Saturday, October 13, 2012

What Are You? WHO Are You?

Alida, my new little buddy. I found
her abandoned in my pasture.
The other day, after doing a small favor for a friend, in her gratitude she asked me,

"What planet are you from?"

That question has been on my mind ever since.

I am from this planet, of course, and to be honest it was a bit disconcerting to me that my small kindness was viewed as so rare and unusual.

It made me think a lot about some of my core beliefs, including "Life is what you make it", "Behave as the person you want to become", and especially "We all have a great purpose to fulfill".

I truly believe that as long as one's heart is still beating, we have not yet fulfilled our divine purpose for being put on this planet. Of all the verses in the Bible, the one which speaks to me the most is Jeremiah 29:11: "'For I know the plans I have for you', says the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"

So how do we find out just who we are and what those plans might be?  Can we log into our divine account online to check our assignments on God's home page? 

My current art journal; working on it is
very meditative and inspiring.
No.  We find out in two ways.  First, by quieting ourselves.  By logging off, tuning out, finding some time alone to meditate/pray/commune with nature/create art/listen to music/ride a motorcycle... whatever it is that quiets and calms, restores and inspires you.  This opens up our minds to receive the inspiration we need to pursue our purpose. It is where we get our marching orders.

Sometimes I forget to do that, let the busy-ness of life get in the way, and fail to seek out that restoration which brings balance to my life and clarification to my vision.  When that happens, I get physically ill. It's my body's (and God's) way of saying, "Slow down, Amy.  You need to rest and chart your course for the next leg of the journey".

This happened to me recently, and it was a good reminder to step back, seek that peace, and remember just who I am and the purposes for which I was put here on earth; why I do what I do.

The second way we discover our purpose is to live life with a generous spirit, engaging and collaborating with others in an authentic way, so we are receptive to the cues given to us in regard to where our time, talent and energy is best utilized.

Some of my art, a page from my journal.
I'm a firm believer that the best ideas are not those which are forced, and the greatest contributions are not the ones other people expect.  The best ideas and the greatest contributions are those which are unexpected, come from the heart and are acted upon selflessly.  They are often the ones others deem  "crazy", "impossible", "impractical".

This does not mean that one must contribute your ideas and hard work to the world for free!  I believe we are granted inspiration and talent with every intent that we capitalize on it.  We must, of course, help others with it in a generous fashion.  The most successful people I know tend to also be the most generous with their time, talent and resources.  Funny how that works.

Before sharing that time and talent with the world, however, one must decide on what you are, WHO you are, what you stand for, what your special talents might be.  

These are decisions based upon what is divinely placed in your heart.  They cannot come from what other people think, want or expect.

This life of mine has been totally unconventional, my path circuitous, my choices often unexpected.  In school I played the trombone while most of the girls played flute or clarinet.  I took agriculture classes instead of typing (and it seems I now type just fine).  When everyone else rode Quarter Horses, I chose Arabians (and then Pintabians!). When others were partying, I worked, and when others worked, I stayed home with my babies.  My life is one that sometimes makes others look from the outside in, and say "Wow, you are so lucky!"

Yes, I am... I am very blessed.  But is is also because I decided to be.  I made the choice to follow my own path and not anyone else's, to actively seek my purpose in life.  I am a writer because I choose to write, an artist because I make art, a horsewoman because I choose to be.  No one else determines those things, that decision belongs to me alone.

It has come from listening to my heart more than my head, working hard at what I believe in, and not worrying about what other people think.  It was not always easy and was often isolating, until I found the courage to be who I am meant to be, believe in that person, throw myself out there and contribute my gifts to the world.

My purpose in this life is to inspire, encourage and support my friends and family, to help them see their own beauty, value and potential... to create things which didn't exist before, be it a blog post or article, a poem, a photo, a piece of art... to breed beautiful horses and share my passion for them with the world... to give sanctuary and comfort and friendship and food and love to people and animals who need it. Not necessarily in Africa or Haiti, I haven't been called to that.  My purpose is to start right here in my home, my community, and work outward.

I know these things because whenever my life has spun out of control, when my body has rebelled or my heart been broken, it has made me get quiet and seek these answers.  Those dark times have great purpose for me in that they result in my coming out stronger, more determined, more passionate and creative and generous than ever before. I know who I am, what I am, what my purpose is, at  least for right now. 

My question is, what are you? WHO are you?  Have you found your purpose, your passion?  

If you cannot answer those questions, it is time to get quiet, log off, tune out, put on some music or go for a ride, ask your heart those questions until you have an answer...

and then, LIVE that answer, with everything you've got.