If I had one piece of advice I could pass on to anyone, but especially to younger people it is this: Do not wait until the latter part of your life to realize your dreams and passion – your song. And, if I could be indulged for one more to add to that: No matter what your age, if you are not happy, seek within – do not waste your life away looking without.
While many of us may say that we have no regrets in life, there are few of us that can say that we are living life to its fullest potential. Living life to its fullest potential means that we love life, appreciate the life that we have, the good and the bad parts, and that we continue to expand our understanding and joy of life every day. This may seem like a pie in the sky achievement but in reality, it is natural, easy, and intuitive for us to flow with the blessings of “life” as life unfolds in front of us.
I meet many people that believe that a happy life will finally come to them when something happens for them, like a new job, relationship, or maybe a new home, car, or lottery winning. While all those things are wonderful and will create a temporary uplifting of our lives, the real meat and potatoes of living extraordinarily is from the discoveries we make about the inner self, higher self, and the divine self. Staying focused on our achievements, possessions, and our “stories” is like nibbling on the outer edge of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – pretty tasty but ultimately unsatisfying. Even those that have clearly won the “what society calls successful life” prize knows that there is something more, something deeper and tougher to get at.
That something more is your soul’s song – your deeper essence, your authentic higher self. Every single one of us has a special song or a unique vibration that we add to the Universal Song. When we connect with that mystical part of ourselves, our lives become harmonious due to the syncopating nature of living from our natural flow, a higher purpose. Like a wonderful symphony, when we conduct our lives from the songs of our inner spirit, the experiences we have in life are reflective or “resonate” from that harmonious outpouring. On the other hand, when our lives are full of objects and the pursuit of objects, or when our mind harbors discord of any kind, with fear, anxiety, anger, judgment and so on – the song of our life become loud and unsettling. These notes of discord offset our innate natural flow and can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, illness, and strained relationships.
Throughout all the ages, masters, spiritual teachers, sages have pointed us in the direction of inner growth and harmony. While some of these masters teachings may vary slightly, none of them saw the benefit in living vicariously through our possessions or our relationships, nor did these wise ones every direct us to live life to its fullest potential using fear, obsession, or neediness. Yet, these are the behaviors that we tend to lean into when we feel the need to take control of a life that is not going the way that we want it to. And the reason we choose these outside methods of life fulfillment is because we have stopped listening to “our song” and succumbed to the loud cries of culture, education, media, commercialism, dogma, family influences, and so on.
There are many ways to still the noisy regurgitation’s of the world outside of us, so many ways in fact that it would take volumes and volumes of books to describe the “known” ones, let alone the ways that are still yet unknown (for some really good guidance on this, check out my book, Finding Home – Breaking Free from Limits). This is the good news! The bad news is that without a recognition that we need to do this, to explore our dreams, to discover our inner songs, or to get in touch with our highest purpose – then we just keep looking everywhere, out there, for something that will satisfy the droning malaise that we feel.
Let’s take a look at one of our highest examples of a natural, divinely inspired life to see how easy it really is to live from our inner spirit; a baby. Most babies exemplify the innate higher qualities of mankind; joy, wonder, love, peace, and bliss. Although I was not able to interview very many babies to get the final truth on the following, my experience with babies tells me that babies smile not because they have gas, but because they are joyful. Babies see the wonder and beauty of everything because it is all new, alive, and they feel it is just for them! And it is just for them! Babies know their song, and when their base human needs have been attended to, they sing their song with laughter, coos, garbling, and their eyes light up with love and joy. Babies, left to their own, will simply enjoy life, breathing evenly and deeply. Until babies are taught what is good, bad, and so on – most babies just flow with the natural order of divine law, expressing themselves as authentically as a human being can.
Ultimately, our song has never changed since we were babies. The deeper sense of purpose for our lives was with us from the very beginning, or perhaps even before. If we don’t know what this song is now, it is because the world has oppressed it with loud noises about how to make ourselves heard amongst all this loud noise of the world! Isn’t that ironic?
Our song is our purpose, our individual light or meaning, or to wax eloquent, our soul’s longing. Everyone’s is different and everyone’s is needed, useful, valuable, and divinely precious. We get glimpses of our song once in a while when we allow ourselves to be caught up in the flow of something we love doing, or when we quiet our “monkey minds” enough to listen to our inner stirrings. But unfortunately, these special moments are shoved aside as musings and the attention to our daily pursuit of objects, status, wealth, or power resumes.
Helen Keller said “What I’m looking for is not out there, it is in me.” It might be that Helen’s absence of sight helped her more easily attune to her higher senses. She goes on to say, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” It is within these sentiments that we must live, from the heart, from the soul, with our song.
But don’t take my word for it! Test your soul’s calling yourself! Below are a few exercises you can try to begin bringing to light the song of your soul. The only requirement for a successful test run is to remain open minded/hearted and to enjoy the exercises.
- Exercise 1: Close your eyes and go waaaayyy back in memory lane. Try to remember the first (and I mean the VERY first) enjoyable moment in your life. What were you doing? Who were you with? Why do you think you remember this? Take in the scene from a different perspective and look for clues about what it was that pleased you as a child in this memory and what is still a pleasing thought to you now. Do you see any patterns or relationships to things that still interest you today?
- Exercise 2: Ask your friends and family what they think is one of your strongest qualities or skills. Don’t be thin-skinned – Listen to how others perceive you.
- Exercise 3: Answer the following question on paper. What would you do if you knew you could not fail and you had all the resources you needed to do anything you wanted? No limits on your answers! Go for it!
- Exercise 4: Make a list of your current interests and obsessions. Look for patterns or items that relate to each other. Don’t discount anything, even if it seems very materialistic. Like if you have an obsession for shoes, you might have a passion for fashion design or you might enjoy pursuing being a buyer.
- Exercise 5: Make a list of 10 jobs/professions/skills/crafts you think are really interesting and that look like fulfilling jobs/activities to you. Spend some time in a relaxed setting, with the TV off, and visualize yourself doing each of these jobs for 10 minutes. Keep a notepad close by so that you can jot notes down on how it felt and which visualizations really stirred you.
This takes me back to my original advice: Do not wait until the latter part of your life to realize your dreams and passion. Your dreams and your passions in life ARE your soul song! Make the time and the effort to get in touch with this important part of your being. At the end of the day, it’s not about who ended up with the most the money, fame, or power – those things will be quickly forgotten about you after your gone. It’s all about the song! Did you live it, experience it, sing it, roll around in ecstasy in it, and for crying out loud – did you share it? I hope so.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Unknown