I’ve recently joined a course led by Charles Eisenstein, called The Space Between Stories. During this six-week training, we focus on the transition our world is going through: We are gradually leaving the “old story”, the world where notably most of our life choices are conditioned by society’s standards: going to school, studying hard, getting a high-paying job, saving money and retiring happily ever after. You know the drill. In the new story, it is emphasized that we’ve been put in this world to share a gift, and what matters in life is to discover what that gift is, develop it and spread it. What is a gift? I’d say it’s your specific contribution to this world, work in which you create “good” around you and blossom when performing it; a synonym can also be “vocation”.
In the last session, Charles invited Lissa Rankin to talk more specifically about the possibilities of life and the key decisions we make during our existence. The topic struck a chord with me, so I wanted to share a few lines with you about it.
1. Living in the gift
Throughout the course all of us participants have shared our opinions on the topic of gift, sharing best practices and personal stories, and I observe a pattern:
People reach a point in their lives when working in an office as an employee isn’t bearable anymore, so they try to become more independent. However, they soon realize that this new situation isn’t enough to really fulfill them because the way money works in our society is still keeping them from doing what they truly love. Alas. What to do then? The one and only option to pursue their passion is to take a leap of faith, move forward, avoid burdening the mind with unnecessary plans and simply see what happens on the go. In the process, they struggle financially for a while (and worry too much), but after months and even years, they manage in one way or another to work only for their passion, to live in the gift.
I have yet to hear anyone in the group say they went back to their previous life or that they regretted giving up the superficial comforts of living in the old story, even if they felt that life in the new story was like a rollercoaster ride. Because they believe they are driven by something bigger than themselves, they always find the courage to move forward and solve whatever obstacles arise. They now realize they have found much more purpose in life and work, and have built deeper and stronger relationships with like-minded people they have met along the path.
Only a few participants have confessed that at some point in their lives they could have lived more in the new story, but have chosen instead the comfort of working in the traditional economy, and now look back only to realize how dull life has become, lacking meaning and deep connections. According to Lissa, we end up in these kinds of situations because we make about 90% of our decisions in order to stay in our comfort zone.
2. Finding and developing your gift
How to discover what your gift is? According to Charles, it starts with exploring life more and more, learning, going out of our comfort zone, taking risks, following what feels right at the moment. A gift doesn’t need to be something big like saving the world from hunger. It can start with a small and simple contribution that feels right for your heart, like playing music in your community, giving a hand to clean the local beaches or taking care of a child or the elder. Start with experiences that specially resonate with you — that feel effortless and lead to authentic connections — and keep exploring based on that. With this in mind, you’ll probably do small and frequent changes in your life, without really forcing anything, and the whole journey will feel smooth.
The mind will tend to make plans and perhaps conclude that the path is not viable, but why bother making plans when we can’t even know what the destination will be? We can’t know where the journey will take us so just “trust the Universe, everything will be all right”, as Lissa repeated.
3. Finding guidance coming from the “inner pilot light”
We talked quite a lot about a fascinating topic related to discovering and growing your gift: the “inner pilot light”. We sometimes call it the inner voice, a guide that you have deep within you and tries to help you see the right path.Often called intuition, your gut feeling, your spirit guides. I also like to call it following your heart.
One pillar of the new story is that the whole process of life is run by a higher intelligence. Although the mind wants to believe that we are an entity separated from the rest of the Universe, we are in fact part of something much bigger than what we usually call our “self”. Being able to tune into your inner pilot light means connecting with this cosmic intelligence in order to find guidance in the discovery and development of your gift. It is then not surprising to see that people who live in the gift have a kind of spiritual connection with their work, a cosmic force that pushes them to accomplish a mission.
Honestly, I can’t say that letting the “inner voice” guide you is easy. However, here are three techniques that have helped me:
a) Meditation can help us listen to our hearts more deeply. With training, you can reach a level of consciousness where you’ll instinctively know the answers to your questions of the moment, that a “right” message is flowing through you, guiding you. We have several level of thoughts before reaching the state when can tune into this voice, so practicing again and again is key. It may take months or years before reaching that higher state, but within a few weeks of practice you might at least see small changes if you stick to it. Give guided meditations a shot if you’re totally new with the practice.
b) Another way to find guidance is through signs. According to Lissa, “the Universe reorganizes your world, conspiring, to help you make the right decision”. A few months ago, I felt that all the videos I was watching and articles I was reading were dealing with our money system and the destructive impact on our communities and the biosphere. I had the feeling that an inner voice was whispering: “Come on, can’t you see that the world needs your help to tackle this issue?”. I felt lost for a few weeks. In the old story, we called these signs coincidences and society said that those who saw signs had lost their mind. However, in the new story, we believe that those who know how to recognize and analyse these signs definitely have a precious skill. Again, it’s a long term practice and you can read more about this fascinating topic here.
c) Last but not least, get the help of an intuitive reader, these kind of people can tune into the spirit world, connect with your guides and get answers from them. A few months ago, I was fortunate to find and connect with one of them. I thought I was getting signs that I should make my work evolve and include new topics such as money and economics, but I couldn’t really find a market for what I wanted to do, so my mind started to be afraid and began to visualize all the possible catastrophic scenarios. Should I still make this transition in my work? The session with the intuitive reader blew me away: before I gave any information about my concerns, she saw that I was questioning myself way too much and that my path was more under control and comfortable than what my mind was concluding. The information I received made totally sense. It felt “right”, so I decided to trust and made my work evolve. And guess what? The whole process of transition was indeed smooth and I’m still in that field today, still alive, happier than ever, so glad of the decision I made.
These topics on gift and inner voice can seem totally alien if you’ve never heard about them before, but the more we transition toward the “new story”, the more these notions will become be part of our everyday life. For the moment I can only hope that this message will have planted a seed of curiosity in at least a few of you and will help you see possibilities of life that go beyond the rational thinking. It has been my own experience that all this has triggered valuable personal growth: the (r)evolution comes from the heart.
If you feel you’re not living in the gift enough and that in a way your life lacks meaning, feel free to hit the reply button or schedule a Skype call with me. I’d be glad to hear your story and hopefully find ways to help you.