Purpose in Troubled Times

Global, national, local, and personal concerns crowd our lives as we head into summer 2020. As we navigate these murky waters, our sense of individual purpose may become buried. Your purpose doesn't change. Changing circumstances call it forth differently. The impact you make on the world by fully expressing your personality and values is a unique imprint. How do you develop your contribution amid troublesome events that you can't control?

Take care of yourself. Self-care is a critical support in unstable times. Exercise, eat well, and keep up your spiritual practices.

Beware of the comparison trap. Don't listen to inner demons who say you should do what others do. Your expression is your own. Respond your way. Contribute through your strengths.

Be open to what emerges in you. Encounter emotions with the knowledge that they will pass. Allow thoughts without becoming attached to them. Absorb ideas. Embrace visions for the future. Give plenty of time for ebb and flow. Honor your reaction. At times, take inspired action. At other times, let yourself stay in bed or stare at the wall. Don't hurry to fix situations. Let your purpose emerge at its own pace.

Combat paralysis. On occasion, the enormity of circumstances may paralyze you. Resist inaction by taking one small step. This morning the severity of current events weighed on me, a morning storm of emotion. My daily routine seemed inadequate to the times. I took the small action of starting my planned bike ride anyway. As I rode, my attitude changed. A few people made a difference to me. The guy who sells shoes and toys from a table by the river was ready for business at 8 am. He got up and did what he does. My mother texted me a video of the shadow of trees in the wind dancing on her living room wall. Her text said it was a silly thing to send. But the little things we do matter. Even now, even when they are seemingly unrelated to the critical issues of our times. Keep doing them.

Take care of your home. It's okay to spend time on seemingly mundane tasks during these challenging times. A harmonious environment enhances focus, while clutter and disorganization drain much-needed energy. Yesterday during Project Power Tuesday, I organized a kitchen drawer to remove the irritation of rifling through it to find the right measuring spoon. With that subtle, frequent irritation removed, I can relax and concentrate on my priorities. Give yourself the gift of decluttering and organizing so that you can focus on your contribution to the world.

Do what you love to do. Again - it's okay! Keep your energy up by engaging in activities that make you happy. As you adjust to changing realities and challenging circumstances, claim the joy that can co-exist with them.

As you embrace yourself with these practices, your purpose will continue to emerge. Keep on taking the baby steps that get you through the day. With self-care, self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-nurturance, you will make your difference in ways that work for you.

Baby steps to big visions.