I have to be careful not to preach
I can’t pretend that I can teach
And yet I’ve lived your future out
– Pete Townshend – from Quadraphenia
This is a concept I’ve been working on for 15 years. I am going to articulate what I meant when I drew this little chart back then. Now in my 50’s with two teenaged kids, I am beginning to enter the “development” process again. Sure, life is a process, but the development of a LIFE PATH is a project that may take you the rest of your life. If you are lucky, the life path becomes your joy, your spirit, and your favorite way to spend time. But perhaps your life path is going down difficult roads, and this is not a FIXING program. This is a “here’s where I’m at, here’s where I want to go, what’s in my way” kind of program.
I’d love you to come on this initial journey with me, as I outline the “process” part of this vision. And I hope this exercise leads you to question and develop your own process for identifying and devoting your life to your truest life path. We are here for a reason. If you are not on your life path you may be idling in the backwaters. That’s okay. And, that’s okay, if you know that’s where you are and you’d like to stay there, unaware of the life path you are missing. But be aware, that you are making a choice to with every action you take today. You are either moving TOWARDS your life path or AWAY from it. I’d like to spend most of my days in motion TOWARDS.
The triad of our life (not my original thinking–obviously) is Sprit/Mind/Body. We all work in these three big areas of our lives. Let’s break them down briefly to see what the ancient seekers were trying to define with this “system.”
Spirit – “How is your connection to your god?” Do you have a higher power, or a Jesus Christ, or a Buddha? Are you working in your life, and praying in your life, in somewhat that serves a higher purpose? Are you spiritual? Does church work for you? Do you prefer something less formal in your spiritual renewal or your own striving in daily life? Meditation? Athletic exertion. (Marathons, triathlons, extreme sports, or any sport you are passionate about.)
Mind – “You are what you think.” Are you able to concentrate for long periods of time on things that you want to focus on? Do you feel like you have some control over your mind? Or has your mind gone into some form of crisis? (Depression, loneliness, mania, are all forms of the mind being out of balance with the rest of your life.)
Body – “How do you feel yourself right now? Are you well? Are you facing some physical challenges within your body?” Again, we are either actively taking care of our physical health or we are not. There is no middle ground. There is no laziness that is acceptable when dealing with your physical body. You may not have health insurance to take care of an ailment, but you can do plenty of work to eat healthily, get plenty of rest, drink pure filtered water, and keep your mindfulness on your own life and not obsess or worry about others.
So this triad forms the basis for life. How are you in your relationship to these areas of life? How is your spirit? How is your thinking? How is your body? When I ask you these questions do you have anger? Do you have questions? Perhaps you have some confident answer, like, “Kick ass, thank you very much!” My hope is that we can move your closer to this last statement in your overall life. I want to help you kick ass in your life. I don’t have the answers for you, but I have the questions. And it is my belief, that your personal spirit/mind/body will give you the right answers.
Now, in my Life Path Development idea we can use several systems to manage and change our life balance. We can direct our own lives, and thereby establish a life path, by focusing on the three areas of activity in our lives.
Life Energy – Everything you eat, everything you think about, everything you pray about, affect your life energy. Did you get enough sleep last night? Did you need coffee this morning? Did the coffee have the desired effect? Are you lacking in energy this morning? Are there things you can do differently to build your life energy? And are there things you can cut out of your life (alcohol, television, drugs, poor quality sleep) that would support the positive growth of your life energy? The first step in my conceptual process is to determine the things in your life that provide MORE life energy and the things in your life that subtract from your life energy. And our goal, then, as we move forward together, is to support and enhance your life energy. So that your entire triad is more available for doing your life’s work.
Prosperity – The new measure of prosperity is health rather than money. That said, financial insolvency is a heavy drain on all aspects of your life energy and life path. We have got to find a way to walk on the Earth and earn a living. Your prosperity is a measure of how you are doing in life. Again, don’t think of money, but think of the healthy 75-year-old runner who is still enjoying his life sport. And imagine that every run gives this “uber-man” more energy, more joy, and a renewed surge spiritual wellness. He is ON his journey and his actiities support his life’s goal.
Hope/Faith – Hope and Faith are the intangibles. But this doesn’t make them any less important. How is your hope? Do you believe you will rise about this most recent challenge? Do you have a faith in God or some other spiritual practice that brings you more hopefulness? My hope is that you do have a practice of faith. There is a lot more to our lives than this mere mortal coil. We are bigger than our cells and memories. And we are even bigger than our ancestors and their beleifs. It is my firm assumption that we are all connected to some supra-consciousness. Jung called it the supra-consciousness. Christians call it the holy trinity. You may call it something esle. But the point is, there is something above us, beyond us as an individual, beyond our family and loved ones, a “something” that connects us all. I believe this is God. You may call it what you want. I believe an essential part of your life’s work is building and maintain a healthy spiritual life. How is your faith? How is your relationship to your god?
The development process, the one I’m aiming at, is about redirecting things in your life that are not in alignment with your individual life’s work. It is not a spiritual or business program. I am hoping to establish a process for pointing your “arrow” in the right direction for your life.
If you would like to explore this concept or work with me individually as a coach, let me know. Otherwise, please stay tuned to this site for more information, as I continue writing and refinining my idea for constructing a “process” that you can follow, with or without me.
I am already wishing the best for you. And I salute you on your personal journey. You are on the path, but you are either actively directing your actions and intentions, or you are coasting. My goal is to help you focus on what’s important and let the rest of life take care of itself, as the clouds drift by in the sky, day and night, without any help from you.
And my blessing for you (at this very moment in your life) comes from Sharon Salzberg’s mindfulness meditation.
May you be safe. Be happy. Be healthy. Live with ease.
— Sharon Salzberg