Good Spring Morning All,
Mike and I made a promise when we went away to the marriage retreat last year that we would spend one weekend a year tending to our marriage from here on out. Easier said than done with three kids, but this was our weekend.
Romantic getaways are a bit different for us. We are seekers at our cores, Mike intellectually and me spiritually. We like to learn new things together. I'm sure I married the right man because who else would agree to go to a mindfulness retreat with me for our one weekend away from the kids?
I've been listening to guided meditations for the past two years online. The science on meditation and mindfulness is undisputable by this point, a requirement for Mike. Sleep better, lower your bad hormones, increase the release of good ones - all documented heavily. The changes are subtle but undeniable. The second that used to go unnoticed between my anger at my kids and the yelling exists, and I guess always has, although I was never able to perceive it before, or catch myself in it. The breathing instead of reacting to every idiot, I mean well-meaning, committee member is real. The ability to create compassion toward the most frustrating people in my world is new too.
So I picked one of my favorite guided meditation guys, Davidji, and Mike signed us up for his retreat on finding your purpose. I like him mostly because he has like 700 free guided meditations online. He is admittedly a bit "kookie" and, Mike likes to say, "Davidji, like Madona - one name!" But, I ignore the parts I find don't fit, and appreciate the parts that do, and in doing so, this former Wall Street shark turned teacher has changed me. He says, "transform the world by transforming yourself." That is something I might be able to do.
So off we flew to what Davidji calls the Sweet Spot of the Universe, Carlsbad, California. It was sweet and beautiful and the people there were just like us - seekers. So we practiced mindfulness by meditating at 6am on the beach facing the Pacific, which was cold, but the moon and stars were out! And mostly we worked on finding our purpose and figuring out how to use that purpose in the world to "move the needle."
I have about ten purposes. In fact, I find a new purpose every year. But it helped me hone in on the ones that are the best use of my talents and energy and weed out the ones that aren't. I told Mike he had one purpose - to love me! He only thought this was kind of funny.
I did love thinking about how each of us has a God-given purpose (or a set of genes that are inclined a certain way, if you prefer). And if every one of us tapped into our passion and gave it the energy of a purpose, what could we do in this world! How could we move the needle and make a difference? What is our ripple?
The cool thing was that your purpose didn't have to be some noble cause. Dogs. Dogs was one guy's great love. And you know what he did with it? Trained fighting dogs to be therapy dogs for ex-veterans.
Moms. There are so many moms in the world, but how many of us see this as our calling? Our purpose? Our mission? Some. But what if every mom did?
One guy was an investor. Not what we immediately think of when we think higher calling. But do you know what he did with his extra money? I don't know either, but imagine what he could do if he became passionate about his calling.
So my question to you on this beautiful spring morning after Easter, the most hopeful of all the holidays I celebrate, is what is your passion? Without censoring or being embarrassed, what do you love more than anything in the world? What calls you and lights you up from the inside? And how can you use that calling to move the needle?
You can be sure you will see this theme in The Homestead programming throughout the fall! From my "sweet spot in the universe" - Starkville, Mississippi!