Maybe 2001 is your year – a time to start living life in a purposeful and satisfying way. But what makes life feel as if it has purpose and is worthwhile? How do you find the verve, excitement and sense of fulfillment?

Healing, contentment and grace are not about how much you are doing, but rather who you are being. Stop for a minute and just ask yourself this question. “Who am I and what am I doing here?” Unfortunately we have been doing life a little like car salesmen. We try to hold all the pieces together, make things look nice on the outside, but, on the inside there are a lot of parts missing. It’s exhausting and always costs us more in the long run.

Life is not about keeping score. It’s not about how many meetings you attend, how many friends you have, how much money you make, or how many dates you go on. It’s not about what you wear, how smart you are, how much work you do, how many credit cards you have or even how many steps you have done. Life is simply about as Shakespeare said, “To be or not to be.” Common to nearly everyone are the feelings of being stuck, feeling like an impostor, being overwhelmed, and not being at home with ourselves. This dissatisfaction is the fire in our transformation process. In fact, if you were not well along your path, you would not be feeling this emptiness. True healing is of a spiritual nature and has nothing at all to do with externals. It is not as if we shouldn’t step out onto the dance floor of life and fully participate, but, if we are to truly satisfy our soul longings we must be willing to journey to a meeting with ourselves.

Something amazing happens when we finally become present to our own selves. A healing energy begins to rise and meet the wounded places inside of us with the welcoming grace of a long awaited soul mate. The only way to real peace is within. So, how does one get there? You stop doing. Does that mean stop going to meetings, stop doing the steps? Of course not. It means letting go of the idea that those actions alone are the answer to finding happiness and begin to do whatever you do consciously, so that it has a soul deep affect on you that brings healing and joy.

Go to your meetings and do everything you do asking, “Who am I and what am I here for?” Become fully aware. What are you feeling when you are at the meeting? How connected are you to what is being said? Where is fear still held inside and what does it have to teach you? How many times do you push fear, anger, pain into denial rather than deal with it? How do you distance from people? Do you light up a cigarette? Do you answer questions with questions? Do you interrupt and change the subject? Do you talk about other people instead of addressing issues directly with those involved? What fears precipitate you moving into trying to take control of people and situations? What old addictions have you simply traded in for new addictions? Cigarettes, serial relationships or taking on too many responsibilities, in order not to feel yourself, your frustration or your pain? What message does that send to yourself about your own strength of spirit?

At any given moment of the day, you have with you, in you, the best source of knowledge and wisdom. Worlds of information about yourself can be found in every response you have to life and each person in it. When you begin to use every feeling you have as an opportunity for exploration into consciousness, mindfulness, heartfulness, you have opened the door to your own Spirit. The emptiness begins to leave because the greater the oneness you experience with your own self, the greater sense of oneness you are able to experience with other people in your life and with whatever you perceive God or Spirit to be. It becomes impossible to feel alone or empty. Any distance you remove from your own pain or grief is also distance you remove from your self, life and those you love.

If your mind has become fatigued, it is probably from trying so hard. Many of us are feeling burnt out from all the self-protecting and posturing. Commit to living life consciously, and what you will find is that the most minuscule awareness that results from your mindfulness, forgiveness and loving kindness for yourself and others will create major shifts in your sense of aliveness and joy. As you watch yourself and follow your thoughts and feelings, have great compassion and mercy for all you find. We are all works in progress. There is no one who does not have work to do and when you find places where work is to be done, rejoice over it. It means you are truly becoming enlightened, self-aware. You have come out of denial and are standing in the truth and strength of your own spirit. You are on your way home to the peace, serenity and meaning to life that you seek.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

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