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"You were put on this earth to achieve the greatest in you, and you should do so courageously." Steve Maraboli, Behavioural Scientist.
Some people are born with a natural gift, talent, ability, or even an inheritance, and it is very clear to them what life is calling them to do. The future is mapped for them - not necessarily the 'How?' but definitely the 'What?'
For most of us, it isn't so clear - at least until we work it out, and then it is amazingly obvious! Sometimes circumstances inspire us, but otherwise, the first act of courage required is to never let up but to persist until we absolutely know what we are here to do - the thing that only we can do in the way that we do it, because this earth demands that each of us brings our special uniqueness to it.
And woven into the fabric of our purpose is altruism - making a contribution for the greater good, with no thought of personal gain. Any other motivation does not bring out the greatest in us. And it definitely doesn't give us health and happiness long term.
It can take years - even decades - to reach a point of self-realisation, to know absolutely our Calling in Life. But it is never time wasted. Every piece of experience, every disappointment, even illness, is all part of our shaping, our honing, our being nudged away from some directions and towards others.
There is proof of this in the many who have succeeded in radical remissions from cancer where they put a large part of their cure down to the illness being a catalyst for them discovering an aim, a purpose for their life, which in most cases involved helping others.
Greta Thurberg, the young Swedish environmental activist for World Climate Change, is a schoolgirl who was becoming increasingly withdrawn, depressed and had developed an eating disorder. Her concern for the sustainable future of this planet has been a Calling she faces courageously, and in the process she has regained personal health and reclaimed happiness.
We all have a future-based purpose waiting for us to claim in the present. Maybe it is Global; maybe it is Local. Maybe it is for a season, maybe it will be with us for our entire lives. Maybe it is as simple as zero waste and conscientious recycling, maybe like Boyan Slat @the oceancleanup it is more far-reaching. But the measure isn't just in the scale of it, but in the courage, the bravery, the caring, the compassion, the respect we return in gratitude for every free breath of clean, oxygen-filled air.
To be future-based means to live a life where each moment counts not just for itself but also because it is a stepping stone to the next. First, there is the acceptance of the 'mountain' we are each assigned to climb in life because: "You were put on this earth to achieve the greatest in you..." But there is no shortcut up the mountain, no 'beam me up'. It is a matter of step by step, toehold by toehold. But provided we just keep moving forward, we will all of us reach our summit, where helping and inspiring each other along the way makes the journey both easier and more joyous.
Thanks for reading. It would be lovely to hear from you and your own thoughts and comments on any of these reflections and blogs.
Our planet is a closed system - like a box.
If we keep taking raw materials out of the box and never put anything back in to generate more, then guess what? A day comes where there is nothing left in the box.
Our relationship of give-and-take with the planet and its natural resources reflects our human values.
This past event is now available as a free download recording on VIMEO: GMT20200904_Courses
... one ECO-BRICK at a time! They estimate 60% of Britain's plastics is still going into landfill or incinerators - and that's what doesn't end up scattered around streets, fields, and in our oceans.
Here is a neat way to put non-recyclable inorganic materials such as cellophane to good use ... turn them into ECO-BRICKS!
So much has already been observed and said about how the COVID-19 virus has forced a quantum change in how we live and in what we consider as important. Even when the virus becomes more controlled, it will take a long time for things to return to the way they were, and in some cases, have we discovered that in fact, that isn't what we want or need anymore?
When something so unpredictable and with such far-reaching effects such as COVID-19 can happen, then let us use that as a sign for HOPE. Even although we humans, who frankly have intellects the size of insects compared to a Higher Power, can't always navigate ourselves to a more elevated sense of purpose or being, a greater sense of order always prevails after unforeseen chaos.
As someone noted: the word 'emergency' contains in its stem, the words 'emerge' and 'emergence'.
Whatever we learn about ourselves during such 'chaos' and which is both useful and encouraging in terms of helping identify our spiritual values, these are the gifts to treasure and take with us as we continue forward on this journey ... together.