling, path and purpose from here.

 

I learned a long time ago in doing interviews with people I was writing about, from world leaders to loggers, that the right question can make all the difference in the success of what Truth is revealed next. One question can shut a person down, while another opens possibility and long, lovely revelation toward interesting Truth and knowledge. ‘Why did this happen,’ even in news reporting, too often allowed an opening for casting blame or ducking behind ‘I don’t know.’  So a new approach was needed:

 

How? 

 

How is more than a question of mechanics: How did this happen elicits the steps taken that created the situation, like a recipe. But it’s also more:

‘How’ is a question that presumes something already is.

It, whether answer, solution, reason, or direction,

already exists

and you and I are in the process of discovering it.

 

With ‘why’ we might be probing whether it exists at all, while with ‘how’ we are poking around knowing in our hearts there is a workable way we just need to understand. And the good solution always begins with a heart-filled understanding.

 

As in:

 

How do I use these talents and passions?

How does this work, my life forward?

How might I take the next step?

How does this make things better, easier, gentler, more meaningful to me or others?

How do I feel when I’m getting a glimpse of what my path might be or the good my actions might bring?

 

Ah, yes, asking ‘how’ allows for ‘feeling’ and the compass to our truth and our light; there’s no doubt that the feeling is there, or that it’s acceptable. It’s already embraced and hugged and able to be integrated into the next step, no matter how gnarley it might have looked a moment before ‘how’ was uttered.

 

‘How’ is a question for the brave, like, you.

 

With ‘how’ you are accepting what is, that feelings can be addressed, solutions can be found (as they’re already right here), and that there’s a way forward from here.

 

So, ask the right questions of yourself as you proceed from here through the door of next. All the questions are important; asking the right one at the moment is the first step.

 

How do you feel knowing there is something you are here to do?

How do you plan to make that something the action of your life-time left to spend?

How’s it going, living on task and on purpose now?

 

Blessings on your day of questioning!

 

 

 

Wanted

Last week, I was sitting in a library in the middle of Wales. It had wifi, free, and was the only place in town that did. I felt free, too. Life there was as when I left my full-time journalism career; there are places one can just be, as one is, living a day for a day’s worth of the miracle of life itself.

But in the library, tucked away at a back-table, and yes, using wifi to check my email for notice of familial needs or disasters (yes, I note the irony) I heard a man come in to ask the gentleman-librarian if he could use the library’s only computer. He was looking for work. Desperately looking for work, from the tone of his voice and the words between them. The conversation went something like this:

 

“Here’s an ad for a private chef. . . . Do you think they’d hire me . . . ?”

 

“Well,” started the Librarian encouragingly, but the man cut him off.

 

“I’ve some experience in that — I’ve cooked here and there. . . .”. He sounded frightened. “Do you think that would be enough?”

 

“Well,” said the Librarian again encouragingly, “it sounds like good work!  I would like to do something like that — be a chef. I cook . . . too . . .”. His voice dropped off into a bit of wistfulness.

 

“But do you think they’d want me,” asked the man. . . .

 

At this point, I nearly cried, both in compassion for both men in their early-forties, clearly wanting to be wanted by their work, but as well at the yearning in each of their voices:

Each wanted to feel to be valued for what he did with his time of his life.

One wanted to be wanted; any work would do but please hire him, now, I prayed.

The other would love doing something other than reminding 10-year-old boys that they needed parents’ permission to use one of the two computers available, which happened 3 times in the 1 hour I was there.

 

No, I didn’t stand up and say what my book — and I — fairly shouts at people:

 

You have a reason to be here on Earth…

It is to use your unique talents and specific abilities

in service of that which you care about in this world.

Your Life-time spent here,

doing the Work you are here to do,

 is needed.

Only you can do it!

 

It’s time to Create Your Work.

 

But I wanted to.

 

I wanted to take them both to the table and ask what each loved to do as a child and affirm that that joy is their path in this world even now.

 

I wanted to ask each what they could spend hours looking at, and what secret mission they felt they were on here,

during their lifetimes.

 

I wanted to remind each that he was not perfect at anything except at being himself, using his talents and gifts, passion and focus in service of that which he cares about — and thus each was perfectly able to create his own work that would support him all his days by being his best, shining self.

 

I sat, heart-pounding, wondering what to do next . . .

 

Instead, the seeker, encouraged to give it one more go by the gentle nudge he’d received from the librarian, dashed out to make an enquiring call before someone else took the cook position. And the Librarian announced to me (only me left in the two-room library) that it was time for lunch and he was “kicking me out” in 3 minutes. As we left, I watched him saunter shyly down the block, looking randomly in shop windows, and heading to the local market for a quick something.

 

I felt I’d been shown the light, as well as the door, as I stumbled out into the fair and beautiful day in this lovely small village where it seemed everyone knew and cared for others’ welfare.

