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Living a soul-driven life. 

There’s an exercise I often lead with people I coach that reveals a surprising truth: most of us don’t really know what we want.

In this exercise, I ask a simple question: “what do you want?”

And then I repeat this same question over and over again.

In the first minute or so, the expected answers come out. Those generally are the things that are top of mind, the things they want most immediately, like wanting more money or new clients or other material things. In their minds, if they were to have those things, they would be happy and fulfilled.

But then, when they have finished listing all the material things they want, and all the success they desire, they become a bit emotional, sometimes tearful, and begin to go deeper.

They become silent.

They gaze at me with curiosity and unknowing.

They begin to mumble, they slow down enough to begin hearing their soul’s voice.

This is always a precious moment. A sacred opening.

It is in this moment they realize that what they really want most is a life of real purpose. A life filled with intention, fulfillment and inner peace.

I call that a soul-driven life.

It is in this moment that they begin to pay attention to what really matters most to them.

It’s easy for us creative types to lose sight of our soul’s voice. That’s because our creative free spirit gets drowned out by the monkey mind chatter that our ego consistently broadcasts. Our work becomes consumed with solving other people’s problems and along the way we become less creative and less in touch with who we really are.

Our ego is doing a great job at wanting more, wanting faster, wanting bigger. It gets so loud that when it doesn’t get what it wants, it has the ability to create a dark cloud over our lives, resulting in depression and hopelessness. This dark cloud can turn us into self-doubters or worst, fear-based people-pleasers.

Our ego is constantly wanting. And the louder our ego is, the further we get from living our soul’s purpose.

We live in a media-driven culture that sends us constant messages that we are not enough. Our ego eats these messages up like a starved animal. If only we had that luxury car or that fancy house or that big name client, our life will be better. We believe this campaign and beat ourselves down for not achieving the milestones we supposedly were meant to achieve. We compare ourselves and suffer.

What you want will always come from somewhere. It will always have an origin. What you want will either come from your ego or from your soul. The question is, which one are you listening to? Which one is driving your life?

There’s a beautiful parable I once heard about a grandfather talking with his grandson and he says "there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear."

The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”

The grandfather quietly replies, “The one you feed.”

Our ego wants to look good, to win, to be right, to succeed, to be known, to be in control. Our ego wants to receive for the sake of receiving. And the more it gets, the more it wants.

Soul is pure. Soul is the essence of our being. Our truth. It is who we truly are underneath the mask we so carefully and masterfully created in order to cope with the world. It is the part of us that lives behind our ego, the part of us that is divine.

I spent many years of my life unconsciously driven by ego. That brought me success, accolades, and wealth. But at the end of the day, much of that achievement didn’t bring me real happiness. I found myself running on a hamster wheel, feeling unfulfilled by my work, depressed and exhausted.

That’s when I stopped running and asked myself “What do I really want?” And guess what? I had no idea either.

All I knew was what I didn’t want.

I didn’t want to feel like I’m swimming upstream. I didn’t want to keep running on the hamster wheel for the rest of my life.

When I stopped to ask myself this simple question, that's when my soul journey began. 

We tend to focus so much on what our ego wants and forget to focus on what it is we need that truly matters. We fool ourselves thinking that what our ego wants is what we need and yet when we achieve those things we think we want, we often realize that we are still empty inside.

Our soul, in its purest divine form, wants to create, to influence and serve others. And when we live in a soul-driven way, we get to do just that and get more than what we want. We get what we truly need. Meaning, fulfillment, and inner peace. 

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