Its #teachertuesday here at Mandorla and this week we are highlighting therapeutic teacher, Yulia Rudko. Yulia teaches our #Meridianyoga classes on Thursday mornings at 9:30am. Come check her out at the Calgary studio!
When I thought about the topic of life purpose it brought thoughts like:
"Life Purpose... Wow! That's too big!.. And scary... It's like goals… I do not like goals... It might be too stressful to think about life purpose… Can’t I just float and not worry about it? Do I need one? Is everyone supposed to have a purpose? If purpose was easy then by nature I am meant to be light and playful; and hopefully others will see that you don't need to be so hard on yourself and to be so serious all the time. Is that good enough of a life purpose? If I die tomorrow how would I be remembered? Would people think I contributed? And does it matter what they think? Or maybe even does it matter what I think? Who am I anyways?"
I used to think I needed to have something grandiose done - something that many people will know and remember and associate with my name. Oh the ego!...
I don't even remember how, but yoga undid those painful ways of thinking. Now that I write this, there is such an ease in my heart and no desire to be known, and no reason. But sometimes my ego says: "You don't know anything really", "You need to study for years more until you can be anyone or work with anyone". And recently: "What if someone comes to you with questions about life purpose? What are you going to do or say? How are you going to work with this?"
But I put it aside and remind myself that I need to feel joy. When I teach yoga or work with the person in a healing session there is joy and the good feeling of not having any other choice but doing this is there. So I'll just feel my way into it - into doing and having a purpose.
It might be that purpose finds us and not the other way around. But that happens, I think, only when you quiet down enough and become honest with yourself and see the gifts that you already have. There is no strain there, not even when hard work is involved, and the sense of time disappears also. You don't strive to bring something into your life because someone is successful at it or is profiting from it, you bring it because that's what gives you joy.
Is life purpose something that all human-beings either think about, talk about, or search for in their lives? Or is it only those of us who are very identified with our minds that think about it or search for it? Maybe it’s always there for us and we are so blinded by thinking that we don’t see or feel it? It seems we all need to connect to it throughout our time here on Earth. I think we feel unfulfilled if we don't have an idea about our purpose here. Without it we just float
and sometimes get confused and entangled in thoughts, behaviours, and situations that do not bring us ease, joy or self-realization. Exploration of this topic with Eckhart Tolle's book "The New Earth" brings me to the understanding that there is inner and outer purpose. Inner purpose is the primary purpose which we share with all humanity and it's to awaken. Outer purpose has to with doing and is secondary. How do we align inner and outer? Eckhart Tolle says: "Finding and living in alignment with the inner purpose is the foundation for fulfilling your outer purpose... Without that alignment, you can still achieve certain things through effort, struggle, determination, sheer hard work or cunning. But there is no joy in such endeavour, and it invariably ends in some form of suffering... Awakening is a shift in consciousness in which thinking and awareness separate... Only the first awakening, the first glimpse of consciousness without thought, happens by grace... Opening yourself to the emerging consciousness and bringing its light into this world then becomes the primary purpose of your life."
"According to the Vedas, our soul has four distinct desires, which collectively are described in the tradition as purushartha, ‘for the purpose of the soul’. The four desires—dharma, artha, kama, and moksha...", writes Rod Stryker in his book "The Four Desires". Out of the four desires moksha is the one that correlates the most to the primary purpose described by Eckhart Tolle. "Moksha is the longing for liberation, true freedom. It is the intrinsic desire to realize a state free from all boundaries... It is the longing to know the Eternal, that which is beyond all limitations, beyond the province of the ﬁve senses and even death. It is the impulse that compels us to seek out prayer, meditation, contemplation, surrender."
After contemplating life purposes myself, I can see that in my work as a yoga therapist I will be able to assist a person who is looking for his or her life purposes. After all, yoga is designed to help people to awaken. Depending on the situation and client, an application of any or all of the 8 limbs of yoga, and knowledge of gunas, kleshas and kanchukas will lay the way for seekers to dis-identify with thinking, bringing a dimension of awareness into their life. This in return brings awakening - the primary purpose.
- Book "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle
- Adaptation of the book for the website: "The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom" by Rod Stryker https://yogainternational.com/article/view/destiny-and-desire-finding-yourpurpose
Stefani Wilton and Contributors
Finding beauty in the midst of joyous imperfection