Those who know me well are aware that I am always either up to my eyeballs in a shit fight solving the problems of the world , or off on some personal growth tangent – part of that elusive search to find my true sense of purpose before I depart in the grey car at the end of my mortal days. Relax, I’m not about to get all maudlin but the orphan lamb I was nursing full of hope last night is nothing but a corpse this morning and I am again aware of how fleeting time is and the importance of making the most of it.
I’m on one of those PG tangents again. I still don’t know what my purpose for being here is but know in my heart I am closer to finding it as I continue to sift the oats from the chaff in my mad life. I met a beautiful young lady a couple of months back who talked about “following your own North Star”. I am always in bed so bloody early that I don’t often get to look at the stars and so in an effort to adopt this philosophy I have been star gazing a bit. I can now pick out that star in the sky, the brightness and one that for many over centuries has been a symbol of hope and inspiration for people the world over. The North Star is the anchor of the northern sky and it is a landmark, or sky marker, that helps those who follow it determine direction as it glows brightly to guide and lead toward a purposeful destination. It means different things to individuals, populations of people and different cultures but regardless of that it’s always a guiding light.
It’s no secret that I am geographically challenged wherever in the world I am. If anybody can get lost its me, and years ago I accepted that it was ok to embrace that flaw in my personality. I have learned that often on an uncharted part of the route, the best things happen to me. It has been there where I have met fabulous quirky people, experienced the kindness of others, seen magical things and felt both fear and joy. The common denominator when I got back on the right track again was always the sense of empowerment and confidence that I was filled with, knowing that I was back on course.
I’ve always had a strong internal moral compass but years in the crayfishing industry taught me that even the best of Compasses need regularly “swung and adjusted” to keep them on track and accurate. The lockdown of Covid19 has seen many of us swinging our own compass as we refocus on our own North star. If you have been unhappy with aspects in your life or your career and feeling – “I don’t know what to do next”, I urge you to take some time and breath. Time and space is needed to figure stuff out and often we end up creating the same situation somewhere else if we don’t allow ourselves the time to slow down and figure out why we are you doing things and what is the life we really want.
You see, in a nutshell we are made up of two parts of our selves. Our Essential Self – Your make up from when you were born, the true essence of who you are regardless of where you are born, when, what culture or what sex you are and the second part which is our Social Self . Our Social self is influenced by our peers, our circumstances, our surroundings and the identity we choose to let people see. As a child we are programmed to say yes to what we should be doing. This keeps us safe and, in our tribe, and we learn to value things that might not directly align with those values and beliefs of our essential self. Most of us ending up valuing this side of ourselves so much more as we are guided by what is considered acceptable, what other people want for us and so at some stage you have to re-establish with your essential self.
If you are not having fun or laughing out loud you need to take a rain check on your life. Joy brings real clarity from your essential self and so you must start listening to clues you are given to reconnect to this part of you. Understand the signals of your internal navigation system and use them to start to follow your own north star. Your Essential self works on these 3 components of who you are:
Body – Emotions – Intuition
Your body does react and respond to your thoughts. A constant state of pleasantness is what is expected by your social self, so go inwards and listen to those signals you are getting as you experience a physical reaction or gut feelings to a situation and don’t know why. Listen and react to the things that make you feel bad – stop doing that shit or get rid of those toxic people from your life. Similarly, if it makes you feel good and invigorated, then do more of it to develop that connection to your authentic self. Like anything you do, it takes practice and the more practice you do the better you will get at it.
Our whole lives are just a series of deaths and rebirths. You move from childhood to adulthood, from a career person to a parent or from one relationship to another. Realise that this is normal. You need to allow yourself to feel the sadness from that initial death wether you were the catalyst for the death or not. As you go forward towards rebirthing that new identity, its normal to feel a sadness, indecision, self-doubt and fear. It is an intense place to be in and instead of focussing on the big picture, stay present and get clear on the direction your internal compass wants to direct you to. Just be, start embracing life as a human being instead of a human doing, and develop that sense of knowing or clear cognizance that tells you that you are on the right track even if the sky looks as black as the inside of a dead dog and your north star has temporarily been hidden in the darkness. . The sun always comes up tomorrow and as the dawn breaks the real beauty is seen in the chance that this is a brand-new day to start in a brand-new way. I don’t know what my sense of purpose is yet but I sure as hell don’t want to die wondering.