By Dr. Andrew S. Goldstein and Jamie T. Duneier
We are taught to create a vision of what we want our lives to look like and feel like, a month from now, a year from now, all the way down to our five, ten or twenty-year plan. It’s as if we are required to constantly measure ourselves against a projection of where we think we will be. When we are able to step outside of our own projections, we start to become gainfully detached from what we thought they meant, and we begin to see them for what they truly are…ideas formulated yesterday about where we want to be tomorrow, that we’ve chained ourselves to today. And when the fundamental dreams we’ve held for ourselves no longer represent us, we get lost. This is where many get stumped and why some are too afraid to embark on the quest of routinely and critically evaluating their goals. We think, “How can I deviate from this track that I have set out for myself? My life has no meaning without this plan that I have created.” That’s when we know we’re in trouble, and maybe even brave enough to do something, or nothing, about it. Whether we are twenty, forty, sixty or eighty, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Many people set their intention to help the world, which is certainly a noble avenue. But if we are not, first, whole ourselves, helping others can turn into another distraction from doing our own work. On the other hand, sometimes the process of making a difference in someone else’s life can lead to our “way in” to helping heal our own. This is particularly true if the experience can help us to realize what makes us happy and what doesn’t.
Regardless, it is important to remember that our soul’s natural inclination is to help others. So in the process of rescuing our soul, we must trust that our true purpose will be revealed to us, if it isn’t already clear, and that just as a seed will sprout into a thriving plant given enough sunlight, water and nutrient-rich soil, everything in our lives will fall into place. That’s why it is so essential to work on ourselves before we even understand what it means to be “successful” and live with purpose. We don’t need to go on a wild, death-defying search, expending lavish amounts of energy, in order to figure it all out. We just need to be open. That’s all. We will see the signs when they appear to us and we will know when we are ready to take on whatever role we are intended to. It will just feel right. And we will proceed on our latest adventure, with our heart as our guide, and our expectations left behind in the rear-view mirror.
This “live in the heart, not in the mind” mentality doesn’t mean we are throwing up our hands in a negative way, not helping ourselves to get wherever it is we are going to end up. It just means that the external manifestations of our inner work depend exclusively on how much work we’ve done within. There are numerous examples of native cultures sending teenage boys into the wilderness to fend for themselves as a rite of passage to manhood. It’s only in being forced to survive on their own that these boys can learn to find out who they truly are, outside of the experiences of their parents, elders and other tribe members. In this day and age, we are rarely given the opportunity, without taking it ourselves, to step outside of what we’ve been told and figure out who we are. Doing “nothing” is actually our way of creating silence, an equivalent to the trek into the wilderness. This silence, a clean slate, allows us to follow our heart, rather than society, and see the new ideas and passions that are around us all the time, just waiting to be discovered.
We are most successful when we are simply living in our flow, meaning uninformed by the opinions of others and untouched by our obsession with knowing what the end product will look like. This is hard to do when we live in a society that values everything by the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and not the importance of the process that led to its creation. But by not worrying about how we get to our final destination, we most effectively and serendipitously arrive there. Most people who live this way, they will tell you that their lives have been nothing but a series of unexpected miracles, one after another, after another. We’ve been trained to be goal-oriented. However the two of us believe a life lived with renewed purpose is a life lived with intention.
About the authors:
Jamie Duneier grew up in Merrick, New York and received an Associateʼs Degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York Universityʼs Tisch School of the Arts. Dr. Andrew Goldstein grew up in Milton, Massachusetts, and received his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Both authors currently live in Southern California.
Their first book, Ten Ways To Rescue Your Soul, is the story of how a screenwriter and a molecular biologist, both individually and together, found an unexpected path to spirituality through science and logic. This book follows their approachable, stepwise route to turning inward and achieving a shift in perspective that led them to experience new levels of meaning and happiness in their lives. What they came to find inspired them to document their experiences, each step opening them to the next lesson of how to cultivate true personal freedom. Along the journey, Jamie and Andrew realized that living a conscious and spiritual life, where we question everything, is actually more logical than the survival mentality we’ve become accustomed to. In the end, they found that when we decide to base the choices we make in our lives on truly objective, unprejudiced information we cannot help but live a more peaceful and fulfilling life.
The ebook is available for download from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Find out more about the book and the authors on facebook and YouTube