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Woman With Outstretched Hands
Fri, August 1, 2014
Christine's Corner, Friday, August 1, 2014
I am constantly in awe of all of the people in the world who are using their energies and their passions to help others. And I'm just as enthralled with how those intentions and efforts deepen and get more finely honed over time. It's synergistic of course as that's the path that our lives often lead as we wind our way through our lives, our experiences, and our growth over the years. Every experience, every new awareness and connection can lead you on a path of greater discovery and more meaningful application of your own unique talents.

You can literally hear that almost as a theme from so many of our writers and guests, and it's certainly a prevalent theme from within this month's feature article, written by Patty Hart. I first met Patty several years ago, a passionate teacher of yoga, she's a woman who exudes warmth and positivity. Now, in her own journey she's learned the power of yoga in helping those who have experienced trauma, including PTSD, and is paying that forward to assist those who are recovering.

That simple example, multiplied by the millions of people around the world who are doing something similar with their own unique talents, passions, and knowledge, can literally take my breath away. Gratefully, there is a lot of discussion these days about what it means to live our lives well, to use the lives we have with purpose, and defining for ourselves what it actually means to live a fulfilling life.

There isn't a handbook on how to live our lives, we make all kinds of mistakes and missteps along the way. And it does take some time for us to figure out who we are, what makes us happy, what we're good at and what we love. Often we spend our lives continually polishing and refining many of those things: learning, growing, sharing, repeat.

There does come a point in life when we begin to recognize that success and meaning and fulfillment are achieved by the measure of happiness we feel within. And that happiness is in direct proportion to how well we internally feel we are using our passions to propel us forward. It's not the "stuff" we have or even how much of it we have that fills our hearts fully at the end of the day. It is in the still moments of reflection and knowing that we are breathing our lives in deeply and exhaling as much of our own, unique presence into the lives of those we touch that enable us to feel we are fully, wholly present and valued.

There are some spectacular quotes about this concept of living life well that I love:

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. - Albert Einstein

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. - Eleanor Roosevelt

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for. - Oscar Wilde

All of us have individual ways of feeling most valued, of discerning for ourselves what we have to give and how well we are accomplishing those efforts. What holds meaning for me may not hold meaning for the next person, but regardless of what those things are there is no doubt in my mind that what we all desire is to feel that we have lived our lives to the best of our ability in each and every moment.

Life itself to me is fascinating. To witness, to listen to our lives and the experiences and lessons that present themselves along the way for the benefit of our own self-exploration and evolution is simply a marvel to me. I am constantly amazed by what shows up in my life, the meaning and the wisdom that is within each of my experiences that often takes time and patience to discern. But it's there. There is nothing wasted in our lives - no experience, no emotion, no thought or action or relationship - they form an intricate web that encases us and guides us along to the next point in our life's journey.

To be able to take that wisdom and determine to then use that to help others is a decision that to me is at the heart of what it means to be human. To lift others up, to empower them, to hold them safely and reverently as they travel on their own life's journey is the very definition of what it means to live in the highest possible expression of whom we can be as human beings.

There is no doubt that we all touch and shape and form the lives of those around us. Whether intentional or not, our very presence creates change in others. When you entwine within that fact the simple intention to help, to assist, to elevate, to uplift yourself and/or other people, the magic, as I call it, is simply stupendous. That feeling of knowing that you've created a positive moment or experience for someone else... I wish there was a word to accurately describe it but the closest I can come to it is "love".

Regardless of the challenges we've faced in getting where we are in our lives, or the next obstacles that may face us, there is a "rightness", a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you've helped someone, made their day more positive, uplifted them if even only for a moment. To take this tremendous gift of life, be willing to listen to what your life is telling you, and pave the way forward so that others' journeys may be just a bit easier... Now that is a life well lived!

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