I just finished reading The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope. There were so many incredible parts that inspired, motivated, and challenged the way I move through my day. One of the lessons I’ve been sitting with this morning though is this: “If you don’t find your work in the world and throw yourself wholeheartedly into it, you will inevitably make your self your work. There’s no way around it: You will take yourself as your primary project. You will, in the very best case, dedicate your life to the perfection of your self. To the perfection of your health, intelligence, beauty, home, or even spiritual prowess. And the problem is simply this: This self-dedication is too small a work. It inevitably becomes a prison."
Dang!! This understanding is incredibly freeing and challenging at the same time. The challenge is in changing learned behavior and letting go of those stories that I've carried forever. The incredible freedom comes with the knowledge that everything I do during the day is in essence for others. Meditation creates a stillness and centered state from which I can truly listen to those around me without judgment. Running becomes an opportunity to push through perceived self limitations, so I can then hold that space of opportunity for others as well. Such a powerful shift!
Our self work is so important because it allows us to tune into our true work, align with what we re supposed to be doing free from perceived outcome and self imposed limitations.
I’ll end by sharing a quote from Stephen Cope’s book: “…(there is a) precise relationship between the salvation of the individual soul and the salvation of the world. If you bring forth what is within you, it will save you. Now we add a codicil: If you bring forth what is within you, it will save the world."