Two years ago I bought him an assortment of well-chosen books on finding out who you are and what you want out of life in an attempt to live your life's purpose. One of those was What Color Is Your Parachute For Teens. He admitted he has never cracked it open, but then he has never really had a job either. I don't give up easily. What Color Is Your Parachute is the best book I have read and used to find jobs, and lots of other people regard it highly too.
I went to the library yesterday and checked him out a copy. The book astounded me. I don't remember it containing the answers for finding your life purpose,, and the three stages of acceptance and practice of it, but it's all there in plain English. I told Eric that if I knew I had less than 24 hours to live, I would tell him I love him and have him read those ten or however many page there are. They cover everything you need to know on the subject pretty darn well. It's all there between the lines--how to live a love-filled, good, happy, productive and rewarding life. The author, Richard Bolles, writes about God's role in our lives but without any peachy over-religious, dogma-filled b.s. He is speaking in universal spiritual terms. That's real important because my son may be an agnostic. I don't know. I don't push.
Although I have been trying to tell Eric since he came to live with me in November for the first time in 14 years, that we all have a life's purpose and once we discover what our talents are and use those we are put on a path of miracles. Then, as Joseph Campbell , the respected mythologist and writer said of his often repeated admonition to "following your bliss" "doors will open where there were only walls.
He derived this idea from the Upanishads, the 200 Sanskrit philosophical texts from before the 5th century considered to be an early source of Hindu religion. Campbell wrote:
- Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: sat-chit-ananda. The word "Sat" means being. "Chit" means consciousness. "Ananda" means bliss or rapture. I thought, "I don't know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don't know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being." I think it worked.
- If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.
Many people have written eloquently and passionately about the miracles that open up opportunities, new ways on creating, inspiration, "chance" encounters and on and on once we are totally involved with the thing we love to do most in the world and the thing we do best: our talent.
Because there is no such thing as random in this Universe of serendipity and synchronicity, I asked the Universe what I should read for my morning inspiration for the day. The book turned out to be one of my read and re-read favorites, Everyday Grace: Having Hope, Finding Forgiveness and Making Miracles,
by Marianne Williamson. It opened "randomly" to answer some questions I had about starting my own writing website business. Here's what she had to say about my ideas to start a business for no reason other than to make money:
"...We transform our work into a sacred experience by transforming our sense of its purpose--from that of serving our need as we define them to that of serving the work of God This shift in purpose--from a focus on ourselves to a focus on God's love--activates a chain of miracles. For anytime we walk into a situation with a higher sense of why we are there, we are bringing down the light.
"The decision to adjust our perspective on a situation, seeing as its only purpose the extension of love, automatically illumines it. For a situation to be illumined, our thoughts must become illuminated. Within this light, our ideas are more insightful and wise, our personal energies radiate integrity, and circumstances around us unfold along a palpable path of divine right order. There is a 'flow' we can all feel when a situation is aligned with the peace of God." (Grace, pp. 100-101)
I have decided once again in my life against doing anything "just for money." So much is lost in that notion and so high a price of doing business is paid. I have learned this lesson over and over in the past. What makes me want to stick my hand in the flame now to see if it still burns?
We follow the flow--and all we had to do each day is show up and be ready to work together with our partner God.
Each and every one of us believes he or she is going to do something or create something spectacular that the world has never seen the likes of before, especially if we are young. Children whose self-esteem hasn't been damaged yet have no doubt that they can grow up to be anything they want to become. They can all be stars that shine the brightest in the night sky. Sometimes some of us can hold onto this kind of belief in ourselves for a long, long time despite some considerable disappointments and rejections if we believe in ourselves and our talents enough.
Those who work each day to know God's will for them and ask to work on what they need to do for that day, the next right thing, take no credit for themselves and give all thanks to the Divine for the good that comes of their accomplishments. Mother Teresa freely talked about her success with God as her partner, and look how much she accomplished.
That is the secret of success hidden in plain sight for all to find.
If Eric prefers a seven dollars a day McJob to sitting down with me and doing some evaluations matching his personality with work type of skills and figuring out what his talents are, I can't preach to deaf ears. He doesn't listen--I'm his Momma. I begged him to read the pages in the book as a favor to me, but the God stuff turned him off and he didn't finish. People say you can lead a horse... Try a 21-year-old who knows it all so young. As my poor dear late father often repeated to my deaf ears, "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
I can only lead by my example of spending every day following my bliss by wriing all day and night and not being a slave to a paycheck and possessions or a job without a soul. Marianne Williamson reminded me in her book today of the importance of lighting a sacred prayer candle before I start my day of writing. She writes that otherwise she is trapped in the illusions of the ego, thinking about bestseller status and contracts. "Only when I begin with a prayer that something I write might be of use to someone does a greater light infuse my thinking. My mind opens vibrantly to its natural talents and springs free of its bondage of fear-based thought."
I give him two weeks at a McJob. He's young but he's daily growing.
Campbell, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers, edited by Betty Sue Flowers. Doubleday and Co, 1988, p. 120.
2.Ibid, p. 113.