I yearn to speak to people like this, in these small, out of the way places where hope and desperation so often dance hand in hand and a sense of dissatisfaction with one’s lot hides behind ‘any good job’ which is better than no job at all, of course. Of course it is, until one day one is still missing the feeling of being vital to one’s Purpose and Task here in the time one has on Earth.

These fellows are not people who attend seminars at a fancy hotel as so many self-help lecturers offer, but they are just like those who can and would do attend one to nurture themselves. These lovely people are also souls wanting to know the work they do with their life-time is needed and vital, and something each can contribute to this world. They, too, would like to know that they have what they need to create their own work; to live Life On Task and On Purpose, in the joy that brings to each day, and how to do that.

 

This is what I like to offer. It’s best in person, but sometimes a book of questions will have to do. If it’s accompanied by a friend or co-seeker, all the better.

 

Whose job is it to nurture vocation?

Is it a job-hire agency, where any work is better than none and pursue what you can?

Is it the work of the church to offer more than a few days’ course each year on what one’s vocation really feels and looks like? And if so, does it reach those needing to feel wanted or vital, or living through the quiet desperation looking for one’s Work  the rest of the year?

Should it be offered in schools, as a course, along with Life-skills 101 including banking, balance statements, and parenting skills?

 

I feel discovering the Work that puts each of us On Task and On Purpose is so important it belongs in all of the above, and maybe even as a free-table at the local Pub.

 

The point is this: such work of discovery has no season but rather is the beginning of your journey, wherever you are in life at this moment.

Yes, every moment is a “here you begin” moment to embrace your unique talents and passion, and to connect with the light and vitalness felt when shining from within combines with one’s sense of being needed on Earth here and now — i.e. having a purpose, and a mission-should-you-decide-to-accept-it — is lived. 

 

I can do this with your help: we can do this together.

 

Gather with friends and go through the book. Email me with questions.

Set up groups that can be tailored to fit anyone in need of encouragement and hope in your community.

Remember too that any  workshops I offer are one-for-one. Put together a workshop in your town or village with ten to twenty others, and we’ll make sure we offer another — together — at very-very-little-cost*  using the book as a living, exploratory process.

 

We all live in a moment of being authentic and our work and value needed in this world. It’s right now.

 And there is someone very near you — right now — wondering if he or she is wanted or his/her energy and passion needed on a mission in life.

Here You Begin, and help the person next to you do so as well…

 Together we can nurture a world of souls shining On Task and On Purpose. Wouldn’t that be a lovely place to live? Heaven on Earth.

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

 

*Low-low cost: enough to feel committed; cheap enough to attend when $1/Eu1/£1 is the difference between having lunch or paying rent and pay-what-you-can is the welcoming possibility to discover one’s Life-time OTOP mission.

Creative Opportunity

“The secret to a happy life

is to recognize

that no matter what the situation,

there’s a creative opportunity in it.

 

Also, finding meaning and purpose in your life

to make a contribution. . . “*

Deepak Chopra

Yes.

What can you see today through the glass of creative opportunity that might give you a new view of your purpose here and now?

What might be your contribution to the joy of the world in this moment of today?

A question I ask clients when we work together:

I’m a patron of ___________________ and this is what I do, right now, to contribute to my beloved causes…

Why?

Because when we are looking to create our own new Work, journeying in search of our Purpose and Vocation, or especially when needing to find our footing in our Work and Worth in the world when we feel the ground shift and lurch, we need to know — know — that we have within each of us the ability to contribute to the Life of the World right now, in this very moment.

This is your task of purpose today: Fill in the blanks of your Soul that long to put You in the service of your Creative Opportunity, right here and now. Here You Begin…

Step forward with blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

*And Yes, the Chopra quote is from a magazine interview with Oprah over a year ago… how nice to see such ideas so mainstreamed! What a lovely new world we are fortunate to live in that such ideas could become ‘commonly spoken of’ compared to a generation ago of women’s magazine topics.

Whose Side?

Page 44, Here You Begin: A Guided Journal to Discovering Your Passions, Your Purpose and to Creating the Work Only You Can Do:

 

Whose side are you on?

 

First thought only please . . .

 

I am on the side of __________________

That needs me to do this: __________________________

Here’s what I do with my time here to show this: ________________________________

For fun:

Make a little sketch of the symbol you wear or carry that shows your allegiance.

 

 

Some of us are on the side of Beauty. Some of us are on the side of Right, or Justice, or Knowledge, or Excellence. Or the Vulnerable or the Voiceless or Freedom.  Or Truth . . .

These are some of the bigger things each of us is willing to work for in our lives or with our life time here — or fight for with our lives…

We sometimes also realize we are on the side of Music, or Art, or Wilderness, or Wildlife, or the Homeless, whether people or pets.  These are more specific, but just as important, as each specific issue is symbolic of something larger we are willing to stand for. Literally stand for, not as in a gesture, but as in standing to assist.

Every moment of every day, you choose a side to be on, whether you know it or not. It’s a cause you were put here to take up and assist, so now acknowledge on whose side you are — and let it be the standard on your path as you journey from here, today.