A Catalogue of Meaning: Finding the thread in your life experience
All past experiences, all people you have met, are all essential parts of the puzzle. The challenge is to find the thread that integrates these experiences. To make meaning from the great moments of your life.
I've often been hard on myself for not sticking to one career track and following it to its end, but now I understand that all my life and work experience has brought me to the life I am in now. From working on Wall Street, to documenting social justice movements, to years of studying spiritual awakening practices with great masters, to building a web design and consulting business that actually works well, all these different threads have united into a tapestry with a very particular flavor. The great opportunity here is to find that thread and define the meaning.
The first step, of course-- stop blaming your parents, your socio-cultural circumstances and your past! Yes, bad sh*t happened -- life is hard! As the saying goes, to err is human, to forgive is divine. This works, when you can start to see the bad AND the good that these people and experiences brought to you.
Second, stop blaming yourself! This is the downward spiral.... You've always done the best you could with what you had.
And here's the other biggie: Take accountability for what you HAVE accomplished and been able to do... (yes, some pretty awesome things). Start putting them into play. Here's where the catalogue comes to life...
Create Your Own Catalogue of Meaning:
Start by cataloguing five of the highest points in your life -- the times you've felt the best. What were you doing, what did you experience, how did these affect your outlook? Most importantly: What qualities did you embody that enabled these experiences?
Catalog five of the low points in your life -- the worst of the worst. What did you get out of these, and how did you came out better? How were you able to make the most out of these? Most important: What qualities did you embody that got you through these?
Finding the threads of meaning...
What are some of the unifying threads in these stories? What themes bridge them together? What are some of the qualities you embodied that cross over for both - the traits that really stand out for you?
These are what make you great. Your superpowers. The gifts you have, and the tools you have to share with the world.
Do you get where I'm going here? If you can embody more of these qualities in your life, chances are you can also enable more of the same wonderful opportunities every day.
You can start doing this in your head right now -- start with just three of each, best and worst. Look at how they carry into your present. The richness they bring to your life. It's remarkable really! When you have a little more time -- commit them to paper and really reflect on them more deeply. If you really dive in here, you should find some underlying inspiration -- some meaning to drive you forward in your great work.
The next step is: How do you choose what to do with these newly discovered meanings...?
This is how you can begin to bridge the strange diverse experiences in your life, integrate them into your life, find the threads. This is bringing your past into play, and creating more opportunities for new discovery and play. This is reclaiming your personal power.
This is part three of a new series of posts from Peru about my experience testing the Fire of Love approach to life and work. To receive these updates in your inbox, click here to join the Flow community of email readers. Aho!