Today, the co-owner of Velvet Cartel and Golden Bones, Bijou Finney, chimes in on a big topic: The meaning of life.
I wrote a post in February for the Golden Bones blog about how to be happy. I forgot to practice what I preach. Happiness and purpose go hand and hand. So, as a reminder to me and my loved ones, here is another poke in the ribs.
It's been a while since I let myself feel sad, powerless and sink into a rut. Last night I made a conscious effort to snap out of it. I took a bubble bath and listened to my trusty Philosophers Notes (audio books). By chance, two of the books I picked out of the hundreds were exactly the selections that I needed to hear.
One was The Power of TED by David Emerald and the other, The Places that Scare You by Pema Chodron. From these books I realized that best gift you can give yourself is an idea of what might make you happy. So friends, in hopes that you might benefit, I want to share with you the epiphany I was reminded of last night.
I figured out the meaning of life! Well, my meaning. Unfortunately that's only the first and easiest step. The hard part is remembering to live a purpose driven life everyday. I think there are too many distractions nowadays. You easily forget what your main goal is. And when you forget your main goal, it makes it impossible to make even the smallest daily strides toward your happiness and fulfillment. Living things NEED purpose. A reason to wake up, breathe, walk, grow. Why go through the motions pretending to be busy instead of working towards a goal that leaves you feeling accomplished?
The first step is to sit in silence with me, myself and I. What do we want? What is our meaning of happiness and purpose? If you think about it, it all boils down to your last breath. As you take your last breath, you want to go knowing that you made yourself happy. That's right. Your happiness is your job. Whether it's being the best parent possible so your child ends up being the next Gandhi (instead of the next Hitler). Or you devote your life to finding the cure to AIDS. Or traveling the world. Or just being the best you.
WE WERE NOT MEANT TO JUST PAY BILLS AND DIE. If you live life half heartedly in anything you do, you are doing yourself and everyone you come in contact with an injustice. Invest your soul, your time and your love in your life. After all, you only have one very short time on Earth, make it count.
Write down your perfect story and read it everyday as a reminder of the big picture.
"It is impossible to invest your soul in a compromise."
I repeat, "It is impossible to invest your soul in a compromise.”
Second step: put aside envy, hate, and the feeling that you are a victim. As David Emerald puts it, "stop being a victim, persecutor and rescuer". These roles do not serve you in your attempts in creating a positive life. I can accidentally fall into each of these roles so easily. Reading The Power of TED or "The Empowerment Dynamic” reminded me that instead, I must be a creator, challenger, and coach. I'm not going to rewrite the book for you. In fact, I HIGHLY suggest you read it. But, long story short: you need to shift your view. Stop thinking of people around you as inadequate, weak victims that you have to either rescue or persecute. Surround yourself with strong hungry people that you can share your load with.
Be honest with yourself and give yourself room for the changes you know you need to make. Your hobbies, your friends, your lifestyle will need to change over time to reach your desired level of happiness. David Emerald explains his Rubber Band Theory:
"The way you create any outcome in your life is to hold the vision of your deepest desires. At the same time, though, you must honestly and accurately assess your current situation and how it relates to your greater vision. By doing this, you engage tension between what is and what can be. This tension is the primary creative force behind the manifestation of any outcome. It’s as natural and powerful as the force of gravity.”
A good friend shared the video below with me recently and it helped me to focus on love above all else. The more you love yourself and the people around you the more will bounce back to you. It's scientifically proven. Your subconscious will focus on certain things based on the cues you give it. Pema explains it perfectly:
“We’d be wise to question why we hold a grudge as if it were going to make us happy and ease our pain. It’s rather like eating rat poison and thinking the rat will die. Our desire for relief and the methods we use to achieve it are definitely not in sync.”
Watch this video and smile (even if you don’t want to). This isn’t hippie tree hugging shit. This is the future & this is now. This is the change that everyone needs to make in their lives. Have a good weekend!
I encourage you to familiarize yourself with my company, Velvet Cartel. We are small, but we are ambitious and talented. Visit our website at www.velvetcartel.com or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.