Nothing like a sick day on the sofa to give one pause. Feeling physically incapable of much at all, the day called for quiet and self-reflection (like I haven't done enough of that in the last 3 years - ugh!).
I rummaged through my collection of books next to my bed knowing I would not choose fiction. No, today called for some sort of inward journey (again!). I find when I am in this sort of mood, the book I actually need to be reading usually jumps out at me immediately and today was no exception. It was time to revisit sections of "Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life", even though the mere title of the book can sometimes depress me reminding me that I actually really am in the "second half".
It was sort of apropos considering I had just shot off a note to the CEO of Habitat for Humanity to see if he would be interested in talking to me about creating an off shoot of his organization devoted to the interior decorating of the houses they build for the needy. I figured they should not only provide a roof over the heads of the recipients but why not look nice as well? It would be such a pleasure to be able to do my work for people who might really appreciate my efforts even it it did mean beg, borrowing and stealing furniture and supplies to do it from generous donors all over the province - I thought the idea had some merit and still do despite his gracious decline of my offer and idea.
Anyway, I digress. The book. Back to Dr. James Hollis, PH.D and his incredible contribution to those looking to find meaning in this challenging materialistic world we live in. I flipped straight to the back of the book as I recall that is the section that had the most impact on me the first 10 times I read it. Yes, there they were - the 10 questions. The 10 best questions you will ever ask yourself. You may not be able to answer them all at once and truth be known I am still chipping away at some of them myself. So I thought it might be a good idea to share them with all of you because I doubt many of you out there have this book or have even heard of it, so here goes.....the title of this list could stop you for a good while itself. Dr. Hollis - I now give you the floor.
Is the Life you are Living too Small for your Soul's Desire?
Consider these questions. Answer them honestly to yourself or they will prove of no value. If they hurt a bit, or intimidate a lot, then they are hitting home for you. Answer them honestly, and you are on the way to the insight that leads to wisdom, the wisdom that leads to change, the change that leads to a larger life, and the larger life that ultimately provides healing because it is the life the gods intended for you.
1. Where has life in its unfairness, stuck you, fixated you, caused you to circle back and back upon this wounding as a provisional definition and limitation of your possibilities? Why do you continue to cooperate with the wound, rather than serve something larger, which serves you in return?
2. Where has life blessed you, given you a gift? And what have you done with that gift? How have you accepted the responsibility that goes with it?
3. Where are you blocked by fear, stuck, rigid, resistant to change?
4. What is the fear beneath the fear? The fear that intimidates you only gains its power from the wiring beneath it, the wiring of history, which leads to a deeper fear, a fear from your past. This circuitry activates the old message that this fear, this issue, is larger than you, and so you ignore the conscious, empowered adult you have become since then.
5. Where was your father stuck, and where has that stuck place shown up in your life? Where was your mother stuck and where has that stuck place shown up in your life? Are you repeating their lives, their patterns, or tying to overcome them by compensation, or treating the problem in a way that brings harm and further self-alienation? Is this the legacy you will pass on to your children?
6. Where do you avoid conflict, the necessary conflict of values, and therefore avoid living in fidelity with who you are?
7. What ideas, habits, behavioral patterns are holding you back from the large journey of the soul? What secondary gains do you receive by staying mired in the old - security, predictability validation from others? Are you now tired enough, hurting enough to begin to take the soul's journey on?
8. Where are you still looking for permission to live your life? Do you think that someone else is going to give it to you? What are you waiting for, someone else to write the script of your life for you?
9. Where do you need to grow up? When will this happen? Do you think someone else will do it for you?
10. What have you always felt called toward, but feared to do? Does this possibility still summon you, symbolically if not literally? What new life wishes to come into being through you?
So, there you have it my dear readers. I challenge each and every one of you to consider these questions, or some of them at least and see where it takes you.
Work on them one at a time. Try to do it before New Year's Eve and then start 2013 with a whole new approach to your life.
And you thought losing 10 lbs as your new year's resolution was tough - piece of cake next to this!