I grew up around talk radio and still love it. One of my favorite radio personalities is Terry Gross, who hosts Fresh Air. What I find most fascinating about her show is not so much who she interviews, but the questions she asks. Like a skilled investigator, she shortcuts through the obvious in search of the most interesting, personal, and deepest truth. I have often paused just to marvel at her questions and in doing so, contemplate my own.
In my own line of work, learning to ask better questions has yielded considerable insights. A few years ago (well, more like 18), I too contemplated this question: “why do I do what I do?” and this came during one of the highest points in my corporate career. In an essay titled Enterprises of Meaning, (2013), I shared the following:
Vowing never to do anything of artificial importance again, I left corporate America in 1998. Some called this departure “bold” and “inspiring”; most called it “stupid” and “misguided”. I was 4 months pregnant with my first daughter and decided to trade-in the security of a lovely salary and stellar benefits, for education and a more meaningful existence. That Fall, my friend Julie and I enrolled in a graduate degree program at a nearby University – both of us fueled by a deep desire to not only learn more about the world around us, but about ourselves. And we did. And we are still learning.
So here I sit, 18 years later, asking myself the same question; why do I do what I do?, and of course, the answer is both infinitely simple and complex.
The poet Mary Oliver, when asked about why she writes, stated that when a poem comes to her it is like an energy so powerful that she must stop everything else and simply write it down–or it will be gone. It is something she cannot help but do. Many writers and artists know this feeling. Inspiration is not a “thought”; it is an energy that visits us, in order to manifest itself in physical form.
When inspiration comes knocking on your life door, you have a choice; follow it or ignore it. Either route is imbued with great peril and potential terror. Either path will yield data for the heart. However, only one path will be representative of your fullest, most authentic humanity, and result in personal peace and true wealth.
In the years since leaving corporate America, I have come across many others who have heeded the call to follow their soul’s call. Many of them are “here” with me, as we support, co-create, and grapple with duality! One thing we all share in common is the deep understanding that comes from “the fall”; the necessary softening, integration, and utilization of the ego, in the service of something greater than ourselves.
If you’re at a life cross-road…if you’re struggling or suffering…if you’re ready to ask yourself the deeper questions, there is support available. To this end, here are a few questions from our Soulful Inquiries™ to help get you started:
– What one thing can I do today to be more peaceful in my life?
– What level of consciousness do I wish to embody?
– Is my life in alignment with my soul?