Years ago, I was listening to a presentation by Caroline Myss. She is the author of many NY Times bestsellers. She was sharing questions she’s often asked. One of the common questions is how to live a spiritual life of purpose when we have to earn a living and take care of mundane tasks. She said that sometimes, our divine purpose may be to simply live a spiritual life in the midst of everyday living. Your purpose may be to simply be a light in the community in which you live.
What does it mean to “be the light”? Here is a list of only a few of the myriad possibilities of being the light that come to mind:
- search for the good in someone when all you’ve heard about them is criticism and negativity; in some people, you might find it difficult and exactly those situations are the most important
- stand strong in values that bring people together
- highlight each person’s beauty and uniqueness
- actively work to forgive those who have hurt you
- give the gift of love as often as possible to as many people, especially children, as possible
I know this is only a short list. I’m certain that you can add your own ideas to this list.
This morning, I was reading a section in “Autobiography of a Yogi”, an autobiography of Paramahansa Yogananda. The section I happened to be reading describes his guru’s path. His guru, Yukteswar Giri, wanted to stay in the company of his own guru, Babaji. He was told, though, that his purpose was to go back to his life which included his job and his family and live the life of an enlightened householder. He was to show others who could not take off to a remote monastery that they, too, could live a spiritual life.
Sometimes, our lives seem meaningless and empty. We may feel tired and dissatisfied with our jobs. We might be wondering how to make a difference. I have found that when I connect with my purpose–how I can make a difference, I become energized once again. Filled with direction and joy.
What is your joy? How do you make a difference? What one person’s life has been improved because you are in it? I’m certain that for each of you, there is an answer to these questions.
Making others happy, through kindness of speech and sincerity of right advice, is a sign of true greatness.
– Paramahansa Yogananda
What is your gift to the world? Take some time this week to step back and observe your life. How are you making a difference? Some people are here to make a difference to many lives at a time, while others are here to make a difference to one, most important, person. What about you?
Then, take a few minutes to reflect back on the people that have made a difference in your life. Most likely, there’s a list of them. In your heart, thank them and imagine the thank you drifting over the ethers to them wherever they may be. There are some who’ve made a big difference that I have been unable find. So, my only option is to thank them in my heart and send the message over the ethers having faith that they are going to receive my message, even if it’s only a pleasant feeling that makes them smile briefly without even knowing why!
If you own a Kindle, you can get a free copy of “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda in the bookstore. Amazon also allows you to download a free Kindle reader to your computer. Perhaps, you can also access this book that way. It is an entertaining read. It has been inspirational to me as I’ve been working my way through it, a little bit at a time. (I’m following my own advice about taking time each day to read something inspiring!)