Purpose and Passion

From the great blue whale who traverses the depths of the Southern Ocean, to the tiniest amoeba crawling along through the primordial ooze, all things in nature swim, dance, and sing to their own peculiar rhythm; only mankind        has lost its direction. Anon.

The concept of finding and following a ‘calling’ is as old as time and appears in stories, myths and legends from around the world. The very first book; The Epic of Gilgamesh, written on clay tablets approximately 5,000 years ago,  recounts the legend of the young warrior King Gilgamesh, bored with his present existence, going out into the wilderness to seek meaning and purpose to his life. The adventures he encounters are classic examples of what Joseph Campbell describes as The Hero’s Journey, a journey we will all be challenged to face at some stage, and actually several stages, in our lives. As Campbell was fond of saying:  “The question is; will we say yes or no to that challenge; will we say yes or no to the adventure of life itself!” The old storyteller in my book: ‘The Storyteller of Mór’ teaches wisdom in the traditional manner of the Irish Seanachie, by story, song and poetry.

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Purpose Passion and Calling

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Oprah Winfrey

Finding and Following a Calling

Oprah Winfrey, the renowned talk show host and arguably the most famous woman on planet earth, recently delivered a talk to several hundred graduates at Roosevelt University, Chicago in which she addressed the topic of finding and following a Calling, referring to the age old belief that each and every one of us is born with a purpose and a destiny to fulfill in our lives.

‘There is a sacred calling in each of our lives that goes beyond this degree you’re about to receive,’ said Winfrey, ‘There is a contract that you made, and that I made, with the Creator when we came into being. You made a contract, you had a calling. And whether you know it or not, it is your job to find out what that calling is and get about the business of doing it.’

Winfrey told the crowd of almost 4,000, that if they were prepared to surrender to their dreams and become willing to follow their hearts, then their true purpose in life, their ‘calling’, would unfold before them.

‘The force divine, God, can dream a bigger dream for you than you can ever dream for yourself. Surrender to that dream, the universe’s dream for yourself.’

In a moving and profound presentation, the talk show superstar held the audience spellbound as she presented concepts and philosophies that the majority of students, parents and friends would never have been exposed to in all their years of formal education, emphasizing the need for openness and a willingness to change old thinking patterns.

‘When you decide that your life will be different, that your circumstances will be different, that your environment will be different; when you decide, that is when it changes. You give yourself the authority to be who you were meant to be. You continue to evolve your life through every thought, through every feeling and every action. That is how we are most created equal. Be aware and honor that calling.’

Oprah received a prolonged standing ovation and it was clear from the audience reaction that she’d touched a deep and resonant chord, not just in the young graduates, but also with their parents and the staff at Roosevelt University.

On Writing

If you wish to become an author, rather than just a writer, then you must read.

Some people tell you; ‘read anything’, I’m not convinced of that.

Read those authors you love and admire, read the classics, read Shakespeare

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Why read crap when the world is full of great literature?

Odyssey – A Journey of Transformation.

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If you feel that your life lacks passion, purpose, meaning or integrity; and if you wonder occasionally in the quiet times; ‘Is this all there is?’ You may be living in what the poet Elliot referred to as  ‘The Wastelands’. That dreadful place where  boredom, depression, lack of purpose, and a sense of futility eat away gradually at your spirit and ultimately at the very essence of your ‘Life Force’.

If you’re heart tells you that you’re no longer enjoying the work you do for a living; if you sometimes question the very meaning of your existence; then you may be experiencing what Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung described as a ‘Calling’, an intuitive appeal from some deeper aspect of yourself that is tired of the life you have been living and is now yearning and questing for change.

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It has been suggested by many throughout the ages that the ‘eternal question’ is; ‘Who am I?’ but perhaps in today’s driven, materialistic world it might be better to rephrase the same inquiry as ‘What am I?’ for surely it is more a question of ‘what am I doing with my life?’ rather than who I think I am that defines and gives meaning, purpose and direction to human existence.

From the writings of the Greek philosopher Plato in his seminal work ‘Republic’ to the Babylonian epic ‘Gilgamesh’ written 2000 years before the birth of Christ, to the myths and legends that have emanated from Shamanistic peoples since the beginning of recorded history springs the recurring belief that there is a purpose and meaning to each and every human life.

The Native Americans, the Australian Aboriginal, the Inuit, and the Amazonian Indians, along with virtually all of the indigenous peoples of the world, held ceremonial rituals and Rites of Passage, Vision Quests that assisted their young people through ancient initiation ceremonies into the adult life and helped them to discover the purpose, meaning and direction of their lives.

But in our modern, driven, consumer orientated, Western cultures, largely devoid of the guiding influence of Mentors, elders, extended families, rituals, rites of passage ceremonies and the ancient, guiding tales of mythology, where does that leave us? Where does it leave our children? How can we hope to discover our own innate potential? How can we role model for our children the ability to find and follow a worthwhile path in life? These are some of the questions we must now face, for we can no longer blindly assume that our governments, schools, churches and universities are fulfilling these essential roles.

From the Great Blue Whale cruising the depths of the Southern Ocean

To the tiniest amoeba crawling along through the primordial ooze

All things in nature dance to their own natural rhythm of life

Only mankind has lost its purpose.

(Anon)

Love

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Loosing love is like a window in your heart

Everybody knows that you’re blown apart

Everyone knows where the wind blows…

Paul Simon. Gracelands